How to make homemade egg replacer: water + flax is all you need.

“How do I make homemade egg replacer?”

These days, with all kinds of allergies seemingly on the rise, we hear this question from our readers and customers on a regular basis.

“I’d love to make these [insert your favorite baked good], but I don’t do eggs. What can I substitute?”

The answer is both simple – and complex.

Simple, because a perfectly good egg replacer is easily made from just two ingredients: flax meal, and water.

Complex, because you wouldn’t want to use it in EVERY baked good calling for eggs; so you need to use both knowledge and experience to determine which recipes are suitable candidates for the flax/water fix – and which aren’t.

But don’t stress; we’re here to help you.

First, let’s make some easy homemade egg replacer.

How to make your own egg replacer via @kingarthurflour

Stir together golden flax meal and cold water.

For each large egg, stir or shake together 1 tablespoon (1/4 ounce) golden flax meal and 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) cold water. For multiple eggs, simply scale up: I’m making 4 eggs’ worth here, which translates to 1/4 cup (1 ounce) golden flax meal and 3/4 cups (6 ounces) water.

Can you use brown flax meal? Sure. It’ll give your baked goods stronger whole grain-type flavor; and darker color, with a definite flecked appearance.

Let the flax gel sit for about 30 minutes.

After 10 to 15 minutes, you’ll notice the flax has absorbed much of the water.

How to make your own egg replacer via @kingarthurflour

After another 15 minutes or so, it will have thickened quite a bit; give it a stir every now and then to help it along. You now have flax gel: a.k.a. homemade egg replacer.

Flax gel’s final texture is something between slimy and goopy, just to put things in scientific terms. Think egg white.

And how does this homemade egg replacer work in, say, yeast bread?

How to make your own egg replacer via @kingarthurflour

Homemade egg replacer works well in most yeast breads.

Here’s my favorite roll recipe, Amish Dinner Rolls. These dense, tender potato rolls stay nice and soft for several days at room temperature. The recipe calls for 2 eggs – a fairly average amount, if you’re talking yeast bread that includes eggs.

The rolls on the left are made with flax gel; on the right, with egg. See the difference? The flax gel rolls sport tiny brown flecks on their surface.

How to make your own egg replacer via @kingarthurflour

On the left, flax gel rolls – again, notice their subtly darker color. But their taste is identical to rolls made with real egg.

Verdict: You wouldn’t use this substitution in egg-heavy breads, like brioche; these breads rely on egg for both color and richness. But for a typical sandwich loaf or buns? Go for it.

How to make your own egg replacer via @kingarthurflour

Homemade egg replacer works well in soft, low-rising baked goods.

Think pancakes, as I’m making here (from our tasty buttermilk pancake & waffle mix). Or soft (not crunchy) cookies, or bars. So long as you’re simply replacing the eggs’ liquid, and their rich “mouth feel” – not their structure-building protein – homemade egg replacer should be a good substitute.

And speaking of mixes, I suspect homemade egg replacer would work well in many store-bought mixes, which are formulated to be pretty “goof proof.” Mix manufacturers know that lay bakers will substitute all manner of different ingredients for something they may not have, so the mixes themselves come with all kinds of built-in safeguards against failure.

How to make your own egg replacer via @kingarthurflour

My pancake batter was definitely elastic, rather than easily pourable. When I was making the pancakes, I needed to coax them into rounds on the pan, as they wouldn’t spread much by themselves.

Again, think what it would be like if you dropped an egg white into a hot pan; the texture of batters made with homemade egg replacer are almost identical to that of an egg white.

Finally, what about using homemade egg replacer in gluten-free baked goods? Many folks eating gluten-free are also avoiding eggs.

How to make your own egg replacer-4A

Gluten-free brownies made with homemade egg replacer on the left; and on the right, made with eggs.

Homemade egg replacer works in some gluten-free recipes.

I wish I could tell you to substitute homemade egg replacer in any and all of your gluten-free recipes calling for eggs. But this is where things become problematic: eggs usually play a major structure-building role in gluten-free baking.

Wheat flour adds structure and strength to baked goods via its protein-based gluten. Replace wheat flour with gluten-free flour, and you need to replace the “structure builder” – and the replacement is usually protein-rich eggs.

Our recipe for Gluten-Free Brownies calls for 3 large eggs, and just 3/4 cup gluten-free flour; clearly, it’s eggs that are building structure. So what happens when you substitute homemade egg replacer?

