Alternatives to Common Baking Ingredients

by Stefani Anderson
(last updated April 20, 2015)

Have you run out of a key ingredient for your favorite recipe? Don't stress—you might have something comparable on hand already.

  • Butter. Margarine or shortening work as well as butter in most cakes and quick breads, although the finished product may look and taste a little different from one made with real butter. You can also add artificial butter flavor improve the taste if you're using unflavored shortening.
  • Self-rising flour. If you're out of self-rising flour (or if you just don't keep it on hand), replace it with plain flour sifted with baking powder. For 1/2 cup of self-rising flour, substitute 1/2 cup of plain flour plus 1 level teaspoon of baking powder.
  • Chocolate. For 1 ounce of baking chocolate, mix 3 level tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder with 1 tablespoon softened butter, margarine, or vegetable oil.
  • Milk. For 1 cup whole milk, use 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water. You can also rehydrate dry powdered milk as directed on your package of powdered milk and use that in place of regular milk.
  • Baking powder. To make up 1 teaspoon of baking powder, use 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 1/2 teaspoon ground rice. Or use 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda plus 1/2 cup yogurt or sour cream (omit 1/2 cup of some liquid from the recipe).
  • Sugar. For 1/2 cup of granulated sugar use 1 cup honey, golden syrup, or corn syrup and reduce the liquid in your recipe by 1/2 cup.
  • Dark brown sugar. For 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar combine 3/8 cup white sugar and 2 tablespoons molasses or black treacle. Keep in mind, however, that syrup, honey, and treacle will make your baking heavier than regular brown sugar.
  • Eggs. If you have spare yolks in the refrigerator (after having used the whites for a sorbet or meringue, for example), use 2 yolks mixed with 1 tablespoon water to substitute for a whole egg. If you have egg whites in the fridge left over, you can mix 2 whites with 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil.

Author Bio

Stefani Anderson

Stefani is an assessment developer for an online university. She earned a degree in language, editing, and anthropology from Brigham Young University. Her favorite thing is to travel the world, chronicle her adventures, and help others celebrate memories. ...

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