Cooking & baking: How to make emergency food substitutions 

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It happens all the time — you’re in the middle of making a special dish, when you realize you’re missing one important ingredient.

Before you make a quick store run, check this chart — a substitution solution may already be in your kitchen.

Cooking baking How to make emergency food substitutions 

Emergency food substitutions
Ingredient Possible replacement
Allspice, ground (1 teaspoon) 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Baking powder (1 teaspoon) 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Buttermilk (1 cup) 1 tbs lemon juice or vinegar plus enough fresh sweet milk to make 1 cup
Chocolate, unsweetened (1 oz. square) 3 tbsp cocoa plus 1/2 cup shortening
Corn Syrup (1 cup) 1-1/4 cup light brown sugar plus 1/3 cup water
Cornstarch (1 tbsp) 2 tbsp flour or 2 tbsp granular tapioca
Cream, light (1 cup) 2 tbsp butter, 1 cup minus 2 tbsp milk
Egg (1 whole) 2 egg yolks plus 1 tbsp water (in cookies, etc.) or 2 egg yolks (in custards and such mixtures)
Flour, cake (1 cup) 1 cup less 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
Flour, self-rising (1 cup) 1 cup minus 2 tsp all-purpose flour, 1-1/2 tsp baking powder plus 1/2 tsp salt
Garlic, 1 clove 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Half-and-half (1 cup) 7/8 cup milk, plus 3 tablespoons butter
Honey (1 cup) 3/4 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup liquid
Lemon juice (1 teaspoon) 1/2 tsp vinegar
Lemon juice (from 1 medium lemon) 2-1/2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
Milk, fresh (1 cup) 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water or powered milk plus water (see directions on package); or 1 cup sour milk/buttermilk plus 1/2 tsp soda (decrease baking powder by 2 tsp if using sour milk)
Milk, sour (1 cup) 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar plus enough fresh sweet milk to make 1 cup
Milk, sweetened condensed (1 cup) 1 cup plus 2 tbsp dry milk to 1/2 cup warm water, mix thoroughly. Stir in 3/4 cup sugar and 3 tbsp melted butter or margarine.
Mustard, dry (1 teaspoon) 1 tbsp prepared mustard
Pumpkin Pie Spice (1 teaspoon) 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Ricotta cheese Cottage cheese, in same amount
Sour cream Plain yogurt, in same amount
Sugar, brown (1 cup) 1 cup minus 1 tbsp white sugar, plus 1-1/2 tbsp molasses
Sugar, powdered (1 cup) 1 cup sugar and 1 cup cornstarch, processed on high in food processor
Tapioca (1 tablespoon) 1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Tomatoes, canned (1 cup) About 1-1/3 cups cut-up fresh tomatoes, simmered 10 minutes
Vanilla Bean, 1 inch 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Yogurt, plain (1 cup) 1 cup sour cream or 1 cup cottage cheese (processed until smooth)
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