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Substitutions Tips

Read these 18 Substitutions Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cooking tips and hundreds of other topics.

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I have a recipe that calls for buttermilk, but I know I’ll eventually wind up throwing the excess out. Is there a substitute?

A Stand-In for Buttermilk

There's nothing more annoying than buying an entire quart of buttermilk for a recipe that only calls for a small amount. Instead, combine 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar, plus enough milk to equal one cup. Stir together and allow to stand for 5 minutes to create “faux buttermilk.” For another option, mix 1 ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar with a cup of milk and let sit for several minutes.

   
Can I substitute regular flour for cake flour?

Cake Flour vs. All Purpose

Cooking tips: To substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour, measure out 1 cup of all-purpose flour, and then remove 2 tablespoons.

   
What can I substitute for baking powder?

Baking Powder Substitute

You can substitute 1/4 tsp baking soda plus 1/2 tsp cream of tartar for 1 tsp of baking powder.

   
What can I use if I don´t have half & half?

Half & Half or Light Cream

Light cream and half-and-half can be substituted for each other.

   
How many cups of whipped does evaporated milk make?

Evaporated Milk

One cup evaporated milk equals about 3 cups whipped.

   
What can I use if I don´t have allspice?

Allspice Substitute

When your recipe calls for 1 tsp allspice - you can use 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp ground cloves.

   
What can I use if I don´t have sour milk?

Sour Milk

When a recipe calls for 1 cup sour milk, combine 1 to 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice and enough milk to measure 1 cup.

   
What do I do if I don´t have a rolling pin?

No Rolling Pin

If you don't have a rolling pin, fill a jar with cold water and roll on your pastry.

   
What can I substitute for brown sugar?

Brown Sugar Substitute

You can substitute 3/4 cup granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup molasses for 1 cup of brown sugar.

   
What can I substitute for whipped cream?

Whipped Cream Substitute

If you don't have any whipped cream, you can pour a 13 ounce can of evaporated milk in a bowl and chill in the freezer until ice crystals form. Add 1 tsp lemon juice and whip it until it's stiff.

   
How much brown sugar is in a pound?

Brown Sugar

One pound of brown sugar is equal to about 2 1/4 cups, firmly packed.

   
What can I use if I don´t have unsweetened chocolate?

Unsweetened Chocolate

Substitute 3T cocoa plus 3T shortening to equal 1 sq. of unsweetened chocolate.

   
How do I substitute honey for sugar in a recipe?

Cooking with Honey

When substituting honey for sugar, you should add 1/2 tsp of baking soda for every cup of honey used and bake at a temperature of 25 degrees lower than the recipe calls for. You will also need to use a little less honey than sugar.

   
Is there a substitution for baking chocolate?

Baking Chocolate Substitution

Substitute 3/4 cup cocoa (unsweetened) and 1/4 cup Crisco for 4 squares (ounces) of chocolate.

   
What can I use if I don't have buttermilk?

Buttermilk

Cooking Substitutions: Substitute for 1 cup buttermilk: 1 cup plain yogurt OR 1 cup whole milk mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

   
What a substitution for flour?

Flour for Oatmeal?

Many times you can use 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats to replace 1 cup of all-purpose flour.

   
What's an easy seasoning tip?

Too Much Salt

Looking for cooking tips which reduce salt? Here's a great substitution:

This is a question I receive frequently...
If you use too much salt in a soup recipe, what can you do to "de-salt" it? It seems to me that I read once that adding a raw potato or a piece of raw apple would do that. Any suggestions?

Yes, if you add a raw potato to the broth and then simmer until the potato is cooked, it will take some of the salt out...mainly because it is absorbing some of the broth as well. You can also add more unsalted broth or liquid to your soup, or if it is really oversalted, you might want to double the recipe...you can always freeze the extra soup for a later date.

   
What is a healthy alternative to vegetable oil?

A Healthy Alternative to Vegetable Oil

Applesauce can be substituted for vegetable oil in most recipes. This works especially well when making baked goods. This substitution can be used when baking from scratch or when using box mixes. For the best results, use unsweetened store-bought applesauce. Homemade applesauce can be used as well, but be sure it has been thoroughly pureed. To substitute, simply double the amount of oil called for in the recipe and add that amount of applesauce. For example, if the recipe requires 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, add 2/3 cup of applesauce. When baking with applesauce in place of vegetable oil, there is no need to adjust any other elements of your recipe. Bake at the same temperature for the same length of time directed. You will find that your baked goods come out of the oven slightly more moist, and healthier.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Alicia Bodine