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Recipe Ingredient Substitutions and Swaps

For some great ingredient substitutions and swaps, check these out from my dear friend Regina. When in a bind, you will now have some great choices and ideas for your next recipe. Cook and bake away!


A note from Regina: It has happened to me before…I get inspired to try a new recipe and discover I have either run out of a staple ingredient or simply have never bought it before, but am really interested in cooking now rather than later.  It is nice to have a reference list for ingredient substitutions.

Keep this handy list near by incase you need to substitute an ingredient.


Recipe Ingredient Substitutes and Swaps





Recipe Calls For: Substitution:
Cake Flour (1 cup) 1 cup All purpose flour + 2 tbsp’s Cornstarch
Self-Rising Flour (1 cup) 1 cup All Purpose Flour + 1 tsp Baking Powder + 1/2 tsp Salt + 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Baking Powder (1 tsp) 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar + 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Superfine Sugar Process Granulated Sugar in a blender or food processor until powdery, about 1 minute
Confectioners’ Sugar (1 cup) 1 cup Superfine Sugar + 2 tbsp’s cornstarch
Light Brown Sugar (1 cup) 1 cup Granulated Sugar + 1 tbsp Light Molasses
Dark Brown Sugar (1 cup) 1 cup Granulated Sugar + 2 tbsp’s Dark Molasses
Cornstarch (1 tbsp) 2 tbsp Flour or 2 tsp Quick Cooking Tapioca
Dry Mustard (1 tsp) 1 tbsp prepared Mustard
Chili Powder Dash of bottled Hot Pepper Sauce + equal measures of Ground Oregano and Cumin
Start with 1/2 the amount the recipe calls for & suit to taste
Recipe Calls For: Substitution:
Ground Allspice Ground Cinnamon, Nutmeg or Cloves
Ground Cloves Ground Allspice, Cinnamon or Nutmeg
Ground Cumin Chili Powder
Paprika Cayenne Pepper (just a dash – it is hotter than paprika)
Ground Cayenne Pepper (1/8 tsp) 2 to 3 drops bottled Hot Pepper Sauce
Recipe Calls For: Substitution:
Buttermilk (1 cup) 1 cup Whole Milk + 1 tbsp Lemon Juice or Vinegar; or 1 cup Plain Yogurt
Half & Half or Light Cream (1 cup) 1 tbsp Melted Butter + enough Whole Milk to make 1 cup
Whole Milk (1 cup) 1/2 cup Evaporated Milk + 1/2 cup Water
Sour Cream (1 cup) 1 cup Plain Yogurt, 1 cup Cottage Cheese + 1 to 2 tsp Lemon Juice blended smooth
Balsamic Vinegar (1 tbsp.)

Whole Egg

1 tbsp Cider Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar + 1/2 tsp Sugar

1/3 cup applesauce, 1/2 large pureed banana, 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp cold water

Recipe Calls For: Substitution:
White Wine White Grape Juice; Chicken or Vegetable Broth; Gingerale
Red Wine Grape Juice; Cranberry Juice; Chicken, Beef or Vegetable Broth; Tomato Juice
Brandy White Grape Juice; Apple Juice; Cherry, Peach or Apricot Syrup
Beer Chicken, Beef or Mushroom Broth; White Grape Juice; Ginger Ale
Rum Pineapple Juice with Almond Extract or Molasses; Vanilla Extract
Vodka Water; Apple Cider or White Grape Juice mixed with Lime Juice
Sherry Vanilla Extract; Orange or Pineapple Juice, or Coffee



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