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Common Kitchen Substitutions

We’ve all run into this problem. You’re in the middle of cooking something, or just super excited about creating a new concoction – and are sad and disappointed when you go to your cupboard and find that you’re out of the one ingredient that you absolutely need. The good news is that anything goes in the kitchen and you can get away with adding or omitting just about anything!
Some stuff though, ya just need and can’t get away with leaving out. In those times, you need a good substitution – something that you can use in place of the ingredient that you are missing. Here’s a list of some common substitutions that you can use when you’re stuck just minutes before suppertime! 

This article has been reproduced with the kind permission of Kates Cuisine. Please visit her site for a great selection of recipes and more helpful tips.




1 teaspoon

All Spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon each ginger and cloves

1 cup

Baking Mix

1 cup pancake mix

1 teaspoon

Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup


1 cup chicken broth

1 cup

Bread Crumbs

1 cup cracker crumbs/ground oats/or Corn Flakes

1 cup

Beef or Chicken Broth

1 bouillon cube plus one cup boiling water OR 1 tablespoon of soy sauce plus 1 cup boiling water

1 cup, packed

Brown Sugar

1 cup white sugar or 1 cup white sugar plus 1/4 cup molasses (decrease liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup) OR 1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 cup

Butter 1 cup shortening OR 7/8 cup of vegetable shortening OR 7/8 cup of lard

1 cup


1 cup yogurt OR 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar with enough milk to make 1 cup

1 Ounce

Semi Sweet Chocolate

1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate and 4 teaspoons of sugar OR 1 ounce semisweet chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon shortening

1 Ounce

Unsweetened Chocolate

3 tablespoons cocoa (unsweetened) with 1 tablespoon shortening or vegetable oil

1/4 cup


1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate

1 cup

Corn Syrup

1 1/4 cup white sugar with 1/3 cup water OR 1 cup honey

1 cup

Cottage Cheese

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup

Half and Half Cream

1 tablespoon of butter with enough milk to make one cup

1 cup

Heavy Cream

1 cup evaporated milk OR 3/4 cup milk with 3 tablespoons butter

1 cup

Whipped Cream

1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 cup

Cream Cheese

1 cup pureed cottage cheese

1 teaspoon

Cream of Tartar

2 teaspoons of either lemon juice or vinegar

1 Whole


3 tablespoons of mayonnaise OR mash half a banana with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup

Cake Flour

1 cup all-purpose flour, less 2 tablespoons

1 cup

Self-Rising Flour

7/8 cup all-purpose flour mixed with 1.5 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon

Fresh Herbs

1 teaspoon dried herb

1 cup


1 1/4 cup white sugar mixed with 1/3 cup water OR 1 cup corn syrup

1 teaspoon

Hot Sauce

3/4 cup teaspoon cayenne pepper plus 1 teaspoon vinegar

1 cup


1 cup tomato sauce with 1 teaspoon sugar and one teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon

Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon vinegar OR 1 teaspoon lime juice

1 cup


1 cup sour cream OR 1 cup plain yogurt

1 cup

Whole Milk

2/3 cup evaporated milk with 1/3 cup water OR 1 cup soy milk

1 cup


3/4 cup brown sugar with 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 tablespoon

Prepared Mustard

1 tablespoon dried mustard with 1 teaspoon water, 1 teaspoon vinegar, and 1 teaspoon sugar

1 Ounce


1 ounce salami

1 cup

Sour Cream

1 cup plain yogurt OR 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar with enough cream to make 1 cup

1/2 cup

Soy Sauce

4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce with 1 tablespoon of water

1 cup

White Sugar

1 cup brown sugar OR 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar OR 3/4 cup honey OR 3/4 cup corn syrup

1 cup


1 cup sour cream OR 1 cup buttermilk



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