Have you ever been in the middle of baking something only to realize you were out of an ingredient? During culinary school, I learned to make use of other ingredients that might work as a comparable substitute.
Butter: Margarine and shortening are a good substitute to bake a cake with instead of butter. A healthier alternative is applesauce. You can do half the butter and use a cup of apple sauce for the other half. Apple sauce works for most cake recipes without changing the flavor and will make the cake super moist! Coconut oil is another substitute, and although its melting point is different than butter, it is solid at room temperature and can be creamed like butter.
Baking powder or Baking soda: baking soda can be substituted for baking powder, however, the trick is to add it after all the wet ingredients have been added and baked immediately. Baking soda releases carbon dioxide which allows the product to rise, but this takes place as soon as it comes in contact with liquid. Therefore it’s essential that the product is placed in the over right away. Alternatively, baking powder can be substituted for baking soda at any stage of mixing.
Chocolate: For 1 ounce of chocolate substitute 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder with a tablespoon of softened butter, oil or margarine.
Milk: For one cup of milk, substitute half a cup of evaporated milk or half and half, with a half cup of water.
Dark Brown Sugar: For half a cup of dark brown sugar, substitute it with 3/8 cup of white sugar and 2 tablespoons of molasses.
Sugar: For 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, use 1 cup honey or corn syrup and reduce the liquid in your recipe by 1/2 cup
Buttermilk: There are a number of substitutes for buttermilk in baking. For each cup of buttermilk, substitute 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes. You can also use 1 cup of plain yogurt or 1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar plus 1 cup milk.
Gelatin or gels: For recipes that call for gelatin or gel, substitute it with agar agar (it’s derived from seaweed) and it is a stronger binding agent than gelatin.
Baking and Pastry Chef
|Chocolate (1 oz.)
|3 TB cocoa powder +
1 TB softened butter
|Milk (1 cup)
|1/2 cup evaporated milk +
1/2 cup water; or, 1/2 cup
half and half + 1/2 cup water
|Dark Brown Sugar (1/2 cup)
|3/8 cup white sugar + 2 TB
|Sugar (1/2 cup)
|1 cup honey or corn syrup
(reduce liquid in recipe by 1/2 cup)
|Buttermilk (1 cup)
|1 TB white vinegar or lemon juice +
milk to measure 1 cup. Let stand 5 mins;
or 1 cup plain yogurt; or 1 3/4 tsp cream
of tartar plus 1 cup milk