Before we tell you how to omit or substitute eggs, butter, milk, cream, etc., we’ll explain the main ingredients in baked goods and their function. These are the Big Five of Baking: 1. flour, 2. sugar, 3. egg (substitutes), 4. fat (and oil) and 5. moisture. Knowing these ingredients will give you more control over the baking process and you know what to do when you omit an ingredient or want to replace it.
Every successful bake is a combination of structure building and structure breaking ingredients. The result of a successful recipe is e.g. soft and creamy, brittle, chewy or super crispy (or a combination of these properties). The combination of the five most important ingredients, the Big Five of Baking, and their influence on each other determine the final result. In discussing each of these five ingredients, the main question is whether it has structure building or structure breaking properties, or whether the ingredient has a combination of those properties. This knowledge will help you bake better and it will make it easier to create your own recipes.