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Common Baking Substitutions

Any of these common baking substitutions can be used when you either can’t get to the store or don’t find what you need when you do.

blog_image by Land O'Lakes Test Kitchen

blog_image by Land O'Lakes Test Kitchen

While it’s been said that baking recipes are to be followed exactly, we know there are times when that’s just not possible. Maybe you’re out of an (essential) ingredient and you can’t get to the store. Maybe you made it to the store, but the shelves don’t hold what you need. 

Should that be the case, no worries. The following list of substitutions will get you where you need to go. Subbing ingredients in baking recipes means your results may change slightly. That said, you’ll still end up with something homemade and delicious. If your pantry is lacking, read on so you can get baking! 

 

SUBSTITUTE FOR BAKING POWDER 

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder = 1/4 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar + 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch   

SUBSTITUTE FOR BUTTERMILK 

  • 1 cup buttermilk = 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar + enough milk to make 1 cup, let stand 5 minutes = 1 cup plain yogurt 

SUBSTITUTE FOR EGGS 

  • 1 large egg = 1/4 cup applesauce = 1 cup pureed tofu = 1 tablespoon chia seeds + 3 tablespoons water, let stand 15 minutes

  

SUBSTITUTE FOR UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE  

  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate = 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, vegetable oil or shortening 

SUBSTITUTE FOR BROWN SUGAR 

  • 1 cup brown sugar = 1 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons molasses 

SUBSTITUTE FOR CAKE FLOUR 

  • 1 cup cake flour = 3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons cornstarch 

 
 

SUBSTITUTE FOR HALF & HALF 

  • 1 cup half & half = 1/2 cup whole milk + 1/2 cup heavy cream 

 

SUBSTITUTE FOR SOUR CREAM 

  • 1 cup sour cream = 1 cup plain yogurt 
 

​SUBSTITUTE FOR YEAST

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast = 1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast can be substituted for 1 (1/4-ounce) packet of instant (or rapid-rise, or quick-rising) dry yeast
  • Please consider when substituting instant or quick-rising dry yeast for active dry yeast 1) If you intend refrigerate the dough and allow it to rise in the refrigerator the cold temperatures will slow or prevent the quick-rising dough from rising, we would recommend using active dry yeast. 2) Instant or quick-rise yeast was designed to be added directly to the dry ingredients, it can also be dissolved in water and dry active is to be dissolved in water before adding to the dry ingredients.
     

SUBSTITUTE FOR SALTED BUTTER 

  • 1 cup salted butter = 1 cup unsalted butter = 1 cup Land O’Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil = 1 cup shortening 

 

ADDITIONAL COOKING AND BAKING INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS  

We hope that this article of common baking substitutions was helpful. Didn’t find what you were looking for? We have an entire reference section that outlines even more cooking and baking substitutions.  

We’re always trying to make things easier for you in the kitchen. That’s why we’ve added substitution options to each of our recipes. Whenever you see the below symbol in a recipe, it means there is a substitute available. Simply tap on the icon to be shown the substitute.  

 

Visit our Ingredient & Substitution Page to see even more baking and cooking substitutions: 

https://www.landolakes.com/kitchen-reference/ingredients-substitutions/  

Visit our Kitchen Glossary for helpful kitchen definitions: 

https://www.landolakes.com/kitchen-reference/kitchen-glossary/ 

Visit our Equipment Guide to know all your kitchen tools: 

https://www.landolakes.com/kitchen-reference/equipment-guide/  

Visit our Measurements & Abbreviations Page for our butter conversion calculator and measurement chart: 

https://www.landolakes.com/kitchen-reference/measurements-abbreviations/  

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