Pulling from the bench

Ingredient substitutes 

No matter how hard I try to prepare, I almost always find myself short an ingredient during the holiday baking crunch. Usually it's after the nearby store is closed, too, which means I'm faced with an unpleasant choice: drive miles to the closest 24-hour store, or find something to substitute for the missing ingredients.

The folks at Whole Foods have made the latter option is a bit easier with a handy substitution guide. Out of baking powder? No problem, just use 2 parts cream of tartar to 1 part baking soda. Missing buttermilk? This is another easy fix: just stir 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar into 1 cup of regular milk and let the mixture rest for 5 minutes. You can also substitute unflavored kefir for buttermilk.

The list provides several substitutions for eggs, while noting that due to the various roles egg play in baking - binder, leavener, adding richness - not all substitutions will work equally well. Various combinations of common ingredients will work in a pinch for a number of applications usually handled by eggs. Other baking ingredients like gelatin and pastry flour are also covered.

Pillsbury also has a substitution list that includes different types of chocolate swaps in addition to dairy and leavener substitutes. Not included in either list is a substitution for brown sugar. For that, use 3 tablespoons molasses or sorghum to 1 cup sugar for dark brown sugar; half the amount of molasses for light brown sugar. 


  • sir_ken_g  on  12/13/2015 at 9:17 AM

    These will go on the inside doors of our kitchen cabinets.

  • Mrs_MG  on  12/16/2015 at 5:12 PM

    Excellent!! Also a good reminder for those things you really should have on hand, so you've no need to substitute! -Mrs_MG

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