Eggs – Does Size Matter?

What happens if you use extra-large eggs instead of large when making a cake? Is bigger better? Does egg size really matter in recipes? Let’s find out.

By Robin Stephens

Does egg size really matter in recipes?


Most recipes (including Cuisine’s) are based on the use of large eggs. But maybe you picked up extra-large eggs at the store. Or perhaps you have the option of farm-fresh eggs. Unfortunately, hens don’t lay them already labeled, and you can’t assume those beautiful farm eggs will be a one-for-one swap in your famous chocolate cake recipe.

How Eggs are Classified

In The USA, there are 6 size classification of chicken eggs, with medium, large, and extra-large being the most used. Eggs are classified by weight by the dozen.

No two eggs are exactly the same; there’s a slight weight variation of eggs in every carton. A dozen extra-large eggs weigh 27 oz. (about 2¼oz. each on average), a dozen large eggs weigh 24 oz. (about 2 ounces each), and a dozen medium eggs weighs 21 oz.(about 1¾ oz. each).

  • An extra-large egg yields 4 Tbsp. (2⅔ Tbsp. white and 1⅓ Tbsp. yolk)
  • A large egg yields 3¼ Tbsp. (2¼ Tbsp. white and 1 rounded Tbsp. yolk)
  • A medium egg yields 3 Tbsp. (2 Tbsp. white and 1 Tbsp. yolk)

Why Does Egg Size Matter In Baking?

Eggs play a very important role in recipes. They add flavor, color, stability, structure, and leavening to baked goods. Every recipe is written with specific proportions in mind. Using a different size egg will change the liquid ratio. Not enough liquid might mean not enough leavening power, while too much liquid could cause a cake to rise too fast and then collapse.

When Egg Size Doesn't Matter

Sometimes a recipe doesn’t depend on the right proportions of eggs to succeed – if you’re making scrambled eggs, breakfast casserole, or frittata – use what you have on hand. If you’re making something that calls for a lot of eggs, like a frittata, this information will be helpful:

If using up to 3 eggs, these sizes are interchangeable. But if a recipe calls for 4 or more eggs, use the following conversions:

  • 4 large = 4 extra large = 5 medium
  • 5 large = 4 extra large = 6 medium
  • 6 large = 5 extra large = 7 medium

Are you in the mood for a frittata now?! Give Cuisine’s Sausage and Egg with tomato salad a try. Or, if you’re looking for a breakfast casserole instead, Cuisine’s Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole is delicious.

When Egg Size Matters

If you’re baking, especially something like cakes or soufflés, then it’s helpful to know the weight and yield of each egg size.

What if a recipe calls for one large egg and you only have extra-large eggs? Will a small amount of additional liquid make that much of a difference? Well, probably not. But the more you substitute, the more the proportions will be thrown off – and the greater chance of a recipe disaster.

For those times when you don’t have large eggs or aren’t sure of the size of your eggs (we’re looking at you, farm-fresh eggs!) you’ll want to measure the volume of your eggs (you’ll need to beat them first), and use the amount equivalent to what the large eggs would have yielded:

  • 1 large egg, beaten = 3¼ Tbsp.
  • 2 large eggs, beaten = 6½ Tbsp. (¼ cup plus 2½ Tbsp.)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten = 9⅔ Tbsp. (½ cup plus 1½ Tbsp.)
  • 4 large eggs, beaten = 12¾ Tbsp. (¾ cup plus 1 tsp.)
  • 5 large eggs, beaten = 1 cup


Ready To Bake?

Now that you have a better understanding of eggs, are you ready to head to the kitchen? For cake ideas, how about the Tropical Hummingbird Cake or Blackberry Lemon Cake?

Here are two egg-cellent recipes that rely on the magic of eggs: Angel Food Cake with whipped cream and strawberries and Vanilla Bean Souffles.

And don’t forget cookies and quick breads where eggs are also a key ingredient. You can’t go wrong with Chocolate Chip Banana Bread or Brookies – a cross between a cookie and a brownie!