Learn About Substitutes

When you are in the middle of a recipe and discover that you don’t have buttermilk or chocolate chips or cream of tartar, what do you do? Oftentimes, you can substitute an ingredient with another one. Here, you’ll find ingredient substitution charts and information that will make replacing one ingredient for another a snap. It might not result in exactly the same dish, but it’s helpful to know what to do in a pinch.  

If you ever have a question, come talk to us and other members in the CraftyBaking Community. We would love to help! 

QUICK-GUIDE
SARAH SAYS:
I've compiled a quick list of possible baking ingredient substitutions that are commonly asked about. For more extensive information, click on the categories in the substitution menu in the right-hand column.

GENERAL - Measuring Techniques - Basic Ingredient Volumes
1 tablespoon (tbsp) =     3 teaspoons (tsp)
1/16 cup =    1 tablespoon
1/8 cup =    2 tablespoons
1/6 cup =    2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons
1/4 cup =    4 tablespoons
1/3 cup =    5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
3/8 cup =    6 tablespoons
1/2 cup =    8 tablespoons
2/3 cup =    10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons
3/4 cup =    12 tablespoons
      
1 cup =     48 teaspoons
1 cup =     16 tablespoons
8 fluid ounces (fl oz) =     1 cup
1 pint (pt) =    2 cups
1 quart (qt) =    2 pints
4 cups =    1 quart
1 gallon (gal) =    4 quarts
16 ounces (oz) =     1 pound (lb)
1 milliliter (ml) =    1 cubic centimeter (cc)
1 inch (in) =    2.54 centimeters (cm)-Measure dry ingredients in dry measuring cups
-Measure liquid ingredients in liquid measuring cups
-Weigh ingredients using a kitchen scale

Allspice (1 tsp.) = 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Blend thoroughly

Baking Powder (1 tsp.) = There is no substitution for DOUBLE-ACTING BAKING POWDER, the kind used in recipes today

Baking Soda = There is no good substitute.

Butter or Margarine
2 cups (4 sticks) = 1 pound or 16 ounces
1 cup (2 sticks) = 1/2 pound or 8 ounces
1/2 cup (1 stick) = 1/4 pound = 8 tablespoons = 4 ounces = 113 grams
1/3 cup = 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) = 4 tablespoons = 2 ounces
1/8 cup (1/4 stick) = 2 tablespoons = 1 ounce
1/8 stick = 1 tablespoon = 1/2 ounce

1 cup butter = 1 cup margarine = 1 cup regular or butter flavored shortening (packed)

1 pound unsalted butter = 1 pound salted butter (remove 1 teaspoon salt from the recipe)

Buttermilk (1 cup) = Real fresh buttermilk works the best, but can use:
Dairy:
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or distilled white vinegar (does not add flavor to baked good) in a glass measuring cup.  Add in milk to equal 1 cup. Stir. Let stand for 15 minutes until it looks like it is beginning to curdle or slightly curdled.
OR  
2/3 cup plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt plus 1/3 cup milk
OR Powdered buttermilk, follow directions on package

Non-dairy:
Place 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or distilled white wine vinegar (does not add flavor to baked good) in a glass measuring cup. Add in plain non-dairy milk (soy, nut, rice, oat, or mixed grain milk) to equal 1 cup. Stir. Let stand for 15 minutes until it looks like it is beginning to curdle or slightly curdled  
OR
1/4 cup silken tofu + 3/4 cup water + 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar + pinch of salt (blended together)

Cake flour, bleached (1 cup) = Real cake flour works the best, but can use:
1 cup (preferably) bleached all-purpose flour  minus 2 tablespoons, and then add in 2 tablespoons cornstarch.  

Chocolate Chips = 1 package (12 ounces) chocolate chips = 2 cups or same weight (12 ounces) chopped chocolate

Citrus Peel =
Lemon: One lemon yields approximately 1 tablespoon of zest.
Lime: A yield of a lime is hard to predict because the thickness of the skin varies so much. Key limes, because of their thin skins, do not zest well. Use a regular lime, instead.
Orange: One large orange yields approximately 2 tablespoons of zest.
Tangerine: 2 - 3 tablespoons tangerine zest obtained from 12 - 13 tangerines
 
Cream of Tartar = 
In general, for each 1 large egg white, use 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon distilled white vinegar; or, up to 1 teaspoon cream of tartar per 1 cup egg whites
NOTE: Pasteurized egg whites NEED cream of tartar or lemon juice added so you can be able to beat to a stiff meringue. You will need double the amount. For example, for cream of tartar for pasteurized eggs: for 1 pasteurized egg white use 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar.  

Flour, Self-rising =
For each cup of cake or all-purpose flour, add 1 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. 

Salt = 1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt = roughly 1 1/4 teaspoons Morton's kosher salt = roughly 1 3/4 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt 

Yeast = 

-For 1 packed tablespoon cake yeast use 2 teaspoons instant yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry
-Use 1.25 times the weight; or, for 1 teaspoon instant yeast, use about 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
-Use 0.67 times the weight; or, for 1 teaspoons active dry yeast, use 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
-Use 0.32 times the weight; or, for 1 packed Tablespoon (21 grams) fresh yeast, use 2 teaspoons instant yeast

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