Flour, sugar, oil, and eggs are the fundamental ingredients of nearly every cake and cupcake recipe. Eggs serve multiple purposes in baking; they bind the components together, add moisture and flavor, and help the baked goods expand while baking to give it that fluffy texture.
With eggs being so essential to the baking process, it can sound daunting to figure out how to make cupcakes without eggs. However, if you’re vegan, allergic to eggs, or haven’t gone to the grocery to buy another dozen – you’re in luck! You can bake delicious cupcakes without using a single egg!
How to Make Cupcakes Without Eggs
You can find egg-free cupcake recipes that already include alternative ingredients for the eggs, but you may be able to use your favorite recipe by subbing the eggs for another component instead.
Understanding the purpose of eggs in the recipe will help you determine an appropriate substitute. For cupcake recipes, the eggs serve several functions. When looking for replacements for the eggs in a recipe, use one that will serve the same purpose as the egg so you won’t compromise on the flavor or texture of the cupcake.
- Eggs bind the ingredients in the cupcakes together to help them form a cohesive baked good and not crumble apart. The protein in the eggs hardens as they bake, which turns the batter into a firm cupcake.
- The fat in the eggs provides moisture and flavor to the cupcakes, making them soft and light. Without eggs or an appropriate replacement, the cupcakes can be dense.
- Eggs are also a leavening ingredient. They make the batter expand and give the cupcakes the light and airy consistency that we love and expect.
It might take some trial and error to find the best substitution ingredient and proportions for your recipe. As a general rule, recipes that call for one to three eggs have a favorable chance of working well with an egg substitution.
Recipes that call for many eggs or separated and beaten egg whites may not achieve the same consistency and results with a substitution.
You can use the following ingredients as a substitute for one egg in many recipes:
- Commercial egg replacers
- 1 tsp. of baking powder dissolved in 1 Tbsp. of vinegar and 1 Tbs. of water
- 1 tsp. of baking powder dissolved in 1 Tbsp. of oil and 1 Tbsp. water
- ¼ cup of applesauce, bananas, or other pureed fruit
- 1 Tbsp. flaxseed meal or chia seeds mixed with 1 Tbsp. water
- ¼ cup of silken tofu
- ¼ cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 3 Tbsp. of aquafaba per egg white
How to Use Commercial Egg-Replacers in Cupcake Recipes
You can find commercial egg-replacers in many health-food stores. Ensure that the product you buy is a genuine egg replacer and does not contain eggs in its ingredients.
The egg replacers are usually a powder, typically consisting of a base of potato starch and tapioca starch. They are easy to use; just mix the egg replacer with water to replace the eggs in most recipes. The egg replacers will come with instructions, including the ratio of the powder to water and how much you should use for each egg.
Most cupcake and baked good recipes work very well with commercial egg replacers without compromising the taste, texture, and look of the cupcakes. Try your favorite cupcake recipe using the egg replacer and water solution in place of each egg and bake as per the recipe.
How to Use Vinegar and Baking Powder Instead of Eggs in Cupcake Recipes
The combination of vinegar and baking powder is more than just a kid-approved foaming science experiment – it can be an excellent replacement for eggs in many cupcake recipes.
The most popular vinegar and baking powder or baking soda recipe is the Depression Cake, or Wacky Cake as it is commonly known. This recipe goes back to the Great Depression when eggs were a valuable commodity.
You can find many variations of the wacky cake, but the following recipe makes delicious and moist cupcakes too – and you don’t need to use any substitutions for the eggs!
- 3 cups of flour
- 1 ⅔ cups sugar
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 6 Tbsp. cocoa
- ¾ cup oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 vinegar
- 2 cups water
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. You do not need a mixer and can use a mixing spoon. Make three wells and add in the oil, vanilla extract, and vinegar, one in each well. Don’t worry if they overflow the wells. Add in the two cups of water.
You will see the vinegar reacting with the baking soda and bubble. Wait a minute, then mix the batter and pour into greased cupcake holders. Bake the cupcakes at 350° for approximately 20 minutes, or until they are set.
Try swapping out the eggs in your cupcake recipe using a combination of 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 Tbsp. of vinegar and 1 Tbs. of water for each egg in the recipe.
The following recipe uses vinegar instead of eggs for delightful cupcakes that you can then frost and decorate.
- 5 cups of flour
- ¾ cup of sugar
- ¼ salt
- 5 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ cup oil
- 1 cup milk (vegans can use almond, soy, oat, or rice milk or replace it with water)
- 1 Tbsp. vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Combine the first five ingredients and then slowly incorporate the wet ingredients. Pour the batter into greased cupcake holders and bake at 350° for approximately 20 minutes or until they are set.
How to Use Oil and Baking Powder Instead of Eggs in Cupcake Recipes
The simple mixture of oil, baking powder, and water is a neutral-tasting substitute for eggs that will help bind the cupcake ingredients and lend it the moisture it needs. These pantry staples are available in almost every kitchen and are one of the easiest replacements for eggs.
Dissolve one teaspoon of baking powder in one tablespoon oil and one tablespoon of water for each egg in the recipe. This method works best for cupcake recipes that don’t call for many eggs in the recipe.
