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Vegan Egg Wash Substitutes

by Marly

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Looking for the perfect vegan egg wash substitute to add shine and golden color to your vegan pie crusts and baked goods? Here are a variety of options to choose from including a simple recipe that works like a charm. Youll love this guide that gives a look at 10 different egg-free egg wash options.

Most pastry recipes call for brushing your dough with something (typically an egg wash) before its placed in the oven. But whats a vegan baker to do? Will your crusts be ruined if you just skip it?

I decided to experiment to find out.

What is an Egg Wash?

In order to replicate an egg wash, its important to understand the original and how it works.

These components encourage browning and/or shine on a crust:

  • Protein found in eggs and/or milk
  • Sugar found in milk
  • Fat found in fats and oil.

This is why some of the best pastry washes combine ingredients like eggs and cream.

Egg-Free Pastry Washes

I did some research on the best egg wash alternatives and from there chose 10 of the most popular options.

  • Coconut oil
  • Vegan butter
  • Soy milk
  • Almond milk
  • Flax egg
  • Cornstarch slurry
  • Aquafaba

Yes, thats only 7, but the three remaining are a combination of the others, plus a plain piece to serve as a point of comparison. If youre looking for vegan egg wash substitutes, here is your chance to check out a variety of options!

On the other hand, is egg wash necessary for egg-free baking? Lets find out!

Methodology

For testing purposes, I usedmy vegan pie crust recipe. I rolled it out and cut 10 rounds. Then I brushed all of them except one with a different wash. Then I rated each wash based on color, sheen, and consistency of browning.

Wash #1: Aquafaba

  • About this Wash Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. Although it doesnt sound pleasant, its been used in place of eggs to make things like vegan meringue.
  • Results I was very skeptical but actually pleased with the results. You can see the pie round has a nice golden hue and a slight, rustic shine to it. Combined with a bit of fat (like melted coconut oil), this would be an even better option.
  • Rating 8/10

Wash #2: Coconut Oil

  • About this Wash Melted coconut oil is a popular option for an eggless wash in the vegan community. Because of its high-fat content, I knew it would provide shine, but what about browning?
  • Results The baked circle of crust shows a bit of shine and a bit of color. I could see using this, especially if you have refined coconut oil. However, virgin coconut oil might add a coconut flavor to the crust.
  • Rating 7/10

Wash #3: Plain

  • About this Wash I baked one pie disc without any wash on top to serve as a control. Is vegan egg wash for pastry even necessary?
  • Results Actually, there is a bit of color with this option, making me think that a pastry wash is not required, especially if youre ok with a slightly rustic, flat sheen on your crust and pastries. However, if Im serving a pie to guests, I will use a wash.
  • Rating 7/10

Wash #4: Cornstarch

  • About this Wash When you combine cornstarch with water, you create a slurry. Would it add shine or browning? That is the question I set about to answer.
  • Results I was not impressed with cornstarch for adding hue or shine to my little pie round. It didnt add any color besides what you see in the plain crust, and I wasnt thrilled with the flaovr. I would choose no-wash over this option, even for home baking.
  • Rating 3/10

Wash #5: Flax Egg

  • About this Wash The flax egg is a great binder and used often in vegan baking. By that reasoning, it should work as a wash, too.
  • Results Its true that the ground flax meal I used wasnt as ground as some, leaving behind whole seeds. That said, it illustrates the point that ground flax is not a great option to top pies or pastries because of the color and texture that it adds.
  • Rating 3/10

Wash #6: Vegan Butter

  • About this Wash Vegan butter has a lot of fat and therefore should be a great wash for vegan pastries. Because of its buttery flavor, I expected it to be the best option. Be careful to use a vegan butter product and not tub margarine (most of which are made with water).
  • Results Vegan butter is my second favorite egg wash substitute thanks to the even golden color. I was right that the flavor is amazing as well. If you want your vegan egg wash savory, this may be the way to go.
  • Rating 9/10

Wash #7: Soy Milk

  • About this Wash There are so many plant-based milk options on the market these days, but I chose soy milk because, with its protein content and sugars, it most resembles whole milk, although it is lower in fat.
  • Results I was very skeptical but actually pleased with the results. You can see the pie round has a nice golden hue and a slight, rustic shine to it. Combined with a bit of fat, this would be an even better option.
  • Rating 8/10

