Egg and Dairy-Free Baking

Humane Society International

  • Donna Gentile Wierzbowski

Whatever your reason for leaving dairy and eggs off your plate—to help animals, for the environment, or for health reasons—you don’t have to say goodbye to your favorite sweets. In fact, it is easier than you think to prepare dairy-free or egg-free versions of almost any dish or dessert. There are plenty of substitutes for eggs and dairy.

Egg replacements

Bananas and applesauce: Bananas and applesauce work well in many baked goods, such as cookies, muffins, and pancakes. Keep in mind that the banana could change the taste of the recipe.

For each egg that the recipe calls for, mash or blend 1/2 large banana or use 1/4 cup of applesauce.

Tofu: Tofu is an excellent substitute for recipes that call for a lot of eggs, such as quiches and some desserts, as it will create the same “eggy” texture.

To replace one egg in a recipe, puree 1/4 cup of soft or silken tofu.

Flaxseed: Flaxseed is a nutritious egg substitute and has a nutty flavor—best used in baked goods such as cookies, brownies, and waffles.

For each egg to be replaced, mix together one tablespoon ground flaxseeds with three tablespoons water until the mixture is thick and creamy.

Other ways to substitute eggs:

1 egg=

2 tablespoons water + 1 tablespoon oil + 2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons flour, 1/2 tablespoon shortening, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 2 teaspoons water

Dairy replacements

Milk: The best milk substitutes to use in baked goods are soy and almond milk.

Use one cup of soymilk or almond milk for each cup of milk called for in the recipe.

In some places, you can find dairy-free alternatives to milk in the supermarket. Alternatively, you can also make your own homemade almond and soy milk.

Almond Milk

Almonds are high in protein, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and zinc and contain no cholesterol.

1/2 cup whole almonds, soaked in water overnight
2 cups fresh water

1. Soak almonds overnight.
2. Drain and discard soaking water (if desired, almonds can be peeled).
3. In a blender, blend almonds to form a smooth paste, adding a little water if needed.
4. Add the rest of the fresh water.
5. Strain mixture to remove any almond particles that may be left.
6. Add more water if needed to get the desired consistency.
7. Once prepared, the milk should be refrigerated. It can be kept for up to four days.

Soy Milk

140 gm soybeans (ideally split soybeans)

1. To make one liter of soy milk, put the soybeans in a pan and pour three liters boiling water over them.
2. Let it cool down and wait six to 12 hours.
3. Drain beans, add one liter cold water and mix it in a blender for three minutes.
4. Remove the soymilk from the solids by squeezing the mixture through a cheesecloth.
5. Bring the soymilk to boiling point and continue to boil for 10 minutes.

Serves 2.


Oil can be used in baking to replace butter.

For each cup of butter that the recipe calls for, replace with 3/4 cup of vegetable or canola oil.

Dairy and egg-free brownies

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit (~175 degrees Celsius).
2. Mix flour and water in a large bowl and let sit for a few minutes.
3. Mix in sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
4. Add vegetable oil and vanilla. Mix until well-blended.
5. Spread brownie mixture evenly into a pan (around 9×13 inches, or 23×33 cm).
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
7. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into small squares.