Baking substitutions come in handy when you’re cleaning out the pantry or just run out of an ingredient. Keep the list handy for when you need it.

We’re doing a pantry challenge at our house, which means that we’re trying to use up all the food that I’ve stored — so that I can clean it out and fill it up again — without buying anything new.

What that means, though, is that I don’t always have the ingredients I want. Run out of oil? I need to find something in the pantry to substitute.

Baking substitutions come in handy when you're cleaning out the pantry or just run out of an ingredient. Keep the list handy for when you need it. #baking

It’s a fun challenge. You find food that was pushed deep back in the shelves, and you figure out ways to make meals out of unusual ingredients. Yes, yes, you can make a delicious meal with angel hair pasta, canned tuna, and canned spinach, and even three year old beans can be softened if you have a pressure cooker. Okay, they take a long time, even in the pressure cooker, but they can be made into food.

There are many times when you might want to know some baking substitutions. You could be doing a pantry challenge like we are, or maybe you need to cook for someone with allergies. In between grocery trips, you could simply run out of something you need, and hey, it’s possible that you want to switch up ingredients for something healthier.

Whatever your reasons, having a few tricks up your sleeve is never a bad idea. Here are some excellent baking substitutions you can try in your own kitchen.

Baking Substitutions That You Need

Unless otherwise noted use the same amount of the substitute as the ingredient you’re replacing.

Substitutions for Egg

Eggs (per egg): Choose based on the flavors you are trying to create

  • 1/4 Cup Silken Tofu
  • 1 TBSP Ground Flax Seed plus 3 Tablespoons Water
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons Gelatin Mix (1 Cup Boiling Water + 2 Teaspoons Gelatin)
  • 1/2 Cup Mashed Banana

Substitutions for Oil

Oil (per cup): What you use will depend on if your dish is sweet or savory

  • Fruit Puree
  • Sour Cream
  • Yogurt
  • Banana
  • Melted Butter
  • Coconut Oil

Substitutions for White Flour

White Flour (per cup)

When substituting something for white flour the rule is to mix different types of substitutes together to get the right flavor and texture, at least two but three sometimes is better. Also use Grams instead of Cups. 140 Grams of any mixture below will equal 1 Cup of Flour.

  • Coconut Flour
  • Almond Flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Rice Flour
  • Oat Flour
  • Rolled Oats
  • Soy Flour

baking substitutions

Substitutions for White Sugar

White Sugar (per cup):

  • 2/3 Cup Agave Nectar*
  • 3/4 Cup Honey*
  • 1 Cup Chopped Dates (puree with 1 Cup of liquid after soaking for 1 hour)
  • 1 Cup Mashed Ripe Banana
  • 1 Teaspoon Stevia

*You will need to reduce the liquid in the overall recipe for both of these substitutions.

Substitutions for Salt

Salt (per teaspoon):

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • Dulse Seaweed Flakes (to taste)
  • Dried Celery Flakes or Powder

Substitutions for Milk


  • Almond Milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Soy Milk
  • Oat Milk
  • Rice Milk

Substitutions for Buttermilk

Buttermilk (per cup):

  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 cup Plain Yogurt + 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda + 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup Milk + 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice + 3 Tablespoons Butter

Substitutions for Butter

  • Vegetable Shortening
  • Earth Balance Spread
  • Coconut Oil
  • Avocado

Substitutions for Yeast

  • Double Acting Baking Powder
  • Equal Parts Baking Soda + Lemon Juice, Vinegar or Buttermilk

Substitutions for sour Cream

Sour Cream (per cup):

  • 1 cup Plain Yogurt + 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup Silken Yogurt + 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice Blended

Substitutions for Cocoa Powder

Cocoa Powder

  • Carob Powder

As baking can sometimes be a very finicky operation, not all recipes will come out the exact same texture when you make certain substitutions.

You may need to practice and perfect your favorite recipes with these. Also consider moving towards weighing ingredients over using measuring cups. Think in terms of flavors, texture, and how each ingredient affects it when you make substitutions.

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