You Should Be Using Duck Eggs For Baking. Here's Why

The eggs case in the grocery store offers an overwhelming array of options: free-range, cage-free, brown, white, large, jumbo, organic, and vegetarian-fed. And that's just the chicken eggs. Perhaps you noticed that your supermarket also sells eggs from other birds, like quail and duck, and thought to yourself, "Well, isn't that fancy!" and then went right back to debating whether to go for cage-free eggs or to save yourself a few bucks and just get a dozen of the cheapest ones in the pastel styrofoam. 

If you aspire to become a better baker, though, give those duck eggs a second look. According to culinary experts, including Nigella Lawson, duck eggs have a richer yolk than chicken eggs — making them ideal for baking and other egg-based treats, like French toast.

"Duck eggs are renowned for making a lighter, more yellow sponge cake than hen's eggs, and are, as such, much sought after," noted cookbook author Dana Velden in The Kitchn. Meanwhile, foodie blog Chocolate + Marrow's salted caramel creme brûlée recipe calls for duck eggs to ensure the dessert has the proper richness. Both recipes did provide instructions for using ordinary chicken eggs instead, though, begging the question: do you really need to take home these larger, thicker-shelled eggs to achieve dessert decadence?  After all, if sugar, butter, and possibly chocolate are involved, should it really make a difference if you use eggs from a chicken or from a duck?

Cupcake experiment proves duck eggs produce fluffier, better-tasting baked goods than chicken eggs

Striving to settle the debate once and for all of whether duck eggs truly produce better baked goods, "Holly's Kitchen" columnist Holly Prestige conducted an experiment, baking one batch of chocolate cupcakes using chicken eggs, and another batch using duck eggs. Although she balked at paying $2.99 for just four duck eggs, compared to $3.99 for a dozen jumbo chicken eggs, Prestige concluded that indeed, the duck eggs were "all they're cracked up to be." 

She could tell this the moment she took the duck egg-based cupcakes out of the oven. "They rose noticeably higher and were a touch more springy," Prestige observed. "It seems the claim that the added protein in the abundant whites of duck eggs helps baked goods rise was right on the money." 

Blind taste tests of the cupcakes backed up these initial impressions — Prestige said people found the duck egg-based cupcakes to be lighter, fluffier, and in most cases, more flavorful.