common ingredient substitution

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Nobody enjoys the sudden realization that they’re out of an ingredient in the middle of recipe. This is single handedly one of the most annoying situations that can happen in the kitchen. This is why we’ve put together this common ingredient substitutions chart which outlines over 47 easy ways to substitute for common foods in a pinch.

substitute for ingredients


Common ingredient substitutions


For 1 cup of milk replace with ½ cup of evaporated milk + ½ cup of water. Stir until well combined and use every recipe that calls for milk.

Heavy cream 

For an effective heavy cream substitute for 1 cup of heavy cream, and replace it with ⅔ cup whole milk + ⅓ cup melted butter. Stir well to combine then use this mixture in all recipes that calls for heavy cream including soups, baked goods, sauces, etc.


For buttermilk, you can substitute 1 cup with 1 cup of milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Cover the mixture and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before use.

Sour cream

sour cream


Replace 1 cup of sour cream with either 1 cup of greek yogurt or 1 cup of mayo.

Half and half

A simple substitute for 1 cup of half and half is ½ cup milk + ½ cup heavy cream mixed together to make a simple DIY half and half.


An effective way to substitute 1 cup of mayo is to use 1 cup of sour cream in its place.


For baking, replace 1 cup of butter with either 1 cup applesauce, 1 cup mashed  avocado, 1 cup of margarine. And for cooking, replace1 cup of butter with 1 cup of vegetable oil.




Substitute for 1 tablespoon of shortening with 1 tablespoon of butter,  1 tablespoon of coconut oil or 1 tablespoon of margarine.

Soy sauce

For 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, replace it with 1 tablespoon of tamari, 1 tablespoon of liquid aminos, or 1 tablespoon of fish sauce.

Red wine

A good alternative for 1 cup of red wine is 1 cup of red wine vinegar.

White wine

An effective substitute for 1 cup of white wine is 1 cup of white wine vinegar.

All-purpose flour

All purpose flour


For one cup of all purpose flour, replace with one cup of cake flour, one cup of pastry flour or one cup of bread flour. Also, check out some other all purpose flour substitutes here.

Self-rising flour

For one cup of self-rising flour, replace with one cup of all purpose flour plus 2 teaspoons of baking powder plus ½ teaspoon of salt.


An easy way to replace one cup of sugar is with ¾ teaspoons of stevia powder, one cup of coconut sugar, or one cup of honey.

Brown sugar

Some great replacements for one cup of brown sugar include either one cup of granulated white sugar or one cup of coconut sugar.




Some effective stand-ins for 1 tablespoon of honey include 1 tablespoon of corn syrup or one tablespoon of agave nectar.

Sea salt

Sea salt is an easy ingredient to substitute. Simply alternate one teaspoon of sea salt with one teaspoon of kosher salt or one teaspoon of table salt.

Black pepper

Black pepper is an easy ingredient to substitute. Simply replace one teaspoon of black pepper with one teaspoon of white pepper or 1 teaspoon of papaya seeds.  

Baking soda

People are always running out of baking soda, therefore an easy way to substitute one teaspoon of baking soda is with one tablespoon of baking powder.

Baking powder

You never need to fret if you have no baking powder as you can easily replace one teaspoon of baking powder with a combination of ¼ teaspoon of baking soda plus ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar.

Vegetable oil (for baking)

For one cup of vegetable oil, replace it with one cup of applesauce, one cup of mashed banana, or one cup of butter when making baked goods.

Vegetable oil (for cooking)

For every cup of vegetable oil, replace it with one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of mayo when cooking.


Eggs aren’t the easiest food to substitute, but if you have no eggs, replace one whole with 2 tablespoons of powdered egg or 1 tablespoon of flaxseed soaked in 3 tablespoons of water. 

Corn syrup

Corn syrup


It is possible to replace one cup of corn syrup with one cup of golden syrup or one cup Of agave nectar.