You get brownies that are noticeably moister than those made with eggs. Actually, I preferred these super-moist flax gel brownies to the ones made with eggs; the caveat to that being, I LOVE super-moist, super-dense brownies.

Would homemade egg replacer work in gluten-free pancakes, or soft cookies, or other types of bars? I think so.

But for anything that needs to rise more than an inch or so, I’d guess real eggs, providing the needed structure gluten-free flour can’t, are a necessity.

One final note: Varying amounts of flax gel egg replacer (ranging from 1 3/4 ounces to 3 1/2 ounces) can be used to replace each egg in your recipe. The directions that come with the flax meal we sell call for replacing each egg with the smaller amount of flax gel. Personally, I prefer to replace each large egg with 3 1/2 ounces flax gel, for the added moistness this amount delivers.

Do you bake with homemade egg replacer? Comment below to share your tips, or to ask questions. Plus remember, the folks on our Baker’s Hotline are always happy to chat about baking: 855-371-2253.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Sharon

    What is the refrigerator shelf life for this mixture? Can it be frozen? A list of preferred uses in baking would be helpful.
    Thank you,
    Ms. Gizzie

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We really don’t make this egg replacer ahead of time Sharon, so we can’t really offer a shelf life. We’re always trying new things though, so the list of preferred uses will be added to our list! Jon@KAF

  2. Karen

    Thank you for this well written article. I am looking forward to trying to bake more variety and remain plant based. I hope that other commenters share any successes they have had.

    Reply
  3. Dwarkadas Danidharia

    Thanks Hamel for providing such a nice tip ,it will very use full for people like me who don’t even consume eggs ,and avoid using in making many items mostly baked ones ,which do not give good results with out eggs .

    Reply
  4. Claire Gawinowicz

    Thank you so, so, so much for the egg replacer info/recipes. My daughter is a vegan and I love to bake her homemade stuff when she comes home to visit so this really helps. More vegan recipes please!!!

    Reply
  5. Pam Westfall

    I have successfully used flax egg replacer in fruit breads and muffins and it works amazingly well. Loved your explanation and hints; I will branch out and try it in more recipes. Thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sure! If your scone recipe calls for egg, use one of the egg replacers – or find a recipe that doesn’t use eggs! Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  6. Nana

    I have been subbing with flax eggs for 2 years when I went vegan. My yeast doughs appear to rise even higher using flax eggs. Never can I taste the flax in the breads. I use them in cookie and pancake batters easily. Usually, I warm the liquid before combining it with the flax seeds as it gels more quickly that way. OJ is a good substitute for water.

    Reply
  7. "Pua Moonfire"

    Thanks for the information. I did check nutritiondata.self.com to get the nutritional breakdown. A tablespoon or 1 ounce of flax seeds (couldn’t find flax meal) has 12 grams of fat. The 150 calories is about equivalent to 2 eggs. It is very high in potassium and phosphorus. One tablespoon of seeds has an amazing 8 grams of fiber. My MasterCook nutrition program for a tablespoon of seeds shows 48 calories and 3 grams each of fiber and fat (also no flax meal equivalent.) I would be interested in a legitimate nutritional breakdown.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You can view the entire nutrition label for our Golden Flax Meal by clicking on the “nutrition + ingredients” link below the orange Add to Cart button when viewing that product on our website. This is true of most all of our mixes and ingredients–we understand that many people like to inform themselves before buying a product. I hope this helps! Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  8. Charleen Bridgman

    I have used both commercial egg replacer, and recently, when I couldn’t find it, I remembered I could use flax seed (which I had on hand). The results were just as good. I have used it in muffins, and also in cornbread which rises really well in a parchment lined baking pan with no other greasing. I am also a minimal-added-fat vegan and successfully cut the fat in the cornbread from 4 T. butter to 1 T. oil with excellent results.

    Reply
  9. michael de martine

    thank you, pj. & thank you nana for yr comments on using flax eggs in yeast doughs. especially the tip on warming the liquids before combining w/ flax meal. will definitely use it.

    Reply
  10. Kay Simpson

    What is the purpose of the buttermilk powder used in the pastry recipe you have for the peach tart?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Kay, its acid tenderizes the gluten in the flour a bit; plus it adds a touch of tangy flavor. Leave it out if you like; no problem. PJH

  11. wendy digel

    I have used this in various baked goodies over the last few years, mainly when I’ve set my mind to make something and then find no eggs in the fridge – but the bag of flax sed meal is in there! I have used it the most in my small batch cornbread.

