Egg-free cooking and baking
Why Not Free
This is something we're often asked. A lot of people don't
realise that the production of free range eggs still involves animal cruelty.
For a start, half of all chicks are killed because they are males (and hence no
good for laying eggs). Sadly, the females don't fare much better. They may
continue to live in cramped conditions in large sheds, suffer more disease than
battery hens, and still undergo the stress of transportation and slaughter when
their egg laying declines.
Just like hens in battery cages, free range hens may have
the tip of their beak cut off to stop them fighting. This is an agonising
procedure which can leave the hen in pain for days.
In addition, the environmental and health arguments against
eggs still apply.
So — all the eggs have gone and somebody wants a cake. Don't
panic! It's actually very easy to make egg-free cakes, quiches, mousses and
other traditionally eggy dishes. Most vegan cookbooks contain plenty of such
recipes — see our online shop for a selection.
There are vegan versions of practically any recipe you could wish for in various recipe books and websites - particularly cakes and desserts - so it's usually easier just to look for a vegan recipe that was designed to work without eggs in the first place, rather than feeling that you have to start with a non-vegan recipe and "replace" the eggs.
Meanwhile, a lot of vegetarian
cookery books rely heavily on eggs, especially for cakes, pastries and
puddings. These recipes can all be adapted and the following should provide you
with some ideas.
Adapting non-vegan recipes: Egg alternatives
Eggs are used to bind a dish and, when whipped, may also incorporate air making a cake or pudding very light. Vegan egg replacement powders are available from health food shops. This can be useful, especially for tricky foods like meringues. However, many recipes can be adapted using one of the suggestions below. Just remember to bear in mind the final dish... you can't use banana as a substitute when making a quiche!
instead of 1 egg, you can use...
1 tbsp gram (chick pea) or soya flour and 1 tbsp water
1 tbsp arrowroot, 1 tbsp soya flour and 2 tbsp water
2 tbsp flour, 1/2 tbsp shortening, 1/2 tsp baking powder and 2 tsp water
50g tofu blended with the liquid portion of the recipe
1/2 large banana, mashed
50 ml white sauce
tips on raising agents...
use self raising flour
add extra oil and raising agent (e.g. baking powder)
use about 2 heaped tsp baking powder per cake
instead of baking powder, use 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 1 dssp cider vinegar (good for chocolate cakes)
try sieving the flour and dry ingredients, then gently folding in the liquid to trap air
alternative binding agents...
soya dessert - vanilla, chocolate, strawberry...
custard - see below
plain silken tofu
sweet white sauce (soya milk, vegan margarine, sugar and cornflour)
Also see our cakes section for egg-free cake recipes.
savoury pancakes or deep frying combine soya flour, wholemeal flour, vegetable
oil, soya milk, baking powder and salt. For sweet pancakes, omit the salt and
baking powder. Use as normal battter (will keep for 1-2 days in fridge). See
our pancake recipe just down the page.
fall apart without the egg. Use gravy, mashed potato, oil or yeast extract
(e.g. Marmite or Natex) mixed with a little hot water to add moisture. Add
breadcrumbs, flour or oats for a drier texture.
your usual recipe, but use soya milk and check the custard powder is vegan. Add
a little vanilla essence to taste.
with soya milk.
agar agar (1 tsp will set 1 pt of liquid to jelly — use slightly less for a
mousse). Make your own creamy desserts using plain silken tofu, golden or maple
syrup and a flavouring such as chocolate or lemon.
4 oz (115g) wholemeal flour
2 oz (55g) soya flour
13 floz (375 ml) soya milk
2 tsp vegetable oil
1. Sieve the flours into a bowl. Gradually whisk in the soya
milk to make a smooth sauce. Add the oil. Place in fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Drop 1-3 tbsp of the mixture in to a frying pan
containing hot oil. When one side is cooked, flip over and cook the other side.
