Applesauce is a fairly well known substitute for eggs in baking. It is a good option for adapting a recipe to be vegan as well as just being a good go to in case you are out of eggs. As long as not used in high volume, the substitution should have little affect on the end result, which is why it is great for pancakes. For every egg, use 1/4 cup of applesauce and it should get the job done!
But why does it work?
The main role of eggs in recipes is to bind ingredients together, trap air in the structure and add moisture (Click here for more details on the role of eggs). Applesauce is able to accomplish these things because of a heteropolysaccharide it contains called Pectin. Pectin acts as a binder much like an egg. The polysaccharides in it combine with carbohydrates to make a structure within baked goods, much like in jellies and jams. (Bridenstine, 2019)
So how do applesauce measure up against egg pancakes? Here’s what I found out.
The batter itself was much whiter than the original batter. It also was slightly runnier and the pancakes definitely turned out on the flatter side. The texture was a little bit denser than normal, almost cakey, and a little bit crumbly. The taste was overall the same.
All pictures taken by author.