Updated date:

Amazing Emergency Baking & Cooking Substitutions

Author:

Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

emergency-baking-cooking-substitutions

What Would You Do?

Has this ever happened to you?

  • You found a cake on Pinterest that you really want to try, but it calls for cake flour. You have only all-purpose flour.
  • Grandma's recipe for gingersnaps requires molasses. You don't want to run to the grocery store for just one ingredient.
  • That salad recipe calls for blue cheese, but you can't stand the smell. Is there a substitute?
  • That chicken dish requires 1/2 cup of sherry for the sauce, but you don't drink alcohol.

I'll bet that in the past you have just given up and used another recipe. You don't have to do that anymore. If you need an emergency substitute you can find it here.

emergency-baking-cooking-substitutions

Baking Ingredients (Extracts, Flours, Sugars, Etc.)

  • ALMOND EXTRACT (1/2 teaspoon) = ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • BAKING POWDER (1 teaspoon) = ¼ teaspoon baking soda plus ¼ teaspoon cornstarch + ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • CAKE FLOUR (1 cup) = 2 tablespoons cornstarch + all-purpose flour to make 1 cup
  • CHOCOLATE, SEMISWEET (1 ounce) = 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar + 1 ½ teaspoons butter, shortening, or vegetable oil
  • CHOCOLATE, UNSWEETENED (1 ounce) = 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon butter, shortening, or vegetable oil
  • CORNSTARCH = For every tablespoon of cornstarch, sub in 1 tablespoon of flour to get similar thickening results.
  • OAT FLOUR (1 cup) = 1 ¼ cups old-fashioned oatmeal, ground in blender
  • SUGAR, CONFECTIONER’S (1 cup) = 1 cup granulated sugar + 1 teaspoon cornstarch, ground very finely in blender
  • SUGAR, DARK BROWN (1 cup, packed) = 1 cup granulated sugar + 3 tablespoons molasses
  • SUGAR, LIGHT BROWN (1 cup, packed) = 1 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon molasses
  • VANILLA BEAN (1 8-inch pod) = 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • VEGETABLE OIL FOR BAKING = equivalent amount of applesauce

Canned Tomato Products

  • TOMATOES (1 lb, fresh) = 1 1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes
  • TOMATO JUICE (1 cup) = 1/2 cup tomato purée or tomato sauce + 1/2 cup water; or 1/4 cup tomato paste + 3/4 cup water
  • TOMATO PASTE (1 tbsp) = 2 tablespoons tomato purée or tomato sauce, boil until reduced to 1 tablespoon
  • TOMATO PUREE (1 cup) = 1/3 cup tomato paste + 2/3 cup water
  • TOMATO SAUCE (1 cup) = 1/2 cup tomato paste + 1/2 cup water; or 1 cup canned stewed tomatoes, blended until smooth
emergency-baking-cooking-substitutions

