Baking for Allergies

Food allergies are something we seem to be becoming increasingly aware of, even if, like me, you are lucky enough not to have any. As someone that loves cooking, and particularly baking, for others I am often catering for people that do, so need to adjust my recipes accordingly. Obviously for egg and dairy allergies you can always seek out a vegan recipe, but sometimes it’s not easy to find one, or you want to adapt a recipe you already know, so I thought I would share some simple alternatives I have discovered over the years to make your baked goods allergy friendly.


Eggs often play a vital role in a baking recipe due to their role as a binding agent, however thankfully they are not the only thing that are up to the task! Some alternatives for eggs are:

  • Egg Replacer Powder – the name is pretty self-explanatory, it is a powder you mix with water and add to your recipe. It is flavour free which makes it a great alternative to the other options I have, however I generally only use it when the other options won’t work 
  • Apple Sauce – roughly 1/4 cup per egg
  • Mashed banana – roughly 1/2 a banana per egg (add an extra 1/4 tsp baking powder per egg)
  • Silken tofu – 1/4 cup per egg – whip or beat it before adding it to the recipe (add an extra 1/2 tsp baking powder per egg)

If the recipe calls for 3 or more eggs then replacing the eggs with one of the above may not work as well, as the eggs are a primary ingredient in the recipe. So things like a sponge cake are probably not advised!



Dairy is a lot simpler to replace as there are generally easily found alternatives which can be swapped into recipes without much worry. I use almond milk in everything I make as I prefer it, but you can always replace dairy milk with soy milk or rice milk if you prefer.

To replace butter in your baking you can use Nuttelex (or equivalent), which comes in a tub like margarine, and even some brands of margarine are actually dairy free if you check the label. I personally use nuttelex and find it plays the role of butter perfectly, even in buttercream icing!

If your recipe calls for chocolate, other than cocoa, then you can use dark chocolate as once it is dark enough (generally 80% but check the label) it actually contains no dairy compounds.



This one is a bit more tricky as the type of flour you want to use will depend a lot on what you’re making. It’s now usually possible to buy gluten free flour from the supermarket, which is obviously the easiest option but isn’t always possible. Some great alternatives include rice flour, almond flour, coconut flour and sorghum flour, however you can’t just do a direct substitution  It’s usually best to use a combination of flours and add some kind of starch as well, such as tapioca, cornstarch or arrowroot and also some xantham gum (or guar gum). All of these things are normally easily located, so don’t be too put off!

A good mix is something like this:

  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 cup starch (potato or corn work best)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (obviously don’t use this if someone has a nut allergy!)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum

You may need to adjust both the cooking times and amount of liquid when cooking gluten free – but if you’ve also replaced eggs with something like mashed banana or applesauce then you should be okay. This might take some playing with as it is influenced by your oven, the air humidity and where you are located – so play around with the quantities if need be!

And just to prove that baked goods without gluten, dairy and eggs doesn’t mean they have to be boring here’s a little collection of cupcakes I have made in the past that are all at least dairy and egg free, with some also being gluten free! They don’t look too bad do they?!


Do you have any tips and tricks for baking for allergies? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

2 Comments on Baking for Allergies

  1. Janelle
    July 30, 2013 at 7:43 pm (11 years ago)


    I am finding all sorts of things in your blog that are along the lines of what I’ve been experimenting with of late. Hope you don’t mind my regular comments. I am studying Nutrition (it’s early days though) and whilst I wade through the foundation units, I’m doing some of my own research. In addition to your egg alternatives I heard that chia seeds mixed with water are a good replacement: to replace a large egg, soak 1 Tbs. chia seeds in 3 Tbs. water for 5 minutes until the mixture has the texture of a raw egg.

    Quinoa flour is pretty cool too, it adds a nutty flavour without the nuts (for those with nut allergies) 🙂

    • I Spy Plum Pie (admin)
      July 31, 2013 at 9:11 am (11 years ago)

      Of course I don’t mind, your comments are always welcome here! It’s great to hear you are finding my blog of use!
      Ooh I hadn’t thought of using chia seeds – I like eating them in that form but I can imagine they would work great as an egg replacer, particularly in something like cookies. I shall have to give that a try – thanks Janelle!


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