Light, fluffy, and versatile, cornbread is a traditional dish that you can enjoy on its own with some butter and honey or as a side to stew, chili, or soup.
Most recipes for this baked good usually call for eggs, but what if you forgot to stock up and don’t have any on hand or you simply want to make an egg-free version?
Luckily, you can use a cornbread egg substitute in your recipe and still end up with a successful batch!
Today, we’re sharing the 7 best alternatives for eggs and how to add them to your cornbread recipe.
We’re also discussing the role of eggs in cornbread batter and cornbread dressing as well as what to expect when you swap the eggs with another ingredient. Let’s get started!
When looking through different cornbread recipes, you’ll find that nearly all of them contain eggs as a key ingredient. Naturally, most of us will do whatever the instructions say, so we’ll add the eggs and get on with the following steps.
But did you ever stop to think about the importance of eggs in cornbread? What does an egg even do in such a food?
Well, several things actually.
First of all, eggs serve as a binding agent and a leavening agent.
You see, cornbread recipes feature various dry and wet ingredients that need to stick together to create the bread’s form. This is where eggs come in — they make the ingredients into a connected stretchy batter.
Eggs also add volume to your cornbread by helping it rise. Flat cornbread is a no-no for most people, so by whipping eggs and adding them to the batter, you’re using the trapped air to make the cornbread fluffy once the bubbles expand under heat while baking.
Secondly, eggs add moisture to cornbread thanks to their liquid content. They contribute to the soft texture of the bread that melts on the tongue.
Additionally, eggs boost the flavor of cornbread by adding a certain richness to the batter that results in a more satisfying experience.
Not to mention, eggs improve the appearance of cornbread. They help give it that inciting yellow-brown color that results in cornbread’s signature appetizing look.
By now, you’re probably thinking that eggs are indispensable. After all, they affect just about every aspect of a cornbread recipe.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t do without eggs.
Granted, eggs are a significant component in cornbread, but some alternatives exist that can provide similar benefits and actions.
When choosing an egg substitute for your cornbread recipe -or any other recipe for that matter-, you need to consider the ways that the presence of eggs affects the batter and look for an ingredient that can mimic those results.
From what you learned in the previous section, eggs play a role in binding, leavening, adding moisture, boosting flavor, and improving appearance.
Depending on what you’re using the eggs for in your cornbread batter, you should find a substitute that does an equivalent job.
Here’s a breakdown of the top 7 cornbread egg alternatives and how to use them in a cornbread recipe:
First up on the list is yogurt. If you look inside your fridge right now, there’s a good chance you’ll come across some yogurt.
Whether it’s regular yogurt or greek yogurt, you can use it for baking. Many people don’t know this, but yogurt has a leavening action, so it can help make your cornbread airy and fluffy in place of eggs.
Similar to yogurt, you can also use buttermilk as an egg substitute for adding volume to your cornbread.
That said, there are a couple of tips you should keep in mind:
- Avoid using a flavored yogurt or buttermilk as it can change how your cornbread tastes.
- Avoid using yogurt or buttermilk with too much sugar. This can also alter the final taste of your cornbread.
- To add extra protein and nutrients to your cornbread, use Greek yogurt.
- If your cornbread recipe already calls for yogurt or buttermilk, then don’t use any of them as an egg substitute. This can compromise the form of the bread.
If you’re using yogurt or buttermilk instead of eggs in your cornbread, add a quarter of a cup of yogurt or buttermilk for each egg in the recipe.
Silken tofu is derived from soybeans and has been getting more and more popular thanks to its versatility. In addition to serving as a meat alternative in pretty much any recipe, silken tofu can also substitute eggs in cornbread.
Similar to eggs, silken tofu can bind the ingredient of your cornbread to create a batter. It can also add moisture to the recipe for a softer texture.
What’s more, silken tofu is rich in nutrients such as calcium, iron, and protein. So it’s a great way to make your cornbread more beneficial.
Silken tofu is generally easy to work with. Before putting it in your cornbread recipe, you need to mix it with some warm water to dissolve the tofu properly.
That said, there are a couple of tips you should keep in mind:
- Be careful not to add too much silken tofu to the batter because its flavor is quite strong.
- When choosing a suitable texture option for the tofu, avoid firm and extra firm varieties. These can produce a crunchy feel in your cornbread that doesn’t sit right with most people.
If you’re using silken tofu instead of eggs in your cornbread, add a quarter of a cup of silken tofu for each egg in the recipe.
If you have flax seeds sitting in your kitchen, you can use them as a substitute for eggs in your cornbread recipe.
This can be a fantastic way to make vegan cornbread. Not to mention, flaxseed is rich in nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber.
