Learn how to make this flax egg recipe because it’s an easy vegan egg substitute for egg-free baking. See tips for how you can use flex eggs with your favorite dessert recipes and baked goods. This flax egg substitute creates a great binder, adds moisture, and it’s healthy too!
If you haven’t noticed by now, I absolutely love to bake. I enjoy time in the kitchen more than I ever thought would be possible. It activates all the light centers of my brain — multi-tasking, creativity, organization, and physical movement.
Personally, I think there’s too little physical movement in our lives and the kitchen is the one place where you get to be on your feet, moving around. I love it! Of course, I also love the outcomes, especially if there’s a vegan chocolate cake a a result.
Learning to bake as a vegan was worrisome for me at the beginning. But like most challenges, the hardest part is before you get started. Once I dipped my toes in the vegan baking waters, I was hooked. I was surprised to learn how little we actually need eggs in our baked goods. In fact, most baked foods are quite great without eggs or dairy. One of my favorite tricks? Using flax seeds as egg substitutes.
I know it sounds implausible, but this flax egg substitute is easy to use in most of your dessert recipes, and it works. I like to use a flax seeds egg substitute in cookies, muffins, and even pancakes.
Actually, there are several great egg replacers for vegan baking, including a chia egg too. The trick is to know when and how to use the variety of egg replacers available. That’s because a chicken egg can serve multiple purposes in baking. You will need to identify that and find the perfect plant-based substitute. For example, the flax seed substitute for eggs is great when you only need a little binding power.
Let’s begin with some basics.
What is a flax egg?
A flax egg is a combination of ground flax seeds and water that creates a gelatinous mixture that serves as a plant-based egg replacer. It’s best when used to bind baked goods, like cakes, pancakes, cookies, and more.
Are flax eggs healthy?
Because flax seeds are a rich source of healthy fats, fiber, protein, and more, it’s good to include them in your diet. A flax egg is made with ground flax seeds which helps to get the full nutritional benefits, since the whole seeds are not as easily digestible.
What are flax seeds?
Flax seeds come from the flax plant and are tiny, nutrient-packed seeds. Because they’re rich in omega-3s, they’re an important part of your diet, especially if you’re vegan.
You can actually plant flax seeds that will grow into lovely purple wild flowers. Or make some flax microgreens to add to your salads too.
Buying Flax Seeds
There are three main types of flax seeds you can buy: brown, golden, and ground (also referred to as flax meal). We have tried both golden and brown whole flax seeds and have not noticed a huge difference in taste. There are minor differences between the nutritional values between brown and golden. I think golden flax seeds are oftentimes more expensive, so I buy brown.
Grinding Flax Seeds
If you buy whole seeds, you’ll need to grind them in order to use them. I use our Vitamix to blend whole flax seeds, but a food processor works here too. You’ll have to grind a larger quantity at a time.
Here’s how you do it! Simply add 1 cup of whole flax seeds to the device you’re using and pulse in short bursts for a few minutes, until the flax is ground to a desired consistency.
Here are other appliances you can use to grind flax seeds in smaller batches:
- A coffee grinder works great
- You can use a pepper mill (be sure to clear it of all pepper first)
- A mortar and pestle also works for small batches.
If you don’t have an appliance to grind or don’t want to mess with it, I recommend buying flax meal instead. I can find ground flax seeds at Costco, my local grocery store, health food stores, and it can be found in bulk at places like Sprouts.
Storing Flax Seeds
Because flax seeds have a high fat content they can go rancid very quickly. Always store flax seeds in an airtight container. Also, we store our flaxseed meal in the freezer. It helps keep it fresh for a longer period of time. Once the seeds are ground, you can store them in the fridge for up to one week, but they won’t last much longer than that in the fridge. That’s why we keep ours in the freezer.
Ground flax seeds should have a slightly nutty flavor. If they taste bitter, that’s a sign the seeds are rancid and should not be eaten.
How to Make a Flax Egg
Wondering how to make flax eggs? It’s really easy! In fact, you can make a flax seed egg replacer in just a matter of minutes with only two ingredients. It all begins with one tablespoon of ground flax seeds.
Why ground flax seeds? Because the whole flax seed has a tough outer shell that isn’t permeable with the water. In other words, whole seeds won’t interact with water to create the gel we’re after. However, grinding the flax seeds breaks down that outer shell, allowing it to absorb the water. It’s perfect!
To begin, simply add one tablespoon of ground flaxseed to a bowl.
Next, add 3 tablespoons of water, then stir it and set it aside. Within 5 – 10 minutes, you’ll have a gelatinous mixture that you can use as an egg replacer.
