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Jan 8, 2011 01:17 PM

Making brownies.... oil and egg substitute?

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.


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  1. 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. 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

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

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

        5 Replies
        1. re: HillJ

          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

            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

              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

                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

                  How about this one:

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

          2. 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. 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

                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

                  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.