Informational Articles

The Best Baking Substitutes

If you're in a pinch or want to try something clever and new, my handy guide to the Best Baking Substitutes is here to help!
Best Substitutes For Baking

Hi Bold Bakers!

Part of being a Bold Baker is knowing what to do in a pinch. Today, I am sharing with you my Best Baking Substitutes. Some of the tips and tricks I’ve shared have hopefully really helped already. Whether it be Salvaging Burnt Cookies or knowing How to Fill a Piping Bag like a pro, there is always a way to get around an obstacle in the kitchen!

Since I’m constantly baking, I often run out of ingredients and don’t have time to run out to buy some more. In baking, it is, of course, important to follow a recipe faithfully. That said, there are some basic swaps and baking substitutes I am excited to share with you!

Imagine this: it’s down to the last minute, and guests are due to arrive at any moment. You have dinner on the table and you’re ready to get going on dessert — your mother’s famous cookies! You get out all of your ingredients — butter, flour, sugar, chocolate chips — only to discover YOU ARE MISSING EGGS! At this point, most bakers in a bind reach full panic mode and quickly think, “Well I guess I won’t be making mom’s famous cookies then.” I’m here to tell you to think again!

Below are some of my Best Substitutes for Baking. Some sound odd, others make total sense, but they are all tried and true and they all get the job done. Some of these baking substitutes even help to lighten up your favorite baked goods. Next time you can’t run to the store, or your trusty neighbor isn’t home, I encourage you to give these tips a try.

A various bunch of the things you can substitute while baking, like milk, flour, chocolate, eggs, and butter.

Substituting Eggs

No eggs? One of my secret egg substitutes is ½ a ripe banana for each egg! I’m sure you’re wondering if this makes what you’re making taste like banana. Obviously, the more banana you add, the more flavor will come through, but if it’s just one or 2 eggs swapped for one banana you won’t even taste the difference. For more substitutes take a look at my Egg Substitute Chart.

Substituting Flavorless Oil

Run out of flavorless oil? Substitute applesauce using a 1:1 ratio! This is a great baking tip that not only tastes great and has the right texture, but even lightens up your baked goods without any additional thoughts or effort. You can use a store bought applesauce but it’s really easy to make too. Be sure to check out my recipe for Homemade Applesauce. This is a great one of to have on hand when out of oil, but also just for a quick snack or dessert.

Substituting Corn Syrup

A lot of people prefer not to bake or cook with corn-based syrups, and that’s why I created this Perfect Homemade Corn Syrup Substitute using only a few ingredients you most likely already have. This can be made and stored for up to three months, meaning you never have to worry about recipes that call for corn syrup again.

Substituting Buttermilk

Buttermilk is sometimes not only hard to find, but since it’s often sold in small quart-sized packages, I often find I’m all out when I thought I had more. When I run out of this and don’t have time to run down to the shop I simply make my own Buttermilk Substitute by using just regular milk and lemon juice. This looks and acts just like buttermilk and can be used to make everything from my Best-Ever Buttermilk Biscuits to Buttermilk Pancakes.

Substituting Brown Sugar

I personally am blown away by this trick each time I use it. Some of you might not know, but natural brown sugar has molasses, which is removed to produce white sugar. You can add it back! When the two are combined, an almost maple-like flavor is created and it is nothing short of heavenly. Next time you’re out of brown sugar, you don’t need to go out and spend extra bucks buying new, instead give my method for How to Make Brown Sugar a try!

Did you like these baking tips? I have lots more that will help you get baking confidently in the kitchen. Check out my Bold Baking Basics!

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11 months ago

Hi Gemma, I’m still new in baking. If I want to use 500g of self-raising flour, 10g of baking powder, 4 large eggs, how many grams of oil should I add please?

Nicola Scott
Nicola Scott
3 months ago

Thanks so much for this very full reply. I will read up more about sugar substitutes.

Nicola Scott
Nicola Scott
3 months ago

Hi Gemma I am having chemo for a year for breast cancer and am forbidden to use sugar in baking. What do you suggest I substitute for it and do you have recipes using sugar substitutes? Thanks so much. Nicola

7 months ago

Hi Gemma
I’m doing Keto. I don’t like using sugar substitutes much and use them sparingly. I have a microwave Carrot pudding that uses 1 cup of brown sugar which I usually cut back to 3/4 cup . My last mixture seemed a little dry, what Non-sweetener liquid could I add to mixture would water be ok

margaret woychowski
8 months ago

What would be a good vegan substitute for yogurt in a biscuit recipe? I don’t like the plant based yogurts.

Gina Weiker
8 months ago

Hi Gemma, use your recipes quite often! I am looking for a substitute for flour for baking/breading and also a substitute for bread crumbs any suggestions? I have tried almond flour and coconut flour with no luck
Thanks you, Gina

9 months ago

Hi jemma can i use oil instead of butter for the chocolate chip cookie recipe?

9 months ago

Hello Gemma 🙂 I’m a hug fan of your recipes and enjoy making them hehe however, in view of the covid-19 situation going on right now, i have run low on vanilla essence :(( and mother’s day is coming up REALLLLLL soon, i would like to bake a cake for my mom.. could you advise me on what i can use to substitute vanilla extract?

p.s. i cant make homemade vanillla extract as i cant find vanilla pods here in my country !! :(( and vanilla beans are too expensive >.<

Sues time waster
10 months ago

Hi Gemma congratulations on your new member of the family . I am in the uk and we do not have baking soda in our shops ,I’ve tried bicarb as a substitute but it’s very salty/soapy ,can you recommend an alternative please ?

10 months ago

Can you use 2% milk instead of whole milk in your no yeast bread?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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