Have you ever been in the middle of baking or cooking, then realized you didn’t have enough of an ingredient you needed? It’s happened to me a couple times, and it always leads to this terrible little moment of panic. Luckily, the moment is quickly over because I know I can use substitutions for most ingredients! So the next time you run out of something that you need for your recipe, don’t panic, and check out my Handy Ingredient Substitutions Chart Free Printable!
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To reduce the chance that you’ll need my ingredient substitutions chart, always pull out all of your ingredients before you start putting together a recipe. That way you can discover right from the start if you don’t have something, and can possibly find a different recipe that doesn’t use your missing ingredient.
Of course, if you had time, you could always run to the grocery store really quick to get the ingredient that you were missing. But we all know it’s hard to go in the store and only get exactly what you went there for. Those little extra purchases can quickly add up and ruin your budget. That’s why the general frugal rule is that the less you go the grocery store, the more money you save!
Handy Ingredient Substitutions Chart
Rather than make my ingredient substitutions chart over-full with substitutions for things like herrings (they’re 1:1 with sardines, by the way), I’ve instead included what I consider to be the most common ingredient substitutions, and the ones that I know I look up the most frequently.
Remember, these are substitutions for emergency baking/cooking situations. In most cases, it’s best to have exactly what the recipe called for. Some substitutions may not combine perfectly with the other ingredients in the recipe, so the final result may not have the same taste, texture, or color as it would if you had the original required ingredient. And others will be so perfect, no one will ever know you changed out an ingredient! The only way to know how well a substitution will work is to try it out for yourself.
|Active dry yeast||.25 ounces||2 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast|
|Baking powder||1 teaspoon||1/4 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar; or 1/4 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 cup buttermilk + reduce recipe’s liquid by 1/2 cup|
|Baking soda||1 teaspoon||Not recommended, but you can try 4 teaspoons baking powder if it’s a baking emergency. Also substitute the recipe’s acidic liquids (like vinegar or sour cream) with equal amounts of whole milk.|
|Brown sugar||1 cup (packed)||1 cup white sugar (your recipe’s final flavor and color will be a bit different, but the sweetness should be equal); or 1 1/4 confectioners’ sugar; or 1 cup white sugar + 1/4 cup molasses + reduce recipe’s liquid by 1/4 cup|
|Broth (beef/chicken)||1 cup||1 cup vegetable broth; or 1 Tablespoon soy sauce + 3/4 cup water + 3 Tablespoons water; or 1 bouillon cube + 1 cup boiling water|
|Butter (salted)||1 cup||1 cup margarine; or 7/8 cup vegetable oil + 1/2 teaspoon salt; or 1 cup shortening + 1/2 teaspoon salt|
|Butter (unsalted)||1 cup||7/8 cup vegetable oil; or 1 cup shortening|
|Buttermilk||1 cup||1 cup yogurt; or 1 Tablespoon vinegar/lemon juice + 3/4 cup milk + 3 Tablespoons milk|
|Bread flour||1 cup||1 cup all-purpose flour + 1 teaspoon wheat gluten|
|Cake flour||1 cup||3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour + 2 Tablespoons cornstarch|
|Cream of tartar||1 teaspoon||2 teaspoons lemon juice/vinegar|
|Egg||1 egg||3 Tablespoons mayonnaise; or 1/2 mashed banana + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder; or 1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal + 2.5 Tablespoons water (stir, then let set for 5 minutes. This is called a flax egg. It does not work perfectly in every recipe.); or 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute; or 2/12 Tablespoons powdered egg substitute + 2.5 Tablespoons water|
|Half and half||1 cup||7/8 cup milk + 1 Tablespoon butter|
|Heavy Cream||1 cup||3/4 cup milk + 1/3 cup butter; or 1 cup evaporated milk|
|Honey||1 cup||1 1/4 cup white sugar + 1/3 cup water|
|Ketchup||1 cup||1 cup tomato sauce + 1 Tablespoon sugar + 1 teaspoon vinegar|
|Lemon juice||1 teaspoon||1 teaspoon lime juice; or 1/2 teaspoon vinegar; or 1 teaspoon white wine|
|Lemon zest||1 teaspoon||2 Tablespoons lemon juice; or 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract|
|Lime juice||1 teaspoon||1 teaspoon lemon juice; or 1 teaspoon vinegar; or 1 teaspoon white wine|
|Lime zest||1 teaspoon||1 teaspoon lemon zest|
|Mayonnaise||1 cup||1 cup plain yogurt; or 1 cup sour cream|
|Ricotta||1 cup||1 cup dry cottage cheese (strain through a sieve to drain the excess liquid)|
|Self-rising flour||1 cup||7/8 cup all-purpose flour + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder|
|Shortening||1 cup||1 cup butter; or 1 cup margarine + reduce recipe’s salt by 1/2 teaspoon|
|Sour cream||1 cup||1 cup plain yogurt; or 3/4 cup buttermilk + 1/3 cup butter; or 1 Tablespoon lemon juice/vinegar + 3/4 cup cream + 3 Tablespoons cream|
|Sour milk||1 cup||1 Tablespoon vinegar/lemon juice + 3/4 cup milk + 3 Tablespoons milk- let mixture sit for 5 minutes to thicken|
|Soy sauce||1/2 cup||1/2 cup coco aminos/liquid aminos + salt to taste; or 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce + 1 Tablespoon water|
|Sweetened condensed milk||14 ounces||3/4 cup white sugar + 1/2 cup water + 1 1/8 cups dry powered milk- boil and stir frequently until thick (approx. 20 minutes)|
|Vegetable oil (baking)||1 cup||1 cup fruit puree (such as applesauce)|
|Vinegar||1 teaspoon||t teaspoon lemon/lime juice; or 2 teaspoons white wine|
|White sugar||1 cup||1 cup brown sugar (your recipe’s final flavor and color will be a bit different, but the sweetness should be equal); or 1 1/4 confectioners’ sugar; or 3/4 cup honey|
|Wine||1 cup||1 cup broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable); or 1 cup water|
|Whole Milk||1 cup||1 cup almond/soy/rice milk; or 1 cup water/juice; or 1/4 cup dry powdered milk + 1 cup water; or 2/3 cup evaporated milk + 1/3 cup water|
It’ll be easier to reference this chart in the middle of cooking if you have my free printable! I suggest tacking it to the fridge or putting it in your recipe binder.
I hope you find this ingredient substitutions chart helpful next time you find yourself in a baking/cooking bind!
Do you know a handy substitution that’s not on my ingredient substitutions chart? Share it with everyone in the comments below!
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