The Best Egg Substitute for Baking (plus Video How-to)

by Sarah Recipes, VideosComments: 79

egg substitute

What is the best egg substitute to use for baking if you have an egg allergy in your home?

Maybe you can eat eggs just fine but you’ve simply run out of farm fresh eggs temporarily and don’t want to run to the store and pay insane prices for inferior quality organic eggs.

Some folks use a few ounces of applesauce or a mashed up half banana as a substitute for one egg, but in my experience, the binding ability of fruit is not that great. It can also unexpectedly change the taste of the recipe which may not be desirable.

Here’s the egg substitute I would recommend as it works really well:   the gel that you get from soaking flax or chia seeds.

When you soak flax or chia seeds for just a few minutes in plain water (1 TBL seeds soaked in 1/3-1/4 cup of filtered water per egg to be replaced), the soaking water becomes gel-like and can be used as a perfect egg substitute in all your favorite recipes.

You can even whip the flax (or chia) gel to get an even lighter and fluffier end result!

* Note that if you have any thyroid issues, it is best to use chia seeds as your egg substitute of choice as flax is a slightly goitrogenic food.

Those who live in France should use chia seeds as flax has been banned for human consumption since 1973 and has limited availability in other European countries like Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.   To my knowledge, this ban is still in effect at the present time.

Below is a short, 2 minute video which demonstrates the process of quickly making an egg substitute.

Click here for how to use it in baked goods including those using gluten free flour.

Best Egg Substitute

More Information

Why Organic Store Eggs are a Scam

What Oxidizes the Cholesterol in Eggs?

Think You Have Fresh Eggs? Here’s How to Tell

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Comments (79)

  • Cynthia C

    can’t wait to try out the chia seeds. Thanks!

    May 4th, 2014 5:07 pm Reply
  • Bert

    Here is a link from the Mayo Clinic on potential Side Effects and cautions regarding Flax Seed.

    October 16th, 2013 9:50 am Reply
  • Deliciously Organic

    Thanks for the info! I was wondering if you know the smoking point of the oil in the chia seed? I don’t use flaxseed for baking because the flaxseed oil oxidizes at such a low temperature (around 250 degrees F). I’ve tried to find information on the smoking point of the oil in the chia seed, but have come up short. Any info you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    October 16th, 2013 8:02 am Reply
  • Sharise

    A lot of people are asking why flax is bad. I’m no expert, but I was told to stop taking so much flax because it mimics estrogen in my body and it was causing hormone problems for me.

    October 16th, 2013 2:18 am Reply
  • Wendy Brown

    I recently had a thermagraphy done at “My pink image” in San Diego by Wendy Sellens and purchased her book “Breast Cancer Boot Camp” and it states in there that there are more phytoestrogens in flax than there are in soy. It was a little shocking.

    August 2nd, 2013 12:36 am Reply
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  • Diane

    Why don’t blog comments also have a little ‘ X ‘ button for when you wrote something before finding the answer yourself

    So you can ignore the question about ‘why’ but the rest is valid 😉

    February 11th, 2012 7:47 pm Reply
  • Diane

    I can’t imagine you’d not be able to buy flax seed in France!
    I live in Belgium and the packet in my cupboard was bought at a normal supermarket and I imagine it is available in all supermarkets. Flax seed can also be found as an added ingredient in multi-grain bakery bread (Belgium doesn’t have a “supermarket bread” culture, which I am familiar with as I’m Australian).
    Why on earth would it be banned?

    February 11th, 2012 7:39 pm Reply
  • Rachael

    I can’t get the gel to go through my sieve! :/

    November 30th, 2011 11:54 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Just use as is then. It will work fine. :)

      November 30th, 2011 12:27 pm Reply
  • Martine Bracke


    Do you also have a substitute for egg yolk ?


