Short on eggs or butter? No need to run out to the store – use one of these handy baking or food substitutions to replace missing items in your recipes! In fact, you might want to print out these ingredient substitutions and keep them handy in your kitchen.

Short on eggs or butter? No need to run out to the store - use one of these handy baking or food substitutions to replace missing items in your recipes!

Common Baking Substitutions

How many times has this happened to you? You’re in the middle of making a recipe, you rifle through the pantry to find a bag of brown sugar, only to realize that you must have used it all up the last time you made chocolate chip cookies. Oops! That’s when you need a list of common baking substitutions. We’ve got ingredient substitutions for eggs, butter, flour, and more.

Substitutes for Butter
For baking, use an equivalent amount of:

  • Regular (not light) margarine
  • Lard
  • Coconut oil (solid)
  • Applesauce

Substitutes for Eggs
For each egg in a baking recipe, replace with:

  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 pureed banana (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds or chia seeds + 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup blended silken tofu
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil + 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise – baked goods

Substitutes for Flour

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour = 1 cup + 3 tablespoons cake flour OR 1 cup self-rising flour (omit baking powder + salt from the recipe)
  • 1 cup of cake flour = 1 cup pastry flour OR 1 cup minus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour + 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup pastry flour = 2/3 cup all-purpose flour + 1/3 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup self-rising flour = 1 cup all-purpose flour + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt

Substitutes for Sugar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar = 1 3/4 cup unsifted confectioners’ sugar OR 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar OR 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons honey, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup + 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons and lower oven temperature by 25°F)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar = 1 packed cup light brown sugar + 1 tablespoon molasses OR 1 cup granulated sugar + 2 to 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 cup light brown sugar = 1 cup granulated sugar + 1 to 2 tablespoons molasses OR 1/2 cup dark brown sugar + 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar = 1 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon cornstarch, processed in a food processor

Substitutes for Table Salt
For each teaspoon, use:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Morton kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

Substitutes for Cocoa Powder
For every 3 tablespoons, use:

  • 1-ounce unsweetened chocolate (decrease fat in recipe by 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate (decrease fat in recipe by 1 tablespoon and sugar in the recipe by 3 tablespoons)

Substitutes for Cornstarch (for thickening)

For 1 tablespoon, use:

  • 2 tablespoons flour

Substitutes for Cream of Tartar
For 1 teaspoon, use:

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar

Substitutes for Yeast-Active Dry
For 1 (.25-ounce) package, use:

  • 1 cake compressed yeast OR 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast OR 2 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast

Substitutes for Corn Syrup
For 1 cup, use:

  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup water OR 1 cup honey OR 1 cup light treacle syrup

Substitutes for Honey
For 1 cup, use:

  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup water OR 1 cup corn syrup OR 1 cup light treacle syrup

Substitutes for Vegetable Oil–For Baking
For 1 cup, use:

  • 1 cup applesauce OR 1 cup fruit puree

Substitutes for Sweetened Condensed Milk
For 1 (14-ounce) can, use:

  • 3/4 cup white sugar mixed with 1/2 cup water and 1 1/8 cups dry powdered milk: Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 20 minutes

Substitutes for Evaporated Milk
For 1 cup, use:

  • 1 cup light cream

Ingredient Substitutions for Cooking

When it comes to food substitutions, cooking is a little bit easier than baking. Baking is a science, but with cooking, you have a little more leeway to wing it. Here are some common ingredient substitutions to keep in mind next time you realize you’ve run out of something you need for a recipe. (Some of these double as baking substitutions too.)

Substitutes for Vegetable Oil–For Frying
For 1 cup, use:

  • 1 cup lard OR 1 cup vegetable shortening

Substitutes for Vinegar
For 1 teaspoon, use:

  • 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice OR 2 teaspoons white wine

Substitutes for Dairy (These food substitutions work for baking.)

  • 1 cup milk = 1/2 cup evaporated milk + 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup half & half = 1 cup whole milk + 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter OR 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream = 2/3 cup whole milk + 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup milk + 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar

Substitutes for Sour Cream

  • 3/4 cup cream cheese + 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter + 3/4 cup milk + 1 teaspoon lemon juice (for baking)
  • Plain Greek yogurt, an equivalent amount

Substitutes for Lemon

  • For each tablespoon of juice, use 1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar
  • For each teaspoon of zest, use 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Substitutes for Orange Zest
For 1 tablespoon, use:

  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract OR 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Substitutes for Breadcrumbs
For each cup, use:

  • 3 to 4 slices oven-dried bread, crushed in a food processor
  • 1 1/4 cups croutons or stuffing cubes, crushed
  • 3/4 cup cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla or potato chips
  • 1 cup crushed pretzels
  • 1 cup crushed cornflakes

Substitutes for Rice
For each 1 cup of uncooked white or brown rice, use the following amount of the uncooked substitute:

  • 2 cups orzo pasta
  • 1 1/4 cups couscous
  • 3/4 cup barley
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1 1/3 cups wheatberries
  • 1 1/2 cups kasha

Substitutes for Broth

  • 1 cup of broth = 1 bouillon cube + 1 cup boiling water OR 1 teaspoon bouillon granules + 1 cup boiling water
  • To replace chicken or vegetable broth, use an equivalent amount of dry white wine, vermouth or water (in small amounts).
  • To replace beef broth, use an equivalent amount of vegetable broth, red wine or beer.

Substitutes for Wine
For 1 cup, use:

  • 1 cup chicken or beef broth OR 1 cup fruit juice mixed with 2 teaspoons vinegar OR 1 cup water

Food Substitutions for Sauces

Food substitutions come in handy for sauces. If your family isn’t fond of ketchup, why buy a whole bottle for a recipe when you can use ingredient substitutions instead?

Substitutes for Soy Sauce
For 1/2 cup, use:

  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Substitutes for Molasses
For 1 cup, use:

  • Mix 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Substitutes for Mayonnaise
For 1 cup, use:

  • 1 cup sour cream OR 1 cup plain yogurt

Substitutes for Ketchup
For 1 cup, use:

  • 1 cup tomato sauce plus 1 teaspoon vinegar plus 1 tablespoon sugar

Cooking Substitutions for Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are expensive, so ingredient substitutions can save you a little money! Use these substitutes for cooking and baking.

Substitutes for Fresh Herbs
For each tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs, use:

  • 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground or powdered

Substitutes for Allspice
For each teaspoon of allspice, substitute:

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon cloves

Substitutes for Fresh Ginger
For each teaspoon minced fresh ginger, use:

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground ginger

Substitutes for Apple Pie Spice
For each teaspoon apple pie spice, use:

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon cardamom

Substitutes for Fresh Chives
For each teaspoon minced chives, use:

  • 1 teaspoon minced green onion tops

Substitutes for Pumpkin Pie Spice
For each teaspoon minced fresh ginger, use:

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Now that you know dozens of common ingredient substitutions, read these posts for more cooking tips! 

How many cups in a quart, pint, or gallon – baking conversions 

10 Tricks to Make a Box Cake Mix Taste Homemade

10 Kitchen Hacks for Baking Like A Pro 

 

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About Kasey Schwartz

Hi, I’m Kasey, Founder of All Things Mamma – where I am dishing up family favorite recipes that are easy to make with simple, everyday ingredients. Plus – tips and tricks for living your best life!

Comments

  1. Thank you for your very helpful and informative list of do-or-die, dish saving substitutions which is way more complete than any I’ve seen! This is the first time I’ve come across your site and I really am, and look forward to, enjoying it! Thank you so very much for all of your efforts!

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