How to Use Pureed Fruit instead of Eggs in Cupcake Recipes
Some cupcake recipes rely on the eggs to give them a moist and lighter texture. Without the eggs, the cupcakes can be dense. In these situations, applesauce, mashed bananas, or other pureed fruit can be a good substitute for the eggs.
Try using ¼ cup of pureed fruit per egg in your cupcake recipe. Unsweetened applesauce is a popular choice since it has a mild flavor and a little bit in the batter won’t affect the cupcakes’ taste.
Up to ¾ of a cup of applesauce to replace three eggs for cupcakes will work beautifully. If your recipe calls for four eggs, the consistency might not be the same with that much applesauce to replace it. Another egg replacement, or recipe, might be better.
Mashed bananas are commonly used as well but the consistency is a little thicker and it does have a more noticeable taste. Use half of a banana for each egg that you are replacing.
You can experiment with other fruit, but keep in mind that the flavor and color may affect your recipe. Chocolate cupcakes are more forgiving as the flavor is richer and the color can camouflage the fruit. White cupcakes need a milder fruit such as applesauce, and a neutral color of course.
How to Use Flaxseed Meal or Chia Seeds instead of Eggs in Cupcake Recipes
Flaxseeds or chia seeds dissolved in hot water can be used instead of eggs in many recipes.
Dissolve one tablespoon of flaxseeds or chia seeds in three tablespoons of hot water to substitute for one egg.
Unlike some of the other substitutes, the flaxseed and chia seeds may introduce a different taste into your cupcakes. It is also a thicker consistency than eggs so it may change the texture of your batter. Experiment with your recipes to determine whether it works for your cupcakes.
How to Use Silken Tofu instead of Eggs in Cupcake Recipes
Silken tofu is smooth and creamy tofu that will give the cupcakes the moisture missing from the eggs. The protein in the tofu will bind the ingredients together, similar to eggs as well.
Beat ¼ cup of silken tofu until it is smooth and free of any lumps and use it in place of one egg in your cupcake recipe.
How to Use Plain Greek Yogurt Instead of Eggs in Cupcake Recipes
If milk is not an issue due to a vegan diet or food allergies, plain Greek yogurt can be an ideal egg replacer in cupcakes and other baked goods. Greek yogurt is thicker than other yogurts and a better choice for an egg replacer. The yogurt will provide moisture and binding to the cupcakes and its mild taste will only enhance the cupcake’s flavor.
Use a ¼ cup of Greek yogurt per egg in your recipe. The cupcakes might be a little denser than the egg version but they will have a rich flavor and consistency.
How to Use Aquafaba Instead of Eggs in Cupcake Recipes
Don’t drain that can of beans! Aquafaba, the water from a can of cooked beans, is a perfect substitute for egg whites. If your cupcake or icing recipe calls for egg whites only, use aquafaba instead.
The liquid from a can of chickpeas works well as the flavor is not as strong as other beans, and it is a neutral color. Use three tablespoons of the aquafaba per egg white in your cupcake recipe.
For frosting recipes that call for whipped egg whites – whip up the aquafaba. Incredibly, the liquid does whip up and can be used to replace beaten egg whites!
Check out this eggless vegan buttercream frosting recipe.
How to Omit Eggs in Cupcake Recipes
Depending on the recipe, eggs may be omitted in the recipe altogether. If a recipe only calls for one egg or two eggs, you may be able to simply add a little extra of any liquid in the recipe, such as an extra tablespoon of water or milk, and skip the eggs.
The texture will be different, but it can work. Cupcake recipes are easier to play around with than cakes as they are smaller and will bind easier. The smaller the cupcakes, the easier it can be to omit the eggs. It also helps to keep the cupcakes in the liners to keep the baked goods together and prevent them from crumbling if they don’t bind well.
How to Decorate Cupcakes Without Eggs
Baking the cupcakes is only half of the battle, for what’s a cupcake without the decoration? Fortunately, there are many frosting and topping options you can make without eggs.
- Sprinkles – for an original and creative topping that does not involve any icing or eggs, top the raw cupcake batter with sprinkles before baking. The sprinkles will bake into the cupcakes, giving them a colorful and festive decoration without any work – or eggs. (Check the ingredients in the sprinkles to be sure they don’t contain eggs).
- Confectioners Sugar Icing – beat two cups of confectioners sugar with ½ cup of liquid that complements your cupcake flavor, such as water, milk, or orange juice. Add it in a few drops of food coloring and some optional flavoring like vanilla extract or mint.
- Melted Chocolate – melt chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave and spread it over the cupcakes. Add toppings such as sprinkles, chocolate chips, cookie crumbs, or candy while the chocolate is still warm.
Whether you are allergic to eggs, are vegan, or simply used your last dozen on breakfast, and are wondering how to make cupcakes without eggs, you are in luck! You can bake delicious and beautiful cupcakes without eggs!
Commercial egg replacers, applesauce, pureed fruit, oil, baking powder with vinegar, flax, or chia seeds can be substituted for eggs in many cupcake recipes. You can also find cupcake recipes that were already developed without eggs in the list of ingredients.