Cooking Substitutions

0 Comments | May 30, 2013

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buttermilk pancakesThese cooking substitutions will come in handy when you need a particular ingredient for a recipe but don’t have it on hand.

Often you will be able to substitute another ingredient or mixture and get very similar, sometimes exact, results.

If you have ideas for cooking substitutions that you don’t see here, I would love to hear from you. Please contact me so we can share them.

  • 1 cup sifted all purpose flour = 1 cup unsifted all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons or = 1 1/4 cups sifted cake and pastry flour.
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  • 1 cup cake and pastry flour = 1 cup minus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour.
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  • 1 cup sifted self-rising flour = 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt.
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  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (for thickening) = 2 tbsp flour or = 2 tsp quick cooking tapioca.
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  • 1 tsp baking powder = 1/4 tsp baking soda plus 3/4 tsp cream of tartar.
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  • 1 tsp double-acting baking powder = 1 1/2 tsp phosphate baking powder or = 2 tsp tartrate baking powder.
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  • 1 cup butter = 1 cup margarine (hard/brick type) or = 1 cup shortening.
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  • 1 cup liquid honey = 1 1/4 cups sugar plus 1/4 cup liquid.
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  • 1 cup corn syrup = 1 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup liquid.
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  • 1 cup granulated sugar = 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed or = 1 1/3 cups brown sugar.
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  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk = 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar in a 1 cup measure then add milk to make the 1 cup. Let stand 5 minutes.
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  • 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup plain yogurt.
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  • 1 cup sour cream = 1 cup plain yogurt.
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  • 1 cup milk = 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water.
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  • 1 cup skim milk = 3 tbsp skim milk powder plus 1 cup water.
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  • 1 cup cream = 3/4 cup milk plus 1/4 cup butter.
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  • 1/2 cup oil = 1/2 cup melted butter or = 1/2 cup solid shortening, melted.
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  • 1 ounce chocolate (1 square) = 3 tbsp cocoa plus 1 tbsp butter or shortening.
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  • 1 package active dry yeast = 1 tbsp active dry yeast or = 1 cake of compressed yeast.
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  • 1 whole egg (approximately 1/4 cup) = 2 egg yolks plus 1 tbsp water. Omit the water for custards and similarly textured food.
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  • 1 cup meat stock (eg. beef broth) = 1 cup consomme or canned meat broth.
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  • 1 cup meat stock = 1 bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup hot water or = 1 tsp instant bouillon.
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  • 4 cups chicken stock = 1 4 to 5 pound chicken, boiled for stock or = 4 cups canned broth or = 4 tsp instant chicken bouillon. Another cooking substitution would be 4 instant bouillon cubes plus 4 cups of water.
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  • 1 cup tomato juice = 1/2 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup water.
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  • 1 cup tomato sauce = 1/2 cup tomato paste plus 1/2 cup water.
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  • 1 cup ketchup = 1 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup sugar plus 2 tbsp vinegar.
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  • 1 clove garlic = 1/8 tsp garlic powder or 1/2 tsp garlic salt.
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  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped green or red pepper = 1 tbsp dried pepper flakes.
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  • 1 tsp dry mustard = 1 tbsp prepared mustard.
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  • 1 small onion = 1/4 cup chopped or = 1 tbsp dehydrated minced onion or = 1 tbsp onion salt.
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  • 1 tbsp fresh herbs (eg. parsley or basil) = 1 tsp dried.
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  • Juice of 1 lemon = 3 to 4 tbsp bottled lemon juice.
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  • 1/3 cup rum = 1 tbsp rum flavoring.
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With these cooking substitutions in hand, look here to convert measurements.


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