Bakers make adjustments to their recipes consistently due to lack of ingredients or, in some cases, allergies. Even seasoned professionals have to do this occasionally.
The substitution of applesauce for eggs is one such example. It’s easy to find out how much applesauce to use per egg by searching the internet, but why?
When applesauce is substituted for eggs, why does it work?
How to Use Applesauce as an Egg Substitute
When substituting eggs with applesauce, the proper ratio is 14 cups of unsweetened applesauce per egg. However, you should stick to lower volumes.
More than two eggs seriously compromises the structural integrity of baked goods. Pastries, cakes, and the like rely on eggs to hold them together. In addition, they permit air to be trapped within the structure while retaining moisture in the finished product.
There’s one thing you need to keep in mind, though. Since you are removing the thing that holds the cake or bread together – eggs – in a large enough quantity, you may need to add other ingredients to assist the applesauce.
As such, substituting applesauce for an egg at low volumes, preferably one egg, can produce excellent results.
As well as using unsweetened applesauce, make sure it is unpasteurized. Even if you only have sweetened, it’s not a deal-breaker. It might be necessary to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe. We also have compiled a guide that will help you choose apples for applesauce, if you are looking for the best one.
Why Does It Work So Well?
Pectin in applesauce makes it possible to replace an egg with applesauce. The same way eggs bind, pectin does the same thing. I’m about to get a little nerdy with you.
When you cook eggs, the proteins are denatured (or changed in structure) and form a more solid, connected base. During baking, this helps foods stick together.
Similarly, pectin acts in a similar way, but for different reasons. During cooking, the polysaccharides in pectin combine to form large, complex structures. A good example of this is the gooey part of jellies and jams.
Also, eggs prevent gluten in flour from forming large networks, which prevents baked goods from becoming tough and dense. The polysaccharide formations in pectin do the same.
If you bake with applesauce, you may need to make a few additional adjustments to improve the results. If you find that your egg-free batter doesn’t mix well, giving your finished cakes and muffins an inconsistent texture, you may need to help it mix better. Lecithin is available in bulk food stores in liquid or granule form, and it works like an egg yolk to help your other ingredients mix. If the baked goods have a low, dense structure, you should add some extra baking powder to replace the eggs’ lost leavening power. To compensate for the loss of egg yolk richness in baked goods, add a small amount of extra fat.
What Happens If I Go over Two Eggs Worth?
For one thing, your cake will start to taste and feel like applesauce. Eggs account for a large part of the texture, or mouthfeel, and taste in baked goods.
By replacing that egg with a textured food with a distinctive flavor, such as applesauce, you’re bound to have changes in the taste and texture that increase based on how much you use.
Cakes and pastries may also be difficult to keep together. It’s great to have pectin, but it’s not exactly like eggs.
As a result, the more eggs you replace, the harder it is for applesauce to replace them. There is no equality between them.
It’s helpful to have a few other substitutes and techniques in your arsenal if you have allergy sufferers or vegans in your household. Some recipes work better with other purees, such as cooked pumpkin or mashed banana. Avocado puree is an especially good egg substitute due to its high fat content.
One of the most versatile vegan substitutes is silken tofu, used in a large number of baked goods. Ground flax soaked in water provides fiber, emulsifiers, and a powerful gelling effect. In many bulk food stores, you can find xanthan gum, guar gum and similar thickeners, and these can be used in vegan recipes. They are also used in many commercial egg-replacement products.