- Cake Flour: Cake Flour has a lower protein content than all purpose flour, yielding a softer, more tender, cupcake. To make your own cake flour all you need is all-purpose flour and cornstarch. For 1 cup of cake flour, add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to a 1 cup measuring cup. Add spoonfuls of all-purpose flour on top until you have filled the measuring cup. Level off flour with a knife. Sift together or pour mixture into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Use as needed in recipe.
- 1 cup cake flour = 1 cup, minus 2 tablespoons bleached, all-purpose flour (100g), plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch (14g)
- Self-Rising Flour: Self-Rising Flour is cake flour or all-purpose flour that has baking powder and salt mixed in with it.
- 1 cup (cake or all-purpose) self-rising flour = 1 cup flour (use type called for, ie cake or all-purpose) + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sift together or pour mixture into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Use as needed in recipe.
- Pastry Flour: Pastry flour has a slightly higher protein content than cake flour, yet it has less gluten than all purpose flour.
- 1 cup pastry flour = 1 cup, minus 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour (112.5g), plus 1 tablespoons cornstarch (7g)
- Whole Wheat Flour: You can sub up to half the whole wheat flour in most recipes for all purpose flour or bread flour.
- Cocoa Powder:
- Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder: May substitute equal amounts of natural unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per every 1/4 cup. This will neutralize the acids in the natural cocoa, so you are able to use it in a recipe that relies on baking powder for leavening. (See ingredients 101 for more info on types of cocoa powder)
- Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: May substitute equal amounts of Dutch-processed cocoa powder, omitting any baking soda called for in the recipe.
- Baking Soda: There is no recommended homemade substitute for baking soda.
- Baking Powder: To substitute 1 teaspoon of single acting baking powder, combine 1/4 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar and 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch. There is no recommended substitute for double-acting baking powder, most commonly sold in grocery stores. (See ingredients 101 for more info on the difference between the two)
- Cream of tartar: There is no recommended substitution for cream of tartar.
- Milk, Cream & Buttermilk: For a dairy free alternative, try using soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk (rice milk will make your baked goods too dry, so try to avoid it in baking). When a recipe calls for milk, I always like to use whole milk or buttermilk, for a richer, more moist baked good but 2% works too.
- Homemade Whole Milk Substitute: 1 cup whole milk = 1 cup fat free skim milk mixed with 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or margarine.
- Homemade Buttermilk Substitute: 1 cup buttermilk = Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup (note that you will not be able to taste this in your recipe). Add enough milk (dairy or non dairy) to equal 1 cup. Stir, and let sit 5-10 minutes before using (milk will look like it is starting to curdle). You can also use equal parts plain yogurt or sour cream mixed with milk in place of buttermilk in certain recipes for a rich tang, but this will yield a more heavy and dense baked good. (If using an acidic liquid like buttermilk, make sure baking soda is present in the recipe, so it will rise properly).The acidity in buttermilk creates a more soft and tender crumb, so I use it in most of my cakes and cupcakes.
- Heavy Cream Substitute: 1 cup heavy cream = 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter mixed with 2/3 cup whole milk (not low fat or fat free) Note: This substitute will not whip and can only be used for recipes that use cream as a liquid, not in it's whipped state. 1 cup heavy whipping cream = 2 cups whipped cream
- Half & Half Substitute: 1 cup = 1/2 cup light cream + 1/2 cup whole milk OR 1/4 cup heavy cream + 3/4 cup whole milk OR 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter plus enough whole milk to equal 1 cup.
