You just saw a recipe for a luscious chocolate cake and you are dying to make it but you don’t have any unsweetened chocolate that the recipe calls for. Running to the store for one item isn’t always an option but you may have a good substitute for it and not even realize it. Over the years, I’ve managed to keep a collection of ingredient substitutions and I hope you find them as helpful as I have.

  • Buttermilk- If the recipe calls for 1 cup of buttermilk, put 1 tablespoon of vinegar in a 1 cup measuring cup and add enough milk to fill the cup and let it sit on the countertop for a few minutes.
  • Unsweetened chocolate- For 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate, use 3 tablespoons cocoa plus 1 tablespoon butter or margarine.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate- 1 ounce is equal to 3 tablespoons of cocoa, 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine and 4 teaspoons of sugar.
  • Confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)- 1 cup granulated sugar plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch, process in a food processor using the metal blade attachment until it’s powdery.
  • Pumpkin pie spice- For 1 teaspoon, use 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 ground teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
  • Apple pie spice- 1 teaspoon is equal to ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom
  • Onion- ¼ of a cup of onion is equal to 1 tablespoon of dehydrated minced onion.
  • Lemon zest- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest is equal to 1 /2 teaspoon of lemon extract.
  • Herbs- 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of dried leaf herb or ½ teaspoon of ground dried herb.
  • Self-rising flour- 1 cup is equal to 1 cup minus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Cake flour- 1 cup is equal to 1 cup of all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic- 1 small clove is equal to 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder or ½ teaspoon of granulated garlic.
  • Dark brown sugar- 1 cup is equal to 1 cup of white granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of molasses or 1 cup of light brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of molasses.
  • Baking powder- 1 teaspoon is equal to 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar.
  • Corn syrup- 1 cup is equal to 1 ¼ cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup water
  • Ginger- 1 teaspoon of dry ginger is equal to 2 teaspoons of grated ginger
  • Hot pepper sauce- 1 teaspoon is equal to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon vinegar.
  • Prepared mustard- 1 tablespoon is equal to 1 tablespoon dried mustard, 1 teaspoon water, 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar.
  • Saffron- use same amount of turmeric
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