No matter how well you stock your pantry there will always be this question of ingredient substitutions and ingredient swaps. Here's a handy baking substitution guide to keep on hand.
One of the most common questions I get asked on my blog is can I substitute this ingredient or can I swap this ingredient with another ingredient? Not only because people don't have a particular ingredient but sometimes because they can't use the given ingredients in the recipe.
Learning how to substitute or swap your ingredients can be very useful if you have allergies or dietary restrictions too. Of course, you must remember that every time you change an ingredient the outcome of the final recipe will be different. Even when successful the recipe has now changed because the ingredients have changed.
Let's start with the most common substitutions
These are often the result of our leavening agents becoming too old. It is also important to know how to use your substitutes for example. Unlike baking powder, baking soda needs to be activated by the presence of another active acid ingredient. So there must be lemon or citrus ingredients in your recipe for baking soda to work. Read the difference between baking soda vs baking powder
Baking powder & Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder = ¼ teaspoon baking soda + ½ teaspoon cream of tartar.
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda = 2 teaspoon baking powder and omit salt in the recipe.
- 1 cup white sugar = 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar = 1 cup white sugar + 2 teaspoon molasses
- and 1 cup sugar = 1 cup coconut, maple, or date sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar = 1 cup granulated sugar blended with 1 teaspoon cornstarch (cornstarch works as an anti-caking agent)
- 1 cup molasses = ¾ cup dark corn syrup, maple syrup, or honey. (note - molasses has a distinct flavor that you can't get from substitutes)
- 1 cup molasses = ¾ cup Brown sugar
- 1 cup maple syrup = 1 cup honey or agave syrup with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- 1 cup light corn syrup = 1 ¼ cup white sugar + ⅓ cup water.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour = 1 cup bread flour or 1 ⅓ cup cake flour
- 1 cup cake flour = take 1 cup all-purpose flour and replace 2 tablespoon of the flour with 2 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1 cup unsalted butter is the same as 1 cup salted butter
- 1 cup salted butter = 1 cup vegetable shortening or ⅞ cup lard + ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter = 1 cup vegetable shortening or ⅞ cup lard.
- and 1 cup butter = 1 cup vegan butter with ½ teaspoon less salt in the recipe
- 1 cup butter = 1 cup margarine (margarine has more water content than butter so it is not recommended for frosting
- 1 cup vegetable oil = 1 cup canola, avocado, or coconut oil.
- 1 cup oil = 1 cup of applesauce, mashed bananas, and pumpkin puree.
- 1 cup buttermilk = ¾ cup yogurt with ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 cup plain yogurt = ¾ cup Greek yogurt with 1//4 cup whole milk
- and 1 cup sour cream = 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup whole cream = 1 cup skimmed milk + 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup cream = 1 cup milk + 2 tablespoon butter
- For non-dairy substitute - 1 cup milk = 1 cup almond milk or 1 cup cashew milk or 1 cup oat milk
for one large egg
- ¼ cup mashed banana + ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds + 3 tablespoon water (soak for 5 minutes then blend before using)
- ¼ cup applesauce + ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds + ⅓ cup water (soak for 5 minutes to thicken before using)
- ⅓ cup dairy-free yogurt such as soy, oat, almond, cashew, etc
- combine 1 ½ tablespoon vegetable oil +1 tablespoon baking powder + 1 ½ tablespoon of water
- ¼ cup pureed silken tofu
- 3 tablespoon mayonnaise
for one egg whites
- Use 3 tablespoon chickpea liquid (aquafaba)
for one egg yolk
- Use 1 tablespoon soybean oil (lecithin)
- ¼ oz (1 packet) active dry yeast = 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry, rapid-rise or instant yeast. For better rise, active dry yeast needs to be added to the liquid to activate before adding to the flour
- ¼ oz (1 packet) instant yeast = 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry, rapid-rise or instant rise. Instant yeast can be added directly to the dry flour.
- ¼ oz (1 packet) active or instant yeast can be replaced with 1 cup sourdough starter or levain. Reduce ½ cup liquid and ½ cup flour in the dough to compensate for the ingredients in the starter) The dough rise time and proof time will increase as per sourdough baking.
Well, these are some of the baking substitutes that are often used successfully. Remember that baking is a science so anytime you substitute one ingredient with another the outcome will be different. Sometimes, these outcomes are desirable, while sometimes they may need further testing.