# Egg mathAugust 20, 2021 6:48 PM   Subscribe

Dear metabakers, I was just about to bake a carrot cake that calls for 3 large eggs. It turns out I have 2 standard large eggs from the supermarket and 4 medium-size eggs from a farm. Should I...

...
a. Use 2 large eggs and 2 medium eggs?
b. Use 2 large eggs and 1.5 medium eggs?
b. Wait til tomorrow morning to bake the cake so I can go to the market and get more large eggs? I have to go to the market anyway tomorrow.

This is a special cake for a special occasion and i want it to be properly moist and dense and all the other good carrot cakey things it should be. I planned to bake it tonight and frost it tomorrow, but the main priority is that it turn out to be excellent. If baking it tomorrow with 3 large eggs makes a difference I will totally want to change my schedule a bit to do that.
Thanks bakers!
posted by nantucket to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Do you have a scale? Wikipedia says that a large egg should be about 57 grams in the US or 63 grams in Europe. I would crack and whisk eggs until you get somewhere between 171 and 189 grams and use that, though you might end up wasting a bit of egg. Could always save the extra and use it for breakfast or whatever.
posted by papayaninja at 6:57 PM on August 20, 2021 [7 favorites]

I get eggs from the farmers' market and they're always wildly different sizes, so what I do, I google what a large egg is supposed to weigh and then weigh them in their shells in various combos 'til I get close to right.
posted by Don Pepino at 6:57 PM on August 20, 2021 [4 favorites]

If you don't have a scale, I'd use the four medium eggs.
posted by rpfields at 7:21 PM on August 20, 2021 [7 favorites]

The odds are that half an egg either way will leave you with... cake. Middle of the road cake recipes aren't usually that sensitive.

I'd probably go short (2l, 1m) and top up with milk at the end if required to get the consistency right, but I wouldn't sweat it.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 7:34 PM on August 20, 2021 [5 favorites]

With a carrot cake in particular, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I’d just use your two large eggs and the largest of the medium eggs.

We bake with our backyard eggs all the time and even in more finicky cakes like a yellow cake, I’ve never weighed them and never had a problem.
posted by Betelgeuse at 8:06 PM on August 20, 2021 [7 favorites]

What? Just use the 2 large eggs and one of the other, maybe add a splash of water. It's a cake!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:04 PM on August 20, 2021 [8 favorites]

Eggs are there to give it body and lift, but you will have oil or butter to give it moistness. I've made cheesecakes without eggs. There are cake recipes (whacky cake) without eggs. It doesn't matter if you have 2 or 3 eggs in a recipe. Unless you're making an angelfood cake with egg whites, losing one or 2 eggs, it doesn't matter.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:10 PM on August 20, 2021

If you don't have a scale handy, an egg is generally considered to be approximately 1/4 cup. If your recipe is measuring by cups, it's looking for 3/4 of egg, regardless of the source :)
posted by Grim Fridge at 9:29 PM on August 20, 2021 [3 favorites]

My first thought was that you should use 4 medium eggs, but when I looked up how medium eggs compare with large eggs I realized it would make more sense just to use 2 large and 1 medium. According to the Wikipedia article on chicken egg sizes, a medium egg is only a quarter tablespoon less than a large egg. That's less than a teaspoon. I highly doubt you'll notice any difference.
posted by Redstart at 9:43 PM on August 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

Weigh the two L eggs you have: call that E2
You goal is E2 * 1.5
Weigh the 4 M eggs: call that M4
IF |M4 - E2*1.5| > |(E2 + M) - E2*1.5| THEN DO E2+M ELSE DO M4
posted by BobTheScientist at 11:37 PM on August 20, 2021

I bake quite a lot of cakes and cookies. I am someone who overthinks *everything*... except this. I've never paid attention to whether a recipe calls for large or medium eggs, or to what sort of eggs I've got in the fridge, and it hasn't been a problem.

I would use the two large and the largest of the medium.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 12:56 AM on August 21, 2021 [4 favorites]

I've never paid attention to whether a recipe calls for large or medium eggs, or to what sort of eggs I've got
Technically this is my true mode, too, but I got a fancy digital scale a few years ago, so since then I weigh everything so I can be more like Mary Berry.
posted by Don Pepino at 9:01 AM on August 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

I buy mixed size eggs and unless they seem particularly small I just use them as if they are all one size. I've never noticed an issue.
posted by knapah at 1:05 PM on August 21, 2021

I worked as a baker for a while and used eggs from a local farmer who didn't sort by size and never ran into problems using random sized eggs to the number called for in the recipe. You'll be fine if you mix and match almost any way.
posted by Ferreous at 3:46 PM on August 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

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