    November 22nd, 2011 9:04 pm Reply

    November 4th, 2011 2:11 am Reply
  • Kai Momma

    Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information. My daughter has been allergic to eggs for years, even the yolks. She is on the GAPS diet right now and we are hoping to fix the egg allergy, but in the meantime we have a wonderful solution! We tried it this morning and made pancakes (almond butter, zucchini, chia-goo)! She loved them and they held together well! Thank you so much! (We soaked the chia seeds for 15 mins or so and instead of straining them, we just blended them up with the batter in a blender. They were blended so well, so there was not tiny seed texture!)

    November 3rd, 2011 4:00 pm Reply
    • Martine Bracke

      Hey Kai,

      Could you send me your panckakes recipe please?


      November 22nd, 2011 9:08 pm Reply
  • Mrs. Mac

    I use 1/4 cup of yogurt for an egg in muffins. It works great!

    November 3rd, 2011 1:12 pm Reply
  • Leah

    why has flax been banned?? Is there something wrong with it?

    November 3rd, 2011 10:56 am Reply
  • Yolanda

    My mother grew up during the Great Depression. They did this and used it for hair gel!

    November 3rd, 2011 7:54 am Reply
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  • Vanessa Schneider via Facebook

    They do have an egg substutue

    November 2nd, 2011 5:04 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    @Raggedy Ann but no oil is cooked and that is what goes rancid. I am not following why the flax gel would be a problem. It is simply the soaking water for the seeds not the seeds themselves.

    November 2nd, 2011 4:12 pm Reply
  • Debi Ballard via Facebook

    This is great! Thank You for sharing!

    November 2nd, 2011 4:06 pm Reply
  • Dave Bonan (@Still_Flowing)

    @aliciaghio The Best Baking Substitute for Eggs – Not banana or applesauce, but Chia Gel!

    November 2nd, 2011 3:57 pm Reply
  • Dave Bonan (@Still_Flowing) (@Still_Flowing)

    The Best Baking Substitute for Eggs – not banana or applesauce, but Chia Gel!

    November 2nd, 2011 3:57 pm Reply
  • Tracy

    I was wondering if anyone tried using the chia seed gel to make a faux mayonnaise. Or if anyone has another great way to make mayo that would taste good in my tuna fish.

    No soy, gluten, dairy, sugar recipes only. Thank you.

    November 2nd, 2011 2:24 pm Reply
    • Magda

      I found this recipe on the GAPS help list… HTH

      3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
      1 tablspoon dry mustard powder
      2 cloves garlic, chopped
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      1 cup vegetable oil

      In blender or food processor, combine lemon juice, mustard powder, garlic and salt. Whiz until well blended – maybe 30 seconds? With machine on, VERY slowly add the oil, either a dribble, almost drop by drop, or no more than the tiniest little stream. Slower is
      better than faster. Continue until it thickens. You may not need the whole cup of oil. DO NOT continue to add oil or blend after it thickens or it will un-thicken.

      NOTES: You can apparently use most any oil you want. I used EV olive oil. This is a very savory mayo and you can’t skip the mustard powder or garlic. They are your emulsifiers. So if you want a sweeter or more neutral mayo, this isn’t it.
      This will not thicken if there’s any humidity in the air, though I’ve always wondered how it knows when I am in with the furnace on. But it does and won’t get thicker than cream. It still tastes delicious as a salad dressing but it’s not mayo. I have not figure out how dry a
      humidity is required.
      You can use part coconut oil (melted) and it will thicken it up when in the frig. I don’t like the coconut taste here, though, I don’t feel it goes with the savory flavors.
      You can add a bit of dissolved gelatin. This will work but IMHO makes it taste like mayo gelatin, and once out of the frig it will start to melt a bit. But, when it does work, it’s delicious, if you like the strong flavors.

      November 2nd, 2011 4:28 pm Reply
      • Tracy

        Thank you sooooo much for the recipe and the tips. You are awesome. I can not wait to try it. I have been craving my old standby tuna fish and plain olive oil with salt and pepper was just not the same.


