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Can you replace eggs in pancakes?

Eggs are a key ingredient in many pancake recipes, as they help bind the batter together and provide structure, richness, and leavening. However, there are several effective ways to replace eggs in pancake recipes for those who cannot or prefer not to consume eggs.

Quick Answer

Yes, there are a number of suitable egg substitutes that can be used to replace eggs in pancake recipes, including:

  • Applesauce or mashed banana
  • Commercial egg replacement powder
  • Chia seeds or flaxseed meal mixed with water
  • Silken tofu or blended cottage cheese
  • Yogurt or buttermilk

When replacing eggs, it’s generally recommended to use 1/4 cup of substitute per egg called for in the recipe. The egg replacement should mimic the binding, leavening, and moisture that eggs provide. Tested recipes may be needed to get the texture just right.

Why Do Pancake Recipes Often Contain Eggs?

There are a few important functions eggs serve in pancake batters:

  • Binding – Eggs help bind the dry and wet ingredients together to create a smooth, cohesive batter.
  • Leavening – When heated, the proteins in eggs produce carbon dioxide gas which helps pancakes rise and achieve a fluffier texture.
  • Moisture – The water content in eggs keeps pancake batter from becoming too dry.
  • Texture – Eggs give structure to the batter that results in tender, cakey pancakes.
  • Color – The yellow yolks lead to golden brown pancakes.
  • Richness – The fat in egg yolks lends richness and flavor.

Finding a suitable egg substitute requires considering which of these properties need replicating. While no substitutions perfectly mimic eggs, there are effective alternatives in pancake batter.

What Can You Use Instead of Eggs in Pancakes?

Here are the top options for replacing eggs in pancake batter:

Applesauce or Mashed Banana

Applesauce and mashed bananas can provide moisture, binding, and a hint of sweetness when used in place of eggs in pancake recipes. The recommended substitution ratio is 1/4 cup applesauce or banana per egg.

Commercial Egg Replacer Powders

There are several commercial powdered egg substitutes made from potato starch, tapioca flour, and leavening agents. These mimic the binding, leavening, and moisture functions of eggs. Use 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons replacer per egg.

Chia Seeds or Flaxseed Meal

When combined with water, the gelling agents in chia and flax form an egg-like mixture. Let sit 5-10 minutes to thicken. Use 1 tablespoon seed meal + 3 tablespoons water per egg.

Silken Tofu or Cottage Cheese

Blended silken tofu or cottage cheese adds protein for binding and mimics the moisture of eggs. Use 1/4 cup pureed tofu or cottage cheese per egg. Drain cottage cheese first for best results.

Yogurt or Buttermilk

The tangy taste of yogurt or buttermilk work well in pancakes. They add moisture and acidity to react with baking powder for lift. Replace each egg with 1/4 cup yogurt or buttermilk.


Milk adds moisture and protein for binding. For each egg, use 1/4 cup milk and add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder to provide more lift. May lead to flatter pancakes than eggs.


Oil isn’t the best egg substitute, but adding 2-3 tablespoons per egg mimics some moisture and fat for more tender pancakes. Add a little extra leavening too.

How Do You Adjust Pancake Recipe When Using Egg Substitutes?

Here are some tips for adapting pancake recipes when using egg substitutes:

  • Reduce other liquids slightly to account for the moisture in egg substitutes.
  • Add a touch more leavening like baking powder to account for lost lift from eggs.
  • Consider adding a dash of vinegar for more rise if using dairy-based substitutes.
  • Add a little extra sugar, vanilla, or cinnamon to make up for missing egg flavor.
  • Use nut or seed butters to compensate for lost fat and richness from yolks.
  • Let batter sit 5-10 minutes to thicken properly before cooking.
  • Cook pancakes on slightly lower heat to prevent burning.
  • flip pancakes gently as they may be more delicate without eggs.

The ideal substitutions and recipe adjustments will vary by recipe. Trial and error may be needed to perfect the texture and taste. Start by substituting 1/4 cup sub per egg, then tweak as needed.

Egg Substitute Options for Pancakes Table

Egg Substitute Substitution Ratio Benefits Drawbacks
Applesauce 1/4 cup per egg Adds moisture, binding, sweetness Alters flavor profile
Mashed Banana 1/4 cup per egg Provides moisture and binding Imparts banana flavor
Egg Replacer Powder 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp per egg Mimics binding, rise, moisture May detect flavor differences
Chia or Flaxseed 1 Tbsp + 3 Tbsp water per egg Good binding and moisture Requires prep time to thicken
Silken Tofu 1/4 cup pureed per egg Provides protein and moisture Can change texture and flavor
Cottage Cheese 1/4 cup pureed per egg Protein for structure Impacts taste, requires draining
Yogurt 1/4 cup per egg Adds moisture and tang Alters flavor profile
Buttermilk 1/4 cup per egg Provides moisture and lift Impacts flavor
Milk 1/4 cup + 1/2 tsp baking powder per egg Contributes moisture and binding May make flatter pancakes
Oil 2-3 Tbsp per egg Mimics some fat and moisture Lacks protein for binding

What’s the Best Egg Substitute for Pancakes?

The best egg substitute for pancakes depends on your taste preferences and priorities. Here are the top all-purpose options:

  • Chia seeds or flaxseed – These do the best job mimicking eggs’ binding and moisture. The mild flavor doesn’t overly impact taste.
  • Applesauce – Applesauce provides great moisture and lift. It also adds sweetness that pairs well with pancakes.
  • Mashed banana – Banana offers binding power and moisture just like eggs. It brings its own sweetness.
  • Commercial egg replacer – Powders made for replacing eggs blend seamlessly into batter for fluffy pancakes.

For a dairy-free option, chia or flax seeds are optimal. If aiming for clean flavor without egg taste, commercial powders work very well. Applesauce and banana provide great results but will influence the flavor profile.

Are There Any Pancake Recipes Without Eggs?

Yes, there are many pancake recipes designed without eggs from the start. Some popular options include:

Vegan Pancakes

Many vegan pancakes rely on banana or applesauce for binding instead of eggs. Baking powder assists with rise. Additional ingredients like vanilla, nut butter, or coconut oil boost flavor.

Protein Pancakes

High protein pancake batters made with Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, protein powder, or oatmeal contain enough structural proteins to omit eggs. The extra protein makes them very filling.

Nut or Oat Flour Pancakes

Nut flours like almond meal or oat flour have more binding power than traditional all-purpose flour. When combined with baking powder, they can create fluffy eggless pancakes.

German Pancakes

German pancake recipes based on milk, flour, salt, and vanilla extract skip eggs entirely. Sugar sometimes adds flavor and lift. The batter bakes up thinner than American styles.

Cornmeal Pancakes

The coarse texture of cornmeal allows it to bind together a pancake batter without eggs. Buttermilk or milk lend moisture while leavening agents cause rise.

Toddler Pancakes

Many simple toddler pancake recipes exclude eggs to be safe for young children. Banana, yogurt, or applesauce bind the batter in kid-friendly recipes.


With some creativity and experimentation, delicious eggless pancakes can certainly be made at home. While eggs provide useful binding, moisture, lift, and richness to standard recipes, there are a number of excellent substitutes to mimic and replace those properties. Applesauce, mashed banana, commercial egg replacers, chia seeds, yogurt, buttermilk, and milk all make great alternatives. For best results, make sure to adjust for moisture, leavening, and flavor when omitting eggs from a recipe. Eggless varieties like vegan, protein, oat, or cornmeal pancakes skip eggs altogether for tasty results. With the right ingredients and technique, you can still enjoy tender and fluffy pancakes without eggs.