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Common Ingredient Substitutions

There are times that without a trip to the store, a missing recipe ingredient can be replaced. This guide is about common recipe substitutions.


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26 found this helpful
March 18, 2010 Flag

There have been times I wanted to tear my hair out because didn't have an ingredient at the last minute so here's my list of common ingredient substitutions that have worked for me in a pinch.


By Deeli from Richland, WA

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November 10, 20140 found this helpful

I've used apple juice instead of milk in muffins. Another time I forgot to add the sugar - they looked a bit weird but I'd packed them with raisins so they tasted fine. Half were gone before I realised what I'd done!

Marg from England.

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June 3, 2014 Flag

I run out of stuff a lot! I took recipe cards, wrote down substitutions that I can make up fast and taped them inside a kitchen cupboard door. Here are the ones I use a lot, others to follow!

  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch for thickening: 2 Tbsp. flour

  • 1 cup fresh milk: 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 tsp. soda. In your recipe, decrease baking powder 2 tsp., if needed

  • Sour Milk/ Buttermilk: 1 Tbsp. lemon juice of vinegar, 1 cup milk, stir and let stand for a couple of minutes.

  • 1 square unsweetened chocolate (1 oz.): 3 Tbsp. cocoa plus 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

  • 1 cup honey: 11/4 cups sugar plus 1/4 cup liquid.

  • 1 cup canned tomatoes: 1 and 1/3 cup diced fresh tomatoes, simmered about 10 minutes.

There you go! I also make up hints for gifts at bridal showers!

Source: My very old Betty Crocker cookbook

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Harlean Greathouse0 found this helpful
April 22, 2005 Flag

Have you ever started mixing ingredients for a recipe, get halfway through the list, and Uh-Oh, discover that you are out of an ingredient? Well, sometimes it is something that can safely be omitted.

It may alter the recipe slightly, but not ruin it. For example, that teaspoon of vanilla will probably never be missed. Or perhaps you can substitute a little lemon, almond, or other flavoring in its place. Other ingredients make a big difference, and you cannot continue without a trip to the store. Or a suitable substitute.

Here is a list of many suitable substitutions that I have gleaned from various sources over the years.

If it calls for:Use instead:
1 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp cream of tartar plus 1/3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp allspice1/2 tsp cinnamon plus 1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp Prepared Mustard1 tsp dry mustard
3/4 cup cracker crumbs1 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 square baking chocolate3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1 Tbsp. oil
1 cup brown sugar1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup molasses, 1/4 tsp soda
1 cup light corn syrup1 cup granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup water
1 cup honey1 1/4 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup water
1 cup powdered sugar1 cup sugar plus 1 Tbsp cornstarch. Process in blender.
1 cup sugar1 cup packed brown sugar or 2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup light cream1 Tbsp melted butter plus enough milk to make 1 cup
1 egg2 egg whites plus 1 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup sour milk or buttermilk1Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar, then fill the cup with milk
1 cup Yogurt1 cup sour cream or 1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup cottage cheese, blended till smooth
1 cup Nuts (in baked products) 1 cup rolled oats, oven toasted
1 cup Catsup (for cooking)1 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp raw Ginger1/8 tsp ground powdered Ginger
lemon juice of 1 lemon2-3 Tbsp lemon juice (Realemon)
1 tsp lemon juice1/2 tsp vinegar
1 cup miniature marshmallows10 large marshmallows, snipped with wet scissors
Herbs 1 Tbsp fresh1 tsp dried Herbs
1 cup self rising flour1 cup all purpose flour plus 1 1/4 tsp baking powder & 1/4 tsp salt
2 cups chopped fresh16 oz canned tomatoes, drained
1 cup tomato juice1/2 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup water
2 cups tomato sauce3/4 cup tomato paste plus 1 cup water
1 can tomato soup1 cup tomato sauce plus 1/4 cup water

You may substitute up to half the shortening or margarine in a recipe with applesauce in baked desserts.

