Having a hard time finding all the ingredients you need for those everyday meals or special treats? Times are tough, but thankfully, there are substitute baking ingredients you can use when you can’t find what you need! People have been using these substitutes for years, but not everyone knows about them. I had a PRINTABLE made, it’s at the bottom of the post!
Related Topic: 13 Surprising Uses for Flour
What are Substitute Baking Ingredients?
Substitute baking ingredients are ingredients that you can use if you don’t have the ingredient you need as listed in the recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for baking powder and all you have is baking soda, you can still make the recipe.
How Do Substitute Baking Ingredients Work?
Basically, substitutes work by providing your recipe with the same type of texture or flavor needed to finish the recipe.
Some substitutes are actually what makes the original ingredient anyway. For example, self-rising flour is just regular flour, baking powder, and salt.
So, these substitutes work by having you make the actual ingredient with what you have, or by substituting the same texture, flavor, or appearance to make the recipe work.
Will The Recipe Taste the Same?
Most substitutions work well when baking. The basic substituted ingredients may make the recipe differ slightly from the original. However, it will still be acceptable in flavor, texture, and appearance. Bottom line, it may be a little different, but will taste pretty close to the original recipe.
Related: How to Make a Sourdough Starter
Substitute Baking Ingredients
Not only are these substitutes great for when you can’t find what you need on the pantry shelves, but they are great for those days that you start to make a cake only to realize you only have 1 egg or you don’t have baking powder for your bread.
No matter what a recipe calls for, you can usually find a substitute of some kind. Here is our ultimate list of substitute baking ingredients for you to try:
#1 Flour Substitutes
Flour is a staple ingredient in most baked goods. Obviously, you will need to find some kind of flour for baking, but you can substitute different flour varieties. If you have all-purpose flour, you can make any other kind of specialty flour, including self-rising flour, pastry, or bread flour. Here’s how you can do it:
- Cake flour: 1 cup = remove 2 tablespoons of the all-purpose flour to make 1 cup of cake flour.
- Cake flour: (#2 option) 1 cup= for every cup of flour you need to remove 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and add 2 tablespoons cornstarch and sift 5 or 6 times.
- Pastry flour: 1 cup = 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup cake flour.
- Self-rising flour: 1 cup = 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Bread flour: You can substitute bread flour 1:1 with all-purpose flour.
- Gluten-free flour: You can use this instead of all-purpose flour in a 1:1 ratio.
- Whole wheat flour: 1 cup = 7/8 cup of all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons of wheat germ.
Like flour, recipes may require certain types of sugar. If you have regular granulated sugar, you can adjust it to make other variations. Here’s how:
- Superfine sugar: 1 cup = 1 cup and 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar ground up in a food processor.
- Powdered sugar: 1 cup = 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch ground up in a food processor.
- Powdered sugar: (#2 option) = 1 cup granulated sugar grind it up in a food processor.
- Light Brown sugar: 1 cup = 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of molasses.
- Dark brown sugar: 1 cup = 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of molasses.
- Molasses: 1 cup = 3/4 cup dark brown sugar and 1/4 cup of water.
#3 Leaveners: Baking Soda and Baking Powder
Baking powder and baking soda sound so similar that I can’t tell you how many times I have actually mixed them up and messed up my whole recipe. These two ingredients just don’t act in the same way. But there are ways to swap them in a pinch.
- Baking Powder: 1 teaspoon = 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar.
- Baking Soda: 1 tablespoon = 3 tablespoons of baking powder.
Baking soda is a tricky swap, so make sure the recipe has some kind of acidic ingredient as well, such as sour cream, buttermilk, or cocoa powder before doing the swap.
#4 Milk Substitutes
Some recipes require different kinds of milk, such as whole milk, half and half, or buttermilk. If you don’t have any, don’t fret, you can substitute. Here are some milk substitutes:
- Milk: If a recipe calls for milk and you have absolutely no milk whatsoever, you can sometimes substitute water, but it may change the flavor and texture. Adding butter could help with the missing milk fat. Here is what you can do: 1 cup = 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of butter.
- Whole milk: 1 cup = 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons of skim milk and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.
- Half and Half: 1 cup = 1/2 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream.
- Buttermilk: 1 cup = 1 cup whole milk and 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice. Combine it and let it curdle about 10-minutes.
- Buttermilk: 1 cup = 1 cup plain yogurt
Eggs are in a category by themselves because there are so many different ways you can substitute your missing eggs. We have lots of options for those who prefer not to eat or use eggs. Here is what you can do if you don’t have any eggs:
- 1 egg = 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1 egg = 1 tablespoons ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water
- 1 egg = 1/4 cup silken tofu pureed
- 1 egg = 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 egg = 1/2 banana mashed with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For more information on egg substitutes, check out my post: “What Can You Use as an Egg Substitute.”
Butter is another big one that has a variety of substitutes. Here are all the ways you can make butter when you don’t have any.
- 1 cup salted butter = 1 cup margarine
- 1 cup salted butter = 1 cup vegetable shortening + 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup salted butter = 7/8 cup lard + 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter = 1 cup salted butter = 1 cup vegetable shortening = 1 cup lard *minus* 1/2 teaspoon salt from recipe
#7 Cornstarch Substitute Baking Ingredients
Cornstarch is typically used as a thickening agent. Therefore, you can use other methods without using cornstarch. However, if you are baking it’s a little trickier. Here are some options:
- Cornstarch for baking: 1 tablespoon = 1-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour.
- Cornstarch for thickening: sour cream or greek yogurt.
I get so many asking “What can I use if I don’t have yeast?” Yeast is hard to come by right now, but we do have options. Here are just a few:
- Yeast substitute #1: 1 teaspoon = 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.
- Yeast Substitute #2: 1 teaspoon = 1 teaspoon double acting baking powder.
- Yeast substitute #3: Check out my post for Sourdough starter
#9 Other Ingredients
Some ingredients only have 1 substitute, so instead of writing a paragraph for each one, I will list them below!
- Bread crumbs: 1 cup = 1 cup of cracker crumbs, cornflake crumbs, crushed pork rinds, or rolled oats.
- Chocolate chips: 1 ounce = 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
- Cream of tartar: 1 teaspoon = 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice.
- Cream cheese: 1 cup = 1/2 cup of plain yogurt and 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese.
- Honey: 1 cup = 1 cup of corn syrup, or 1-1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water.
- Lemon juice: 1 teaspoon = 1 teaspoon of white wine or 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar.
- Mayonnaise: 1 cup = 1 cup of plain yogurt, 1 cup of sour cream, or 1 cup of pureed cottage cheese.
- Ricotta cheese: 1 cup = 1 cup of cottage cheese.
- Sour cream: 1 cup = 1 cup of plain yogurt, or 1 cup of whole milk mixed with a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.
- Tomato sauce: 1 cup = 1/2 cup of tomato paste and 1/2 cup of water.
- Vegetable oil for baking: 1 cup = 1 cup of applesauce
- Vegetable oil for frying: 1 cup = 1 cup of shortening (for frying).
- Vinegar: 1/2 cup = 1/2 cup of white wine or 2/3 cup of lemon juice.
- Plain yogurt: 1 cup = 1 cup of sour cream or buttermilk.
The great thing about struggling to find what we need is that we can experiment with substitute baking ingredients that we may just like better than the original ingredients. I hope you find these substitutes useful.
Do you know any other substitutes not on this list? Please let me know. May God bless this world, Linda
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