3. Remove from pan and serve with sugar and lemon juice.
include maple syrup, chocolate sauce, soya cream, soya ice cream, stir fry
vegetables drizzled with peanut sauce, cream cheese and herbs, tofu, leek and
‘Egg’ on Toast
10 oz (285g) plain tofu
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp herbs (chives or parsley)
salt and pepper to season
wholemeal toast spread with margarine
1. Mash the tofu evenly and fry it in the vegetable oil
until evenly cooked.
2. Add the turmeric, herbs and season to taste. Cook a
further few minutes. Serve on crispy wholemeal toast spread with margarine.
You can also
add fried mushrooms, sweet or hot peppers, onions, garlic… anything you like…
to vary the recipe
Courgette and ‘Bacon’ Mini-Quiche
Pastry: 340g (12 oz) plain wholemeal flour
170g (6 oz) margarine
water to bind
Filling: 2 medium onions
2 medium courgettes
2 medium red peppers
1 lb (450g) tofu
½ pkt Redwoods cheatin’ bacon, chopped small - optional
1 level dssp mixed herbs
1½ dssp tomato puree
1 level tsp salt
generous pinch black pepper and ginger
1½ pack of vegan cheese
enough soya milk to make a paste
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
2. First make the pastry by rubbing the margarine into the
flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add enough water to make a dough
which is soft, but not sticky. If possible place in a plastic bag in the fridge
for ½ an hour.
3. Roll out the pastry and use a cutter (about 2.75 inch) to
cut the pastry into rounds. Place them all onto a bun tray and bake for 10
minutes to set the pastry.
4. Now make the filling: chop the onions fairly fine; and
chop the courgettes and red pepper small.
5. Fry the onions for a few minutes then add the courgettes
and red pepper. Fry until they begin to soften.
6. Cube the tofu and chop the ‘bacon’ into bits. Add the
tofu, ‘bacon’, herbs, tomato puree and condiments and fry a bit longer.
7. Take off the heat and add the cheese and enough soya milk
to make a paste.
8. Place about a heaped teaspoon into each mini-quiche. Bake
for about 30 minutes.
Makes about 50 delicious mini-quiches.
3 oz (85g) white fat
4 oz (115g) self raising flour
pinch salt (fine)
½ pint (280 ml) soya milk
2 oz (55g) whole egg replacer
1. Preheat the oven to highest temp, 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7.
2. Put 1 tsp fat in each compartment on a bun tray with 12
compartments. Put the tray near the top of the oven with a baking tray
underneath to catch drips.
3. Mix the flour and salt with a hand whisk very thoroughly.
Mix the egg replacer into a smooth paste with about 2 fluid ounces/60 ml of
water. Mix this in with the milk in a jug.
4. Once it is ready to go in the oven i.e when the oven and
fat are very hot (this will take at least 10 mins) add half of the liquid to
the dry mix. Mix it into a smooth batter (paste) then add the remaining liquid.
It should be like cream, if it’s too thick add more liquid.
5. Transfer the batter to a jug and fill each compartment to
the top. It should sizzle as it goes in. Do this as quickly as possible before
the heat gets out. Cook for 15-20 mins.
Brazil and Hazel Nut Rissoles
½ tsp yeast extract
1 tsp tomato purée
2 tbsp hot water to bind
3½ oz (100g) ground brazil nuts
3½ oz (100g) ground hazelnuts
3½ oz (100g) wholemeal breadcrumbs
1 tbsp mixed herbs
ground nuts to coat
Dissolve the yeast extract and tomato purée in the hot
water. Mix with the dry ingredients and form into small ball shapes. Roll in
ground nuts to coat. Fry until golden brown.
4 tbsp soya milk
½ tsp grain mustard or mustard powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
2-3 tsp cider vinegar
½ clove garlic
7 fl oz (200 ml)
salt and pepper
1. Blend together the soya milk, mustard, lemon juice, cider
vinegar and ½ clove garlic.
2. Keep the blender running and add the oil gradually, in a
thin stream. By the time you have added all the oil the mayonnaise should be
3. Season to taste and keep in the fridge until needed. It will
keep for a few days.
