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33 Easy Baking Ingredient Substitutions for Beginners

Baker making dough

Sooner or later even the most experienced chef will start a recipe only to realize midway through that we don’t have a specific ingredient handy.

What do you do if you find yourself lacking a certain ingredient?

Well, you in luck! Here is a list of simple, time-tested baking ingredient substitutions using common things you may already have in your kitchen. 

Baking Powder Substitute

1 teaspoon = ½ teaspoon cream of tartar plus ¼ teaspoon baking soda.

Baking Soda Substitute

¼ teaspoon = 1 teaspoon baking powder. (Keep in mind that this will make acidic ingredients taste tangier.)

Bread Crumbs Substitute

1 cup = 1 cup of ground rolled oats or crushed cereal in the same ratio.

Bread Flour Substitute

1 cup = 1 cup of all-purpose flour.

Brown Sugar Substitute

1 cup = 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon molasses (or maple syrup).

Butter Substitute for Baking

1:1 equal replacement using coconut oil, margarine, or lard to replace butter for baked goods.

Buttermilk Substitute

1 cup = 1 cup yogurt (non-Greek) or 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice; let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes until curdled before using.

Cake Flour Substitute

1 cup = add 2 tablespoons cornstarch to a measuring cup, then fill it with all-purpose flour.

Cornstarch Substitute

1 tablespoon = 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour.

Cream of Tartar Substitute

¼ teaspoon = ½ teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar.

Dutch Process Cocoa Powder Substitute

1/2 cup = 1/2 cup natural cocoa and replace the baking powder in the recipe with half the amount of baking soda.

Cocoa Powder Substitute

Use unsweetened baking chocolate. But for every ounce of it that you add, you will need to remove ½ tablespoon of fat (butter or shortening) from the recipe.

Egg Substitute for Baking

1 egg = 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute OR 3 tablespoons mayonnaise OR half a banana mashed with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. (*Not for recipes that use whipped egg whites.)

Evaporated Milk Substitute

1 cup = simmer 2 1/4 cups of regular milk down until it becomes 1 cup.

Half-and-Half Substitute

1 cup = 1/2 cup whole milk + 1/2 cup heavy cream OR 1 cup non-dairy coffee creamer.

Heavy Cream Substitute

1 cup = ¾ cup whole milk (or half-and-half) and ¼ cup of unsalted butter melted and slowly whisked together.

Honey Substitute

1:1 replacements using corn syrup, molasses, maple syrup, or agave nectar.

Iodized Salt Substitute

1 teaspoon = 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt.

Kosher Salt Substitute

1 teaspoon = 1/2 teaspoon iodized salt.

Lemon Juice Substitute

1:1 replacement using apple cider vinegar.

Lemon Zest Substitute

1 teaspoon = 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract OR 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

Margarine Substitute

1 cup = 1 cup butter OR 1 cup shortening + 1/2 teaspoon salt OR 7/8 cup lard + 1/2 teaspoon salt OR 7/8 cup vegetable oil + 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mascarpone Cheese Substitute

1 pound = 12 ounces cream cheese + ¼ cup heavy whipping cream + ¼ cup sour cream. 

Molasses Substitute

1 cup = 3/4 cup brown sugar + 1 teaspoon cream of tartar.

Powdered Sugar Substitute

1 cup = 1 cup of granulated sugar. (Grind blender until fine.)

Pumpkin Pie Spice Substitute

1 teaspoon = 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/8 teaspoon ground clove + 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg.

Semi-Sweet Chocolate Substitute

1 ounce = 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate + ½ teaspoon granulated sugar OR 3 tablespoons cocoa powder + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon oil or melted butter

Shortening Substitute

1 cup = 1 cup butter OR 1 cup margarine minus 1/2 teaspoon salt from the recipe.

Sour Cream Substitute

1 cup = 1 cup plain yogurt OR 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough cream to make 1 cup OR 3/4 cup buttermilk mixed with 1/3 cup butter

Vanilla Extract Substitute

1:1 replacement with bourbon or rum.

White Sugar Substitute

1cup = 1 cup brown sugar OR 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar OR 3/4 cup honey OR 3/4 cup corn syrup.

Whole Milk Substitute

1 cup = 1 cup skim or low-fat milk + 2 tablespoons melted butter OR 1 cup soy milk OR 1 cup rice milk OR 1 cup water or juice OR 1/4 cup dry milk powder plus 1 cup water OR 2/3 cup evaporated milk plus 1/3 cup water

Yogurt Substitute

1:1 replacement with sour cream, buttermilk, or sour milk.

Tell Us Your Favorite!

There you go. Don’t forget to save this and keep it handy for next time! Did we miss one of your favorite baking substitution hacks? Be sure to let us know!

Chef Deno

Follow my journey as I explore food culture around the world - easily from the comfort of your own home. Proud of your food scene? I travel often and we can plan to meet up so you can share the food culture in your town.

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