During this uncertain time, a lot of people have been cooking and baking which is amazing! However, there are a lot of unexplained food shortages in the supermarket that make baking some of your favorite things hard to do. This guide is essential for those looking to cook and bake without sacrificing the recipe too much by using ingredients that are easily substituted. Keep in mind that some substitutions may change the texture or quality of the baked good in question, but usually not substantially. So let’s get baking!
Baking powder substitute:
Substitute 1/4 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter = 1 teaspoon baking powder. Use this mixture immediately.
Baking soda substitute:
Substitute 2 teaspoons baking powder = 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Because baking powder can be very bitter in large quantities, this is one substitute I would be careful using too much of in a recipe where the baking powder flavor may be too strong. Consider reducing or omitting the salt from the recipe to help counteract the bitter taste.
Note that for best results, swap out dry sugar for dry sugar, and liquid sugar for liquid sugar for optimal results. Brown sugar tends to have more moisture in it which can increase the moisture in your final product.
Brown sugar substitute:
Substitute 1 cup granulated white sugar + 1 Tablespoon molasses = 1 cup brown sugar
Granulated sugar substitute:
Substitute 1 cup brown sugar or 1 cup caster (superfine sugar) = 1 cup granulated sugar
Liquid sugar substitutes (such as molasses and honey):
Substitute 1 cup honey = 1 cup molasses OR 1 cup dark corn syrup OR 1 cup maple syrup OR 3/4 cup dark brown sugar. Note that molasses is a hard flavor to replicate as it provides a richness and spice naturally. You may want to replicate its flavor with additional spices if it is a molasses-centric dessert; if not, you’ll be fine.
Confectioners’ sugar substitute:
Substitute 1 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar = 1 cup granulated sugar + 1 teaspoon cornstarch blended into fine powder consistency. This is a harder one to replicate because confectioners’ sugar is so powdery and smooth. Definitely use a high powered blender to achieve a closer dupe with granulated sugar.
Fats (Butter, Oil, Shortening)
Generally speaking, fats can be used interchangeably with minimal differences in results. Neutral oils (such as canola or vegetable) tend to make things like cakes have a more dense crumb. If a recipe calls for oil and you only have butter for instance, melt the butter or shortening first. Note that different oils can impart flavors to your baked goods, so I always recommend using a very neutral oil like canola or vegetable.
1 cup vegetable oil = 1 cup melted butter OR 1 cup coconut oil OR 1 cup melted shortening
1 cup butter = 1 cup shortening OR 1 cup vegetable oil
Substitute 1 cup bread flour = 1 cup all-purpose flour
Substitute 1 cup cake flour = 3/4 cup all-purpose flour + 2 Tablespoons firmly packed cornstarch
Substitute 1 cup self-rising flour = 1 cup all purpose flour + 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/4 teaspoon salt
Whole wheat flour:
Substitute 1 cup whole wheat flour = 7/8ths cup all-purpose flour + 2 Tablespoons wheat germ
Substitute 1 cup all-purpose flour = 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons sifted cake flour OR 1 cup self-rising flour (omitting baking powder and salt if homemade) OR 1/2 cup cake flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour OR 1 cup bread flour OR 1 cup cup-for-cup gluten-free flour
Substitute 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup plain yogurt OR 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup (let stand 5-10 minutes) OR 1 cup sour cream OR 1 cup water + 1/4 cup buttermilk powder
Substitute 1 (14-ounce can) sweetened condensed milk = 1 cup instant non-fat dry milk powder + 2/3 cup granulated sugar + 1/2 cup boiling water + 3 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter blended in a blender until creamy and smooth
Substitute 1 cup whole milk = 1 cup cream
Substitute 1 cup heavy cream = 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter whisked slowly into 3/4 cup whole milk
Substitute 1 cup evaporated milk = 1 cup half-and-half
Substitute 1 cup sour cream = 1 cup plain yogurt OR 1 cup buttermilk
Substitute 1 large egg = 2 large egg yolks + 1 Tablespoon water (for baking) OR 2 large egg yolks (for custards/mousse/pudding) OR 3 & 1/2 Tablespoons liquid egg substitute OR 2 Tablespoons ground flax + 3 Tablespoons cold water, then let set for 10 minutes before using
Substitute 1 teaspoon lemon juice = 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Cream of tarter:
Substitute 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter = 1/2 teaspoon either lemon juice or white vinegar
Substitute 1 teaspoon kosher salt = 1/2 teaspoon table salt
Substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract = 1/2 of a vanilla bean, caviar scraped OR use another extract
Substitute 1 Tablespoon cornstarch = 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour OR 1 Tablespoon potato starch or rice flour
Cocoa powder, Dutch process:
Substitute 3 Tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder = 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Cocoa powder, unsweetened:
Substitute 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder = 3 Tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder + 1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter OR lemon juice OR vinegar
Semi-sweet chocolate chips:
Substitute 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips = 1 cup milk chocolate chips OR 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
I hope this substitution guide helps you in your baking adventures!
Have a super sweet day!