Egg yolks are a common ingredient in baked goods such as cakes, cookies, and custard. But if you’re making one of these treats and you’re fresh out of eggs (or you don’t eat them in your diet), what can you use as an egg yolk substitute?
As it turns out, there are numerous foods that you can use as an egg yolk substitute. From tofu to oil to mashed fruit, you probably already have at least one of these animal-free alternatives on hand. Keep reading to learn how to use them effectively as an egg yolk substitute.
What’s the purpose of egg yolks in recipes?
Before we explore what you can add in place of egg yolks, it’s necessary to first understand why we use them. As a bit of background, the yolk is important because it contains most of the egg’s nutritional value, including nearly all of the vitamins and minerals.
In some recipes, egg yolks add a rich taste, since they’re high in fat. Other times, bakers use them to bind ingredients together or create a rising effect. In short, yolks serve different purposes in various dishes, but the point remains: no matter how you’re using egg yolks, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a suitable alternative.
Best egg yolk substitute options
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the best options for replacing egg yolks in your recipe.
It might not be your immediate thought to replace egg yolks, but blended silken tofu makes an excellent substitute. Not only is tofu packed with protein (like eggs), but it also doesn’t contain animal products, which makes it a great vegan swap for yolks. It’s a good option when you need to replicate the leavening effects of egg yolks.
Oil or butter
When you need an ingredient to replace the richness and high-fat content of egg yolks, you can grab pretty much any kind of oil from your pantry. Extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, and avocado oil will all get the job done. Don’t have any oil on hand? You can also swap in butter.
Pureed fruit, including avocado and banana, is a remarkably good replacement for egg yolks in many recipes. However, you should be mindful that you might get a hint of the fruit taste in your final product. Make sure you’re comfortable with that slight bit of flavor before mashing the fruit and adding it into your dish.
Flax or chia seeds
Many vegan recipes use a combination of flax or chia seeds and water to replace eggs, creating what is known as a “flax egg” or “chia egg.” To make one, all you need to do is combine one tablespoon of ground raw flax seeds or chia seeds with two to three tablespoons of water. Keep stirring until you reach a creamy consistency.
Choosing an egg yolk substitute is a matter of personal taste and preference, but you should be fine with any of the ingredients listed above. Plus, they’re all vegan-friendly (except for butter), so you can whip up some delicious treats without relying on animal byproducts.
For more recipe tips and suggestions, check out the Tastessence blog.