This Food Substitutions list has come in handy more than once.  I keep this list taped up inside one of my kitchen cabinets and add to it as I discover more handy substitutions.  Do you have any to share?  Please leave a comment!

The Handiest Food Substitutions Ever!

Allspice (1 tsp) 1 tsp. cinnamon plus 1/8 tsp. ground cloves.

Apple Pie Spice

4 parts cinnamon, 1 part nutmeg and 1 part ginger.

Baking Powder (1 tsp)

1 tsp baking soda plus 1/2 tsp cream of tartar.

Balsamic Vinegar (1 tbsp)

1 Tbsp cider vinegar.

Bouquet Garni

Equal measures of thyme, parsley and crushed bay leaf; OR Equal measures of thyme, chervil and crushed bay leaf; OR Equal measures of basil, marjoram, and summer savory.

Bread Crumbs(1/4 cup)

1/4 cup finely crushed cracker crumbs, corn flakes or quick-cooking oats.

Butter (1 lb)

7/8 Cup solid shortening plus 1/2 tsp. salt

Buttermilk/Sour Milk (1 cup)

1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup. Let stand 5 minutes before using. Or use 1 cup plain yogurt.

Capers (1 tbsp)

1 Tbsp chopped green olives.

Chili Seasoning

2 parts chili powder + 1 part paprika

Chocolate – Semisweet (1 square)

1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate plus 1 Tbsp sugar.

Chocolate – Unsweetened (1 square)

3 Tbsp baking cocoa plus 1 Tbsp shortening or margarine.

Cornstarch (1 tbsp)

2 Tbsp flour or 4 tsp quick-cooking tapioca.

Corn Syrup – Light (1 cup)

1 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup water.

Corn Syrup – Dark (1 cup)

1 cup light corn syrup; 3/4 cup light corn syrup plus 1/4 cup molasses; or 1 cup maple-flavored syrup.

Cream, heavy (1 cup)

2/3 cup milk and 1/3 cup butter.

Curry Powder

Combine equal parts coriander, cumin, pepper, turmeric, and ginger; 4 parts coriander, 2 parts tumeric, 2 parts cumin 1 part ginger.

Eggs (1 large)

2 egg whites; or 1/4 cup store-bought egg whites; or 2 egg yolks (for custard or puddings); or 2 egg yolks plus 1 Tbsp water (for cookies or bars); or 1 tsp. cornstarch;. or 4 extra tbs. of whatever liquid was used in the recipe.

Flour – All-purpose (1 cup)

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp cake flour.

Flour – Cake (1 cup)

1 cup minus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour.

Flour – Self-rising (1 cup)

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

Garlic, finely chopped (1 medium clove)

1/8 tsp garlic powder or 1/4 tsp instant minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic salt.

Gingerroot, grated or finely chopped (1 tsp)

3/4 tsp ground ginger.

Herbs, chopped, fresh (1 tbsp)

3/4 to 1 tsp dried herbs.

Herbes de Provence

4 parts thyme, 4 parts savory, 2 parts lavender 1 part rosemary.

Honey (1 cup)

1 1/4 cups sugar plus 1/4 cup water or liquid used in recipe.


1 cup of tomato sauce, 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, 2 tbs. vinegar, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, pinch of ground cloves and allspice.

Leeks, sliced (1/2 cup)

1/2 cup sliced shallots or green onions.

Lemon, 1 medium

1 tsp. grated rind plus 2 tbs. lemon juice

Lemon Juice, fresh (1 tbsp)

1 Tbsp bottled lemon juice or white vinegar.

Lemon Peel, grated (1 tsp)

1 tsp dried lemon peel.

Milk (1 cup)

1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water; or nonfat dry milk prepared as directed on package with 2 1/2 tsp melted butter added.

Molasses (1 cup)

1/2 cup honey (flavor will be milder).

Mushrooms, fresh (1 cup cooked)

1 can (4 oz) mushroom stems and pieces, drained.

Mushrooms (1/2 pound)

4 oz. canned mushroom caps or 1 1/2 oz dried mushrooms.

Mustard (1 Tbsp)

1 tsp ground mustard (dry).

Onion, 1 small

1 tbs. instant minced or 1 tsp. onion powder.

Orange Peel, grated (1 tsp)

1 tsp dried orange peel.

Oregano (1 tsp)

1 tsp. marjoram.

Poultry Seasoning

Equal parts sage, thyme, oregano and marjoram.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

4 parts cinnamon, 2 parts ginger, 1 part nutmeg, 1 part allspice and dash of cloves.

Red Pepper Sauce (3 or 4 drops)

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Seasoning Salt

1 cup salt, 2 1/4 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder.

Sesame Seeds (1 tbsp)

1 Tbsp finely chopped blanched almonds.

Shortening, melted (1 cup)

1 cup salad oil (cannot be substituted for 1 cup solidshortening)

Sour Cream (1 cup)

1 cup plain yogurt.

Sugar, brown, packed (1 cup)

1 cup granulated sugar plus 2 Tbsp molasses or dark corn syrup.

Sugar, granulated (1 cup)

1 cup light brown sugar (packed) or 2 cups powdered sugar.

Sugar, superfine

Blend regular granulated sugar in the blender.

Tomato Paste (1/2 cup)

1 cup tomato sauce cooked uncovered till reduced to l/2 cup.

Tomato Sauce (2 cups)

3/4 cup tomato paste plus 1 cup water.

Tomatoes, canned (1 cup)

About 1 1/3 cups cut-up fresh tomatoes, simmered 10 min.

Vanilla Extract

Grated lemon rind, orange rind, cinnamon or nutmeg combined with a small amount of the liquid called for in the recipe to make up the amount of vanilla extract specified in the recipe.

Whipping Cream (1 cup)

1 cup frozen (thawed) whipped topping or 1 cup prepared whipped topping mix.

Wine, Red (1 cup)

1 cup apple cider or beef broth.

Wine, White (1 cup)

1 cup apple juice, apple cider or chicken broth.

Yeast, regular or quick active dry (1 pkg or 1/4 oz)

2 1/4 tsp regular or quick active dry; or 1 package (6 oz) compressed cake yeast.