Condiments, Sauces, and Syrups

  • BALSAMIC VINEGAR = For every tablespoon of balsamic, you can sub in 1 tablespoon sherry, red wine or cider vinegar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
  • BARBEQUE SAUCE (1 cup) = 1 cup ketchup + ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • FISH SAUCE = Soy sauce
  • HONEY (1 cup) = 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar + ¼ cup liquid; or ½ cup granulated sugar + ¾ cup maple syrup
  • HOT PEPPER SAUCE = For every teaspoon of hot sauce, you can sub 3/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper mixed with a teaspoon of vinegar.
  • KARO, DARK = You can use honey, or 1 ¼ cups packed brown sugar dissolved in ¼ cup hot water.
  • KARO, LIGHT = You can use 1 1/4 cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup water to sub for a cup of corn syrup. You can also use a cup of honey.
  • KETCHUP = For every cup of ketchup in a recipe, you can sub a cup of tomato sauce (the canned kind, not jarred marinara) mixed with a teaspoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar.
  • MAYONNAISE = An equal amount of sour cream or unflavored yogurt
  • MOLASSES = For every cup of molasses, sub in 3/4 cup of brown sugar mixed with a teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • OYSTER SAUCE (1 tablespoon) = 2 teaspoons soy sauce + 1 teaspoon liquid from canned oysters
  • SESAME OIL (1 teaspoon) = 2 teaspoons crushed and toasted sesame seeds + 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • SOY SAUCE (1 tablespoon) = ¾ teaspoon kosher salt + ½ teaspoon granulated sugar dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
  • TAHINI (1 cup) = ¾ cup peanut butter + ¼ cup untoasted sesame oil
  • TERIYAKI SAUCE (1/2 cup) = 1/3 cup soy sauce + 3 tablespoons rice vinegar + 3 teaspoons sugar or honey
  • VINEGAR = For each teaspoon of vinegar, sub in 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or lime juice or two teaspoons of white wine.
  • WORCHESTERSHIRE SAUCE (1 tablespoon) = 2 teaspoons soy sauce + 4 drops hot pepper sauce + ¼ teaspoon lemon juice + ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
emergency-baking-cooking-substitutions

Dairy and Eggs

  • ASIAGO CHEESE = Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
  • BLUE CHEESE = Feta cheese has the same salty taste and crumbly texture, but not the “funk” that some people find disagreeable.
  • BUTTERMILK = For every cup of buttermilk, pour a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice into a measuring cup and fill the rest of the cup with milk or your favorite milk substitute.
  • CHEDDAR CHEESE = Colby or American cheese
  • COTTAGE CHEESE = Ricotta cheese
  • CREAM OR HALF-AND-HALF (1 cup) = 1 tablespoon melted butter + 1 cup whole milk
  • CREAM CHEESE (for cooking) = Ricotta cheese
  • EGG = One large egg can be replaced with 1/4 cup of pureed silken tofu; a tablespoon of ground flax seeds that have been soaked in 3 tablespoons of water; or half a banana, mashed with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • EVAPORATED MILK = 2 ¼ cups whole milk simmered until reduced to 1 cup
  • HEAVY CREAM = To sub 1 cup of heavy cream, combine 3/4 cup of milk and 1/3 cup of butter.
  • MARSCAPONE CHEESE (1 cup) = ½ cup cream cheese + ½ cup sour cream; or ¾ up cream cheese + ¼ cup heavy cream; or ½ cup ricotta cheese + ½ cup heavy cream
  • MOZZARELLA = Provolone or Gouda cheese
  • PARMESAN = Pecorino Romano or aged Asiago cheese
  • PECORINO ROMANO = Parmesan or aged Asiago cheese
  • RICOTTA CHEESE = Pureed cottage cheese, fromage blanc, mashed firm tofu
  • ROMANO CHEESE = Parmesan or aged Asiago cheese
  • SOUR CREAM = An equal amount of Greek yogurt, or 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter + ¾ cup milk + 1 teaspoon lemon juice (for baking)
  • SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK (14-ounce can) = 1 cup evaporated milk + 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, heated until sugar dissolves
  • SWISS CHEESE = Provolone or Gruyere cheese
  • WHIPPED CREAM = 12-ounce can evaporated milk, chilled overnight, mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, whipped until stiff, beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • YOGURT = Sour cream, crème fraîche, silken tofu (blended)
emergency-baking-cooking-substitutions

