The 2-Ingredient Vegan Egg Wash Substitute That Pairs Perfectly With Pastries

As home bakers, we are all too familiar with the challenges of baking for an audience with diverse food allergies and dietary preferences. We aim to please and be inclusive, ensuring everyone can enjoy our delicious baked goods. Egg-free baking can present a unique set of hurdles and challenges. For example, how can our pastries achieve a glossy sheen and appealing browning without an egg wash?

Fortunately for bakers, the world of vegan baking is evolving quickly, and some straightforward alternatives and substitutions allow us to bake inclusively. For example, we can easily substitute eggs with an easy-to-whip-up 2-ingredient vegan egg wash that pairs perfectly with pastries.

And here's what you do: Combine agave syrup with your choice of vegan milk. When brushed over pastries before baking, this easy-to-prepare and plant-based mixture produces a stunning glossy finish that matches what traditional egg washes achieve with pastries. How, you ask? Firstly, the proteins found in vegan milk mimic those in eggs. Meanwhile, the natural sugars in agave syrup add sweetness, which helps enhance the pastry's overall flavor. Then, sugar also caramelizes and browns as it bakes over the pastry, adding a glossy sheen and, thus, aesthetic appeal. Someone enjoying your pastry might not even realize no eggs were involved in baking it. 

Understanding the effects of different vegan egg washes

If you're wondering which plant-based milk to use, honestly, they are all fair game, from almond to oat to barley to rice. If you want to choose vegan milk with a higher protein content to mimic egg, use soy milk. If you're looking for a creamier egg-wash substitute, choose coconut milk. Interestingly, vegan milk, on its own, can serve as a simple egg wash substitute, offering a subtle shine and less of a browning effect, though the results may vary compared to mixes with added sweeteners. 

Now, if you don't have agave syrup in your pantry, a sweetener alternative would be maple syrup. A little sugar dissolved in warm plant-based milk would work, too. Just note your baking results will differ whenever you change the formula of your vegan egg wash. With maple syrup and vegan milk, for example, your baked pastry may end up browner than it would if you used agave syrup and vegan milk as a vegan egg wash. This shows that with vegan baking, the key is to embrace the variety and find joy in creating delicious, welcoming treats that reflect the diversity of tastes and dietary needs. After all, there's something for every sweet tooth out there.