Ingredient Substitution List

Tuesday March 31, 2020

There are an infinite number of reasons why we might be missing an item when cooking or baking however now those reasons have multiplied.  The world is anything but normal right now, including grocery stores.  Finding the essentials to make that favorite cake, cookie or simply making dinner can be challenging.  All great reasons to check out this list of common substitutions for you for baking or cooking.  Please keep in mind that the result will likely be slightly different but still delicious.


Baking Powder –1tsp baking powder can be replaced with 1/4tsp baking soda +1/4 tsp cornstarch +1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Brown sugar 1 cup dark brown sugar can be replaced with 1 cup regular sugar +2-3 tbsp molasses
Butter ½ cup unsalted butter can be replaced with:

  • ½ cup oil if used for sautéing and frying.
  • No stick cooking spray in pan.
  • ½ cup apple butter or apple sauce (unsweetened in lighter baked goods) prune puree in darker baked goods.
  • ½ cup marshmallow crème for fillings and frostings
  • 7 tbsp shortening or lard for pastry and baking, ½ coconut butter (not coconut oil)
Butter Milk 1 cup buttermilk can be replaced with:

  • 1 cup yogurt (not Greek)
  • 1 cup milk with 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes
chocolate 1-ounce unsweetened chocolate can be replaced with:

  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 tbsp butter, shortening or vegetable oil.
  • 3 tbsp carob powder with 3 tbsp water
cinnamon 1/2 tsp of cinnamon can be replaced with:

  • ½ tsp apple pie spice (adds nutmeg and allspice)
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (adds nutmeg and ginger)
Confectioners’ sugar 1 cup confectioners’ sugar can be replaced with ½ cup + 1 ½ tbsp granulated sugar + ¾ tsp cornstarch finely ground in a blender or food processor
Egg 1 whole egg can be replaced with:

  • ¼ cup liquid egg substitute
  • ¼ cup firm tofu crumbled and sautéed with aromatics adding turmeric for color
  • ½ ripe banana +1/4 tsp baking powder for quick breads.
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed with 3 Tbsp water; let sit for 5 minutes
garlic 1 fresh clove can be replaced with:

  • ½ tsp jarred garlic
  • 1/8th tsp garlic powder,
  • 1 tsp minced shallot
Ground beef, chicken or turkey 1 pound of ground meat can be interchangeable based on what is available.  the new meet substitutes such as impossible meat is also an option.  Canned Chicken, tuna or spam can also be used in equal weights
Honey 1 cup honey can be replaced with:

1 and 1/4 cups sugar + ¼ cup water, or ½ cup granulate sugar +3/4 cup maple syrup,  light molasses or corn syrup.

Milk 1 cup milk can be replaced with:

  • ½ cup evaporated milk and ½ cup water
  • 1 cup minus 3 tablespoons water and ¼ cup dry milk
OIl ¼ cup oil can be replaced with 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine, ¼ cup bacon drippings (high in SAT fat) ¼ cup buttermilk with ¼ cup well drained apple sauce, ½ cup fat free fruit-based butter such as apple butter
onion 1 medium onion can be replaced with:

  • sweet onion (adjust sugar content)
  • frozen chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped shallot
  • 1 ¼ cups chopped leeks
  • 1/3 cup jarred minced onion
  • 2 tbsp dried onion
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 ½ tsp liquid onion
Sour cream 1 cup sour cream can be replaced with 1 cup of greek yogurt
Vanilla Extract 1 tsp pure vanilla extract can be replaced with:

  • 3-inch piece of vanilla bean sliced in half and scraped from pod
  • vanilla liqueur
  • imitation vanilla 1 tsp (may alter quality)
  • can use alternative flavors such as ½ tsp almond, lemon or orange extract.

Joachim, D. The Food Substitutions Bible Second Edition.  Toronto, Ontario.  Robert Rose Inc 2010.