Baking is a science, so while you might be tempted to swap ingredients around, the result might not be that great. It doesn’t matter if you’re a home cook or avid baker, you will definitely find these substitutions useful!

Brown Sugar

You can use normal granulated sugar in your recipe, but the color might be slighter lighter than it should be. To make your granulated sugar more like the real thing, add 2 tablespoons of molasses to 1 cup of sugar, and blend. This should be a pretty accurate substitute for brown sugar!

Powdered sugar

You might be tempted to use normal granulated sugar in the recipe, but it won’t be the best idea. Powdered sugar blends more easily with other ingredients and also results in a smoother consistency. If you only have granulated sugar on hand, you can make your own fine sugar by blending it with cornstarch in a food processor. Use 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.


Honey can be substituted with maple syrup or corn syrup. Depending on the type of recipe, the taste might differ slightly. You can also use molasses, but make sure it’s not backstrap molasses, the flavor will overpower your baked goods.


A lot of baking recipes require buttermilk. Not only does it help with a bit of tang, but it also makes the texture lighter. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, then try any of the following substitutions:

Plain yoghurt (substitute with the same amount of buttermilk required) Sour cream (substitute with the same amount of buttermilk required)1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream brings a level of richness to a dish that you won’t get if you use milk only. If you have only milk however, there is a little trick you can do. Simply combine 2/3 cup whole milk with 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter to produce one cup of “heavy cream”. Make sure to use unsalted butter!



Cornstarch (also called corn flour) is often used as a thickener, but luckily there are many alternatives. Use any of the following ratios:

1 tablespoon cornstarch : 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour1 tablespoon cornstarch : 1 tablespoon rice flour1 tablespoon cornstarch : 2 tablespoons tapioca starch


Whether you ran out of eggs, or simply want to make your recipe vegan, there are a few alternatives. The success of the substitution depends on the type of recipe, but try some of the following. When eggs are used as a binding agent, you can use ½ banana, ¼ cup applesauce, or 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water. When eggs are used as a leavener, try a mixture of 1 ½ tablespoons each of vegetable oil and water, with 1 teaspoon baking powder.


It happened to all of us before. You have all the ingredients to make a delicious recipe, but then you realize you ran out of chocolate. For one ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, you can use 3 tablespoons cocoa powder mixed with one tablespoon vegetable oil. If you need chocolate chips, you can simply chop up bars of chocolate and use them in the same ratio.

Baking Powder

It’s pretty hard to bake without baking powder. Luckily, there are a few options if you need a quick substitute. If you need 1 teaspoon baking powder, you can simply use 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar and 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch (corn flour). If you need baking soda, you use 2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder (for each ½ teaspoon baking soda).

Almond Flour

Almond flour is expensive and is not always readily available. To make your own almond flour, blend the following in a food processor: 1 cup blanched almonds (you can also use almonds with the skins on, if you don’t mind speckles of skin in your flour), 1 tablespoon white sugar or flour (to prevent clumping). You can also toast your almonds before you blend them, this also helps with the drying process, which prevents clumping.