Maple syrup

Replace one cup of maple syrup with one cup of honey or one cup of brown sugar syrup. Or find some other maple syrup substitutes here. 

Vanilla extract

One teaspoon of Vanilla extract can be replaced with a teaspoon of vanilla paste or a teaspoon of almond extract.

White vinegar

One tablespoon of white vinegar can be substituted with one tablespoon of lime juice or one tablespoon of lemon juice. 

Red wine vinegar

red wine vinegar

For red wine vinegar, one tablespoon can be replaced with a combination of 1 ½ tsp red wine + 1 ½ tsp white vinegar.

White wine vinegar 

For white wine vinegar, replace one tablespoon with a blend of 1 ½ tsp white wine and 1 ½ tsp white vinegar.

Balsamic vinegar

One tablespoon of balsamic vinegar can be substituted for one tablespoon of ACV + ½ teaspoon of sugar.

Apple cider vinegar

One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar is easily replaced with one tablespoon of lemon or lime juice.


If you’re out of beer, you can easily replace 1 cup with one cup of ginger ale, one cup root beer or one cup of broth.

Unsweetened chocolate

It is ideal to replace 1 oz of unsweetened chocolate with 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa plus 1 tablespoon of melted shortening.

Cocoa powder (cocoa)

It is easy to replace ½ cup of cocoa powder with 2 oz of unsweetened chocolate in a recipe.




If you’re ever out of ketchup a simple homemade mixture can be made as an effective replacement. For every cup of ketchup, replace it with homemade ketchup made with 5 oz tomato paste + 1 tbsp vinegar + 1 tbsp sugar + ½ tsp salt.


Mustard is not the easiest condiment to replace, but, if you happen to have mayo available, you can use ¼ cup of mayo to replace 1.4 cups of mustard. The flavors are different, but this substitute can work in quite a few recipes.

Bread crumbs

For breadcrumbs, effective substitutes include equal amounts of pulverized oats or equal amounts of crushed cornflakes. That means, if you’re looking to replace 1 cup of breadcrumbs, you will need 1 cup of pulverized oats and 1 cup of crushed cornflakes.

Grated parmesan cheese

If you’re out of grated Parmesan cheese, simply replace it with equal amounts of Romano cheese or equal amounts of Asiago cheese. For example, substitute 1 cup of grated Parmesan with 1 cup of grated Romano cheese or 1 cup of grated Asiago cheese.

Shredded cheddar

Shredded cheddar


Substitute one cup of shredded cheddar cheese with 1 cup of shredded America cheese or 1 cup of Colby cheese.


It is quite easy to find a common ingredient substitution for garlic cloves. Simply replace one garlic clove with ½ of garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon of garlic flakes, or 1 teaspoon of granulated garlic.


An adequate stand-in for 1 tablespoon of minced ginger is ¾ teaspoons of ginger powder.


When it comes to broth, there are quite a few ways to replace it in a recipe. For every cup of broth a recipe calls for, replace it with either 1 cup vegetable, chicken or beef stock, or 1 tsp chicken bullion granules mixed into 1 cup of hot water.

Lemon juice

Many recipes call for lemon juice, but if you have none or you cannot find it, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of lime juice or 1 tablespoon of vinegar.


½ cup of yogurt can be replaced with ½ cup sour cream in cooking and baking.


1 teaspoon of yeast can be effectively substituted with one teaspoon of baking powder or ½ a cup of sourdough starter.

When it comes to finding common ingredients substitutions, thankfully, there is always something you can use in place of another ingredient. And, while some substitutes may change the recipe, many times they do not.

Therefore, if you’ve ever been in search of a resource that can help you easily find substitutes for common ingredients feel free to click the button below and get the downloadable version of this common ingredient substitutions chart.

It is an easy, convenient and stylish way to always have access to quick substitutes so you don’t have to stop your recipe in the middle of cooking to find replacement ideas for ingredients you’ve run out of. Check it out for yourself!

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