10 Cooking and Baking Substitutions I Use Most

Did you love those school days when you walked in to find a substitute teacher? I always thought it was a little thrilling—a new face and the possibility of some harmless mischief. Substitutions in cooking and baking can be just as thrilling for me. I actually get a little excited when I’m out of a certain ingredient and pull together a last-minute substitution. It amazes me when you can create the same results with a different compound. Today I’m sharing my 10 most-used substitutions with you. Try them out for a little harmless mischief in your kitchen!

1. Substitution for Buttermilk: Pour 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in a liquid cup measurer. Add milk to equal one cup. Allow to sit for at least five minutes before incorporating into your recipe. Equals 1 cup of buttermilk.

2. Substitution for Cake Flour: Sift 1/4 cup cornstarch with 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour to equal 2 cups of cake flour. (The sifting is important. It adds a silkiness to the texture.)

3. Substitution for Self-Rising Flour: Stir 1 cup all-purpose flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder to equal 1 cup of self-rising flour.

4. Substitution for Sour Cream: Cup for cup, I use plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. (Confession: I never buy sour cream anymore. It’s yogurt all the way.)

5. Substitution for Brown Sugar: 1 cup of white sugar and 2 tablespoons of molasses equals 1 cup of packed brown sugar.

6. Substitution for Eggs (In Baking): 2-3 tablespoons of mayonaise equals 1 large egg. (After all, mayonaise is made from eggs.) Or try 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil plus 1 tablespoon of water to equal 1 large egg.

7. Substitution for Light Cream: 7/8 cup of milk plus three tablespoons of butter equals one cup of light cream.

8. Substitution for White Sugar: Let’s be honest, I always have sugar on hand, but sometimes I like to play around with honey to change the subtle flavors of a recipe. 3/4 cup of honey equals 1 cup of sugar, but reduce any liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup. (If there’s no liquid in the recipe, add 1/4 of flour to even out the moisture.)

9. Substitution for Unsweetened Chocolate: Use a scant 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon of butter to equal 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate.

10. Substitution for Baking Powder: Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda plus one teaspoon cream of tartar, then measure out 1 teaspoon to equal 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

Those are the top substitutions in my rotation, but I’d love to know about yours. Share your ideas in the comments section!

{Image by Allison Ruth.}

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2 responses to “10 Cooking and Baking Substitutions I Use Most

  1. Lynn

    Thanks! that was really helpful, esp since i never have what i need on hand

  2. Jeanette

    I love to bake and I do it quite often, so these tips really helped me! Thanks!;)