Eggs are one of the most familiar baking ingredients in the kitchen. But not everyone can enjoy baked goods that contain eggs. The good news is that people who are allergic to eggs, as well as vegans who want to avoid eggs, can bake cakes without them. There are substitutes for eggs, both commercial and homemade. One of the simplest substitutes for eggs when you just want the eggs to bind your cake -- not raise it -- is cornstarch and water.
Mixing Cornstarch with Dry Ingredients
Sometimes, you might come across an eggless cake recipe that does not require you to mix the cornstarch with water. Instead, you simply add the cornstarch to the other dry ingredients, such as the flour, baking powder and/or baking soda. You then mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly and set them aside until you are ready to mix them with the wet ingredients. Keep in mind that you can typically use either plain cornstarch or commercial custard powder, since the main ingredient in the latter is cornstarch. Custard powder also contains some sugar and vanilla flavoring.
Mixing Cornstarch with Wet Ingredients
Cornstarch and water, when mixed into a thick liquid, approximates the texture of beaten eggs. You can substitute this liquid for the eggs in your cake recipe by adding it to the wet ingredients. Recipes that require you to mix the cornstarch with water, typically call for a ratio of either 2 or 3 tablespoons of water for every tablespoon of cornstarch. In a mixing bowl, you generally first add softened butter or vegetable oil and sugar -- and beat until smooth and creamy. Next, you add your cornstarch and water paste, milk and vanilla extract -- and then mix them with any other ingredients.
Baking the Eggless Cornstarch Cake
When it comes to baking your eggless cake, you should pour the batter into a greased and floured cake tin. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour or until done. Poke a toothpick or fork in the center and if it comes out clean, it's done. Cool thoroughly before serving. You might decide that baking with cornstarch added to your batter results in a better overall texture and flavor than using eggs.
Additional Tips for Baking with Cornstarch
If you find yourself in the middle of an eggless cake recipe without any cornstarch on hand, don't despair. There are substitutes even for this egg substitute. Potato starch, rice starch or arrowroot, mixed with water, make acceptable stand-ins for cornstarch. Use these in the same ratio proportion as you would for the cornstarch: one tablespoon of dry powder to 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. If you have ground flax seeds on hand, you can substitute these as well.