Remember, to use flax seeds instead of eggs in a cornbread recipe, you have to grind them first to trigger and speed up the breakdown of their content.
When this happens, you’ll notice the formation of a gel-like substance that closely resembles the consistency of whipped eggs. This similarity is why flax seeds work as an egg substitute.
The gel-like texture of flax seeds allows them to provide fluffiness and binding to your cornbread batter. They also add moisture thanks to their water content.
Here’s how to use flax seeds to make cornbread:
- For each egg that the recipe calls for, put one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds in a glass.
- Add three tablespoons of water.
- Stir vigorously until well-mixed.
- Set the concoction aside for about three to five minutes.
- Transfer to the batter.
When it comes to flavor, flaxseeds have a pleasant, nutty taste. Besides enhancing the nutritional value of your cornbread, flaxseeds also support better digestion and can decrease cholesterol levels.
Yes, you can substitute eggs in your cornbread with chia seeds. Use them the same way as flax seeds.
Did you know that you can add mayonnaise to your cornbread recipe instead of eggs? In many ways, mayonnaise is similar to buttermilk and yogurt, so it can replace eggs in various recipes.
It can even do a better job than yogurt or buttermilk since mayonnaise is made with eggs!
This means that mayo can act as a binding agent for the batter as well as help it rise and produce the airy texture we all know and love. It can also make the bread moist and chewy.
Keep in mind that mayonnaise often contains a high level of sodium and fat. So if you’re looking to cut back on these substances for health reasons, you can use low-sodium or low-fat versions.
If you’re using mayo instead of eggs in your cornbread, you’ll need to add a quarter of a cup of mayo for each egg in the recipe.
Yes, you can use vegan mayo as a healthier cornbread egg substitute. Although it doesn’t contain eggs, it’s made using soy milk which offers similar effects on the batter.
Another egg substitute you can use in your cornbread recipe is sound cream. Its effects are similar to those of yogurt or mayonnaise, so don’t hesitate to add it if you’re short on eggs.
Keep in mind that sour cream has more fat than mayo or yogurt, however, it’s not a good idea to use a low-fat or non-fat variety because they lack consistency and taste.
It’s not all bad though, the fat content in sour cream has a unique richness that makes for a nice kick of flavor in cornbread. It can also help thicken your cornbread batter.
Not to mention, sour cream contains high levels of calcium and protein. What’s more, it doesn’t have much sodium for folk watching their salt intake.
If you’re using sour cream instead of eggs in your cornbread, you’ll need to add a quarter of a cup of sour cream for each egg in the recipe.
The huge difference in origin and flavor between eggs and applesauce may prevent you from considering this, but applesauce can substitute for eggs in cornbread recipes.
Applesauce does two important jobs here: it binds batter ingredients together and is a terrific source of moisture. The binding action is courtesy of pectin in apples, whereas the chewiness is due to the nature of the puree.
If you choose applesauce as your egg alternative, be sure to pick unsweetened applesauce to avoid ending up with a too-sweet cornbread
If you’re using applesauce instead of eggs in your cornbread, you’ll need to add a quarter of a cup of applesauce for each egg in the recipe.
Yes, you can use pureed banana, avocado, or pumpkin to provide similar texture, moisture, and richness to applesauce and eggs. Each of these also brings the distinctive flavor of its fruit to your cornbread.
Last but not least, you can use a commercial egg substitute to make your cornbread. These substitutes generally work instead of eggs in pretty much any baking recipe.
They can be a nice alternative for anyone suffering from allergies or who doesn’t want to use real eggs for moral reasons. However, be careful when choosing a substitute because some types have egg whites in them.
Use your commercial egg substitute according to the direction on the package. But keep in mind that egg substitutes contain gelling agents that can cause your cornbread to turn out a bit harder or drier.
No worries though, you can simply counter this by adding one or two tablespoons of melted butter to your cornbread batter.
Eggs provide structure to all sorts of baked goods, including cornbread. While they help bind the ingredients and add volume to the bread, eggs aren’t the only ingredient responsible for making the cornbread fluffy.
Baking powder and baking soda are examples of ingredients with much more significant roles as leavening agents.
So if you don’t use eggs but add such ingredients, your cornbread will rise without eggs.
Without eggs or any of its substitutes, the cornbread will turn out very crumbly, denser, drier, and less flavorful.
No, you don’t have to put eggs in your cornbread dressing. Instead, you can use any of the substitutes we discussed above.
The main reasons you put eggs in cornbread dressing are to bind everything together, introduce extra moisture, and thicken the mixture.
If you’re looking for a cornbread egg substitute, we’ve done the research and experiments on your behalf.
To save you time and effort, we’ve put together a list of the 7 best alternatives you can use in place of eggs in your recipe.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.