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Ingredient Substitution Chart

When mixing color for your icing always mix a small amount of end color first to experiment. Start with white icing, add your base color then add very small amounts of secondary color. To keep the color consistent on the cake, mix enough of any one icing color for the entire cake. It is difficult to match the same shade of color again.





When making substitutions for alcohols, it is important to keep the volume of liquid in the recipe the same as originally ingredient. When the recipe calls for flavored liqueurs, extracts can be substituted with the remaining balance in water. For example, if a recipe calls for 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier you could use 1/2 teaspoon orange extract and 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of water. Just be sure to get the same level of orange flavor. This may take some experimentation.

Allspice, Ground

1 teaspoon

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves plus 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg can be substituted. Or 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.

Baking Soda

There is no recommended substitute for baking soda.


Unsalted butter can be substituted for regular butter in any recipe. It is not necessary to add salt. Whipped butter may be used as a substitute, based on weight, not volume. Stick margarine made from vegetable oil can also be substituted for butter.


1 cup

1 tablespoon vinegar plus enough milk to equal 1 cup or 2/3 cup plain yogurt plus 1/3 cup milk.

Chocolate Chips, Semi-Sweet

1 cup (6 ounces)

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped. When substituting for chocolate chips, make sure to use the same type of chocolate (i.e. semi-sweet, milk).

Chocolate, Semi-Sweet

1 square (1 ounce)

3 tablespoons chocolate chips or 1 square (1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate plus 1 tablespoon sugar.

Chocolate, Semi-Sweet

6 ounces

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder plus 7 tablespoons sugar plus 1/4 cup fat. Bittersweet chocolate can be substituted for semisweet chocolate. There could be a slight difference in texture and flavor.

Chocolate, Sweet Baking (German’s)

4 ounces

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1/3 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons fat.

Chocolate, Unsweetened

1 ounce

1 2/3 ounce semisweet chocolate (reduce sugar in recipe by 2 teaspoons) or 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa plus 1 tablespoon butter, margarine or shortening.

Cinnamon, Ground

1 teaspoon

1/2 teaspoon ground all spice or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom.

Cocoa, Unsweetened

Dutch-processed cocoa may be substituted for unsweetened cocoa.


1/2 cup

1/2 cup hot water and 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules.

Cooking Sprays

Pan Release.


1 tablespoon

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch.

Corn Syrup, Light

1 cup dark corn syrup can be substituted for 1 cup light corn syrup, and vice versa, but the flavor will be affected somewhat. Or substitute 1 1/4 cups sugar plus 1/3 cup liquid.

Cream (20% fat) (Coffee Cream)

1 cup

3 tablespoon butter plus 7/8 cup milk can be substituted when baking and cooking.

Cream (40% fat) (Whipping Cream)

1 cup

1/3 cup butter plus 3/4 cup milk can be substituted when baking and cooking.

Cream of Tartar

There is no recommended substitution for cream of tartar.


1 whole egg

2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute.

Egg Whites

3 egg whites

3 tablespoons meringue powder plus 6 tablespoons water. Meringue powder can be substituted for egg whites in a meringue application only. Powdered egg whites may be substituted in most recipes requiring egg whites. Follow directions on powdered egg whites container.

Egg Yolks

1 yolk

2 tablespoons sifted dry egg yolk powder plus 2 teaspoons water.

Flavor Oils

It is not recommended that you substitute flavor extracts for flavor oils. Oil based flavorings are necessary for hard candies because the liquid portion of the extracts add too much liquid, causing steam, to the hard candy syrup.

Flour, All-Purpose

Substitute self rising flour minus the salt in yeast bread recipes for all-purpose flour. Substitute self rising flour minus the salt and baking powder in quick bread recipes for all-purpose flour.

Flour, All-Purpose

1 cup

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour.
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs.
1 cup rolled oats.
1/3 cup cornmeal plus 2/3 cup flour.
1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour.

Flour, All-Purpose

1 cup

20% of all-purpose flour can be substituted with another grain, such as rye, buckwheat or soy flour in recipes such as quick breads and pancakes. If you are interested in reducing your carbohydrate intake, you can use flour that is lower in carbohydrates, such as whole wheat, soy, multi-grain or nut flour like almond. Substitute 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup of the lower carbohydrate alternative flour for 1 cup of all-purpose flour.

Flour, As a Thickener

1 tablespoon

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch, potato starch, rice starch, arrowroot starch, or 1 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca.

Flour, Cake

1 cup

1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.

Flour, Self-Rising

1 cup

1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Ginger, Ground

1 teaspoon

1/2 teaspoon ground mace plus 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel.


1 cup

1 1/4 cups sugar plus 1/3 cup liquid (use whatever liquid is called for in the recipe).

Milk, Sweetened Condensed

1 (14 ounce) can

1 cup instant nonfat dry milk plus 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup boiling water and 3 tablespoons melted butter.

Marshmallows, Miniature

1 cup

10 large marshmallows.

Milk, Whole

1 cup

1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water or 1 cup water plus 1/3 cup nonfat evaporated dry milk powder or 1 cup skim milk plus 2 teaspoons melted butter. Whole milk is higher in total fat than low-fat milk. If a baking recipe calls for whole milk, you may be able to substitute a low-fat milk variety like skim, 1% or 2% fat. Be cautious about substituting skim milk in pudding, custard and sauce recipes. These recipes rely on the dairy fat for added texture and flavor. Baked items such as cakes and cookies can usually tolerate the use of low-fat milk.


1 cup

1 cup honey, but flavor will be affected. 1 cup light molasses can be substituted 1 cup dark molasses.

Nutmeg, Ground

1 teaspoon

1 teaspoon ground allspice or 1 teaspoon ground cloves or 1 teaspoon ground mace.


Old fashioned rolled oats and quick cooking oats can be used interchangeably in baking recipes.


1 cup

1 cup melted butter, margarine or shortening. Note: Recipe results may vary. Texture and appearance may be affected.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 teaspoon

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground cloves.


Substitute another chopped dried fruit for raisins. Golden raisins, dark raisins and currants can be used interchangeably in baking recipes.


Kosher salt, iodized salt, sea salt, or a non-sodium containing salt substitute may be used for table salt in baking.


1 cup

1 cup butter or margarine. When using shortening in place of butter or margarine, 1 tablespoon milk or water for each 1/2 cup shortening used may need to be added. Do not substitute vegetable oil for shortening when recipe calls for melting the shortening.

Sour Cream

1 cup

1 cup plain yogurt.

Sugar, Confectioners’ (powdered)

1 cup

1 cup granulated sugar plus 1/8 teaspoon cornstarch processed in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

Sugar, Granulated

1 cup

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar, but the flavor will be affected somewhat.
3/4 cup honey (reduce liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup). If you are interested in reducing your carbohydrate intake, you can substitute honey for granulated white sugar. Honey is a natural sweetener. It tastes sweeter than sugar, so you can use less of it.
1/2 cup corn syrup or molasses (reduce liquid in recipe by 1/2 cup).
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar (powdered).

Sugar, Light Brown

1 cup

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup sugar can be substituted but a slight flavor differences will occur. 1 cup granulated sugar plus 2 tablespoons molasses can be substituted.

Vanilla Extract

Imitation vanilla flavoring can be substituted for vanilla extract. Other flavorings, such as almond, peppermint, rum or lemon may be substituted for vanilla extract, but the flavor differences will occur.


1/2 cup

1/2 cup fruit juice can be substituted in desserts.

Yeast, Active Dry

1 (1/4 ounce) packet

1 (.6 ounce) cake of compressed yeast. 2 1/2 teaspoons quick rise or 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast.

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