Why This Classic Baking Egg Replacement Sometimes Fails

Unless your kitchen is always stocked with aquafaba or silken tofu, baking without eggs can get pretty frustrating. And since most egg replacements aren't exactly pantry staples, oftentimes the next best option — aside from saving the recipe for another day — is the tried and true method of mixing water, vegetable oil, and baking powder (via Taste of Home). The good news is, you probably have all three of these ingredients at home, but the bad news is, this replacement doesn't work for every recipe.

"If your recipe has more than three eggs, this substitute will result in a very oily cake," Taste of Home warns. Remember, butter is already built into practically every dessert recipe, so adding another greasy ingredient like vegetable oil will significantly alter the texture of your baked goods. According to Goodful, this is also the worst possible egg replacement if you're planning to use boxed cake mix. Since cake mixes only require the addition of water, vegetable oil, and eggs, using this egg replacement would simply increase the amount of water and vegetable oil and would cause the cake to fall apart.

Use this egg replacement as a last resort

If you're caught in a baking emergency or you're just working with a small batch recipe, the water, vegetable oil, and baking powder replacement works great in a pinch. For each egg, the recipe calls for, measure out exactly two tablespoons of water, one tablespoon of vegetable oil, and two teaspoons of baking powder (via Taste of Home). Mix these ingredients together, and add the slurry to your recipe at the point in which you normally add the egg. The resulting texture will differ slightly from the original, but the flavor will be similar.

As Goodful explained, while common fruit substitutes like applesauce, banana, and avocado change the flavor of your dessert, the water, vegetable oil, and baking powder mixture is entirely neutral, and is therefore "less aggressive when it comes to affecting the flavor of the cake." If your main concern is preserving the taste over the texture of your dessert, this is definitely a viable replacement, but no matter how great your original recipe is, Taste of Home and Goodful both advise using it sparingly to minimize potential baking fails.