Flax Egg

Learn how to make flax eggs because they’re a great vegan egg substitute for baking. Use this flax egg recipe as a binder, but it also adds moisture, and it’s healthy too!

Looking down on a bowl with a flax egg in it.

Learning to bake as a vegan was worrisome for me at the beginning. 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.

How to Make a Flax Egg

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

  1. Add the flax to a small dish.
    A hand holds a measuring spoon, pouring ground flax seeds into a small bowl.
  2. Add water and stir.
    A hand holds a glass of water and is pouring it into a bowl with ground flax seeds.
  3. Set aside for a minute or two to let the flax soak and thicken.A measuring spoon drizzles a flax egg mixture into a small glass bowl
  4. Add this flax egg as an egg replacer in your favorite baked goods, such as cornbread, cookies, muffins, cakes, etc.

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, this flaxseed 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 help 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.

Why use ground flax seeds?

Because the whole flaxseed has a tough outer shell, it 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.

A bowl is full of whole golden flax seeds.

You can actually plant flax seeds that will grow into lovely purple wildflowers. 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 flax seeds
  • golden flax seeds
  • ground flax seeds (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. Golden flax seeds are oftentimes more expensive, so I typically 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.

How to grind flax seeds in a blender:

  1. Add 1 cup of whole flax seeds to the device you’re using
  2. Pulse in short bursts for a few minutes until the flax is ground to the desired consistency.

For smaller batches, you’ll need to use a different appliance. Here are tools 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.
  • I recommend storing 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.

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.

Flax Egg Ratio

Just remember this flax egg ratio: 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds per 3 tablespoons of water.

The resulting mixture may not look attractive, but that 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

Chicken eggs are an important binder for many baked goods. However, a flax egg replacement can be an effective binder, too!

The good news about a flaxseed 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 flaxseed eggs.

Flax Seed Benefits

There’s no doubt that the flaxseed is a nutritional powerhouse. Two tablespoons of flax seeds offer:

  • 74 calories
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 4g of carbs (making flaxseed a great low carb or keto option).
  • You’ll also get omega-3 fats, folate, calcium, and some of those healthy B vitamins

Flax seeds have other health implications too. For example, studies have shown 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!

A flax egg is being poured into a batter.

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 to 4 eggs, it’s an indicator that they’re relying 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. If you’re having trouble replacing a particular recipe with multiple eggs, such as a lemon meringue pie, find a tested vegan recipe. Trusted vegan recipe creators are very helpful with these more complicated recipes.

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.

Ways to use a Flax Egg

Now that you know how to make one and when to use flax seeds instead of eggs, here are some great ground flaxseed recipes:

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 it with dry ingredients.

A measuring spoon drizzles a flax egg mixture into a small glass bowl

Flax Egg

Use this Flax Egg recipe to replace eggs in a variety of baked goods, from cookies to muffins, and even some cakes!
5 from 1 vote
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes
Calories: 37kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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 products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Calories: 37kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

This post was originally published in 2020 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

2 Responses to Flax Egg

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMika Reply

    5 stars
    Always looking for good egg replacements and this one is a favorite!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMina Reply

    5 stars
    Wow! I didn’t know flax seeds can be an egg replacer! Thanks for the tip!

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