    Reply
  12. Jyoti

    Can I use flax mix in Swiss/Italian meringue buttercream as the recipe calls for either meringue powder or egg whites?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      No, I wouldn’t do that. Though I haven’t tried it, it doesn’t seem to me that it would work well. If you try it anyway, let us know how it comes out, OK? We’d be interested to hear. PJH

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We recommend storing the flax meal in a cool, dry place (like your pantry) for up to 2 years. But as with all food products, be sure to check the best by date stamped on the bottom of the box to guide your usage. Happy flax baking! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Not sure, Gloria. We generally just make it up right before we plan on using it. While it likely will hold, we don’t really have a time frame to offer. Jon@KAF

  13. The Baker's Hotline

    Our intention isn’t to demonize any food, but simply to be inclusive of those who are unable to eat eggs due to their dietary needs. We hope you continue to enjoy the thousands of recipes on our website which call for the ingredients you’ve come to love. Jon@KAF

    Reply
  14. Anne Marie

    Thanks for the great tips!! One quick question can I substitute an equal amount of white chia seed for the flax meal? I had heard somewhere that this could be done? Thank you:)

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Chia makes a binding mixture when combined with water, but is stronger than flax — so you should use less. While a flax “egg” uses 1 tablespoon of ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons of water, a chia “egg” requires just 1 teaspoon of ground chia mixed with 3 tablespoons of water. Let the chia to sit in the liquid for about 20 minutes to gel up to the right consistency. Use as you would the flax meal. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  15. ruthcatrin

    Because I’ve recently developed an intolerance for any poultry egg, regardless of from the local farm vs the store, duck vs chicken. Trust me, its not voluntary, I love eating eggs in a variety of forms, but unfortunately my body has decided it will no longer tolerate them in any significant amount. A single egg in large batch of cookies is fine, but an egg in a patch of pancake batter for just me and my husband results in major digestive distress. Popovers? No can do any more. No more scrambled eggs for breakfast…..

    Reply
  16. ruthcatrin

    How would this work for say, popovers (particularly your standard popover recipe)? I’ve recently developed what appears to be an egg intolerance and its been incredibly frustrating to try to find ways around it!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Eggs provide structure in the popovers, and the flax meal absorbs water, acting as gel. In the test kitchen experience, flax meal works best when used in items that are already doughy. You can definitely try it, but they might not be your grandma’s popovers. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  17. Denice

    This seems like it might be good when you want to microwave bake your cakes, because then you won’t get the scrambled egg taste.. Might need to experiment. 🙂

    Reply
  18. Chris

    If you happen to only have whole flax seeds on hand, but have an immersion type blender, you can easily make an egg replacer in very little time. Simply mix the same ration of water and whole flax in a small container. The texture will be slightly more course, but it will work quite well in most recipes.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Sorry, Cynthia, I didn’t do that test. If you try it, let us know how it comes out, OK? Good luck – PJH

  19. Samana Mustafa

    By flax meal you mean flax seeds. I cannot find such thing here and I use flax seeds in many of my recipes. Should I use this to get same results.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Samana,
      If you coarsely grind up flax seeds, you’ll have flax meal. Just don’t grind too far or you’ll get a bit of an oily mess. ~ MJ

  20. Donna Cohen

    I have a yolk allergy, but can eat whites. I can usually make most items, however there are a few that need the yolk properties – so this is one idea I will try! Exciting to find a possible answer to this problem! Thank you so much!

    Reply
  21. Victoria

    Proportions given here (2 tbsp flax and 3 oz water to replace 1 egg) are different than those shown on your egg substitution chart (which shows 1 tbsp flax and 3 tbsp water to replace 1 egg). Which is correct? And a big thanks for having this information available; it’s nice to be able to bake for our loved ones who can’t eat eggs!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re glad it can be helpful to you, Victoria! As PJ mentions towards the end of the post, “Varying amounts of flax gel egg replacer (ranging from 1 3/4 ounces to 3 1/2 ounces) can be used to replace each egg in your recipe. The directions that come with the flax meal we sell call for replacing each egg with the smaller amount of flax gel, while I prefer the larger amount, for its added moistness.” In this post she is using double the amount called for on the egg substitution chart and on the box (2Tbsp flax + 6 Tbsp water instead of 1 Tbsp flax + 3 Tbsp water), but both variations generally work. Mollie@KAF

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