5 Substitutes for Basic Baking Ingredients

Categories: Sugar Rush

Rachel Miller
Cupcakes with an egg substitute.

It's midnight on a Tuesday. You have promised to bake up your amazing chocolate cupcakes for the office tomorrow. After ripping apart your refrigerator for the fifth time, you realize that dozen eggs you thought you had is only two eggs. Now what?

This happens to me more often than I'd like to admit, either late at night or after I've just returned from the grocery store. Here are some substitutes you can create when you have that "oh shit" moment in your pantry.

See Also: How to Make a South African Milk Tart

Self-Rising Flour

I am not into self-rising flour, and I typically don't keep any on hand. I would rather determine myself how much leavening agent I need in each specific recipe. Every once in a while though, I will run into a recipe I want to try that requires self-rising flour (usually in a British or Australian publication), yet I don't really want to buy a whole bag that I may not use again.

1 cup flour + 1 ½ tsp. baking powder + ½ tsp. salt = 1 cup self-rising flour

Baking Powder

I got a job at a restaurant helping them move from all frozen foods to freshly prepared foods. Due to the fact that they were baking from boxes out of the freezer, they had little need for a full baking arsenal. No baking powder? Easy to fix.

¼ tsp. baking soda + ½ tsp. cream of tartar + ¼ tsp. cornstarch = 1 tsp. baking powder


I love using buttermilk in my baking, as it adds great moisture to my cakes. It almost always goes bad on me too quickly, and I end up throwing out half a quart. To create your own buttermilk on the fly:

1 TBSP. vinegar or lemon juice + fill the rest of the cup with milk = 1 cup buttermilk

I have also substituted, in baking, ½ cup sour cream + ½ cup heavy cream for 1 cup buttermilk, to great success. As well as 2/3 cup yogurt + 1/3 cup heavy cream = 1 cup buttermilk substitute.

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