Baking is a lot of fun. But what do you do when you run out of ingredients? Use something else, of course! Corn flour (also known as cornstarch) is used as a thickener in sauces and stews, and is also used in baking. If you don’t have cornstarch, you can use tapioca starch, arrow root powder, or even plain flour. Baking powder is a staple in most kitchens. But in case you run out, you can use ¼ tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) with ½ tsp cream of tartar for each 1 tsp of baking powder. If it’s baking soda you need, use 4 tsp baking powder for each 1 tsp baking soda.
Muffin recipes often call for brown sugar, an ingredient not many of us have at home. In actual fact, brown sugar is just plain sugar with molasses (which is where the color and stickiness comes from). To make your own ‘brown sugar’, use 1 cup of plain white sugar and add ¼ cup molasses. Remember to reduce the liquids in your recipe with ¼ cup to make up for the molasses addition. Alternatively, you can use plain white sugar, but the result of your baked product may look a bit pale and lack the caramel taste.
If you have a lot of recipe books, you might notice that corn syrup features a lot in American recipes. If you don’t have corn syrup (or if you’re not even sure what it is), no need to worry. Simply substitute 1 cup of corn syrup with 1 cup golden syrup or honey. Alternatively, you can dissolve 1 cup white sugar in ¼ cup water.
There could be many reasons why you’d want to replace eggs in a recipe. Perhaps you are vegan, or you simply ran out of eggs. Either way, there are a few options for egg substitutions. For each single large egg, you can either use 3 Tbsp mayonnaise, half a banana (mashed) mixed with ½ tsp baking powder, or 1 Tbsp ground flax seed with 3 Tbsp water (the vegan option).
Sometimes recipes call for spices that you might not have in your pantry. And who wants to drive all the way to the store for a single bottle of seasoning? To avoid this, make your own substitutions. For allspice, use: ½ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground ginger, and ¼ tsp ground cloves. You can also make your own pumpkin spice, by combining 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, ½ tsp ground cloves, and ¼ tsp ground nutmeg.
Ricotta cheese is a fresh, soft cheese often used in pastas. Unlike other cheeses, ricotta is made from the whey left over from the normal cheesemaking process. This makes it a great low fat, high protein cheese. But there are other options in case you run out! When making pasta, cottage cheese will be the best choice as it lends the same type of creaminess as ricotta. When making dips or desserts, you can substitute ricotta with the same amount of yoghurt or sour cream. Alternatively, watch our video to see how you can make your own ricotta from scratch!