        November 2nd, 2011 5:11 pm Reply
  • Raggedy Ann via Facebook

    We will have to agree to disagree, because the flax is heated when the item is baked.

    November 2nd, 2011 2:01 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    @Kristin applesauce works ok but I think you would find the chia or flax gel wonderful and the taste of the final baked good would not be changed by the apple flavor. This egg sub is really good for cookies.

    November 2nd, 2011 1:53 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    @RaddedyAnn Note that the seeds are intact in the warming water and the water doesn’t get very hot at all (I can still stick my finger in it). The oils in the seeds are discarded with the seeds when strained. You are quite wise though as flax oil is very delicate and subject to rancidity. In this case though, the oil is not used.

    November 2nd, 2011 1:52 pm Reply
  • Kristin Jukes via Facebook

    We use applesauce and pumpkin all the time as egg replacers and have never really had a problem.

    November 2nd, 2011 1:49 pm Reply
  • Carrie Stutler Dunham via Facebook

    Darn it! I’ve been using flax! Can’t use yoghurt because of dairy intolorences…..

    November 2nd, 2011 1:11 pm Reply
  • Raggedy Ann via Facebook

    I don’t heat flax ever. The oil in the flax is too fragile and unstable at high heats needed for baking. It can become rancid. It can also be toxic the same way transfats are toxic. I have had some fresh made breads where flax was used as the egg sub that tasted rancid.

    November 2nd, 2011 12:57 pm Reply
  • Lu (@LuminatedLife)

    Out of eggs? Got an egg-allergy? Check it:

    November 2nd, 2011 12:45 pm Reply
  • Brittnee Turner Horting via Facebook

    What are the negative effects of flax during pregnancy?

    November 2nd, 2011 12:42 pm Reply
  • Mike Lieberman

    Have been using chia seeds to bake for a while. Definitely works as a substitute in some recipes, but not so well in other. Also kicks up the nutritional content some as well.

    November 2nd, 2011 12:35 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I particularly like it in cookies where the cookie holding together is very important!

      November 2nd, 2011 12:56 pm Reply
  • Tracey

    We’ve been using flax for a while, but I will look for chia to to try. Thanks!

    November 2nd, 2011 12:12 pm Reply
  • Lorri Butera Shaw via Facebook

    It was really moist too

    November 2nd, 2011 12:04 pm Reply
  • Connie Ross via Facebook


    November 2nd, 2011 12:02 pm Reply
  • Lorri Butera Shaw via Facebook

    I haven’t watched the vid yet, but I used yoghurt last week. 3 tablespoons per egg needed

    November 2nd, 2011 12:02 pm Reply
  • Sally

    I have been using Chia gel as a substitute for eggs in my baking for years! People always marvel at my cupcakes that I make from a mix ( I know, not the best thing but easy and I rarely make them for just my family, so no one gets more than one!) to which i sub in the chia gel for the eggs and coconut oil for the oil. They are the most incredible cupcake ever! works best with the chocolate mixes. And works great with all my home baked cakes as well.
    My method is a little different. We consume chia gel everyday so I always have a bottle ready for and hydrated to use. This is how i do it.
    I mix 6 tablespoons of chia seeds in 2 cups of filtered water and let soak over night or for 12 hours of so. You can use 3T to 1 cup. (Tip: we actually use the old GLASS Sobe bottles to mix our chia, we put in 2 cups of water & 6 T of chia seed and shake! till it doesn’t separate and we let it gel on the counter for 12 hours or so and then refrigerate. it keeps for 2 weeks.)
    When I use it as an egg substitute in baking, I sub 1/4 cup of gel for each egg. It seems to work best this way in chocolate cake mixes, they become very fudgy and tender, almost melt in your mouth! Also works really great in apple/carrot cakes that I make from scratch. The cakes rise and sink a little when they cool, but the texture and flavor (with the coconut oil as the oil) is incredible!
    But I will try your way Sarah for yellow and non chocolate cake mixes and non fruit or vegetable cakes. And I have never whipped it before so that is an exciting discovery! Thanks!

