Find yourself baking and run out of a key ingredient? Need a baking powder substitute or something to replace eggs? No problem. There are a number of baking substitutions that you can choose from and avoid an extra trip to the store.
You run to the store with your carefully crafted grocery list. But, distractions draw you away from checking to see that you have all that you need. A day or two later, when you set out to prepare a certain recipe, you find that you are missing an important element.
What do you do? Go back to the store? Meh. It’s busy and you risk buying more than you need and spending more than you should.
Go without? Yeah, that works. But, what if you were really counting on that dish?
Find a substitution? Ding.ding.ding. We have a winner, folks!
Sometimes you just can’t think of everything. Thankfully, there are a number of baking substitutions that you can use if you’re missing something.
Why Do This
Whether you’re doing a Pantry Challenge or just can’t or won’t make another trip out, use these baking substitutions for those times you run out of something so that you can shop your kitchen and save money.
Here’s a list of common baking ingredient substitutions. Be sure to sign up to get your free printable.
If your recipe calls for…
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder, use ¾ teaspoon baking soda plus 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 cup buttermilk, use ½ cup plain yogurt mixed with ½ cup milk. Alternatively, you can mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice with enough milk to equal 1 cup, allow to set for 5 minutes before using. If you have time, learn to culture your own buttermilk.
- half and half, mix together equal parts of cream and milk. Alternatively, you can use canned evaporated milk.
- 1 cup corn syrup or honey, use 1 ¼ cup granulated or packed brown sugar plus ¼ cup liquid
- 1 cup powdered sugar, if in a baked good, use ½ cup plus 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar. If for frosting, blend 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a high power blender until powdery.
- 1 cup brown sugar, work 1 tablespoon molasses into 1 cup of granulated sugar with a fork until well blended
- 1 cup sifted cake flour, sift together 2 tablespoons cornstarch and enough all-purpose flour to make 1 cup.
- 1 cup self-rising flour, sift together 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder + ½ teaspoon salt + enough all-purpose flour to make 1 cup.
- 1 egg, for baking, mix together 1 tablespoon flax seed meal with 3 tablespoons water. Allow to set for 2 minutes before adding to your recipe. This is a great way to bake without eggs. Alternatively you can use ¼ cup applesauce, though results may vary.
- oil, use an equal part melted butter or applesauce
- vinegar, use an equal part lemon juice
- sour cream, use an equal part plain yogurt. If you have time, you can even culture yogurt at home.
- bread crumbs, use crackers, oats, or dry toast run through the blender. See the breadcrumb tutorial here.
Baking powder is a mixture of two different ingredients: baking soda and cream of tartar. If you have these on hand, you can make your own baking powder.
There are many sweeteners you can use instead of baking, including honey, maple syrup, and corn syrup. If you use a liquid sweetener in place of sugar, be sure to reduce the liquid in the overall recipe.
If you have a plant-based milk, such as oat, soy, coconut, or almond milk, you can use that in place of milk in baking. You can also dilute cream, half and half, buttermilk, yogurt, or canned evaporated milk to a milk consistency and use that as a replacement. Depending on the recipe, you can also substitute juice, tea, or water for the milk in a baked good.
Ways to Save
When you use a baking substitute you are saving money in several ways:
- You’re using what you have which reduces food waste and saves money.
- You are avoiding going to the store where you might buy other things that you may or may not need right now.
- You’re developing your kitchen skills. As you become more versatile in the kitchen, cooking at home will become easier and increase your money savings.
More Kitchen Tips
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This post was originally published on April 14, 2009. It has been updated for content and clarity.