Must-Have Cooking Substitutions and Tricks

Featured Article, How-To, Ingredient
on November 12, 2014
Must-Have Cooking Substitutions and Tricks
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How many times have you started a recipe only to find (while you are in the middle of it) that you are missing one ingredient? You don’t want to run to the store, and going to your neighbors’ to borrow a cup of flour only happens on re-runs of Leave it to Beaver. So work with what you have—here is a definitive list of trusted cooking substitutions that will help you out in a pinch.

Allspice: 1 teaspoon
Substitute: 1/2 tsp. cinnamon+ 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Arrowroot: 1 teaspoon
Substitute: 1 tbsp. flour or 1 1/2 tsp. corn starch

Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
Substitute: 1/4 tsp. baking soda + 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Buttermilk: 1 cup
Substitute: 1 tsp. lemon juice or vinegar +milk to make 1 cup (let stand 5 min.)

Cake Flour: 1 cup
Substitute: 1 cup minus 2 tsp. all-purpose flour

Compressed yeast: 1 cake
Substitute: 1 envelope or 2 tsp. dry yeast

Corn syrup: 1 cup
Substitute: 1 cup white sugar + 1/4 cup water

Dark brown sugar: 1 cup
Substitute: 3 tbsp. molasses + 1 cup white sugar

Garlic: 1 clove
Substitute: 1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Lemon zest: 1 teaspoon
Substitute: 1/2 tsp. lemon extract

Light brown sugar: 1 cup
Substitute: 2 tbsp. molasses + 1 cup white sugar

Powdered sugar: 1 cup
Substitute: 1 cup + 1 tbsp. cornstarch (process w/metal blade until powdery)

Self rising flour: 1 cup
Substitute: 1 cup minus 2 tsp. AP flour + 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder + 1 tsp. salt

Tomato juice: 1 cup
Substitute: 1/2 cup tomato sauce + 1/2 cup water

Wine, white: 1 cup
Substitute: 1 cup apple juice or white grape juice

Wine, red: 1 cup
Substitute: 1 cup grape juice or cranberry juice

Whole milk: 1 cup
Substitute: 1 cup fat-free milk + 1 tbsp. canola oil

This is my go-to list of cooking substitutions I use the most. Please keep in mind that using substitutions may alter some recipes slightly, especially when it comes to baking. While the best finished product comes from adhering to the recipe, these substitutions will keep you cooking and away from the store.

This article from Honest Cooking by Superman Cooks was posted with permission and appeared as Must-Have Cooking Substitutions and Tricks