Kitchen Substitutions

We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of a recipe and you realize that you’re out of a particular ingredient. Just a little while ago, I was making cookies and realized that I didn’t have brown sugar. Rather than panic, I turned to a quick and simple substitution. In fact, there are a number of  substitutions that can be made in the kitchen to avoid panic and a mid-recipe run to the grocery store.

Easy Substitutions

  • Light Brown Sugar (1 cup)Add 2 tablespoons of molasses to 1 cup of regular white sugar.
  • Dark Brown Sugar (1 cup) – Add 4 tablespoons of molasses to 1 cup of regular white sugar.
  • Cake Flour (1 cup) – Sift 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
  • Baking Powder – Mix 2 parts cream of tartar with 1 part baking soda. Mix well and use equivalent measurement of baking powder called for in the recipe.
  • Baking Soda – Use 2-3 times equivalent of baking powder. Use with caution: this substitution does not always work and may affect the taste of your recipe.
  • Cream of Tartar (1 teaspoon) – Use 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Semisweet Chocolate (1 ounce, melted) – Melt 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate and add 4 teaspoons sugar.
  • Unsweetened Chocolate (1 ounce, melted) – Mix 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon shortening or vegetable oil.
  • Fresh Ginger (1 tablespoon) – Use 1 teaspoon ground ginger powder.
  • Allspice (1 teaspoon) – Use 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.
  • Buttermilk (1 cup) – Use 1 tablespoon vinegar and add enough milk to make 1 cup. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes. This allows the milk to sour; it should look a little frothy.
  • Sour Cream – Use equal parts plain yogurt. I tend to use Greek non-fat yogurt.
  • Chicken or Beef Broth (1 cup) – Dissolve 1 bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon in 1 cup of water.
  • Garlic (1 clove) – Use 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic.
  • Fresh Herbs (1 tablespoon) – Use 1 teaspoon dried herbs leaves or 1/2 teaspoon ground dried herbs.

Know of any other easy substitutions when you’re in a pinch? Share them in a comment below!


5 Comments Add yours

  1. You really make it appear so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which I feel I would never understand. It sort of feels too complex and extremely huge for me. I’m having a look ahead on your next submit, I will try to get the grasp of it!

    1. The King says:

      I’m sorry that this appears confusing to you. Perhaps I can clarify that the ingredients listed are what you might be missing. A “recipe” then follows, providing direction to creating a viable substitute. For instance, if you do not have 1 cup of light brown sugar, then you would add 2 tablespoons of molasses to 1 cup of regular white granulated sugar to substitute for the 1 cup of light brown sugar.

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