There are many reasons why you might need to replace eggs in a recipe. You could be making a batch of cookies for a vegan friend or a birthday cake for a child with an egg allergy. Perhaps reducing a recipe size has left you needing less than one egg — or maybe you just ran out of eggs altogether. Fortunately, there are several simple substitutes that make it easy to cook without any eggs at all.

To determine the right egg replacer to use, first you have to know why the egg is in the recipe in the first place. Eggs can serve several functions, including:

  • Binding: Eggs hold ingredients together and give food texture.
  • Leavening: Eggs give lift to baked goods, which makes for a lighter texture.
  • Moisture: When there are few or no other wet ingredients, eggs increase a recipe’s water content.
  • Thickening: In recipes such as custards and crèmes, eggs lend density and creaminess.
  • Color and flavor: Eggs contribute to the final taste and color of certain breads, pastas, and pastries.
Vegan chocolate cake.
Vegan chocolate cake.James Ransom

Once you figure out what function the eggs fulfill in your recipe, you can choose an egg replacer that does the same thing. Here’s a rundown of the most common egg replacers and how to use them:

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