No Eggs? No Problem! Easy Substitutes for Common Recipe Ingredients

It’s probably happened more than once: you’re making a recipe, and you thought you had all of the ingredients. Unfortunately, you missed the can of condensed milk or the fact you needed two eggs or another ingredient in the recipe. No fear, there’s plenty of baking and cooking substitutions you can use. These recipe substitutions help in a pinch and also let you switch out vegan ingredients for things like eggs, milk, etc.


Eggs – Eggs have several substitution methods. First, you need to calculate 1 egg as a ¼ cup so your substitution is even. You can substitute a mashed banana, applesauce, buttermilk, sweetened condensed milk, silken tofu, and even ground flaxseed with water.

Butter – Ran out of butter or watching your calories? Applesauce, olive oil, coconut oil, and vegan butter are all acceptable substitutes in baking. If you use applesauce, be sure you use unsweetened only, and that you use ½ the amount as the butter needed. The oils can be used ¾ cup for every 1 cup of butter. Buttermilk, greek yogurt, avocado, and pumpkin puree are all suitable.

Baking Powder – If the recipe calls for a teaspoon of baking powder but you’re out, you can use cream of tartar and baking soda. A teaspoon of baking powder comes to ½ teaspoon cream of tartar and ¼ teaspoon baking soda.

Baking Soda – Likewise, if you have a recipe that calls for ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, you can use 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

Brown Sugar – A recipe calling for a cup of packed brown sugar can use a cup of granulated sugar and ¼ cup of molasses in its place.

Cocoa Powder – There are a few ways to swap out cocoa powder. The best choice is unsweetened baking chocolate and ¼ cup of cocoa powder equals one square. However, you should use less butter and will need to melt the chocolate before use. Another substitute for cocoa is carob powder. You only need to use the same amount called for with cocoa powder. One clever hack is to use a pack of hot cocoa mix to swap in for cocoa powder as well.

Corn Syrup – I can’t count the last time I had corn syrup in my cupboard, which is why I’m glad for this substitution: 1 ¼ cup white sugar plus ⅓ cup water.

Cream of Tartar – Cream of tartar in a recipe can be replaced with two options: 2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice.

Flour – If you’re trying to watch carbs use nut flour in your baking. A cup of flour is equal to ¼ cup of nut flower plus ¾ cup of whole wheat flour. For gluten-free baking, you can use an equal amount of amaranth flour.

Heavy Cream – There are several ways to swap out heavy cream in your recipes. Coconut cream, cream cheese, evaporated milk, buttermilk, and sour cream are just a few. You can also use coconut milk, homemade almond cream or milk and butter. However, these substitutions might not work if the recipe requires whipping heavy cream.

Honey – A great vegan substitute for honey is to 1 ¼ cup white sugar with ⅓ cup water

Agave nectar, coconut nectar, and molasses are also great substitutes. If you use have maple syrup, it will also do in a pinch, especially if it’s pure maple syrup.

Oil – This is a great substitute if you want to watch your fats and add more protein. A cup of oil is equal to ¾ cup of greek yogurt. It also works with the same amount of applesauce, or a cup of pumpkin. Even banana puree can work — just use ½ cup of puree for every cup of oil.

Sour Cream – No sour cream? Take 1 cup of milk and 1 ⅓ tablespoon of vinegar. Most recipes for dips, dressings, toppings, etc can also swap in greek yogurt. The same goes for cottage cheese: blend it with 4 tablespoons of milk and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Buttermilk is a bit heavy but if the recipe is needed for a baked good or dressing, you can use  buttermilk in place of sour cream. Coconut milk is also a great substitute, it only needs 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for every cup.

Sugar – If you don’t have quite enough sugar for your recipe or just want to cut down sugars in your baking, turn to honey. You’ll want to use ½ to ⅔ cup for every cup of sugar. You should also subtract liquids from the recipe, removing ¼ cup of liquids for every cup of honey used. Experts also recommend you add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda for every cup of honey to help with the acidity.


These are the most common swaps you’ll need to make for recipes.

Meyer Lemon Juice – When a recipe specifies Meyer lemon juice and you only have plain lemons, take equal parts of lemon juice and orange juice, then mix them together as a perfect swap.

Panko/Bread Crumbs – Panko and breadcrumbs in meatballs can be swapped for crushed crackers or all-purpose flour. You can also use rice or diced veggies if you need some texture in dishes like meatloaf.

Red Wine – Using a variety of non-alcoholic substitutes for red wine is easy. If you’re in need of the wine to deglaze the pan, swap out red wine vinegar, or try a juice like grape, pomegranate, or cranberry. You can even use chicken, beef, or vegetable stock with a bit of vinegar.

Sherry – Any recipe that requires cooking sherry will do fine with the equal amount of dry, red, or white wine. If it’s a stew, sauce, marinade, or soup, you can swap out an equal amount of apple cider vinegar. If you’re baking something that requires sherry, you can try swapping it with the same amount of fresh fruit juices like orange, pineapple, or apricot.

White Wine – For recipes that call for dry white wine, use white wine vinegar. Lemon juice is another choice, as is white grape juice. You can also add flavor with the chicken, beef, or vegetable stock.

Yogurt – Greek yogurt is a great option for plain yogurt. You only need to thin it out by whisking it with water.


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