    November 2nd, 2011 11:57 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Excellent! Thank you for the testimonial on how well the chia gel works as a binder!

      November 2nd, 2011 12:23 pm Reply
  • Tammy Lee Rodriguez via Facebook

    either way, flax is not good for cooking (IMO) from what i’ve read.

    November 2nd, 2011 11:44 am Reply
  • jason and lisa

    nevermind.. maybe next time i’ll read the posts before i ask a question!! :)

    November 2nd, 2011 11:41 am Reply
  • jason and lisa

    why was flax banned in france?? anyone??

    November 2nd, 2011 11:40 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    @Tammy Not flax meal … flax seeds soaked in water.

    November 2nd, 2011 11:36 am Reply
  • Jody Tengberg via Facebook

    oh! thanks

    November 2nd, 2011 11:36 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Flax has negative effects on fertility and pregnancy.

    November 2nd, 2011 11:35 am Reply
    • Heather Brandt

      I didn’t know this! I’m pregnant and just used 3 TBS of flaxseed for egg sub in a cookie recipe. Guess I will put the flaxseeds away & hope they didn’t hurt me :(

      November 2nd, 2011 12:02 pm Reply
      • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

        Yeah, skip the flax during pregnancy. Pregnancy is tough enough on the thyroid and hormones as it is. Don’t need anything else contributing to the mix.

        November 2nd, 2011 12:22 pm Reply
  • Jody Tengberg via Facebook

    soy is toxic….

    November 2nd, 2011 11:35 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    @Beth I wouldn’t use soy flour as it is loaded with gastric slamming phytic acid and soy is a potent goitrogen. Soy is best avoided unless fermented and even then consumed in small amounts.

    November 2nd, 2011 11:35 am Reply
  • Tammy Lee Rodriguez via Facebook

    flax is only good freshly ground and raw. chia would be my choice.

    November 2nd, 2011 11:32 am Reply
  • Casey Vasconcelos via Facebook

    yes, I was curious as well, why would flax be banned in so many countries?

    November 2nd, 2011 11:31 am Reply
  • Sara

    Do you discard the flax after making the gel, or can you use it for anything else?

    November 2nd, 2011 11:16 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I’ve always discarded it. I suppose you could dry it out in a warm oven and then grind it into flaxseed meal.

      November 2nd, 2011 12:21 pm Reply
  • Ilse Padilla Fisher via Facebook


    November 2nd, 2011 11:06 am Reply
  • Jody Tengberg via Facebook

    why would they ban Flax??

    November 2nd, 2011 11:05 am Reply
  • Jody Tengberg via Facebook

    * Note that if you have any thyroid issues, it is best to use chia seeds as flax is a slightly goitrogenic food.

    Those who live in France should use chia seeds as flax has been banned for human consumption since 1973 and has limited availability in other European countries like Germany, Belgium and Switzerland. To my knowledge, this ban is still in effect at the present time.

    November 2nd, 2011 11:05 am Reply
  • Frugally Sustainable via Facebook

    Thanks for such great information:)

    November 2nd, 2011 11:03 am Reply
  • Beth Lucas via Facebook

    The Tightwad Gazette says one heaping tablespoon of soy flour (or powder) and one tablespoon of water for each egg.

    November 2nd, 2011 10:58 am Reply
  • Anna@GreenTalk

    I use Chia because they can’t go bad like Flax. On the package it says a 9 to 1 ratio to make a gel. I have used chia as a binder since farm eggs and I aren’t getting along these days. I know. The GAPs diet.

    I also use really ripe bananas sometimes too.

    November 2nd, 2011 10:57 am Reply
  • Anna Griffin Kirkland via Facebook

    I like the chia seed substitute.

