9 Best Substitute For Egg Wash

Egg Wash Substitute

Within the realm of culinary arts, an egg wash stands as a versatile tool, known for bestowing a desirable sheen and a beautiful golden hue to an array of baked goods. This mixture, typically composed of beaten eggs and a touch of liquid—often water, milk, or cream—creates a visual and textural appeal that enhances the overall gastronomic experience. However, the need for alternatives arises in certain scenarios such as dietary restrictions, allergies, or simple lack of availability.

Fortunately, an impressive roster of substitutes is ready to step in, each offering its unique characteristics. These alternatives range from dairy products like milk or cream to surprising contenders like aquafaba or fruit juice. Whether you’re seeking a vegan option, catering to a lactose-intolerant individual, or simply craving a different flavor profile, the perfect substitute awaits your discovery. The quest for the best substitute hinges on your specific requirements and the nature of the dish you’re creating, making this exploration not just necessary, but also exciting.

What is Egg Wash?

An egg wash is a mixture usually made by beating eggs with a little amount of water, milk, or cream. It’s primarily used as a glaze for baked goods. When brushed onto the surface of dough before it’s baked, the proteins in the egg cook and provide a beautiful shiny, golden brown finish. The egg wash also helps to create a crisp texture on the surface of the pastry. However, despite its utility, it’s not universally suitable.

Glimpse at the Substitutes for Egg Wash

  • Milk or Cream
  • Water
  • Butter
  • Soy or Almond Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Aquafaba
  • Fruit Juice
  • Maple Syrup
  • Corn Syrup
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Best Substitutes For Egg Wash

Milk or Cream

Milk or cream is a simple and easily available substitute for egg wash. They contain proteins and fats, which when exposed to heat, allow for a nice golden color and crispiness similar to that provided by an egg wash. Milk is lighter and gives a soft, light color while cream, being higher in fat, results in a richer color and a slightly more crispy texture.

Both are ideal for sweet baked goods, where the flavor of milk or cream can contribute to the overall taste of the dessert. This is a good choice for those who prefer a less glossy finish. For lactose-intolerant individuals, lactose-free milk or cream can be used in place of regular ones.


Water is another great alternative to egg wash, especially when simplicity is key. Water won’t give you the glossy, golden finish that an egg wash or milk wash will provide, but it can help toppings stick to the surface of the bread or pastry.

This is an excellent option for savory dishes where a shiny finish isn’t necessary, such as in making breads, pretzels, or rustic pies. It is also the ideal choice when there’s no other option available or if you’re catering to a group with diverse dietary restrictions.


Butter, a staple in baking, is a rich and flavorful alternative to egg wash. Melted butter brushed onto pastries creates a golden brown and slightly crispy finish. The taste of butter adds a richness to the final product that isn’t achievable with other substitutes.

This is ideal for both sweet and savory dishes as the buttery flavor complements a wide range of recipes. The downside might be its higher fat content which might not be suitable for those on low-fat diets. In such cases, lower-fat alternatives like margarine could be considered.

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Soy or Almond Milk

For vegans and those with lactose intolerance, plant-based milks like soy or almond milk are excellent egg wash substitutes. These milks contain proteins that can help achieve a nice golden-brown color when baked.

These substitutes are especially ideal for sweet pastries as they have a slightly sweet flavor that complements such dishes. However, the result may not be as glossy or as crispy as an egg wash. If you have nut allergies, stick with soy milk and avoid almond milk.


Yogurt, when diluted with a bit of water, can make a great egg wash substitute. The slight tanginess of yogurt can give your baked goods an interesting flavor twist. When it comes to appearance, it gives a nice golden color though the shine might not be as pronounced as with an egg wash.

This is ideal for sweet and savory bread and pies, especially those that pair well with a slightly tangy flavor. However, for people with a dairy allergy or for vegans, non-dairy yogurt alternatives can be used instead.


Aquafaba, the liquid in a can of chickpeas, is a surprisingly effective vegan substitute for egg wash. It has a similar consistency to egg whites and can give your baked goods a nice glossy finish.

While it doesn’t offer a golden brown color like an egg wash, it is excellent for making your toppings stick to your pastries. Plus, it is a waste-free solution as aquafaba is usually discarded.

Fruit Juice

Fruit juice, such as apple or orange juice, can be used as an egg wash substitute. It gives a unique taste and a nice brown color, though the gloss might be less pronounced. The natural sugars in the juice will caramelize and create a crispy crust.

This is perfect for sweet pastries or pies with a fruity filling. However, be mindful that the flavor of the juice can seep into your dish, so choose a juice that complements your recipe.

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Maple Syrup

Diluted maple syrup is another sweet and vegan-friendly egg wash substitute. It provides a glossy finish, and the sugars in the syrup give a light brown color to the pastry. The resulting flavor, while subtle, can add a touch of sweetness to your dishes.

This substitute is ideal for sweet pies and pastries, especially those with a complementary flavor profile such as apple pie or pumpkin scones. However, for those watching their sugar intake, this might not be the best option.

Corn Syrup

Much like maple syrup, diluted corn syrup can be used as a sweet substitute for egg wash. It gives a nice sheen and a light brown color when baked. The taste is neutral, making it a versatile choice for many types of baked goods.

Corn syrup works well for both sweet and savory dishes. However, like with maple syrup, those on low-sugar diets should consider a different option.

Substitutes for Egg Wash: Nutritional Profile

Soy/Almond MilkNo80/604g/2.5g4g/8g2g/1g7g/1g
Fruit JuiceNo1130g28g0.5g0.5g
Maple SyrupNo2100g53g0g0g
Corn SyrupNo2400g62g0g0g


Baking is an art filled with myriad flavors, techniques, and ingredients. An egg wash, though a small part of many recipes, plays a pivotal role in achieving that ideal finish. However, various dietary needs or ingredient limitations can lead you to seek alternatives. Luckily, as we have seen, numerous substitutes, from milk to fruit juice, can fill in admirably for an egg wash. These options cater to a range of dietary restrictions and flavor preferences, thereby ensuring that your culinary masterpiece doesn’t lose its charm. So go ahead, experiment with these substitutes, and you might just discover a new favorite!

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