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.
- 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!