10 Baking Ingredient Substitutions to Remember

10 Baking Ingredient Substitutions
Sometimes, you run out of ingredients and have to substitute.


Depending on how well organized you may be, there are times when you might run out of a certain ingredient in the middle of your plans to make a recipe. If this ever happened to you, then you know how frustrating this recipe spoiler can be. Therefore, I wanted to share some wonderful baking ingredient substitutions that can help get you out of this fix.

Baking Ingredient Substitutions That Work

I usually buy Rumford baking powder because it is aluminum free unlike some other brands. Even though I tend to buy a few cans at a time, I have run out occasionally when I had my heart set on baking. Out of necessity, I found that substituting 1/3 teaspoon of baking soda and ½ teaspoons of cream of tartar can help get you out of a pinch. Make sure you always level them.

Most of the time, I use just all-purpose flour for my cakes. Birthdays and special occasions are exceptions and when I tend to use cake flour. When I am short of what cake flour that I still had stored in my canister, I have been known to substitute without hurting the lightness or beauty of my cake.

To make your own cake flour, you sift one cup of all-purpose flour and take out two tablespoons for every cup in your recipe. I adjust this accordingly to how much cake flour that I have on hand.

Perhaps, you use self-rising flour in your recipes. What works is one cup of sifted flour with 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder (leveled) and ½ teaspoons of salt for each cup that you need.

Chocolate cakes, cookies and puddings are something that I am never without for very long. Being a chocoholic, I have my share of unsweetened cocoa, semisweet chips and chocolate squares in a place of honor in my pantry. Yet, memory doesn’t always match up to what you find when you are ready to get started. Being the case, I found that three tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder along with one tablespoon of canola oil is the equivalent of one square of baking chocolate.

On the other hand, 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa and reducing ½ tablespoons of the fat in your recipe can replace one square of baking chocolate that you may not have remembered to restock with.

You also can melt semisweet chocolate chips for a recipe that calls for sweetened chocolate. A six-ounce package is the same as two squares of unsweetened baking chocolate, two tablespoons of shortening and ½ cups of sugar in your recipe.

Baking Ingedient Substitutions
You may not always have the baking ingredients you need to finish your recipe. 


Eggs are also easy to successfully substitute in your recipes. You can use 1/4 of an egg substitute just fine. I have also used flax seeds with some water to reproduce egg value. For each egg, you need one tablespoon of flax seeds that you first grind and three tablespoons of water. This mix thickens after a while into a loose gelatin state. You can also buy an egg powder and use 2-1/2 tablespoons to 2-1/2 tablespoons of lukewarm water for each egg.

Cornstarch for pie fillings, scones, to gravies can be replaced without harming the results by using two tablespoons of flour instead.

If your recipe calls for honey and you don’t have as much as you thought, then 1-1/4 cups of sugar and 1/4 cup taken from your recipe’s liquid can substitute.

Brown sugar is another that you possibly could run short of. For every cup of white sugar, I just add two tablespoons of molasses to make a cup of brown sugar. If you want dark brown sugar, I boost that molasses and add an extra tablespoon.

Margarines can be tricky for substituting. The reason is because many of the margarines now have spreads on their labels. Do not attempt baking with spreads because they have too much water for any luck in your attempts to work. I learned this by calling Fleischmann’s customer line to find out what was going on when my usual recipes were failing.

One cup of solid shortening is the same as using 1-1/8 cups of butter or margarine (not spread) and reducing the salt in your recipe by ½ teaspoon.

An applesauce can also be great for many recipes that you normally use with oil when baking. Basically, it is 1/4 cup of the applesauce to 1/4 of oil in the recipe for a proper replacement. Musselman’s has a chart of applesauce substitutes that you may want to check out for handy reference.

Lemon, lime and orange extracts can also be handled with ease provided you have the fruits at home. If so, I take out my lemon zester and use one to two teaspoons per normal teaspoon of the extract. When the recipe insists on orange extract, I always grate more, usually about two or even three teaspoons.

Sweetened condensed milk can be more expensive when it is quite easy to whip up. Check out my Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe.

These are just a few baking ingredient substitutions that you can make. I hope that you try them sometime because they come in handy when it always not convenient to run to the grocery store for new supplies.



  1. tat2gurlzrock
    July 11, 2018 / 9:35 am

    These are great tips! I pinned this so I can use it as a reference in the future!

    • nuts4stuff
      July 11, 2018 / 2:47 pm

      Wonderful to hear. They do come in handy.

  2. Maryann D.
    July 22, 2018 / 3:18 am

    10 Baking Ingredient Substitutions to Remember is a useful article for my daughter and I. We do often substitute ingredients and try different things when baking and cooking. My daughter is vegan and she is always looking for substitute products too.

  3. Lynne B
    December 14, 2018 / 10:26 am

    Thanks so much for this. This will come very handy during Christmas cookie baking.

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