    November 2nd, 2011 10:56 am Reply
  • Olga Jurkova-Yefimov via Facebook

    Thank you so much! That is a great tip!

    November 2nd, 2011 10:51 am Reply
  • Jennifer Hecker via Facebook

    I was just going to say… .flax seed meal :)

    November 2nd, 2011 10:50 am Reply
  • Amanda Edwards Bussard via Facebook

    Thank you! I have been using flax seed as an egg replacer for quite some time as I am allergic to eggs.

    November 2nd, 2011 10:49 am Reply
  • donna

    What are the nutrients in the chia or flax gel?

    November 2nd, 2011 10:41 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Not a whole lot I would expect since the seed itself is not used. It’s just super great binding agent in baked goods.

      November 2nd, 2011 4:46 pm Reply
      • Heather Brandt

        So you strain out the chia seed? I’ve never done that before & not noticed it making any difference in recipes.

        November 2nd, 2011 7:33 pm Reply
  • megan

    what jumped out at me from this article is that flax is banned from human consumption in europe. why is that?

    November 2nd, 2011 10:28 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Not in all of Europe, just France. It is very limited in a few other countries. This is because flax had negative effects on fertility and pregnancy.

      November 2nd, 2011 10:40 am Reply
      • Heather Brandt

        So I should avoid using flaxseed egg sub or flaxseed in recipes while pregnant? Oh dear! I didn’t know this :(

        November 2nd, 2011 11:58 am Reply
      • Amy

        Canadian flax seed exports have been banned by 28 European countries since 2009 because it is largely a GM crop. The ban, however, was placed on organic flax seed because it has been testing positive for GM contamination due to natural cross-pollination:

        Thank you for providing the chia alternative. I am a recently reformed food consumer and food equity and sovereignty activist. I have been finding it difficult to track down non-animal product alternatives in recipes, so I love it when I (finally) come across a gem like this. Thank you so much for posting!

        November 2nd, 2011 4:13 pm Reply
        • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          Yes the GM flax problem is a big issue. France banned it in 1973 because of issues surrounding women’t fertility health however.

          Good point .. if you choose flax, be SURE it’s organic to avoid GM flax.

          November 2nd, 2011 4:45 pm Reply
          • Joe

            I would just like to comment on the ban in France… I am French, and lived in France from 1976 to 2010. Flax is not banned and is actually used in many recipes (bread), but what was banned, due to lobby from other oil producers (like sunflower, I believe) was the oil from flaxseed. The lobbyists pushed so much that It was allowed to produce the oil, but not sell it in France for human consumption — the reason used was that the flaxseed oil reacts very easily with oxygen to become toxic upon consumption. However, it has been possible for a few years now to find (legally now) flaxseed oil in organic and health stores. Before the ban was lifted, we could already get flaxseed oil in Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, and probably other European countries where I have not tried to procure it.
            As far as I know, flaxseed oil is very beneficial if you are trying to get pregnant (both for the man and the woman). My husband and I were consuming it in yogurt before and after conception of our baby, and she is a very healthy toddler now.

            June 11th, 2013 1:00 pm
  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    I misspoke on that but it was close enough and didn’t matter ultimately to the success of the recipe so I left it. I clarified this in the written part of the post. I meant to say 4-6 TBL (or 1/3-1/4 cup water)

    November 2nd, 2011 9:27 am Reply
    • Rachel

      Is this amount equal to replacing 1 egg?

      May 6th, 2013 5:38 pm Reply
      • Rachel

        sorry, I just reread it and realized it’s in the post :) thank you!

        May 6th, 2013 5:39 pm Reply
  • HealthyHomeEconomist (@HealthyHomeEcon) (@HealthyHomeEcon) (@HealthyHomeEcon) (@HealthyHomeEcon) (@HealthyHomeEcon)

    Video: The Best Baking Substitute for Eggs – The Healthy Home Economist

    November 2nd, 2011 9:11 am Reply

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