Based on a
recipe in Vegan Feasts by Rose Elliot
Lovely Chocolate Orange Cheesecake
3-4 oz (75-100g) vegan margarine
9 oz (250g) vegan digestive biscuits
1 lb (450g) firm tofu, mashed
juice of one and a half oranges
1 banana or rind of 1 orange
2 oz (55g) cocoa powder
3 tbsp oil
2 oz (55g) sugar
2-4 tbsp soya milk
Base: Melt the
margarine gently in a saucepan. Crush the digestive biscuits until they
resemble fine breadcrumbs. Remove margarine from heat and mix in biscuit
crumbs. Press into 11" flan tin.
Topping: Mix the
tofu, orange juice, banana or orange rind, cocoa, oil and sugar to a smooth
consistency — preferably in a food processor. If it doesn't mix well, add a few
tablespoons soya milk. Place over the base and smooth the top. Cook for 30-40
minutes at 175ºC. Remove from oven, cool and chill overnight in fridge. Add
topping of your choice e.g. slices of orange or grated chocolate.
flavoured sponges use e.g. lemon juice and rind or vanilla instead of cocoa
(175g) self raising flour
2 heaped tsp baking powder
(125 ml) melted vegan margarine
(325 ml) cold water
Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir. Divide the mixture
between two well greased round tins. Bake at 190ºC/375ºF/Gas 5
for 30 minutes or until a cocktail stick inserted into the middle of the cake
comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Make chocolate or coffee flavour "butter" icing using 6 oz (170g) of sieved
icing sugar to 4 oz (115g) vegan margarine, plus flavouring. Use some of this
to sandwich the cakes together, and the
rest to decorate the top. Add plain chocolate drops, grated
chocolate, chocolate covered coffee beans, vegan "cream", alcohol etc
1 lb (445g) cooking apples, peeled and sliced
4 oz (115g) vegan margarine
4 oz (115g) raw cane sugar
4 oz (115g) sultanas
2 oz candied peel
2 level teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 tbs boiling water
8 oz (225g) wholemeal flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground allspice
1. Cook the apples in the minimum of water. When
they are soft, mash to a puree and drain very well.
2. Cream together the margarine and the sugar,
then add the apple purée to make a thick mixture. Stir in the fruit.
3. Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the water
and add this to the mix. Sift together the flour and spices and mix in.
4. Pour it into a very well greased cake tin,
smooth the top and bake at 350ºF/180ºC/Gas Mark 4 for 45 mins to an hour.
Chocolate Banana Custard
sponge cake 10 oz (275g) white self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
8 oz (225g) caster sugar
8 fl oz (250 ml) vegetable oil
5 fl oz (150 ml) orange juice
5 fl oz (150 ml)
1½ tsp vanilla
custard vegan custard powder
1-2 tbsp sugar to
1 pint soya milk
½ tsp vanilla
sauce 3½ oz (100g) plain
3 heaped tbsp
1-2 spoons soya
dream (or banana OY shake)
~ 2-3 bananas
1. First make the
2. Preheat the
oven to 160ºC/325ºF/Gas 3. Grease 2 x 8-8½ inch tins.
3. Sift the
flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Add the sugar.
4. In another
bowl, add the oil, orange juice, water and vanilla extract. Whisk together to
combine, then pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well to a
smooth, fairly wet batter.
5. Pour the
mixture into the prepared cake tins and bake in the preheated oven for about 30
minutes, until the cakes start to shrink away from the sides of the tins and
spring back when lightly pressed in the centre.
6. Leave the
cakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out to cool on a wire rack.
7. Next make a 1
pint of custard as per instructions on the packet. Stir in vanilla essence at
the end and leave to cool.
8. To make the
chocolate sauce melt the chocolate with the margarine, icing sugar and soya
9. Once the
sponge has cooled crumble it into a flat form, in a dish approximately 12 x 8
inch. Then add the cooled down custard, cut a thick layer of banana on top and
finally pour the still liquid chocolate sauce which will thicken up over night.
Chill for 2-3 hours then serve.