Eggs are one of the cornerstone ingredients for basic baking, right alongside milk and flour.
However, there are some people who cannot ingest egg due to factors like dietary reasons or allergies.
While those who cannot partake of egg and egg products may bemoan their demographic when the thought of waffles comes to mind, there is a surprisingly sizable number of egg substitutes that ought to remove the barrier to partaking in waffle-y goodness.
This article has been written with this audience in mind, as well as for any cooks looking to experiment with a strictly-superior take on the pancake.
What are Waffles?
Waffles are a delicious and simple baked good that dates back as far as the Middle Ages.
Back then, people would bake “oibles,” dough baked atop special griddle plates that would leave an imprint of various Christian images, often of Jesus Christ.
The earliest recipe for waffles involved eggs, salt, wine and flour.
The iconic tessellated pattern of modern waffles can be traced back to the 15th Century; the design of waffle molds from that era indicates that most batters erred on the thin side, slightly thicker than a crepe.
Waffles are commonly topped with many of the same toppings and syrups that one would apply to pancakes.
The Pros and Cons of Using Eggs
Pros: A single egg contains 6 grams of protein, making them a great way of adding some protein to a meal.(1)
Eggs are also a reliable way for vegetarians to get their daily recommended servings of protein, especially when they are not really in the mood for something like peanut butter. Those averse to cholesterol can still enjoy eggs by separating the whites from the yolks and only use the whites.
Cons: Not everyone is able to consume eggs!
While allergies are a major factor when it comes to omitting eggs from a recipe, some people prefer to minimize the amount of cholesterol in their diet-a single egg contains more than half the daily recommended intake of cholesterol.(2)
The Best Egg substitutes for Egg-Free Waffles
Here are some surefire ways to go about cooking and baking without resorting to eggs.
As each of these suggestions can fill in for one egg, just add as many as you like.
In every instance but using vegetable oil, avoid combining these approaches in the same recipe:
#1. One quarter cup of applesauce, unsweetened, plus half a teaspoon’s worth of baking powder. If you’ve only got sweet applesauce and you want to avoid over-sweetening your recipe, just deduct the recipe’s sugar level to compensate for the applesauce’s.
#2. One quarter cup of mashed bananas; roughly half a single banana. This will make your waffles taste and smell of banana, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The riper the banana, the better it becomes as an ingredient in baking.
#3. A viscous puree of ground flax seed and water. A mere 1:3 tbsp ratio of ground flax seeds to water is sufficient.
#4. A quarter cup of vegetable oil. Unlike this list’s other alternatives for eggs, use this approach for only one of the eggs that your recipe calls for. Any more than a quarter cup of straight oil is going to produce an unpleasantly oily dish for the tongue and the stomach.
#5. One teaspoon of cooking oil and two teaspoons of baking powder, diluted with one tablespoon of tap water. As these ingredients are also quite common in many baked goods, it makes an easy switch-up to eggs without anyone being any the wiser of the switch.
An Example Recipe
Here’s one idea for an egg-free batter that’s perfect for waffles or pancakes.
- Flour, 1.75 cups, all-purpose, unbleached.
- Baking soda, 1 tbsp.
- Sugar, 1.5 tablespoons.
- Salt, 0.25 teaspoons.
- Milk, 1.75 cups.
- Canola oil, 0.5 cups.
- Vanilla, 1 teaspoon.
- Banana, one, mashed
- Waffle iron
- Either an electric mixer or a whisk
- A non-plastic bowl.
- Run your waffle iron for 10-15 minutes.
- Place all of your ingredients into the bowl. The suggestion to use a non-plastic bowl comes from a desire to minimize the amount of work involved in washing up after you’ve made your waffles.
- Use your whisk or electric mixer to combine the ingredients until you have a pale yellow batter with a lumpy consistency.
- After the iron is primed, add batter as your iron’s instructions suggest. You want to cover the griddle.
- Close the lid and allow the batter to cook anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the iron.
Yields: 10 to 14 waffles, depending on the size and shape of your iron.
While eggs are a common ingredient in traditional waffle batter recipes, that does not mean eggs are required when making waffle batter.
We’ve covered a basic explanation of waffles, the merits and flaws of cooking with eggs, the leading alternatives to cooking with eggs and even given you a basic egg-free recipe for waffles that you can try out.
So if you’re feeling hungry for waffles,
- Get your ingredients.
- Make up your batter.
- Make as many waffles as you want.
- Use as many or as few toppings as you like.