ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Out of an ingredient in your recipe? Try these substitutions!

Updated on August 16, 2012

How many times have you been in the middle of preparing a recipe and found you're out of an ingredient? You panic--do you have time to run to the store? Can you just leave it out? Could I use something else in its place? Most of the time, you can easily use other common kitchen staples to create the same effect as your missing ingredient. A few key points when making substitutions:

  • Measure each item correctly
  • Understand the chemical properties and the effect on the recipe
  • Keep moisture, taste, and texture in mind
  • Understand the difference in thickening or sweetening when substituting a sugar or flour ingredient

Common Substitutions

I need...
Baking Powder
1 tsp
1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and 1/4 tsp cornstarch
Beef or Chicken Broth
1 C
1 bouillon cube, 1 tsp powdered broth base dissolved in 1 cup water.
1 C
7/8 cup oil plus 1/2 tsp salt
Semi-sweet Chocolate
1 oz
1 oz unsweet chocolate plus 4 tsp sugar
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
Sour Cream
1 C
7/8 cup milk, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and 2 Tbsp butter or margarine
Egg (in baking)
1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 Tbsp vinegar and 1 Tbsp liquid
1 clove
1/2-1 tsp garlic salt **Reduce additional salt in the recipe**
Lemon Juice
1 tsp
1/2 tsp vinegar
Maple sugar
1/2 C
1 C maple syrup **Decrease other liquid by 1/2 C**
Mini Marshmallows
1 C
10 large marshmallows
1 C
1 cup milk, plus 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice; let stand 5 minutes
1 C
3/4 cup sugar plus 1 1/4 tsp cream of tartar **Increase liquid in recipe by 5 Tbsp**
1 small
1 tsp onion powder
Brown Sugar
1 C
1 C sugar plus 1/4 C unsulphured molasses
1 C
1 C brown sugar, packed
Tomato sauce
2 C
3/4 cup tomato paste plus 1 cup water
Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp
1 tsp steak sauce


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • pollobowl profile image


      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Excellent! I've actually used quite a few of these substitutions since I live so far from a grocery store. It's nice to see a long list for reference later though! Thank you!

    • RTalloni profile image


      6 years ago from the short journey

      Necessity is the mother of invention and cooking displays that truth very well. Thanks for putting this together for us.

    • internpete profile image

      Peter V 

      6 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

      Well this is helpful! I had no idea it was possible to make so many substitutions. I would have thought it would mess up the recipe somehow. Great hub, voted up and shared!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)