Food allergies can severely limit the types of foods we eat and leave us craving all kinds of ‘forbidden fruit’ (or forbidden cookies). That’s why we thought about constructing this allergen-free baking guide, for all of your baking needs.
Who doesn’t love baked goods? Quite possibly, people who aren’t able to try baked goods because they can have allergic reactions to some of the ingredients in said goods, like dairy (including butter), eggs, and gluten. These are basically the exact main ingredients in baking. So, what can you do without them?
I’ll tell you what you shouldn’t do! Which is give up on baking and its wonderful benefits. Don’t worry, there are plenty of food swaps in this allergen-free baking guide that works to shield you from your bad allergies and help you have cake (and eat it, too).
A simple guide to allergen-free baking
What to replace eggs with
Eggs are used in so many ways in baking, that it might seem like a pain to find allergen-free baking substitutes. So there are multiple solutions for replacing them in baking, depending on your needs.
Eggs as a binding agent. For this purpose, you can either use flaxseed or bananas. Flaxseed work whenever you want something with a sort of bland flavor that won’t change the profile or your baked good. Mix together one tablespoon of flaxseed with three tablespoons of warm water to replace one egg. Set the mixture aside for one minute until it gains a gel texture. Then mix it with the other ingredients. The seeds might change the color of your baked good, though. If you want to use bananas and don’t mind their strong flavor, then use a quarter of a banana to replace one egg. Mash it first, then use it in the recipe.
Eggs as a rising agent. Here, you have two options again, it depends on which one is a better allergen-free baking substitute for your needs. First, you can try aquafaba, which is basically chickpea liquid. You can substitute one egg with three tablespoons of aquafaba in your recipe.
Your other option is baking soda, especially if you combine it with vinegar. Don’t worry, you’re going to use very little vinegar, so it won’t affect the taste of your baking project. Just mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one tablespoon of white vinegar to replace one egg.
Eggs in the glaze. Here, you can use aquafaba again. And it will really make your cake or cookies or pastries look shiny and smooth!
What to replace dairy with
Dairy is one of the easier things to replace since there are plenty of types of non-dairy milk out there you can use, like almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, even cashew milk. The only caveat here is using an alternative milk that has a similar texture to the classic one. So, don’t go for a watery one and you can safely substitute the kinds of milk 1 for 1.
If butter is what you’re trying to replace, then you have plenty of options there, too. You just need natural fats to swap for the fat in butter. You can use Greek yogurt if you need the creaminess of butter. You can also use coconut oil, but you have to mix one cup of coconut oil with a teaspoon of water to get the consistency of a cup of butter. Another option is buying shortening, a solid fat made from vegetable oil. You can use this in frosting, pie crusts, and even some cookie recipes.
What about buttermilk? How can you substitute that? It’s not that complicated! You can mix one cup of alternative milk with two teaspoons of lemon juice and set it aside for a few minutes. The lemon tends to give a thicker texture to the dairy-free milk.
What to replace gluten with
If you have celiac disease or are allergic to gluten, then you have some allergen-free baking alternatives to work with. You can use gluten-free flour varieties and add some starches to replicate the ones in regular flour. A popular option? White rice flour with potato starch for desserts.