Ingredient Substitutions

We have four lists of ingredient substitutes from various sources. Below are two general ingredient lists. There are also Thai / Asian and Philippine ingredient substitution lists.



Allspice (1 tsp)1 tsp. cinnamon plus 1/8 tsp. ground cloves.
Apple Pie Spice4 parts cinnamon, 1 part nutmeg and 1 part ginger.
Baking Powder (1 tsp)1 tsp baking soda plus 1/2 tsp cream of tartar.
Balsamic Vinegar (1 tbsp)1 Tbsp cider vinegar.
Bouquet GarniEqual measures of thyme, parsley and crushed bay leaf; OR Equal measures of thyme, chervil and crushed bay leaf; OR Equal measures of basil, marjoram, and summer savory.
Bread Crumbs (1/4 cup)1/4 cup finely crushed cracker crumbs, corn flakes or quick-cooking oats.
Butter (1 lb)7/8 Cup solid shortening plus 1/2 tsp. salt
Buttermilk/Sour Milk
(1 cup)
1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup. Let stand 5 minutes before using. Or use 1 cup plain yogurt.
Capers (1 tbsp)1 Tbsp chopped green olives.
Chili Seasoning2 parts chili powder &
1 part paprika.
 Semisweet (1 square)1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate plus 1 Tbsp sugar.
 Unsweetened (1 square)3 Tbsp baking cocoa plus
1 Tbsp shortening or margarine.
Cornstarch (1 tbsp)2 Tbsp flour or 4 tsp quick-cooking tapioca.
Corn Syrup 
 - Light (1 cup)1 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup water.
–  Dark (1 cup)1 cup light corn syrup; 3/4 cup light corn syrup plus 1/4 cup molasses; or 1 cup maple-flavored syrup.
Cream, heavy (1 cup)2/3 cup milk and 1/3 cup butter.
Curry PowderCombine equal parts coriander, cumin, pepper, turmeric, and ginger; 4 parts coriander, 2 parts tumeric, 2 parts cumin & 1 part ginger.
Eggs (1 large)2 egg whites; 1/4 cup store-bought egg whites; 2 egg yolks (for custard or puddings); or 2 egg yolks plus 1 Tbsp water (for cookies or bars);
1 tsp. cornstarch;. or 4 extra tbs. of whatever liquid was used in the recipe.
– All-purpose (1 cup)1 cup plus 2 Tbsp cake flour.
– Cake (1 cup)1 cup minus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour.
– Self-rising (1 cup)1 cup all-purpose flour plus
1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt.
Garlic, finely chopped
(1 medium clove)
1/8 tsp garlic powder or 1/4 tsp instant minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic salt.
Gingerroot, grated or finely chopped (1 tsp)3/4 tsp ground ginger.
Herbs, chopped, fresh
(1 tbsp)
3/4 to 1 tsp dried herbs.
Herbes de Provence4 parts thyme, 4 parts savory,
2 parts lavender & 1 part rosemary.
Honey (1 cup)1 1/4 cups sugar plus 1/4 cup water or liquid used in recipe.
Ketchup1 cup of tomato sauce, 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, 2 tbs. vinegar, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, pinch of ground cloves and allspice.
Leeks, sliced (1/2 cup)1/2 cup sliced shallots or green onions.
Lemon, medium 11 tsp. grated rind plus 2 tbs. lemon juice.
Lemon Juice, fresh (1 tbsp)1 Tbsp bottled lemon juice or white vinegar.
Lemon Peel, grated (1 tsp)1 tsp dried lemon peel.
Milk (1 cup)1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water; or nonfat dry milk prepared as directed on package with 2 1/2 tsp melted butter added.
Molasses (1 cup)1/2 cup honey (flavor will be milder).
Mushrooms, fresh
(1 cup cooked)
1 can (4 oz) mushroom stems and pieces, drained.
Mushrooms (1/2 pound)4 oz. canned mushroom caps or 1 1/2 oz dried mushrooms.
Mustard (1 Tbsp)1 tsp ground mustard (dry).
Onion, small 11 tbs. instant minced or 1 tsp. onion powder.
Orange Peel, grated (1 tsp)1 tsp dried orange peel.
Oregano (1 tsp)1 tsp. marjoram.
Poultry SeasoningEqual parts sage, thyme, oregano and marjoram.
Pumpkin Pie Spice4 parts cinnamon, 2 parts ginger, 1 part nutmeg, 1 part allspice and dash of cloves.
Red Pepper Sauce
(3 or 4 drops) be careful, HOT!
1/8 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne).
Seasoning Salt1 cup salt, 2 1/4 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder.
Sesame Seeds (1 tbsp)1 Tbsp finely chopped blanched almonds.
Shortening, melted (1 cup)1 cup salad oil (cannot be substituted for 1 cup solid shortening)
Sour Cream (1 cup)1 cup plain yogurt.
Sugar, brown, packed
(1 cup)
1 cup granulated sugar plus 2 Tbsp molasses or dark corn syrup.
Sugar, granulated
(1 cup)
1 cup light brown sugar (packed) or 2 cups powdered sugar.
Sugar, superfineBlend regular granulated sugar in the blender.
Tomato Paste (1/2 cup)1 cup tomato sauce cooked uncovered till reduced to l/2 cup.
Tomato Sauce (2 cups)3/4 cup tomato paste plus 1 cup water.
Tomatoes, canned (1 cup)About 1 1/3 cups cut-up fresh tomatoes, simmered 10 min.
Vanilla ExtractGrated lemon rind, orange rind, cinnamon or nutmeg combined with a small amount of the liquid called for in the recipe to make up the amount of vanilla extract specified in the recipe.
Whipping Cream (1 cup)1 cup frozen (thawed) whipped topping or 1 cup prepared whipped topping mix.
Wine, Red (1 cup)1 cup apple cider or beef broth.
Wine, White (1 cup)1 cup apple juice, apple cider or chicken broth.
Yeast, regular or quick active dry (1 pkg or
1/4 oz)
2 1/4 tsp regular or quick active dry or 1 package (6 oz) compressed cake yeast.

