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Everyday ingredient substitutes

As an avid cook, there’s bound to be times when you’ve experienced the old missing ingredient conundrum or a last-minute shortage half way through making a recipe. No buttermilk on hand? Need one more egg to make that cake? No self-raising flour left? Well, that’s no problem.

These days, with advancements in ingredient availability and interesting health foods becoming more prominent in everyday kitchens (think coconut oil or chia seeds), there are now many tried and tested ingredient substitutions that work just as well as the originals in baking.

These recipe modifications work extremely well if any dietary requirements need to be met too – whether you’re baking for a vegan, lactose intollerant, or a friend who’s allergic to eggs, for example. So if you’re baking and happy to run out of the real ingredients, or need to substitute a key component of your recipe, here’s your go-to guide.

Easy ingredient swaps 


  • Did you know in place of butter you can use unsweetened apple sauce? When using apple sauce, the consistency of your baked goods may change slightly, (often making them softer) – but it’s a good back-up to have around for non-dairy eaters.
  • Also you can replace one cup of butter with a three-quarter cup of vegetable oil in many cases. Canola oil works well for sweet recipes, because it’s not heavily flavoured.
  • Coconut oil can be also substituted for butter, where required, in equal measure.


  • If eggs are being used to help make your baked goods rise, you can mix together two teaspoons of baking powder, one tablespoon of oil and two tablespoons of water, which equals approximately one egg.
  • Also, mixing together a heaped teaspoon of ground flaxseed (or linseed) and three tablespoons of water – which creates the equivalent of one egg – is another popular binding replacement for anyone wanting to omit eggs from recipes.


  • If you’re out of self-raising flour, fear not. To make your own self-raising flour, mix one cup of all-purpose flour with one and a half teaspoons of baking powder plus half a teaspoon of salt.
  • Also, if you’re after a grain-free flour, try using almond flour – it can add a fantastic nutty flavour to your recipes.


  • If you’re looking to reduce your refined white sugar intake but are an undeniable sweet tooth at heart, you might like to try using ingredients such as maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar.

Ifyou prefer the classic, quintessential baking ingredients, such as butter, milk and sugar, and have everything you need in the pantry or fridge, there is no need to change any ingredient in a recipe. But, remembering these swaps might help you out of a sticky situation! Here’s some interesting recipes that include unsual substitutions you can try at home.

Recipes to experiment with 




This feature contains a mix of content from myfoodbook third party content partners and our own opinions.


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