Herbs, Spices, and Seasonings

  • ALLSPICE = ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon + ½ teaspoon ground cloves + pinch of ground ginger for 1 teaspoon allspice.
  • ALMOND EXTRACT (1/2 teaspoon) = ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • APPLE PIE SPICE (1 tablespoon) = 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon + 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg + pinch ground allspice.
  • CARAWAY SEEDS = Dill or anise seeds
  • CAYENNE PEPPER = Chipotle power, hot paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, chili powder
  • CELERY SALT = Old Bay seasoning
  • CHIVES = green part of green onions
  • CLOVES, GROUND = Allspice
  • CRAB BOIL SEASONING = Old Bay seasoning, pickling spice
  • CUMIN, GROUND = Chili powder, ground coriander
  • DILL = Tarragon
  • DILL SEEDS = Caraway or celery seeds
  • FRESH HERBS = For every tablespoon of fresh herbs, you can sub a teaspoon of dry herbs.
  • GARAM MASALA (1 tablespoon) = ½ teaspoon each ground cumin, coriander, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon + ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • GARLIC = For every clove of garlic your recipe calls for, use 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder or ½ to 1 teaspoon minced shallots
  • GARLIC SALT (1 teaspoon) = ¼ teaspoon garlic powder + ¾ teaspoon salt
  • GINGER, CRYSTALLIZED (3 tablespoons) = 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger + 1/8 to ½ teaspoon granulated sugar; or 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • GINGER, FRESH (1 tablespoon) = 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (for baking)
  • GINGER, GROUND (1 teaspoon, for baking) = 1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger; or 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or allspice
  • GREEK SEASONING (1 tablespoon) = 1 teaspoon dried oregano + ¾ teaspoon onion powder + ¾ teaspoon garlic powder + ½ teaspoon ground black pepper + ¼ teaspoon dried mint + pinch of cinnamon
  • GREEN ONIONS/SCALLIONS = onions leeks or shallots
  • GROUND ALLSPICE (1 teaspoon) = 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.
  • HERBES DE PROVENCE (3 tablespoons) = 2 teaspoons dried thyme + 2 teaspoons dried savory + 1 teaspoon dried marjoram + 1 teaspoon dried lavender + ½ teaspoon dried rosemary + ½ teaspoon fennel seeds + 1 crushed bay leaf
  • ITALIAN SEASONING (2 teaspoons) = 1 teaspoon dried oregano + ½ teaspoon each dried basil and dried thyme
  • LEMONGRASS (1 stalk) = 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest + 1/8 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • LEMON PEPPER (1 teaspoon) = ½ teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest + ¼ teaspoon salt + 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • MARJORAM = Sweet basil, summer savory
  • MINT = basil
  • NUTMEG = Ground mace, allspice, cinnamon, apple pie spice, or pumpkin pie spice
  • OLD BAY SEASONING (1/4 cup) = 1 tablespoon celery salt + 1 tablespoon ground bay leaves + 2 teaspoons black pepper + 1 teaspoon paprika ½ teaspoon dry mustard + one pinch each of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves
  • OREGANO = Marjoram, thyme, fresh basil, summer savory
  • PAPRIKA = Chili powder
  • POULTRY SEASONING (1 teaspoon) = ¾ teaspoon dried thyme + ½ teaspoon rubbed sage + ½ teaspoon dried marjoram + ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • PUMPKIN PIE SPICE (1 teaspoon) = ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon + ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg + ¼ teaspoon ground ginger + 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves; or 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • ROSEMARY = summer savory, basil, oregano
  • SAFFRON = Saffron has a mild flavor and is often used for coloring. The same amount of turmeric will add the same brightness to a dish.
  • SAGE (1 tablespoon) = 3 teaspoons summer savory, thyme, basil or oregano; or 1 tablespoon rosemary; or 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • SAVORY (1 tablespoon) - 3 teaspoons chopped thyme or rosemary; or 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme + 1 to 1/2 teaspoons mint; or 2 teaspoons sage +1 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • TACO SEASONING (1 tablespoon) = 2 teaspoons chile powder + ¼ teaspoon each dried oregano and ground cumin + 1/8 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder + a pinch of cayenne.
  • TURMERIC (1/2 teaspoon) = ¼ teaspoon dried ginger + 5 saffron threads + ¼ teaspoon curry powder
emergency-baking-cooking-substitutions

