Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

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

Read More From Delishably

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

Related Articles