Amazing 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.
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
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
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)
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
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