10 Clever Baking Ingredients Substitutes that Can’t go Wrong

There are some days when you feel like baking. So, you browse for recipes, and you’re halfway through a recipe until you realize you don’t have the ingredients needed, and the grocery store is closed. You could abandon your batter but who has the heart to do so? Don’t give up just yet! No baking powder? Out of butter? Make that recipe anyway. We are all about finding ways to swap ingredients in your baking. Here are a few guides on baking ingredients substitutes for common ingredients. With a little experimentation, here and there, you may even get a better result than the original recipe!


Salted butter

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A recipe is calling for salted butter, but all you have in your fridge is unsalted butter. In this case, you can add salt to your butter and the good thing about this? You can control the amount of salt in your baked goods. All things considered, the issue is not regarding the outcome, but rather the control of how much salt is to be added.

Summary: 1 cup salted butter = 1 cup unsalted butter + ½ tsp salt


Cooking oil

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It is undeniable that most baked dessert contains a lot of fat considering the amount of cream, butter, and other fat rich condiments. While a little fat in your diet is food, too much-saturated fat may lead to health problems. Substituting fat with Greek yogurt works wonders especially in baking recipes of cookies, muffins, brownies, and cakes.

Summary: 1 cup of oil: ½ oil + ¾ cup of Greek yogurt


Sour cream

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You want to make a cheesecake, and you just had your last container of it for your nachos dips. The rule of thumb for substituting sour cream is quite easy though: equal parts of yogurt to sour cream. The only thing you need to remember is to drain your yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a bowl in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Summary: 1 cup sour cream = 1 cup drained yogurt + 1 tsp baking soda


Heavy cream

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Heavy cream sure is delicious, and you can’t seem to not be able not to use it just because you’re out of it. If you ever find yourself in that situation, you can use this easy stand in which requires just two ingredients: milk and butter. Although this substitution is not suitable for whipping cream, it is an effective substitute for double cream. You can also add a tablespoon of flour to thicken it to your preferred consistency.

Summary: ¾ cup milk + ¼ cup butter



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In baking, eggs serve as a leavening agent to make it light and fluffy. Whereas for cookies and muffins, eggs act as a binding agent which glues all the other ingredients together and add moisture. Your leftover silken tofu is the best way to substitute eggs both in a savory and dense type of cakes as it does not alter the flavor, such as quiche and brownies. However, due to its dense texture, be sure to sprinkle a leavening agent to help it rise.

Summary: 1 egg = ¼ cup whipped silken tofu


Baking Powder

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Baking powder and baking soda are leavening agents that make your bread raise; however, they are two peas in a pod. A component of acidity is required to become a leavening agent. However, baking soda is plain sodium bicarbonate and is alkaline in nature while on the other hand, baking powder is baking soda mixed with an acid. Thus, if you don’t have baking powder at home, you can use baking soda with cream of tar tar instead. It’s the same component, just less reactive.

Summary: 1 tsp baking powder = ½ tsp cream of tar tar + ¼ baking soda + ¼ tsp cornstarch



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You’ve probably heard this product so often but have yet to see them in local grocery store. What is buttermilk? It is basically a slightly sour milk that comes from acids in milk called lactic acids. It is thicker and has much lower fat than regular milk. When combined with baking soda, buttermilk works like magic in adding lightness and moistness to baked treats. Stir and let sit your milk and lemon juice for two minutes before using.

Summary: 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice



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You open your fridge and most probably have milk, and you may even have cream. But half-and-half? It’s a best bet you don’t have it. It’s not widely used or common in Malaysia, and It’s not half milk and half cream. It is basically a simple blend of equal parts of whole milk and light cream, but you can make your own half-and-half easily using the ingredients at home!

Summary: 1 cup half-and-half = 1 cup milk + 4 tsp melted unsalted butter


Self-rising flour

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This recipe will save you a trip to the grocery store to buy self-rising flour. Rather than picking up a bag in the store, you can make your own using the pantry essential all-purpose flour. Self-rising flour is just a premixed blend of flour, baking powder, and salt which allows you to bake without having to measure many ingredients.

Summary: 1 cup self-rising flour = 1 cup all-purpose flour + 1 ½ tsp baking powder + ¼ tsp salt


Castor sugar

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Caster sugar is a fine form of granulated sugar which dissolves and incorporates more quickly which is deemed to perform better for baking. It is seldom called-for ingredients, which is why you may not have it on hand. Thankfully, you can make your own caster sugar by grinding the required amount of caster sugar in a food processor or blender. Process it until it’s a finer granule in texture but not quite a powdered sugar.


Regina Wiriadinata

Hello there, pleasure to meat you.. oops, I mean meet. Hunger tends to get the best of me, which happens almost 24/7. You can probably find me at a gelateria, holding triple scoops of gelato in a cone. Please donut talk about my diet because I always end up with a slice of cake at the end of the day.

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