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Emergency Ingredient Substitutions for Baking & Cooking

No one likes to be in the middle of a recipe and run out of an ingredient but in case this happens here are some substitutions.




Allspice 1 teaspoon – 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Baking Powder 1 teaspoon – 1/3 tsp baking soda plus 1/2 tsp cream of tartar or

1/4 tsp baking soda plus 1/2 cup yogurt or buttermilk (decrease liquid in recipe by 1/2 cup)

Baking Soda 1/2 teaspoon – 2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder (must replace the acidic liquid in recipe with non-acidic liquid)

Bread Crumbs (Dry) 1 cup – 3 slices of bread, crumbled or 1 cups crushed cornflakes or 1 cup ground oats or 1 cup crushed potato chips

Butter 1 cup – 1 cup of regular margarine / vegetable shortening (baking) / 1 cup of oil (only if melted butter is called for)

Buttermilk 1 cup – 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup. Let sit for 5 minutes or 1 cup plain or low fat yogurt or 1 cup sour cream

Carob Powder 1 tablespoon – 1 tablespoon coca powder, either natural or dutch-processed

Chocolate, Bittersweet or Semi-Sweet 1 ounce – 1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate plus 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar

Chocolate, milk 1 ounce – 1 ounce bittersweet or semisweet plus 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar or 1 ounce sweet dark chocolate or 1 ounce white chocolate

Chocolate, unsweetened 1 ounce – 3 tablespoons natural cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, vegetable oil or shortening

Chocolate, white 1 ounce – 1 ounce milk chocolate or 1 ounce sweet dark chocolate

Citrus Zest 1 tablespoon – lemon, lime and orange can all be substituted for each other

Cocoa 1/4 cup – 1 ounce, square, of chocolate, decrease butter/oil in recipe by 1/2 tablespoon

Coffee, strong brewed 1 /4 cup – 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 3 tablespoons hot water

Condensed Milk 1 cup – Heat 1/3 cup of evaporated milk, 3/4 cup of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of butter until dissolved

Cornstarch (for thickening) 1 tablespoon – 2 tablespoons of flour, but you must cook for at least 3 minutes longer to thicken

Corn Syrup, Dark 1 cup – 3/4 cup light corn syrup plus 1/4 cup light molasses

Cream / Half and Half 1 cup – 7/8 cup of whole milk plus 1/2 tablespoon of butter or 3 tablespoons of oil plus enough milk for 1 cup or 1 cup evaporated milk

Cream, light whipping 1 cup – 3/4 cup whole milk plus 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter

Cream of Tarter 1/2 teaspoon – 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice

Egg 1 whole egg- 1/4 cup of egg beaters or 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise (baking only) or 2 large egg yolks plus 1 tablespoon water or 3-1/2 tablespoons egg substitute

Egg Yolks 2 large yolks – 1 large whole egg

Extract, pure vanilla 1 teaspoon – 1/2 of vanilla bean or 1/2-1 teaspoon other extract such as almond, lemon, orange etc.

Flour, all purpose 1 cup – 1/2 cup whole wheat flour plus 1/2 cup of all purpose flour (don’t substitute more than 1/2 the flour) or 1 cup self-rising flour (omit baking powder and salt from recipe)
The following substitutions require more leavening, so add 2-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder per cup of flour. Also recommended, use buttermilk and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda instead of milk to decrease heaviness.
3/4 cup rice flour or 1-1/2 cups of oat flour or 1-1/4 rye flour or 5/8 cup potato starch flour or 1 cup rolled oats or 1 cup fine cornmeal

Flour, Bread 1 cup – 1 cup all purpose flour

Flour, Cake 1 cup – 3/4 cup all purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Flour, Pastry 2 cups – 1-1/3 cup all purpose flour plus 2/3 cup cake flour

Flour, Rice 1 cup – Equal amounts of cake and pastry flour

Flour, Self-Rising 1 cup – 1 cup similar grade (all purpose) flour plus 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder plus 1/4 teaspoon salt

Flour, Whole Wheat 1 cup – 7/8 cup all purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons wheat germ or 1 cup graham flour

Honey 1 cup – 3/4 cup maple syrup plus 1/2 cup granulated white sugar

Marshmallows 8 regular – 1 cup mini or 2.5 ounces marshmallow cream

Marzipan 2-1/2 cups – 2 cups almond paste plus 1 cup powdered sugar plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Mascarpone Cheese 1 cup – 3/4 cup cream cheese beaten with 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Ricotta Cheese 1 cup – 1 cup cottage cheese

Sugar, powdered 1 cup – 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Sugar, white 1 cup – 1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar or 1-3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar (not for baking) or 3/4 cup maple syrup (reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons)

Sugar, brown 1 cup – 1 cup raw sugar or for light brown sugar sub 1/2 cup dark brown sugar plus 1/2 cup white granulated sugar

Sugar, Raw 1 cup – 1 cup light or dark brown sugar

Vinegar 1/4 cup – apple cider vinegar and white vinegar can be substituted for each other

Yeast, active dry 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) – 1 tablespoon active dry yeast or 1 tablespoon fast-rising active yeast

Yogurt, plain 1 cup – 1 cup sour cream or 1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup heavy whipping cream plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


If anyone knows of any that I have forgotten, please let me know and I will add them. Thanks Everyone.

Information from multiple sources: Joy of Baking information & photos from yummy nibbles & bits



Don’t know how I’ve survived in the kitchen without this info


Great tips and great information.


Necessary cooking tips, page bookmarked.


Great tips, must have in the kitchen.


Printed a cipy of this and hung it on the inside of my kitchen cupboard for quick reference.


Great tips, bookmarked!


I’m printing this out for my wife to keep handy in the kitchen, thanks for putting this together.
Best Regards,

Chris H

Great information, this page is bookmarked!


This information is a must in my kitchen, I always realize I’m missing one ingredient so thanks for your help.


Must for all cooks, thanks for putting it all in one place for me.

Mike S

Lots of good tips.


Great tips, Thanks.


This information is great, Thanks.


This information is great! Thanks for all the tips for emergency.

Chris M

I love these tips, thanks I will keep handy.

Chris Smith

This information is great, thanks for it all in one place.


Many thanks for posting this information. Your blog is great, can’t wait for more!


Great information, thanks


Just bookmarked. This info is great.

Kevin Decker

This information is great. This page is bookmarked for quick reference.
Thanks, Kevin


Great information, I bookmarked for quick reference.


Great info. Bookmarking this page for when I need it quick!

Alex B.

Perfect when your cooking and realize your missing something.


Great information. Thanks!

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