Best egg white substitutes for vanilla cupcakes and cakes

Have you ever started baking one of your favorite recipes and realized you’re out of eggs? We have all been in this situation, and with the prices of eggs currently on the rise it would be great to have some good substitutes so we can still bake and enjoy our favorite treats without breaking the bank!

There are several egg white substitutes, but which one works best for cupcakes? Bake Eat Love stepped into our test kitchen to learn which egg white substitute works best with our Tiramisu cupcakes. Check out below what we thought of each substitute and which one we would recommend for cupcakes.

First thing’s first, why are eggs in recipes?

Eggs are an ingredient that play numerous roles in recipes. Some of the key things eggs provide in baking are structure, moisture, flavor and binding.

What can I substitute for egg whites?

  • Applesauce: Replace each egg white with ¼ cup apple sauce
  • Aquafaba: Replace each egg white with 2 tablespoons aquafaba (wondering what in the world is aquafaba? We’ll get into that below!)
  • Baking Soda + Vinegar: Replace each egg white with 1 teaspoon baking soda + one tablespoon vinegar

How does applesauce work as an egg white substitute?

While often used to replace fats in recipes, applesauce like egg whites, also acts as a great binder and adds moisture. We recommend using unsweetened applesauce.

What is aquafaba? How does aquafaba work as an egg white substitute?

Aquafaba is the liquid that is found in a can of chickpeas. It is primarily made up of proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber. It is a great binder like egg whites and has enough protein structure to even be whipped. It has a subtle bean aroma, but when added to other ingredients and baked, it has a very neutral taste.

Do you have to whip aquafaba before using it as an egg white substitute?

If adding aquafaba to cake or cupcake batter it does not need to be whipped first. If you are using aquafaba in a meringue, it will need to be whipped and stabilized with cream of tartar.

How does baking soda + vinegar work as an egg white substitute?

When vinegar is added to baking soda, it creates a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide bubbles. The carbon dioxide bubbles act as a leavening agent and cause the batter to rise when baked. In order to not alter the flavor of your recipe we would recommend using white or apple cider vinegar.

How do I use egg white substitutes in my recipe?

If making cupcakes or muffins, one of these three egg white substitutes can be added directly into your batter in place of the egg whites. The aquafaba can be strained into a bowl and the chickpeas reserved for another recipe.

One egg white is equal to:

Baking Soda + Vinegar1 teaspoon baking soda + one Tablespoon Vinegar
Aquafaba2 Tablespoons
Applesauce¼ cup

How does each egg white substitute impact my baked goods?

First, let’s look at the batter consistency of each egg white substitute:

  • The batter consistency of the baking soda and vinegar was the most similar to the consistency when using egg whites.
  • The batter that contained aquafaba was looser, almost like a pancake batter.
  • The batter that had applesauce mixed into it was slightly thicker than the batter that contained the baking soda and vinegar.

Now, let’s review the flavor and the baked product of each egg white substitute:

The baking soda and vinegar cupcakes turned a golden brown when baked and the cake was thin and crispy and had a slight aftertaste. The baking soda and vinegar egg white substitute was the least favorite of the substitutes we tested.

The cupcake batter that contained the aquafaba rose to the top of the cupcake cups, and some even spilled over slightly. The flavor and texture were almost identical to the cupcakes baked with egg whites. Aquafaba was our favorite choice of the egg white substitutes.

The cupcakes that were baked with the applesauce had a great flavor, were super moist, but were slightly sticky and dense.

The winner: Which egg white substitute works best for vanilla cakes and cupcakes?

Our favorite egg white substitute for vanilla cupcakes and cakes is aquafaba! (Aquafaba is the liquid leftover from a can of chickpeas). It gave the cupcakes the best texture and it was difficult to tell the difference between the cupcakes baked with egg whites and the ones that contained aquafaba.

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