It happens to even the most prepared cooks: in the midst of making a recipe you find you’re missing a key ingredient. No worries! Our list of easy ingredient substitutions can help in a pinch. No buttermilk? No problem! Can’t find fresh leeks? We have you covered.

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Ingredient Amount Substitution
Allspice 1 teaspoon ground 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Apple Pie Spice 1 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/8 teaspoon allspice + 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
Baking Powder 1 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Buttermilk 1 cup 1 cup regular milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice Let stand for 5 minutes
Chives 1 tablespoon chopped 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
Chocolate (unsweetened) 1 ounce 3 tablespoons  cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon butter
Chocolate (semisweet) 1 ounce 3 tablespoons cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon sugar, or 1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate + 1 tablespoon sugar
Cornstarch (for thickening) 1 tablespoon 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Corn Syrup 2 cups 1 cup granulated sugar
Cream, Heavy 1 cup 1 cup evaporated milk or 3/4 cup whole milk + 3 tablespoons butter
Cream, Light 1 cup 1/2 cup heavy cream + 1/2 cup whole milk, or 7/8 cup whole milk + 3 tablespoons butter
Cream of Tartar 1 teaspoon 1 teaspoon lemon juice, or
1 teaspoon vinegar
Crème Fraiche 1 cup 1/2 cup heavy cream + 1/2 cup sour cream Whisk and let stand several hours at room temperature
Fats (for baking) 1 cup 1 cup applesauce or 1 cup fruit puree
Flour, Cake 1 cup 7/8 cup sifted all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Flour, Self-Rising 1 cup 1 cup minus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt
Garlic 1 clove 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Hazelnuts 1 cup 1 cup macadamia nuts
Herbs, Fresh 1 tablespoon chopped 1 teaspoon chopped dried herbs
Honey 1 cup 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar + 1/4 cup liquid
Jicama 6 ounces 6 ounces water chestnuts
Leek 1 cup 1 cup sliced green onion, or
sliced 1 cup sliced shallot
Mayonnaise 1 cup 1 cup sour cream, or
1 cup plain yogurt
Milk, Whole 1 cup 1/2 cup evaporated milk + 1/2 cup water
Mushrooms, Fresh 16 ounces 12 ounces canned mushrooms, drained
Mustard, Prepared 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon dried mustard + 1 teaspoon vinegar + 1 teaspoon cold water + 1 teaspoon sugar Let stand for 15 minutes after mixing
Onion, Yellow 1/4 cup chopped 1 tablespoon minced dried onion, or 1 tablespoon onion powder
Pumpkin Pie Spice 1 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves, or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Shallots 1/4 cup chopped 1/4 cup chopped green onion or 1/4 cup chopped leek
Sugar, Powdered 1 cup 1 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon cornstarch Process in food processor with metal blade until powdery
Tomato Juice 1 cup 1/2 cup tomato sauce + 1/2 cup water, or 1/4 cup tomato paste + 3/4 cup water + dash salt + dash sugar
Tomato Paste 1/2 cup 1 cup tomato sauce Simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup
Tomato Sauce 1 cup 1/2 cup tomato paste + 1/2 cup water
Lee Clayton Roper

Welcome!

I’m Lee Clayton Roper, and I’m passionate about making cooking and entertaining easy, elegant and fun. Here you’ll find scrumptious recipes, helpful tips and seasonal menus that will spark inspiration in your kitchen!
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One Response to “Ingredient Substitutions”

  1. Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life

    This is awesome!! How many times have we all started a recipe and realized we didn’t have something! Thanks for sharing it as #FoodieFriDIY…now it’s my turn to share! 🙂 I’m posting it on Facebook right now! I’ll send some other foodie love your way too!

    Reply

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