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Making brownies.... oil and egg substitute?

madridista Jan 8, 2011 01:17 PM

I have a package of Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Brownie Mix that calls for 1 egg and 1/2 cup oil - can I use both chia seeds and applesauce? I was going to use the chia seed gel as an egg substitute (which I've done before), but now I've read that applesauce is also an egg substitute. I thought it was an oil substitute? Do I use one or both and how much? I don't want to overdo it and have soggy brownies.


  1. ipsedixit Jan 8, 2011 01:41 PM

    Both eggs and oil in brownies are basically there for moisture and as a binding agent.

    If I were you, I would just use applesauce.

    Here's the recipe I use when I *have* to make vegan brownies, which you can sort of use as a reference point for a gluten-free brownie.

    Good luck.


    1 1/3 cups granulated sweetener
    3/4 cup applesauce (pref. unsweetened)
    2 tbsp water
    2 tsp almond flour
    1/2 cup water
    2 tsp vanilla
    1 1/3 cups unbleached white flour
    3/4 cup cocoa
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt

    1. i
      Isolda Jan 8, 2011 01:45 PM

      The egg is also there as a leavening agent, as well as to bind and add moisture. I'd just add a pinch of baking powder and the applesauce or some prune filling (adds a nice flavor that enhances the chocolate taste.)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Isolda
        Emme Jan 8, 2011 06:34 PM

        i second the baking powder. i use tofu and baking soda as a sub sometimes for eggs in vegan baking

      2. h
        HillJ Jan 8, 2011 01:50 PM

        Have you tried sub'ing avocado or black bean puree? Adds fantastic moisture to the brownie.

        5 Replies
        1. re: HillJ
          Isolda Jan 8, 2011 01:54 PM

          The avocado sounds intriguing, esp when you get one of those bruised avocados that you don't want to serve. But doesn't it turn bitter when cooked?

          1. re: Isolda
            ipsedixit Jan 8, 2011 01:57 PM

            I think avocado tastes too good on its own to blend into a brownie mixture. Even bruised ones.

            If it's a choice between pureed avocado and black beans, beans win out every time.

            1. re: Isolda
              HillJ Jan 8, 2011 02:01 PM

              Not at all. I mash the avocado and add it to the batter in the same qty. as the oil and omit the egg. I've been adding avocado to a number of baked recipes and even experimented with an avocado frosting on a rich chocolate cake from a blog I stumbled upon. It really works great. And yes, the over ripe avocados are ideal for this sub. No bitterness.

              Mashed black beans will change the flavor of the brownies and you still need the eggs. But if you prefer brownies that are dense/fudgy as opposed to cakey (as I do) both of these work well.

              1. re: HillJ
                Isolda Jan 10, 2011 09:35 AM

                Thank you! I have two avocados in need of a recipe. I also need a dessert for tonight because we all know that dessert is the most important meal of the day.

                1. re: Isolda
                  HillJ Jan 10, 2011 10:51 AM

                  How about this one: http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2009/...

                  It was the most requested cake I baked in 2010. Who would have guessed!

          2. a
            arp29 Jan 8, 2011 02:09 PM

            I don't know about chia seeds, but I have used applesauce in TJ's GF brownies with success. I do however use it in addition to the eggs (or just egg whites). For a mix, I think these are pretty good!

            1. goodhealthgourmet Jan 8, 2011 06:46 PM

              you'll definitely want to add baking powder if you're omitting the eggs - i just looked up the mix ingredients online and it doesn't contain any leavening agent whatsoever. use the applesauce, or if you can do dairy, half applesauce & half low- or nonfat Greek-style yogurt.

              3 Replies
              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                ipsedixit Jan 8, 2011 06:53 PM

                May I ask why you recommend Greek-style yogurt, as opposed to just regular yogurt?

                Is it for texture, or for its nutritional advantages?

                I've never found a textural difference using Greek yogurt in baked goods.

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  goodhealthgourmet Jan 8, 2011 08:37 PM

                  actually it's nutrition, texture, AND taste.

                  the flavor of regular yogurt has an oddly sweet astringency to it that i don't like, and i'm not crazy about the watery texture. i've done side-by-side comparisons, and the Greek-style yogurt results in slightly denser/fudgier yet still tender brownies, while the regular yogurt makes them tougher and drier, and lends a hint of that off-putting astringent flavor.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    ipsedixit Jan 9, 2011 09:31 AM

                    Interesting. Thanks.

              2. m
                magiesmom Jan 9, 2011 07:15 AM

                I really like prune puree much better than applesauce in brownies, especially if you like them on the fudgier rather than cakier side.

                6 Replies
                1. re: magiesmom
                  goodhealthgourmet Jan 9, 2011 08:52 AM

                  ever try fig puree? i like it even better than prune. i also *love* to use a combination of fig & apricot.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    magiesmom Jan 9, 2011 10:02 AM

                    I tried fig once but the seeds creeped me out. Apricots sound good. But truth to tell, I love prunes. weird, huh?

                    1. re: magiesmom
                      goodhealthgourmet Jan 9, 2011 02:06 PM

                      not weird at all! i love prunes too - eat them pretty much every day :)

                      re: the fig puree, strain it to remove the seeds - just press it through a fine sieve...or a tamis if you happen to have one.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                        magiesmom Jan 12, 2011 07:15 AM

                        I 'm too lazy to strain them I guess when prunes and apricots and pears ( oh my!) are so easy.

                      2. re: magiesmom
                        Isolda Jan 10, 2011 09:37 AM

                        Not at all weird! Prunes are delicious. My 15 year old sometimes takes them in her lunch box and has moochers demanding them, so yeah, prune-lovers are out there.

                        1. re: Isolda
                          HillJ Jan 10, 2011 10:52 AM

                          Prune lover! Definately!

                  2. gmm Jan 10, 2011 06:26 PM

                    I'm not vegan, but I have some friends that are. Food and Wine has a vegan brownie recipe that both my vegan and non-vegan friends love. It calls for both oil and applesauce.


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