Egg wash is used on baked goods to give them a golden color and crisp exterior. But what can you use instead of egg wash that is vegan and egg-free? Here are the best vegan egg wash substitutes including a vegan egg substitutes, unsweetened plant milk, aquafaba, vegan butter, chia or flax egg, maple syrup, or olive oil.

Clear glass of egg wash with brush.

Overview of Egg Wash

What it tastes like

Egg wash is a key ingredient in many recipes, but it actually doesn’t add much flavor to the dish. The main purpose of egg wash is to create a smooth, glossy surface on baked goods.

Nutrition info

Despite its widespread use, there is limited information available on the nutritional content of egg wash.

A single large egg contains approximately 75 calories and 7 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals.

When made with whole eggs, egg wash provides all of these nutrients. However, when made with just egg whites and not the whole egg, it is lower in calories and fat but does not provide as much protein.

And, a vegan egg wash using an egg alternative or vegan alternatives will vary in nutrition depending on what ingredients are used.

Crispy egg-washed pastries in clear dish.

How it’s used

An egg wash is a mixture of eggs and water that is used to coat food using a pastry brush before cooking.

The egg wash helps to create a barrier between the food and the heat, preventing the food from drying out or sticking to the cookware. It also gives the food a crispy, golden-brown exterior and a shiny finish.

Egg washes are commonly used on pastries and breads, but they can also be used on meat and vegetables.

Best Egg Wash Substitutes

If you’re on a vegan diet, intolerant to eggs, or just out of eggs, here are the best plant-based egg wash substitutes that are plant-based and egg-free using egg substitutes.

Try using at one of these options as a best egg wash substitute the next time you’re making puff pastry or baking. You can also use these for savory dishes too.

1. Vegan egg substitute (like Just Eggs)

Vegan egg wash mung bean paste in a white bowl.
Egg substitute.

Just Eggs is a vegan egg substitute made from mung bean protein.

It has a similar texture and taste to real eggs, making it a great option for people who can’t or don’t want to eat eggs. Just Eggs is also cholesterol-free and contains no animal products.

To substitute one tablespoon of egg wash, use one tablespoon of vegan egg substitute.

2. Unsweetened plant milk

Cup of plant-based milk with dried soybeans on solid surface.
Soy milk.

When it comes to plant-based milk, there are a lot of options to choose from. Soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, help milk, oat milk, and coconut milk are just some of the most popular types.

Most non-dairy milk choices are a great vegan option that can be used in place of egg wash.

To substitute one tablespoon of egg wash, use two tablespoons of unsweetened plant milk.

3. Aquafaba

Clear glass of chick-pea egg wash, aquafaba.

Aquafaba is a plant-based egg replacement that can be used in a variety of recipes. It is the soaking liquid of cooked chickpeas.

Aquafaba has a similar consistency to egg whites, and it can be used in many of the same ways. Just remember to save the liquid from your next can of chickpeas!

To substitute one tablespoon of egg wash, use two tablespoons of Aquafaba.

4. Vegan butter

Vegan butter spread with toast on cutting board.
Vegan butter.

Vegan butter is a dairy-free alternative to traditional butter. It is made from plant-based oils, such as coconut oil or olive oil.

You’ll need to melt the vegan butter before using it as an excellent option for a vegan egg wash. Use a pastry brush to apply the melted butter.

To substitute one tablespoon of egg wash, use two tablespoons of melted vegan butter.

5. Chia egg or flax egg

When it comes to vegan baking, there are a few options for replacing eggs. One popular choice is a chia or flax egg.

To make one, simply combine 1 tablespoon of chia or ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and stir well. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes, or until it has thickened.

Both chia eggs and flax eggs can be used in place of conventional eggs in most recipes. However, chia eggs tend to work better in recipes that call for multiple eggs, such as cakes or muffins.

Flax eggs, on the other hand, work best in recipes that only call for one or two eggs, such as pancakes or waffles.

Whichever you choose, be sure to follow the recipe closely to ensure the best results using your vegan eggs or egg replacer.

To substitute one tablespoon of egg wash, use one tablespoon of chia egg or one tablespoon of ground flax egg.

6. Maple syrup

Jar of maple syrup on wooden surface.

This amber colored syrup is not only a delicious topping for pancakes and waffles, but it can also be used as an alternative to an egg wash.

Maple syrup has many of the same properties as an egg wash, such as the ability to help bread adhere and giving food a golden-brown color when baked.

When using maple syrup as an egg wash alternative, simply brush it on whatever you’re baking before putting it in the oven. The key is to make sure that you use pure maple syrup and not pancake syrup, which is full of artificial flavors and corn syrup.

You could also use agave syrup or agave nectar in the same way.

To substitute one tablespoon of egg wash, use two tablespoons of maple syrup.

7. Olive oil

Jars of olive oil on wooden surface.

Olive oil can be used as a substitute for an egg wash.

It will give your food a similar shine and it can also help crisp up the edges. The best part is that you probably already have olive oil in your kitchen so you don’t have to go to the store and buy anything special.

To substitute one tablespoon of egg wash, use two tablespoons of olive oil.

Pros and Cons

Here’s a chart summarizing the best vegan substitutes for egg wash, along with their respective pros and cons:

Vegan Egg SubstituteClosest in texture and taste to real eggs.May be harder to find and more expensive.
Unsweetened Plant MilkWidely available, easy to use.Thinner consistency; may not adhere as well.
AquafabaSimilar to egg whites, good for binding.Needs to be whipped for best results.
Vegan ButterGives a nice shine and flavor.Can be oily if too much is used.
Chia or Flax EggGood binding properties, adds nutrients.May alter texture slightly.
Maple SyrupAdds sweetness and color, easy to use.Adds sweetness, not suitable for savory dishes.
Olive OilEasily available, gives shine and helps crisping.Can affect flavor, might be too oily.


Can I use vegan mayonnaise instead of regular egg wash?

Yes, but only on savory dishes. You’ll need about 1 teaspoon of vegan mayo to brush on the surface of your savory food item before baking.


There are a variety of ways that you can replace an egg wash. Some popular choices include vegan butter, chia eggs, flax eggs, and maple syrup. If you’re looking for a healthy option, olive oil is a good choice. And if you’re in a pinch, water or plant-based milk can also work. Experiment with different options to see what you like best.

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About the Author: Carrie Forrest has a master’s degree in public health with a specialty in nutrition. She is a top wellness and food blogger with over 5 million annual visitors to her site. Carrie has an incredible story of recovery from chronic illness and is passionate about helping other women transform their health. Send Carrie a message through her contact form.