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. ...

MORE FROM STEFANI

Fresh Roasted Coffee Beans

What's the best way to store coffee beans? How should the beans be ground? Find out how to handle your fresh roasted coffee ...

Discover More

Making Cookie Dough

How can you make sure your cookies stay soft from step one? Or get perfect circles from your cookie dough every time? A few ...

Discover More

Recipes and Cookbooks

Do you have unreadable recipe cards? Or a mess of recipe clippings? Find out how to clean up all your recipe messes.

Discover More
More Cooking Tips

Active Yeast vs. Compressed Yeast

As anyone who has done even a little bit of baking can tell you, one of the most important ingredients in baking is the ...

Discover More

Baking Sets

While it is great that there are all kinds of baking sets out there to chose from, it can also be a major problem trying to ...

Discover More

Baking Pastry

People buy ready-made frozen pastry not only because it is quicker but also because it asks for specific skills. To bake a ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)