The Best Resource To Turn To In An Ingredient Emergency

Ingredient Substitutions

There are few things more frustrating than having your heart set on baking or cooking something and then discovering you’re out of one (or more) of the crucial ingredients. I also hate returning from the grocery store and realizing I didn’t get the main thing I went there to get! (We don’t have to get into specifics about how many times I’ve done this, right?)

But fret no more, fellow forgetters, because the common ingredient substitutions featured in today’s post can save your skin in either scenario. Instead of getting derailed and making yet another trip to the store, you can use something else in place of what you don’t have and keep on truckin’.

Ingredient Substitutions

While researching ingredient substitutions, I came across lists that seemed unnecessarily comprehensive (just what is rennet anyway?) as well as lists that weren’t comprehensive enough. In the end, I decided to come up with my own list that works for me, and I’m confident it will work for you too!

Check out the list in full here, then download your own copy of the list as a printable PDF near the end of this post.

Ingredient Substitutions

Common Ingredient Substitutions For Cooking And Baking

For ingredients with several viable substitutions, I’ve listed each option on a separate line. Ingredients with a plus sign (+) between them are meant to be combined.

Apple cider vinegar (1/4 cup)
Substitute… 1/4 cup white vinegar

Ingredient Substitutions

Balsamic vinegar (1 Tbsp)
Substitute… 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Beer (1 cup)
Substitute… 1 cup non-alcoholic beer
1 cup beef broth
1 cup apple cider vinegar

Ingredient Substitutions

Baking powder (1 tsp)
Substitute… 1/4 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp baking soda + 1/2 cup buttermilk (in this case, decrease liquid in recipe by 1/2 cup)

Barbecue sauce (1 cup)
Substitute… 1 cup ketchup + 1/2 to 1 tsp liquid smoke

Bread crumbs (1 cup)
Substitute… 1 cup cracker crumbs
1 cup matzo meal
1 cup ground oats

Brown sugar (1 cup)
Substitute… 1 cup granulated sugar + 2 Tbsp molasses

Ingredient Substitutions

Butter, salted (1 cup)
Substitute… 1 cup margarine
1 cup shortening + 1/2 tsp salt
7/8 cup vegetable oil + 1/2 tsp salt

Buttermilk (1 cup)
Substitute… 1 cup yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar + enough milk to make 1 cup

Ingredient Substitutions

Corn syrup (1 cup)
Substitute… 1 cup honey
1 cup sugar + 1/4 cup liquid (whatever is called for in the recipe)

Ingredient Substitutions

Cream cheese (1 cup)
Substitute… 1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, beaten until smooth

Cream, half and half (1 cup)
Substitute… 7/8 cup whole milk + 2 Tbsp melted butter

Ingredient Substitutions

Cream, heavy (not for whipping) (1 cup)
Substitute… 2/3 cup whole milk + 1/3 cup melted butter

Cream of tartar (1 tsp)
Substitute… 2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp vinegar

Herbs, dried (1 tsp)
Substitute… 1 Tbsp fresh herbs, finely chopped

Ingredient Substitutions

Herbs, fresh (1 Tbsp)
Substitute… 1 tsp dried herbs

Ingredient Substitutions

Honey (1 cup)
Substitute… 1 1/4 cups sugar + 1/4 cup liquid (whatever is called for in the recipe)

Hot pepper sauce (1 tsp)
Substitute… 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper + 1 tsp vinegar

Ingredient Substitutions

Lemon juice (1 Tbsp)
Substitute… 1 Tbsp white vinegar

Mayonnaise (1 cup)
Substitute… 1 cup sour cream
1 cup yogurt

Ingredient Substitutions

Mustard (1 Tbsp)
Substitute… 1 Tbsp dried mustard + 1 tsp water + 1 tsp vinegar + 1 tsp sugar

Oil (1 cup)
Substitute… 1 cup melted butter
1 cup margarine
1 cup shortening

Shortening (1 cup)
Substitute… 1 cup butter
1 cup margarine

White vinegar (1/4 cup)
Substitute… 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice

Ingredient Substitutions

Wine, red (1 cup)
Substitute… 1 cup non-alcoholic wine
1 cup apple cider
1 cup beef broth
1 cup tomato juice
1 cup water

Wine, white (1 cup)
Substitute… 1 cup non-alcoholic wine
1 cup white grape juice
1 cup apple juice
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup water

Ingredient Substitutions

Download The Ingredient Substitutions Cheat Sheet

Download a printable version of this list using the button below. Hang it on the inside of a cupboard door or keep it in a drawer so you can reference it at needed.

Ingredient Substitutions Cheat Sheet

Print out this handy “cheat sheet” of common ingredient substitutions and keep it in your kitchen for quick and easy reference.

Download The Ingredient Substitutions PDF

Have you ever used substitutions to salvage a cooking or baking project?