My daughter has an egg allergy (mentioned ad nauseum on this blog), so that's thrown a curve ball into my baking. She's also allergic to some random tree nuts like pistachios, cashews, and hazelnuts (no Nutella for her -- tragic!). Since she's young and not particularly adventurous in her food choices, if I'm trying a recipe for adult eaters that is egg heavy, most of the time I leave it as such and give her a substitute treat. Because Lord knows, I've tried hard to convert some recipes to an eggless version only to have her stick her little nose up at them.
Aside: she hates pie, which is mind boggling to me. If she didn't look so similar to her brother or I didn't see her exit my body on her birthday myself, I'd suspect she was adopted. Seriously, who doesn't like pie?!?
I've found some really good vegan recipes for the old standbys, like oatmeal chocolate chip cookies chocolate cake. But I'm still working on finding/tweaking a good yellow cake recipe and I haven't yet tried recipes for eggless pastry cream. I'll share with you what I've found so far...
THINGS I LIKE
1. Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer: mix with water per instructions and let sit to thicken. I've had really good luck with this product. I made some super good yeasted apple cider donuts and have used it in cakes so far without a problem.
2. Sometimes flax eggs: one tablespoon of ground flax seed (I use this flax seed meal) with three tablespoons of water whisked together in a small bowl and set aside for a few minutes to thicken.
3. A combo of oil, baking powder, and water: One teaspoon of vegetable (or other) oil, two tablespoons of water, and two teaspoons of baking powder whisked together can be a decent substitute.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
1. Applesauce or other fruits because the aftertaste isn't appropriate for most recipes, and it's just not a great binder. Black beans, however, have been used successfully as a substitute in some recipes I've tasted (like brownies) without imparting a beany taste. I just usually don't think of black beans because I reach for the Bob's Mill replacer first.
THINGS I HAVEN'T TRIED YET BUT SOUND PROMISING
1. Aquafaba: the liquid from canned chickpeas or other beans. It can be a bit fussy for me with some recipes calling for it to be reduced over heat, then whipped. Also, I'm guessing it safer to use BPA-free cans which can sometimes be hard to find. But I'd be willing to go this extra mile if it really does work for meringue. For regular baked goods, it's easier to just mix up some egg replacer or flax eggs. But stay tuned because I'm itching to try some aquafaba recipes soon!
RECIPES and RESOURCES
The cookbook I use the most is Sticky Fingers' Vegan Sweets. It's the real deal. I've used several recipes from this book, including the chocolate cake that I used in my kids' birthday cakes (at their request), and they are damn good. I included the chocolate cake recipe below.
I'm also a total King Arthur Flour fan, and I use their recipes ALL. THE. TIME. If a recipe calls for just an egg or two, I'll try substituting with Bob's Red Mill egg replacer, and most often it comes out well.
A few other helpful sites: Cooking Diary by Shruti (eggless), Minimalist Baker (vegan), and Smitten Kitchen (not eggless or vegan, but good recipes that can be converted).
Chocolate Love Cake (from Sticky Fingers Bakery)
Makes one 9-inch round 2-layer cake or 18 cupcakes
1 3/4 cups plus 1 1/2 Tbsp (9.2 oz) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups plus 3 Tbsp (10 oz) sugar
3/4 cup (3 oz) cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brewed coffee, cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp vinegar (apple cider vinegar recommended)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper or lightly oil and dust with flour or cocoa powder.
3. Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
4. In a small bowl, whisk the water, oil, coffee, and vanilla together.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and whisk until incorporated.
6. Fold in the vinegar until you begin to see streaks. It's important not to overmix, so don't let the batter get to the point where you can't see streaks.
7. Distribute the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cake springs back to the touch.
8. Cool cakes completely on a wire rack. Run a knife around the edges to loosen, and invert the pans to remove cakes.
9. For cupcakes, use cupcake liners and fill 3/4 full. Bake for 16-19 minutes until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack in the tin, then remove.
10. Top with your frosting of choice and EAT.
As I come across more stellar eggless recipes, I'll post them on the blog. It's a lot of trial and error when it comes to eggless baking, and I'm still very much in the experimental stages of recipe gathering. If you have preferred egg substitutes or any really good eggless recipes, please let me know in the comments!