- Eggs: There are many egg substitutes in baking, eggs perform a different function, depending on what you're baking. The main functions of eggs in baking are thickening, binding to hold the ingredients together and leavening to make baked goods rise light and fluffy. Identifying their function in a particular recipe will help you decide with how to replace them. Different egg replacers will work best in different recipes. For example, in custard pies, like pumpkin pie, eggs are mainly for thickening. In quick breads, cakes and cupcakes, both leavening and binding is needed, while extra yolks add richness and extra whites help to make the cake light and fluffy. Yet, in cookies, the egg acts as a binder, holding the ingredients together and adding moisture. Note, I don't recommend using egg substitutes with recipes that use a lot of eggs, egg yolks, or recipes that require a lot of egg white like angel food cake. The less egg in any recipe, the easier to substitute and less noticeable it will be. Egg substitutes like Ener-G Egg Replacer are probably the most simple and effective, but here are some simple alternatives from ingredients you might already have in your kitchen.
Substitute 1 large egg with:
- 1 tablespoon vinegar, white or apple cider in cakes & cupcakes
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch OR ground flax seed meal, mixed with 2 tablespoons water and let sit for a few minutes to thicken, in cookies, brownies and quick breads
- 1/4 cup fruit puree like applesauce, pumpkin puree, mashed banana, prunes or dates, etc. in muffins, pancakes, brownies and bread for a great low cholesterol alternative.
Fats: It is always best to substitute a solid fat for a solid fat (butter, margarine, shortening, lard) and a liquid fat for a liquid fat (canola oil, vegetable oil, etc.). Solid fats that have been melted do not become a "liquid fat". Butter for instance, contains milk solids (oil does not) that will firm and set after your baked good has cooled.
- Butter: Unsalted butter is usually called for when not specifically stated but salted butter can be used in its place by reducing the amount of salt in the recipe by 1 teaspoon per pound of butter. I do not recommend substituting oil for butter or using low-fat spreads, margarine or light butter for baking.
- 1 cup butter = 1 cup margarine = 1 cup vegan butter = 7/8 cup vegetable oil, lard or shortening (regular or butter flavored)
- Oil: Substitute half of the oil in the recipe for unsweetened applesauce to cut the fat for a healthier alternative. For example, if the recipe calls for 1/4 cup oil, use 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons applesauce. Note this may change the texture of your baked goods, and make them more dense and chewy.
Chocolate: Do not substitute chocolate syrup for melted chocolate OR cocoa/hot chocolate mix for cocoa powder in any recipe. These substitution will not work as well as the original chocoalte needed in all recipes.
-3 tablespoons chocolate chips = 1 ounce baking chocolate
-1 (12oz) package chocolate chips = 2 cups
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted = 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder mixed with 1 tablespoon of melted unsalted butter, margarine or shortening.
- 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, melted = 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder mixed with 3 1/2 teaspoons sugar, and 2 teaspoons of melted unsalted butter, margerine, shortening or vegetable oil OR 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted, plus 1 tablespoons granulated white sugar OR 3 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips, melted
- 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate = 1 ounce semisweet chocolate; Bittersweet and semisweet chocolate may be used interchangeably, but note that it will change the flavor and texture slightly, as semisweet chocolate is more sweet than bittersweet chocolate.
- 1 ounce milk chocolate = 1 ounce semisweet chocolate; milk chocolate and semisweet chocolate may be used interchangeably, but note that it will change the flavor and texture slightly, as milk chocolate is more sweet than semisweet chocolate.
- 1 ounce Mexican chocolate = 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, melted, mixed with 1/2 teaspoon ground Mexican cinnamon.
- Brown Sugar:
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed = 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed = 1 cup granulated white sugar + 1 heaping tablespoon molasses (for light) - 2 tablespoons molasses (for golden)
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed = 1 cup light brown sugar, packed = 1 cup granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup molasses
- Powdered Sugar (Confectioners' Sugar): 1 cup = 1 cup granulated white sugar + 1 tablespoon cornstarch, pulsed in a food processor until powder.
- Honey/Corn Syrup:
- My substitute equal parts light corn syrup with honey; note that this will affect taste.
- 1 cup dark corn syrup = 3/4 cup light corn syrup plus 1/4 cup molasses, note that this will affect taste.
- Coffee: 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee = 1/2 cup hot water + 2 teaspoon instant coffee or 1 teaspoon espresso powder
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