Eggs & Oil.

Eggs & Oil.

Nicole Maree
0 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
Elisa Watson, Jeremy Butler

This chapter isn’t to preach a fear of fat. Nor will it provide weight loss tips or ways to make your baking fat free. Oil can perform an important function, ensuring recipes stay moist and rich during the cooking process. But unnecessary added oils can be replaced with beneficial substitutes.

Eggs are considered critical in baking: they bind ingredients, prevent crumbling and encourage your dessert to rise. They’re the key to making super light and fluffy spoonfuls. When substituting eggs, it’s essential to take a closer look at the recipe. This will help you decide if the eggs’ role is for binding or leavening.

There are a few quick ways to make this decision.


Eggs in desserts can act as a binder, holding your ingredients together while cooking to prevent crumbling.

If the recipe includes eggs plus rising ingredients, such as baking powder, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) or baker’s yeast, the eggs will help bind the ingredients together.


Eggs can also provide air to dessert batters, allowing them to rise. If the recipe calls for no raising agents, but lists ingredients such as vinegar, citrus juice or buttermilk, then the eggs will help the recipe rise.

The fewer eggs required in a recipe, the easier it will be to substitute.

Alternatives to eggs & oil


Best for: meringues, pavlovas, macarons, baked goods

How to: Unless the recipe says otherwise, whisk the bean water until it’s frothy, then incorporate into your recipe.

1 medium egg white = 2 tablespoons of aquafaba

Tips: Aquafaba is the water in which legumes have been cooked. Yes, you heard right — it’s the water that usually goes down the sink when we drain our tinned beans. When you whisk this bean juice it mimics the functional properties of egg whites, thus making a fantastic vegan substitute in meringue recipes!

Avoid the salted tinned varieties, or your recipe will taste very beany and have a strong smell! Look for chickpeas in water or white beans in water as the two main (or only) ingredients.


Best for: brownies, cakes, muffins

How to: Blend 400 g (14 oz) of salt-free tinned beans (chickpeas, white beans and black beans work best) in a high-speed blender (bean liquid and all) until a purée forms. Bean purée can replace 75 per cent of added oil in a recipe. Replace the other 25 per cent with yoghurt for the best results.

Tips: The plant fibre found in beans will naturally improve the texture of low-fat baked goods, making them dense and fudgy. The high fibre content will also fill up your stomach and slow the rush of sugar to your bloodstream after consuming. I like to use black beans in chocolate recipes, and white beans in lighter-coloured baked goods.

Beans can make your baking denser, so for best results use them in fudgy recipes, such as brownies or mudcakes, and always use a salt-free variety to avoid a bean-scented dessert.

Bicarbonate of soda

Best for: muffins, cakes, bread

How to: 1 egg = 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda + 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar, mixed well

Tips: Bicarbonate of soda will add a fluffy and light texture to your baked good and is fantastic for leavening. However, too much bicarbonate of soda will add a bitter flavour to your recipe — so it’s important to use this method when only one egg is required.

Chia seeds/linseeds

Best for: brownies, cakes, muffins, raw desserts, loaves

How to: 250 ml (8½ floz/1 cup) of oil = 190 ml (6½ floz/¾ cup) of water or other liquid + 4 tablespoons of chia seeds or linseeds

1 egg (binding) = 1 tablespoon of chia seeds or linseeds + 3 tablespoons of water

1 egg (leavening) = 1 tablespoon of chia seeds or linseeds + 3 tablespoons of water + ¼ teaspoon of baking powder

1 egg yolk = 1 tablespoon of chia seeds or linseeds + 2 tablespoons of water

Tips: When ground into flour or used in their whole form, chia seeds and linseeds help bind other ingredients in the recipe, preventing crumbling and dry desserts.

Whole chia seeds or linseeds can be ground in a coffee grinder or food processor if you don’t have the ground variety on hand. Store ground chia seeds and linseeds in the fridge.

