The Ultimate Guide to Baking Alternatives Print Free!
A list of all the most common baking substitutes to help you find yourself without key ingredients when baking.
Don’t have what you need? do not worry!
Many common baking ingredients have substitutes that work well.
Note that even though these common substitutions are used with great success, they don’t always match what was originally called for in the recipe. Unlike cooking, where you can easily adjust the ingredients, baking is more of a science.
When any ingredient in a baking recipe is replaced, it changes how the dish is baked. Sometimes I like the result better than the one called for in the recipe. And other times I can’t tell the difference. I was disappointed in some rare cases when it didn’t work as I hoped.
Substitutes are great because they often use ingredients that I usually have on hand. For example, I don’t always have buttermilk on hand, but I always have milk and vinegar.
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Alternatives to the Most Common Baking Ingredients
If we’ve missed one you’d like us to add to this list, be sure to let us know by leaving a comment below. 😉
baking soda: Use 2 teaspoons baking powder
baking powder: 1 tsp baking powder can be made with ¼ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp cream of tartar and ¼ tsp cornstarch. This is the most common substitute, but check out our blog post on baking powder substitutes for more ideas.
- ¼ cup applesauce
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons water
- commercial egg replacer
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of vinegar can replace one egg in most recipes
- ¼ cup plain yogurt or ¼ cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ½ banana, mashed with ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 cup salted butter = 1 cup margarine
- 1 cup salted butter = 1 cup vegetable shortening and ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup salted butter = ⅞ cup lard and ½ tsp salt
cheese: Here are some ideas, but we also have a blog post on making buttermilk.
- 1 cup of buttermilk can be made with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1 tablespoon vinegar and add enough milk to make a full cup (then let stand for 5 minutes).
- Or use 1 cup buttermilk instead of 1 cup plain yogurt
flour: 1 cup bread flour = 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon wheat gluten
- 1 cup brown sugar = 1 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup molasses (also reduced the liquid in the recipe by 1/4)
- 1 cup brown sugar = use 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar = 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
Cake flour: 1 cup cake flour can be substituted with ¾ cup flour and 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup corn syrup = 1 ¼ sugar and ⅓ cup water
- 1 cup corn syrup = 1 cup honey
- 1 cup corn syrup = 1 cup light syrup
Cream Cheese: 1 cup cream cheese = 1 cup puree cheese
Cream of tartar: ½ teaspoon tartar = 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar.
Half and half: 1 half cup = ½ cup whole milk and ½ cup heavy cream
Heavy Cream: 1 cup heavy cream = ¾ cup milk and ⅓ cup butter
Heavy Cream: 1 cup heavy cream = ⅔ cup whole milk and ⅓ cup melted butter
- 1 cup honey = 1 ¼ cup sugar and ⅓ cup water
- 1 cup honey = 1 cup corn syrup
- 1 cup honey = 1 cup agave syrup
- 1 cup whole milk = ½ cup evaporated milk and ½ cup water
- 1 cup whole milk = 1 cup skim milk and 2 tablespoons melted butter
Powdered sugar: 1 cup powdered sugar = 1 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Pumpkin Pie Spice: 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice is ½ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground ginger, ⅛ tsp allspice powder, ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
Home grown flour: 1 cup self-raising flour = 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1.5 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt
sour cream: 1 cup sour cream = 1 cup plain yogurt
Sweetened condensed milk: Mix ¾ cup sugar with ½ cup water and 1 ⅛ cup milk powder. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened, about 20 minutes.
- 1 cup vegetable shortening = 1 cup butter
- 1 cup vegetable shortening = 1 cup margarine
- 1 cup vegetable oil = 1 cup grapeseed, canola, or sunflower oil
- (for baking) 1 cup vegetable oil = 1 cup applesauce, melted coconut oil or butter
- 1 cup sugar = ¾ cup honey
- 1 cup sugar = ¾ cup syrup
- 1 cup white sugar = 1 cup coconut sugar
- ¼ oz active dry yeast = 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ oz dry active yeast = 2 ¼ teaspoons rapid rise yeast
- ¼ oz dry active yeast = ⅓ 2 oz cake yeast