September 06, 2009

Baking Tip: Substituting Vinegar for an Egg

Okay, so who knows about substituting vinegar for eggs in baking already?  I'm sure that this baking tip is one that many people are aware of.  However, I'd only heard of it 18 months ago and it's taken me that long to be brave (or eggless!) enough to try it out.  So, I thought that I'd blog it to promote even more uses of vinegar.

A friend of mine told me that a tablespoon of vinegar can be a substitute for an egg in baking.  Admittedly I had quite a few questions and was a bit sceptical about it.  Such as, what kind of vinegar can I use - malt, white, red or any?  How does it work? And concerned about how a cake would taste with vinegar in it.  Anyway, when baking Nigella's Clementine Cake recently, which asks for 6 large eggs and I only had 5, I decided to give it a go since the clementines had the potential to cover up the vinegar taste.  Quick google search (don't I love it!) gave me enough details to give it a go. 

So, in answer to my questions.  I'd recommend using a tablespoon of white or cider vinegar with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda too as a substitute for an egg in a recipe.  Only use vinegar as an egg substitute when there's a rising agent in the recipe, such as baking powder or self-raising flour. 

Perhaps someone knows more and could tell me more about the chemistry of how it works, please?

The only thing I gleaned is that when bicarb of soda and vinegar mix, it reacts to produce carbon dioxide, which is a gas and fizzes. Is that what makes it rise?  Here's what it looks like when it mixes.

vinegar and bicarb of soda

Did it affect the cake's flavour?  Well, I used cider vinegar and could definitely smell it when I was mixing the cake.  However, perhaps it's a bit like George's marvellous medicine, because there was no hint of vinegar in the tasting of the cake! I brought some into work and noone could guess the secret ingredient!  Of course, it could have been because of the good old clementines dominating the flavour of the cake... But I'm definitely up for giving it another go.  When I was googling, I also found some rather cool chemistry experiments, an eggle ss cooking website and vinegar cake recipes... Perhaps, I'll try them out another day!

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  1. Sue

    Having read what you said a few things spring to mind and being the person that I am I find it hard to pass up the opportunity to write them down. I haven’t heard about vinegar being a substitute for eggs when making a cake. I don’t make many cakes as we’re not really great cake and biscuit eating people. I like the occasional piece of cake as long as it’s not something like chocolate which I can’t stand, my Mother and my sisters have exactly the same dislike for it strangely enough and I really don’t see the point of biscuits, I’ve never liked them and never buy them as the rest of my family aren’t very keen. My favourite snack is something which is probably not much healthier than cakes and biscuits, I love Ryvita with Marmite and Cambozola blue cheese on, I often have it for a late breakfast because I hate sweet things at that time of morning. Sometimes I have poached egg on toast which reminds me that I always buy large eggs so if I needed six eggs and was one short I would think that the recipe was working on the assumption that most people have medium eggs so I wouldn’t feel I had to add anything extra as five large eggs probably equal six medium eggs. I’ll ask my Mum about the vinegar as there’s not much she doesn’t know about cooking.

    This year we had a glut of greengages and I made chilli-ginger greengage chutney with the help of a little elfin. I got the recipe by looking at Google and actually found a blog by someone who makes lots of things from garden produce.

    04 Sep 2009, 22:11

  2. Sue

    Sometimes it sounds like I’m a person who likes the sound of her own voice when I’m not that sort of person at all. I probably am the most vociferous in my family (joint maybe), of course I’m talking about my family now my other childhood family are different, they can all talk the hind leg off a donkey,in the nicest possible way, of course.

    05 Sep 2009, 07:12

  3. camera flash

    Hello Han-Na Cha…
    Hey i am back to your nice recipe blog, i get the Baking Tips for substituting Vinegar for an Egg , i hope its also a yummy….

    05 Sep 2009, 12:21

  4. Sue

    I forgot to ask my Mum about the vinegar and you didn’t mention the recipe called for six large eggs the first time, you simply stated six eggs. What you’ve since added renders part of my reply to be slightly pointless but if it pleases you, I suppose.

    06 Sep 2009, 00:34

  5. Sue

    Take a pinch of white man
    Wrap him up in black skin
    Add a touch of blue blood
    And a little bitty bit of red indian boy.

    What we need is a great big melting pot
    Big enough to take the world and all it’s got
    And keep it stirring for a hundred years or more
    And turn out coffee coloured people by the score.

    06 Sep 2009, 08:18

  6. Han-na Cha

    Hi Sue,
    Thanks for your comments. Interesting to read what you like to eat and I’ll be interested what else you bake with your mum and sister.

    You asked about whether 6 medium eggs would equal to be 5 large eggs. Well for the clementine cake recipe, it asked for 6 large eggs, and since I only had 5 i felt that i should try the vinegar and bicarb of soda alternative. If you get a chance to ask your mum then I’d love to know what she thinks too.

    ps. I also love eating poached eggs for breakfast. Or soft-boiled eggs with soldiers!

    06 Sep 2009, 21:02

  7. Hey Han-na! Good to see you on here. Any idea how many egges you could sub with vinegar before it tastes like fish and chips?

    07 Sep 2009, 06:24

  8. Han-na Cha

    Good question! I’m also curious and there’s only one way to find out.

    07 Sep 2009, 10:29

  9. BDP S360

    Vinegar really is turning in to one of those must have necessities for the home. We can use it for cleaning, decorating our chips and now baking. I dread to think what is next lol

    11 Sep 2009, 13:36

  10. Alex Turner

    Amazing, we always seems to have loads of eggs except when we really need them! I’ll have to be brave and give this a go!

    17 Sep 2009, 12:37

  11. Han-na Cha

    Please do Alex and let me know how it turns out. I’m still building up the courage to try it on other recipes, such as cookies or fairy cakes

    20 Sep 2009, 17:58

  12. easy recipes

    yae, really nice recipe blog, you can find more recipes at

    22 Sep 2009, 17:59

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