So, the flax egg ratio is easy: 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds per 3 tablespoons of water.
The resulting mixture may not look attractive, but that flax egg replacer will work wonders in baked goods.
Don’t like flax? Or can’t find the seeds in your area? The chia seed egg is also a great option. If there were sides to be taken in the flax egg vs chia egg debate, I’d be a neutral participant. I use them both and have had great success.
Replacing Eggs in Baked Goods
Replacing eggs with flax seeds isn’t as easy as it sounds. For example, chicken eggs are an important binder for many baked goods. However, a flax egg replacement can be an effective binder too!
You know what else is an great binder? Gluten. That’s why I don’t use an egg replacer at all in my Vegan Vanilla Cake recipe. It’s not necessary because my recipe uses all-purpose flour.
So, you might see where I’m going with this. If you’re making something like vegan gluten free muffins, it would be a great idea to add a flax egg to add some additional binding. That way the cake doesn’t crumble all over the place!
The good news about a flax seed egg replacement is that it has a relatively neutral flavor profile so it won’t impact the flavor of your baked goods like a mashed banana.
Flax Egg Ratio: One flax egg will usually replace 1 chicken egg in a recipe. However, if your recipe calls for 3 – 4 eggs, you won’t want to rely on 3 – 4 flax eggs. See note below on when NOT to use flax seed eggs.
Flax Seed Health Benefits
There’s no doubt that the flax seed is a nutritional powerhouse. Two tablespoon of flax seeds has only 74 calories and yet offers nearly 4 grams of fiber and protein. There’s only 2g of carbs per serving, making flax seed a great low carb or keto option. You’ll also get omega-3 fats, folate, calcium, and some of those healthy B vitamins too!
If you’re watching carbs, you’ll be interested to know that flax seeds offer only 4 grams of carbs per 2 tablespoons. But because most of those carbs are in fiber form, it’s a net neutral carb load.
Flax seeds have other health implications too. For example, studies have show they can improve cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and more. This is one reason why eating plants is so great — not only do they not have the bad stuff (like cholesterol), but they’re loaded with a lot of the good stuff!
When to NOT use Flax Eggs
There are some situations where a flax egg simply will not work.
Multiple Eggs. If you have recipes that call for 2 or more chicken eggs, you’ll want to think about alternatives to using a flax egg. Of course, you can do a combination of egg replacers, such as one flax egg combined with a mashed banana or applesauce.
Here’s why. When a recipe calls for 3 – 4 eggs, it’s an indicator that they’re relying on on eggs for multiple purposes. It’s doing more than just binding, which is what the flax egg is so great at. Chances are, a recipe with multiple eggs is also relying on them to add texture too. A flax egg won’t help with texture.
So, when a recipe calls for multiple chicken eggs, it’s a good idea to do a mixture of ingredients, like a flax egg combined with whipped tofu. Another idea if you’re having trouble replacing a particular recipe with multiple eggs, such as a lemon meringue pie, simply search for a vegan recipe. Finding a trusted vegan recipe creator is always a great idea!
Meringue. You can’t whip a flax egg up like egg whites in a meringue. That’s because flax seeds don’t have the level of starches provided in egg whites. That said, a vegan meringue is entirely possible with other plant-based ingredients (some that might surprise you).
Scrambled Eggs. If you want scrambled eggs, flax seeds will not be your go-to ingredient. Although I do use flax seeds in my scrambled tofu recipe.
To summarize, the flax egg is replacing one singular roll that a chicken egg provides in baking, which is binding. That’s why it works so well in simple baked goods, like cakes, muffins, cookies, pancakes, and even banana bread.
Ways to use a Flax Egg
Now that you know how to make one and when to use flax seeds instead of eggs, let’s discuss some great ground flaxseed recipes. Here are some favorites:
- These Blueberry Waffles are made with flax seeds egg replacer
- My favorite Cherry Muffins are made with a flax egg
- You can even make these Vegan Jalapeño Poppers with flax as a binder
- This Vegan Banana Bread is delicious with flax included
- This Protein Granola uses flax to create tasty, granola clusters
- I use a flax egg with these Lentil Burgers to keep them vegan and gluten-free.
Quick Fix Tip
You don’t always have to soak ground flaxseed in water first. In some recipes you can simply add flax meal to the wet part of the batter and allow it to sit in that mixture before combining with dry ingredients.
I love using a flaxseed egg to make things like waffles!
I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons water
- Combine the flax with the water in a small dish. Set aside for a minute or two to let the flax soak.
- Add this flax egg as an egg replacer in your favorite baked goods, such as cornbread, cookies, muffins, cakes, etc.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.