Wash #8: Vegan Butter + Soy Milk

  • About this Wash Since I was so pleased with these two ingredients individually, I figured together they would work great.
  • Results Now were starting to see some real results. I loved the golden color the flavor, and the shine offered by these two together. Soy milk has a few natural sugars, so combined with the vegan butter, we have protein, fat, and sugars. No wonder it made such a great wash!
  • Rating 10/10

Wash #9: Almond Milk

  • About this Wash Sometimes you have to go with whats in your cupboard and these days almond milk is the go-to plant-based milk. Thats why I decided to try almond milk as an egg wash. I used unsweetened, plain almond milk for this experiment.
  • Results The almond milk wash is not bad. Its at least comparable to soy milk in the results. Because of its low-fat content, it doesnt produce a lot of shine, but it does add a hint of color, making it better than the plain option. I would definitely use this in a pinch.
  • Rating 8/10

Egg Wash #10: Vegan Butter + Soy Milk + Agave

  • About this Wash Adding a bit of sugar to #8, combines the trifecta of ingredients (sugar, protein, and fat) for the eggless egg wash. Will it be the primo option? Lets see.
  • Results I actually like this option the best, even though it comes with some risks. If you dont stir the syrup sweetener enough, it can leave streaks across the crust. For that reason, you stick with #8. But if you want a rich, golden, shiny crust, this one delivers. I find combining the minimal syrup with the recently melted butter helps it blend together the best.
  • Rating 10/10

Now, lets go over some questions and then discuss making the best vegan egg wash.

Frequently-Asked Questions

What's the best vegan egg wash for bread?

For savory bread, I recommend using vegan butter or vegan butter combined with a bit of almond or soy milk. For sweet bread, adding a bit of agave nectar to the mixture will give it more shine and color.

Can you use almond milk for egg wash?

You can use almond milk for egg wash when you want to help your pastry or bread achieve more of a golden color. However, almond milk will produce minimal shine, creating a more rustic look to your baked good.

Can aqufaba be used as egg wash?

You can use aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) to create an egg-free egg wash. Simply brush the aquafaba over unbaked pastries or bread to create a subtle golden hue.

How to Make Vegan Egg Wash

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

  1. Stir together the ingredients. Allow it to cool slightly.
  2. Lightly brush the top of the pie crusts or bread with the vegan egg wash.
  3. Follow the recipe instructions for baking the pie or pastry.

Ingredients

Here are the ingredients youll need for this recipe:

  • Vegan Butter I recommend using storebought vegan butter (not tub margarine which has too much water in it) or homemadevegan butter.
  • Soy milk You can substitute different plant-based milk, but I find soy milk works the best because of its high protein content.
  • Agave Well use just a pinch of agave nectarbecause the sugars help with browning. However, you must stir it vigorously so it doesnt cause streaks on the pie crust. You can substitute maple syrup.

How to Use Vegan Egg Wash

Here are some best vegan pastry recipes to use your pastry wash:

  • Vegan Spinach Pinwheels

    30 mins total

  • Vegan Danish with Blueberry Filling

    110 mins total

  • Vegan English Muffins

    130 mins total

  • Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

    140 mins total

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Egg Wash Substitute

Use this vegan egg wash to make your favorite baked pastries baked to perfection, including a golden crust!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate SaveSaved!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 71kcal
Author: Marly McMillen

Ingredients

CupsMetric
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter , melted
  • 1 teaspoon soy milk
  • ½ teaspoon agave nectar (or maple syrup)
Cook ModePrevent your screen from going dark

Instructions

  • Vigorously stir together the ingredients. Allow it to cool slightly, and then use a pastry brush to brush the top of the pie crusts or pastries with the vegan egg wash.
  • Follow the recipe instructions for baking your pie or pastry.
Pie Pan

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Notes

Savory Egg Wash: For a savory egg wash, combine 1 tablespoon melted vegan butter with 2 tablespoons vegan milk.
Calories: 71kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 56mg | Sugar: 10g

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionists advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a rating below then tag @namelymarly on Instagram and hashtag it #namelymarly. I love seeing your creations!

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