List 2

All-Purpose flour in the US and plain flour in the UK are basically equal.

Cake flour in the US is not common but can be replaced by removing three tablespoons per cup and replacing it with corn starch or potato flour.

Self-raising flour in the US is all-purpose flour plus 1? teaspoon baking powder and ? teaspoon of salt per cup of flour.

Whole wheat flour in the US and wholemeal flour in the UK are basically equal.

Leavening agents
Baking soda in the United States is sodium bicarbonate. It does not work without an acidic ingredient added to it.

Baking powder contains both baking soda and a powdered acid so an added acidic ingredient is not needed.

Dairy Products
Evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk are not the same, so don’t be tempted to substitute one for the other after accidentally picking up the wrong can at the grocery store.

Sweetened condensed milk is mixed with a sweetener. If you find your self in a pinch this mix will do: 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons powered milk, ? cup granulated sugar and ? cup warm water.

Buttermilk also known as cultured milk and can be replaced by sour milk. Take one tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice, place in a measuring cup and fill with enough milk to make one cup. Do not stir, let stand for five minutes before using.

Minimum milk fat content by weight for creams:

Clotted Cream55%
Double Cream48%
Heavy Cream36%
Whipping Cream30-35%
Whipped Cream18-35%
Single Cream18%
Light Cream18%
Half Cream12%
Cornstarch in the United States and cornflour in the UK are the same product. If you don’t have cornstarch you can use double the amount of flour but it must be boiled for a while or it will taste starchy.

Potato flour is not a flour it is a starch and another equivalent to cornstarch.

Arrowroot is also and equivalent of cornstarch but it works at a lower temperature.

Cornmeal and polenta can be equivalent but polenta can also be finished product similar to mush (cooked cornmeal that conglomerates to a moist loaf texture).

Sugar and other sweeteners
Superfine sugar in the US is very similar to the caster/castor sugar in the UK.

Granulated sugar can be substituted for caster sugar but it is coarser than caster and does not alway give the desired results.

Corn syrup is not common outside the US and sugar (golden) syrup can be substituted. If you are in desperate need of corn syrup you can substitute 2 parts sugar to 1 part water and boil to a syrupy texture.

Black Treacle in the UK and molasses in the US are similar but there is a subtle difference in taste.

Shortening is a solid white fat made from hydrogenated vegetable oil. Sometimes known as Crisco? which is a brand name of shortening. Butter or margarine can be substituted for shortening but your end product will have a more buttery flavor. There is also a butter flavor Crisco?.

Copha is a solid fat the is derived from the coconut. It is used primarily in recipes where it is melted and combined with other ingredients and left to set. Health Notice this product is full of Saturated fat and should be avoided where possible.

Lard is rendered animal fat and can be successfully substituted in some recipes for shortening.

When deep frying remember that some oils are not as heat tolerant as others. Olive oil, butter, margarine and lard have a low heat tolerance and should not be used for deep frying. Corn, vegetable, canola and peanut oils all have a high heat tolerance and work well.

Unsweetened baking chocolate can be replaced with three tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and one tablespoon of oil (olive oil would not work here) for each one ounce square.

Dark chocolate in the US is the same as plain chocolate in the UK. Dark chocolate is sometimes known as semi-sweet chocolate in the US. Sweet dark, semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate are sometimes differentiated by some makers but seem to be very similar.

Milk chocolate in the US and the UK are the same.

Chocolate chips are not and alternative for bar chocolates because a chemical has been added to the chips to slow down melting.

Spatchcocks can be replace with cornish game hens.

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