Common Baking Substitutions

A list of all the most common baking substitutions to help you out in case you find that you are out of a key ingredient while baking.

Baking substitutions printable

Don’t Have What You Need? don’t fret!

Many common baking ingredients have substitutions that work well.

Be aware that even though these common substitutions are used quite successfully, they don’t always match what is originally called for in a recipe. Unlike cooking where you can easily adjust ingredients, baking is more of a science.

When any ingredients in a baking recipe is replaced it changes the way the dish bakes. Sometimes I like the result even better than what is called for in a recipe. While other times I can’t tell a difference. In some rare cases the substitution I was disappointed when it didn’t work quite as well as I’d hoped. 

Substitutions are great because they often use ingredients that I usually have on hand. For example I don’t always have buttermilk on hand, but I do always have milk and vinegar.

**Scroll to the bottom to download the printable.

Subs for the Most common Baking Ingredients

If we’ve missed one that you’d like to have us add to this list, be sure to leave a comment below to let us know. 😉

Baking soda: Use 2 teaspoons of baking powder

Baking powder: 1 teaspoon of baking powder can be created with ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar, and ¼ teaspoon of cornstarch. This is the most common substitution, but check out our blog post all about Baking Powder Substitutions for even more ideas. 


  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons of water
  • Commercial egg replacer
  • 1 tsp baking soda mixed with 1 tablespoon of vinegar can replace one egg in most recipes
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt or ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons of mayo
  • ½ banana mashed with ½ teaspoon of baking powder


  • 1 cup of salted butter = 1 cup of margarine
  • 1 cup of salted butter = 1 cup of vegetable shortening and ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of salted butter = ⅞ cup of lard and ½ teaspoon of salt

Buttermilk: Here are a few ideas but we also have a blog post all about Making Buttermilk.

  • 1 cup of buttermilk can be made with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or 1 tablespoon of vinegar with enough milk added to that to make it a full cup (then let it stand for 5 minutes).
  • OR substitute 1 cup of buttermilk for 1 cup of plain yogurt

Bread Flour: 1 cup of bread flour = 1 cup of all purpose flour and 1 teaspoon of wheat gluten

Brown Sugar: 

  • 1 cup of brown sugar = 1 cup of white sugar and ¼ cup molasses (while also decreasing the liquid in the recipe by ¼) 
  • 1 cup of brown sugar = use 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of brown sugar = 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar

Cake flour: 1 cup of cake flour can be substituted with ¾ cup flour and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch

Corn Syrup:

  • 1 cup corn syrup = 1 ¼ sugar and ⅓ cup of water
  • 1 cup corn syrup = 1 cup of honey
  • 1 cup corn syrup = 1 cup light treacle syrup

Cream cheese: 1 cup of cream cheese = 1 cup of pureed cottage cheese

Cream of tartar: ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar = 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar.

Half and Half: 1 cup of half and half = ½ cup whole milk and ½ cup heavy cream

Heavy cream: 1 cup of heavy cream =  ¾ cup milk and ⅓ cup of butter

Heavy whipping cream: 1 cup of heavy whipping cream = ⅔ cup whole milk and ⅓ cup melted butter


  • 1 cup honey = 1 ¼ cup white sugar and ⅓ cup water 
  • 1 cup honey = 1 cup of corn syrup
  • 1 cup honey = 1 cup agave syrup


  • 1 cup of whole milk = ½ cup of evaporated milk and ½ cup of water
  • 1 cup of whole milk = 1 cup of skim milk and 2 tablespoons of melted butter

Powdered sugar: 1 cup of powdered sugar = 1 cup of white sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch

Pumpkin Pie Spice: 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice is ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon,  ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice, ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Self rising flour: 1 cup of self rising flour = 1 cup of all- purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt

Sour Cream: 1 cup of sour cream = 1 cup of plain yogurt

Sweetened Condensed Milk: ¾ cup of white sugar mixed with ½ cup water and 1 ⅛ cup of powdered milk. Bring it to a boil and stir until it thickens, about 20 minutes.

Vegetable Shortening

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening = 1 cup of butter
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening = 1 cup of margarine 

Vegetable Oil

  • 1 cup of vegetable oil = 1 cup grapeseed oil, canola oil or sunflower oil
  • (For Baking) 1 cup of vegetable oil = 1 cup applesauce, melted coconut oil, or butter 

White sugar:

  • 1 cup of white sugar = ¾ cup honey
  • 1 cup of white sugar = ¾ cup syrup
  • 1 cup of white sugar = 1 cup coconut sugar


  • ¼ ounce of dry active yeast =  2 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • ¼ ounce of dry active yeast = 2 ¼ teaspoon rapid-rise yeast
  • ¼ ounce of dry active yeast = ⅓ of 2 ounce cake yeast


For more helpful tips, check out:

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My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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