Common Ingredient Substitution Chart

Have you ever wanted to try a new recipe and found you were missing an ingredient?  Or maybe halfway through a recipe you realized you ran out of something.  This has happened to me many, many times!  Having an organized pantry list to shop from certainly helps – but sometimes you need to substitute one ingredient for another.  This is my list of the most common ingredients I have substituted.  Use this list as a guide only – some substitutions will change the texture or taste of the finished product.

Allspice To make 1 teaspoon allspice powder,   combine 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon ground   cloves
Arrowroot Use an equal amount of cornstarch
Baking Chocolate To make 1 ounce of baking chocolate combine 3 tablespoons unsweetened   cocoa plus 1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil or shortening
Baking Powder For each teaspoon called for mix 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/3   teaspoon baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt.    Use immediately.
Bread Flour Substitute an equal amount of all-purpose flour
Brown Sugar To make 1 cup of brown sugar combine 1 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup   molasses  – decrease the liquid in the   recipe by 1/4 cup
Butter Substitute 1 cup margarine OR 1 cup shortening OR 7/8 cup vegetable oil OR 7/8 cup lard
Buttermilk Substitute an equal amount of yogurt OR sour milk
Cake Flour To make 1 cup of cake flour, use 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sifted   all-purpose flour
Corn Syrup To make 1 cup of light corn syrup combine:  1 cup white sugar and   1/4 cup water  Dark:  1 cup packed brown sugar and 1/4 cup water
Cream Cheese For each cup substitute 1 cup plain yogurt strained overnight OR 1 cup cottage cheese pureed
Evaporated Milk 2/3 cup dry milk and 3/4 cup water mixed together OR half ‘n half
Half N Half For each cup of half ‘n half:  mix   1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup milk
Honey For 1 cup honey substitute 3/4 cup maple syrup plus 1/2 cup white sugar OR 3/4 cup light or dark corn syrup   plus 1/2 cup white sugar OR 3/4 cup light molasses plus 1/2 cup white sugar
Hot Sauce For each teaspoon of hot sauce use 3/4 teaspoon cayenne plus 1 teaspoon   vinegar
Ketchup For each cup of ketchup use 1 cup tomato sauce plus 1 teaspoon vinegar   and 1 tablespoon sugar
Lard For each cup of lard substitute 1 cup shortening OR 7/8 cup vegetable oil   OR 1 cup butter
Powdered Sugar To make 1 cup of powdered sugar, combine 1 cup granulated white sugar and   1 teaspoon cornstarch in a blender.    Pulse until fine (do not use a food processor as it will not blend   correctly)
Prepared Mustard To make 1 tablespoon prepared mustard combine 1 teaspoon dry mustard and   1 teaspoon each of water, vinegar and sugar
Self-Rising Flour To make self-rising flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2   teaspoon salt to each cup of all-purpose flour.
Shortening Subsitute an equal amount of butter or margarine
Sour Cream To make 1 cup, mix  1 cup cottage   cheese, 1/3 cup buttermilk (or sour milk) and 1 tablespoon lime or lemon   juice in a food processor or blender until smooth OR substitute an equal amount of yogurt OR 7/8 cup sour milk plus 3 tablespoons butter (baking only)
Sour Milk Place 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar in the bottom of a 1-cup   measuring cup.  Fill with milk.
Sweetened Condensed Milk To make 14 ounces, combine 1 cup evaporated milk and 1 1/4 cup sugar in a   saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.
Vinegar Subsitute an equal amount of lemon or lime juice
Yogurt Substitute an equal amount of sour cream OR buttermilk OR sour milk

43 thoughts on “Common Ingredient Substitution Chart

  1. Hi Stephanie.

    What do you think of ginger as a substitute for cinnamon? I used it in a marinade and it worked well. I’m just not as sure if it will work with everything, particularly in baking. Thoughts?

    • I wouldn’t say you could use it everywhere cinnamon is called for, but if you love ginger then you could probably use it most places. Not sure if I would use it in cinnamon rolls or something like that – but in a marinade or as an accent spice it should work ok.

      • Yeah, I don’t think ginger rolls would be good, lol. But, I’m thinking maybe I could go as far as to use it in apple pie or something like that or a spice cookie or cake. Obviously I’d probably have to rethink the amount…

  2. There was a time when I used to use oil to make cookies instead of margarine (in the days before it was possible to find non-hydrogenated margarine), and I found that 7/8 cup of oil PLUS 1/8 cup of water worked best. Without the extra water, the cookies came out too dry.

    • Well – they are preferred but if your in a pinch the substitution will work – I don’t usually use bread flower or cake flower myself. Once you start toying with the recipes, you can see what works for you!

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