Using applesauce as an egg substitute in a cake is a wonderful way to bake if you're allergic to eggs, vegan or just out of eggs. However, it's important to pay attention to the applesauce-to-egg ratio to ensure the recipe bakes correctly.
Applesauce Egg Substitute Trick
If you want to use the applesauce egg replacement trick in cooking and baking, it's important to know applesauce is not the best replacement option for all recipes. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), eggs serve as either a binder to hold a recipe together or as a leavening agent to help it rise. Sometimes, they do both. Knowing which role they play helps in finding the right substitute.
When using eggs as a binder, applesauce is an egg substitute. When using eggs as a leavening agent, applesauce is not an egg replacement. Instead, you should use 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water and 1 teaspoon of baking powder per egg.
The AAFA also mentions that if a baked goods recipe calls for more than three eggs per batch, where a batch is one cake, a pan of brownies or 36 cookies, the applesauce egg replacement doesn't generally work because the consistency of the final product is compromised.
In those cases, it's best to use a commercial egg substitute, but those are only an option for the cholesterol conscious, not people who are allergic to eggs. Certain cakes, such as pound cases, angel food cakes and sponge cakes that call for a high amount of egg don't bake properly with egg substitutes.
The Applesauce-to-Egg Ratio
According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the applesauce-to-egg ratio is one egg to one-quarter cup applesauce in sweet desserts. If you're looking for a lighter texture, add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder (not baking soda) to the batter. Fruit purees like applesauce and mashed bananas tend to make the final product more dense than the original recipe.
It's worth mentioning that PETA also says applesauce may affect the flavor of the final product, so in cases where that may present an issue, it's better to opt for another substitute.
If you're health-conscious, you can also use applesauce as a replacement for oil in a cake recipe. It's an easy ratio too because it's 1-to-1. To keep your sugar content low, however, it's best to use unsweetened applesauce.
If you're worried about overloading the recipe with applesauce because you're already using applesauce as an egg replacement, you can also replace the oil with yogurt, butter or another kind of oil such as avocado, olive or coconut.
Read more: How to Bake With Stevia Instead of Sugar
Applesauce vs. Eggs Nutrition
Apples contain a natural water-soluble fiber known as pectin. Pectin is often added to foods because it serves as a thickener and helps bind ingredients since it forms a gel when combined with water.
It's a healthier alternative because it lowers the fat, cholesterol and sugar content of your cake. The USDA says 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce contains 102 calories, 0.5 grams of protein, zero grams of fat, 28 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of fiber. USDA data shows that one large egg contains 72 calories, 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and zero grams of carbs and fiber. Considering that 1 cup of applesauce would replace four eggs, it's a much healthier choice overall.
If you find that your cake is dry when you've used the applesauce egg substitute, you can still moisten the cake after baking. Make a simple syrup with equal parts of water and sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has come to a boil and cooled, poke holes in your cake, pour the syrup evenly over it and allow it to absorb for two to three hours before serving.