Spirits, Alcohol

  • BEER, LIGHT (for soups or stews) = chicken broth, white grape juice, ginger ale
  • BEER, DARK = beef stock or mushroom broth
  • BOURBON (1 tablespoon) = 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons water
  • BRANDY = Apple juice or cider, white grape juice
  • CHAMPAGNE = Ginger ale, sparkling white grape juice, sparkling apple cider
  • COFFEE LIQUEUR (3 tablespoons) = 3 tablespoons water + ¾ teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • COGNAC = Peach, pear, or apricot juice
  • FRANGELICO (2 tablespoons) = ½ teaspoon almond or hazelnut extract
  • GRAND MARNIER/ORANGE LIQUEUR = Orange juice concentrate
  • GRENADINE (1 teaspoon) = 2 to 3 teaspoons pomegranate juice (reduce liquid in recipe to compensate), or 1 teaspoon raspberry syrup
  • MADEIRA = Beef stock or chicken broth (in savory dishes); apple or berry juice in sweet dishes
  • MARSALA = No non-alcohol substitute (although one website recommended 1 part prune juice and 2 parts water)
  • RUM (1 tablespoon) = 1 ½ teaspoons rum extract
  • SAKE = Rice vinegar
  • SHERRY = Orange or pineapple juice
  • TEQUILA = Agave nectar
  • VERMOUTH = white grape juice
  • VODKA = Gin, white rum, tequila
  • WHISKEY = No non-alcohol substitute
  • WINE, RED (1 cup) = ¾ cup red grape juice + 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice + 2 tablespoons water (for marinades) or beef stock (for sauces and stews)
  • WINE, WHITE (1 cup) = 3/4 cup white grape juice, apple juice, or apple cider + 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or lemon juice (for marinades), sherry or vermouth, sake, chicken or vegetable stock (for sauce and stews)

So, How Are We Doing?

So, did I cover them all, or are there still some substitutions with which you need help? If so, leave a note in the comments and I will find an answer for you.

© 2018 Linda Lum

Comments

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 27, 2018:

Manatita, thank you for stopping by. Yes I did and will write to you.

manatita44 from london on January 27, 2018:

You covered a lot, dear. So detailed! Awesome!

Did you fall? How's your health? Best wishes.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 26, 2018:

Kari, I'm so glad you liked this. It was fun putting together.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on January 26, 2018:

This is a great list to have! I have bookmarked it. :)

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 24, 2018:

Linda, thank you for your kind words and for stopping by.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 24, 2018:

This is a wonderful resource! Thank you very much sharing it. It's going to be so useful.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 24, 2018:

Eric, it's difficult to tread water at age 29 when you have a 35-year old (my 1st born will be there tomorrow). Jack Benny proclaimed to be 39 and I think that's a nice number. However, the perks of being a senior citizen (all those Tuesday discounts) outweigh the criticism of being an oldster.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on January 24, 2018:

Linda in no way could you offend me even if you said something derisive about my fatness,,, which is in someways attributed to you.

I noted I did not send off a note to you that I wrote about your fall. You are doing great for a 29 year old. (an age my mom stuck to until her last breath)

I will scoot right over to find what I missed.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 24, 2018:

Eric, so happy to hear from you. I was beginning to think I had offended you in some way. Well, not really but you haven't said anything about my suggestions for finding your Joy of Cooking, or exploring hazelnuts.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on January 24, 2018:

Chuckle chuckle. You have "read my mail" and done this just for me. OK maybe for Bill also.

This is so helpful for a stay at home dad. Thank you Linda for another great installment.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 24, 2018:

Bill, I'm happy I could help. It's always good to have a "Plan B".

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 24, 2018:

Flourish, we don't live a mile from anything. The closest store is a 15-minute drive, traffic permitting. I hope thise proves to be of help to you.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 24, 2018:

Now that is very cool! I must print this and have it handy in the kitchen. You just saved me a bundle of frustration, Linda!

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 24, 2018:

The confectioners sugar one is really neat. Who knew!? I liked this. We live a mile from our grocery store so I just send my very willing husband for a grocery run, but he's not home to do that all the time. This will come in handy!