Self Rising Flour

I make this up regularly and keep it on hand .

  • 8 cups all purpose flour
  • 5 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp salt

Combine all ingredients and sift together 3 times.

Store in a Ziplock bag or a large coffee can with plastic lid.

Print this out and keep it never know when you are going to need it.

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April 23, 20050 found this helpful

Thanks!! I never knew how to make self rising flour.

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0 found this helpful
November 27, 2006

Easy Substitution List. I keep this list inside my cookbook in case I am ever in a pinch for alternative ingredients. Easy Substitutions: If the recipe calls for: Cheese - cream cheese: cottage cheese blended with butter or milk.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
July 16, 2007 Flag

Another question from an Aussie! Can someone please tell me what Mrs. Dash sauce is? We can't buy that here in Australia and I'm not sure what I could substitute. Would I be able to substitute a tomato or BBQ sauce?

Julie from Sydney, Australia

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July 17, 20070 found this helpful

Mrs. Dash is known for salt free seasonings and also has marinades now. So you should be able to substitute another marinade. You could also check out for a complete listing of their seasonings. Good luck!

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July 17, 20070 found this helpful

Mrs. Dash is a brand name for salt-free seasoning mixes and sauces. You can see what flavors they have at .

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July 19, 20070 found this helpful

Thank you for your responses! Lucky I didn't try tomato sauce if it's a seasoning mix! Ha ha - will have a look at the website. Thanks again!

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July 20, 20070 found this helpful

I suspect she got the name because she used a Dash o' this and a Dash o' that!

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July 20, 20070 found this helpful

Hi there Down Under! Ok, Mrs. Dash has a website, the "sauces" advertized are marinades > 6 varieties. Check them out.....they seem to be a combination of a number of herbs & spices, vinegars, veggie/meat stock, and some have tomatoe sauce in them. If you want a marinade for any meat try this:

1/2 cup BBQ sauce (spicey)

1/4 cup vinegar (white )

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp garlic salt

Mix together well. Can be used as a marinade > let meat (any meat or chicken) marinate in the mixture for min 2 hrs (is the best left over night) covered in the refridgerator, remove meat & cook/bbq as desired.


Cook meat in the sauce in a crockpot for 6-8 hrs, or bake in the oven in a casserole dish, 350 degrees

for 1 1/2 hrs.

Good Luck, and enjoy!

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0 found this helpful
June 4, 2009 Flag

I love hot sauce, especially the Tabasco brand. I'm looking for a powdered substitute, that comes in a shaker type bottle like seasoning salt. Any ideas? Thanks.

By kf4tqj from N.E. Alabama

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June 4, 20090 found this helpful

A good base would be cayenne pepper. It would give you the heat, at least.

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June 4, 20090 found this helpful

If you go to a chile site in New Mexico or one of the other southwestern states (Google chiles or chile powder) you'll be able to buy powdered chiles. If you buy some hot and some mild you will be able to mix them to make your own chile blend that can be mixed with cumin powder, garlic powder, oregano, whatever you want. The cost may be more than Tabasco but it'll last longer than Tabasco (unless you're like me and end up putting it on everything).

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June 5, 20090 found this helpful

There is one that I get from the local farmers market here in Flint, Michigan.

"It's called slap ya mama"

it can be purchased on-line @

It is awesome,there is 3 levels of hot, too.

They have a great cream cheese dip recipe also. Hope this is what your looking for.

You can e-mail me if you have a problem,

@ dah4301958 at

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0 found this helpful
September 10, 2008 Flag

It is the time of year where the baking and cooking start and so I wanted to help. I am not sure where these came from but they sure come in handy. They were given to me and I thought they would help anybody who cooks because they have some conversions that they do not have on most charts and I have found to be very helpful. I really hope they will help you and can use them.

Ingredient Substitution List:

By Darlene from Fairview, PA

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September 12, 20080 found this helpful

I printed list out and put into a plastic clear protective sleeve and taped into my baking cabinet door so it is handy at all times. Thank You again.

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