Substitutes for common ingredients can save a trip to the store

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on May 15, 2019 - 01:51 PM

Photo: Substitutions can be made for all of these food items if they are not on hand. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Substitutions can be made for all of these food items if they are not on hand. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Have you ever been frustrated when baking a cake or cookies to discover there is no baking powder on hand or the buttermilk carton is empty?

Have you found it a terrible waste to have to buy a larger container when you only need one half teaspoon?

Here are some basic ingredient substitutions. Have this article laminated and keep it close at hand. One of these days you will find it to be a big time saver; no stopping and running to the store.  Any product made with substituted ingredients may vary slightly from the original but the flavor and texture is still there.

However, there are some cooking ingredients that have no real substitution, baking soda being one of them. Substituting liquid oil for solid shortening in cooking or vice versa does not work well, but in some cases if the recipe calls for one cup melted butter you can use one cup of oil.

Cornstarch (for thickening), 1 Tbs.: ½ Tbs. flour.

Apple pie spice, 1 tsp.: ½ tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/8 tsp. cardamom.

Baking powder, 1 tsp.: ¼ tsp. baking soda, 5/8 tsp. cream of tartar.

Allspice, 1 tsp.: ½ tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. ground cloves.

Mustard (prepared), 1 Tbs.: 1 tsp. dry or powdered mustard.

Garlic, 1 small clove: 1/8 tsp. garlic powder.

Fresh herbs, 1 Tbs.: 1 tsp. dried leaf herbs or ½ tsp. ground dried herbs.

Vanilla, 1-inch bean: 1 tsp. vanilla extract.

Onion, 1 small or ¼ c. chopped: 1 Tbs. instant minced onion, 1 tsp. onion powder, ¼ c. frozen chopped onion.

Sugar, confectioners’ 1 c.: 1 c. granulated sugar, 1 Tbs. cornstarch processed until powdery.

Unsweetened chocolate, 1 oz.: 3 Tbs. cocoa, 1 Tbs. butter or fat.

Cake flour, 1 c.: 1 c. minus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour plus 2 Tbs. cornstarch. 

Self-rising flour, 1 c.: 1 c. minus 2 tsp. all-purpose flour plus 1½  tsp. baking powder, ½ tsp. salt.

Lemon zest, 1 tsp.: ½ tsp. lemon extract.

Tomato juice, 1 c.: ½ c. tomato sauce and ½ c. water.

Buttermilk, 1 c.: 1 Tbs. lemon juice or vinegar and enough regular milk to make 1 c., or use 1 c. yogurt.

Egg, 1 whole: ¼ c. egg substitute.

Chili sauce, 1 c.: 1 c. tomato sauce, ¼ c. brown sugar, 2 Tbs. vinegar, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, dash each of ground cloves and allspice.

Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp.: 1 tsp. bottled steak sauce.

Honey, 1 c.: 1¼ c. sugar, ½ c. liquid called for in recipe (oil or water).

Cracker crumbs, ¾ c.: 1 c. dry bread crumbs.

Note: the above information was taken from Baking and Cooking Ingredient Substitutions, Common Ingredient Substitutions and Farmer’s Almanac.