Cornflour or arrowroot starch

Best for: cookies, muffins, brownies, bread

How to: 1 egg = 1 tablespoon of starch + 2 tablespoons of water

Tips: These starches will help bind ingredients together and produce a moist, dense texture. Keep in mind they won’t provide any rise to your baked good. If more than 1 egg is required, use this in combination with another egg substitute. Always check the cornflour is gluten free and non-GMO.

Fruit or vegetable purée

Best for: brownies, cakes, muffins, cookies, bars

How to:

250 ml (8½ floz/1 cup) of oil = 180 g (6½ oz/¾ cup) of purée (approximately)

1 egg (binding or leavening) = 60 g (2 oz/¼ cup) of purée (approximately) + ½ teaspoon of baking powder

Tips: Purées can add moisture to your recipe and prevent it from drying out or crumbling. My favourite purées include unsweetened applesauce, pear, avocado, banana, pumpkin, beetroot (beet) and sweet potato. Pumpkin, sweet potato, beetroot and apple need to be cooked to purée.

Remember: the stronger the flavour of purée, the more you will be able to taste it in the final result. Be sure to match your purée to your recipe flavours.

Check your oven about 10 minutes prior to completion time, as you may find that recipes cook faster with a fruit or vegetable purée. Avoid using more than 1 cup of purée in any recipe.

Nut or seed butter

Best for: raw treats, unbaked goods

How to: Chilled nut or seed butters can be straight swapped 1:1 in recipes that ask for a solid fat. If your recipe asks for a liquefied fat, you can use any of the other replacements in this section.

Tips: Nut or seed butters boast an abundance of nutrients per serve and can stand in for solid fat in a recipe. Always make your own nut or seed butter at home or choose natural varieties with no added sugars, salt or trans fats. My top picks are almond, cashew nut and tahini.

Prunes or dried dates

Best for: brownies, chocolate cake, chocolate muffins, chocolate cookies

How to: Add 220 g (8 oz/1½ cups) of pitted prunes or pitted dates to a food processor or blender with 100 ml (3½ floz/₁⁄₃ cup) of water. Pulse until you achieve a puréed texture.

250 ml (8½ floz/1 cup) of oil = 280 g (10 oz/1 cup) of prune or date purée

Tips: Loaded with vitamins, prunes and dates provide a low-fat alternative to oil and works extremely well in chocolate baked goods. They will keep your baking soft yet crisp on the outside, just like oil!

Be aware that prune purée can sometimes produce a dry batter so you will need to add a tablespoon or two of plant-based milk or water to compensate.

Silken tofu

Best for: brownies, cakes, muffins

How to:

Replace half the oil in the recipe with tofu and the other half with fruit or vegetable purée for a healthy treat!

1 egg = 50 g (1¾ oz/¼ cup) of puréed silken tofu + ¼ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

1 egg yolk = 25 g (1 oz/₁⁄⁸ cup) of puréed silken tofu

Tips: Tofu has a very mild flavour that almost disappears in baked goods while adding a protein and calcium boost to each bite.

Keep in mind that soy is a common allergen, so if you are cooking for others another substitute may suit better. Always choose organic, non-GMO soy products to avoid potential toxins.


Best for: brownies, cakes, muffins, loaves

How to:

250 ml (8½ floz/1 cup) of oil = 185 g (6½ oz/¾ cup) of yoghurt

1 egg = 60 g (2 oz/¼ cup) of yoghurt

1 egg yolk = 30 g (1 oz/₁⁄⁸ cup) of yoghurt

Tips: Yoghurt can keep cakes from tasting overly sweet and provides a dense and homemade feel. I like to use coconut yoghurt to provide richness to desserts.

If your yoghurt is overly watery try draining the yoghurt in a very fine mesh strainer before adding it to your recipes.


Best for: cakes, loaves, muffins

How to: 250 ml (8½ floz/1 cup) of oil = 135 g (5 oz/1 cup) of shredded zucchini

Tips: Full of vitamin C, fibre, magnesium, vitamin A and potassium, zucchini is a fantastic alternative to oil and produces naturally moist results similar to oil in baking. Peel the zucchini and shred with a grater. Children won’t even know it has been used in your baking.

    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again