Out of eggs?
Don’t worry, these egg wash substitutes will give your baked goods that glossy finish just the same!
Picture this: you’re baking pastry or bread, but right before you pop the dough in the oven, you realize you’re out of eggs.
Noooo! How are you supposed to get that crisp, golden exterior without an egg wash?
You’re now faced with a dilemma: do you head out to the store to buy more eggs, or just skip the egg wash altogether?
Well, what if I told you that there’s a secret option number three?
Turns out, there are some great egg wash substitutes out there that can also give your baked goods a glossy golden finish.
So, the next time you’re out of eggs for egg wash, you can count on these alternatives to save the day!
13 Most Popular Egg Wash Substitutes
1. Milk or Cream
Using milk or cream as an egg wash is a useful technique for any chef or baker.
Not only does it replace eggs, but dairy also adds a delicious flavor and elevated texture to baked goods.
Simply brush the top of the unbaked dough with a generous coating of milk or cream.
This will help them brown more beautifully and give them that extra appetizing golden look.
For added shine, sprinkle granulated sugar on top after applying the milk wash to create a nice glaze.
For recipes where an egg wash is used primarily as a binding agent, yogurt is a great substitute.
Think battered fried chicken, fish, onion rings, and the like.
With its natural thickness, yogurt works as a paste that helps bind the ingredients together without making a mess.
Not only does yogurt bind ingredients well, but it also adds a mild yet indulgent flavor to your dish.
Simply dip the uncooked food in yogurt before dredging it with flour, breadcrumbs, or any other coating.
Pro-tip: if your yogurt is way too thick, whisk in 1-2 tablespoons of water to thin it out a bit.
Vegans, in particular, will benefit well from this egg-wash substitute.
Brushing a bit of oil over unbaked dough will help give bread or pastries that ideal golden brown finish.
It also gives them added moisture, to boot!
The key is choosing a neutral-tasting oil, such as vegetable oil, grapeseed, or corn.
This way, the oil won’t alter the taste of your baked good.
Using strong-flavored oils such as walnut and hemp seed will add a savory taste to your baked good.
If that’s fine with you, then, by all means!
4. Dairy-free Milk (Like almond, soy, oat, and rice milk)
Going dairy-free doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to perfect golden-brown pastries forever.
Using dairy-free milk will help your baked goods get the perfect sheen and sultry finish!
And the best part is, it comes with a bonus.
By using dairy-free milk as an egg wash substitute, your baked goods will also get a nice nutty flavor.
It’s a simple technique that takes your bakes to the next level.
5. Honey, Maple Syrup, Malt syrup, Molasses
When it comes to baking, sweet and golden finishes are always a crowd favorite.
For this, you can always count on honey, maple syrup, malt syrup, and molasses.
Brushing any of these golden elixirs will not just add a gorgeous, caramelized finish to your baked goods.
It’ll also give them a richer, even sweeter taste.
However, keep in mind that these alternatives are only ideal for quick-baking goods. Sugar burns fast at higher temperatures.
Considering it’s also made with eggs, it only makes sense that mayonnaise also works as an egg wash substitute.
It can serve two culinary purposes: adding shine to baked goods and binding ingredients together.
If you need it for varnish, simply thin out mayo with a bit of water and brush it over unbaked dough.
If you need it for binding ingredients, just dredge the raw food in mayo, followed by your choice of coating or batter.
Don’t want to go through the hassle of cracking an egg and separating the white from the yolk?
Just pop open a jar of mayo!
Aquafaba, the liquid found in canned beans, is also another fantastic egg wash substitute.
Simply whisk aquafaba and it’ll become just as fluffy as beaten egg whites.
This versatile liquid can be used to both bind and create the perfect glossy shell over the top of any baked goods.
Some food scientists even say it works better than eggs for creating a crispy coating when frying!
It’s a healthier choice, too! Unlike eggs which are high in cholesterol, aquafaba doesn’t contain cholesterol at all.
For this reason, aquafaba is quickly gaining popularity among the plant-based community.
8. Ground Flaxseed
Ground flax seeds are a great choice if you’re looking for a vegan egg wash substitute.
Not only will it make your baked goods glisten, but it’ll also supply them with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
For this alternative, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water and wait for it to thicken up.
Brush it on top of bread or pastries, and you’re all set.
You can also add some oil for even better results, giving your bakes extra sheen and flavor.
9. Golden Yolk
Using egg yolks is not the answer if you don’t already have eggs on hand. However, if a ridiculously golden finish is what you’re after, then it’s definitely the best choice.
Unlike egg whites, egg yolks provide a richer flavor and more color to pastries.
To make it, simply separate out the egg, beat the yolk, and brush it over unbaked pastry or dough.
If you need more yield, whisk 2 teaspoons of water into the yolk before using it.
10. Custard Powder
While used to make desserts like crème brûlée & flan, custard powder is also an effective egg wash substitute.
To use it, simply mix equal parts custard powder and water.
Brush it on donuts or pretzels prior to baking and it’ll add a nice crunch and flavor to the treat!
11. Baking Soda Wash
Baking soda isn’t just for leavening baked goods, but for giving them a dark golden brown hue, as well!
The only catch is, it can’t provide that glossy, shiny finish.
For this method, whisk together 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of water.
This mixture will still produce enough color for baked goods but without the sheen.
So, while it doesn’t completely get the job done, it still makes for a good enough alternative when you’re in a pinch.
12. BBQ Sauce
Believe it or not, BBQ sauce is also an excellent alternative to egg wash!
Depending on how much you dilute it with water or milk, it can provide a variety of different looks.
If applied as-is, it’ll give your pastries a sticky and dark brown finish, whereas if diluted, it’ll look golden.
Obviously, this substitute doesn’t apply to sweet baked goods. It only works wonderfully for savory pastries such as sausage rolls and pies.
Want to add color and a sweet, smoky flavor to your savory bake? Break out your BBQ sauce and be amazed.
13. Melted Butter
Melted butter helps crisp up pie crusts & rolls, and can also give breaded items like chicken a lovely golden hue.
Plus, compared to other substitutes, melted butter also provides richness and moisture to baked or fried goods.
Melt it down until it’s completely liquid, then brush it over the food before baking.
Just be careful not to brown the butter, otherwise, it might give the baked good a burnt taste.
You can even add spices like garlic or Italian seasoning to the melted butter for an even tastier outcome.
Yup, I definitely saved the best for last.
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