1. Cake/bread/self-raising flourIf you're running short on cake, bread, or self-raising flour the good news is that all-purpose flour is a much more accessible substitute! 😄
- For 1 cup bread flour, substitute 1 cup all-purpose flour
- For 1 cup cake flour, substitute 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup cornstarch
- For 1 cup pastry flour, substitute 1 cup and 2 tbsp all-purpose flour and 2 tbsp cornstarch
- For 1 cup self-raising flour, substitute 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt
2. Unsalted butterAnother popular ingredient that's quickly being snatched up by fellow bakers is unsalted butter, which you can find in everything from savoury one-pot meals to classic pineapple kuih. While salted butter can still be found, it may not seem easy to substitute in salted butter without having to adjust your entire recipe.
- For 1 cup unsalted butter, substitute 1 cup salted butter and adjust the salt in the rest of the recipe accordingly
- For 1 cup unsalted butter, substitute 1 cup margarine
- For 1 cup unsalted butter, substitute 1 cup solid vegetable shortening and a pinch of salt
- For 1 cup unsalted butter, substitute 3/4 cup oil (Make sure to choose a neutral oil such as canola so that the final product's taste won't be altered.)
3. Cream cheeseWho else has been craving cheesecake but can't seem to find enough cream cheese to finally make some? 😅🍰 Cream cheese is a super versatile ingredient, acting as a binder, thickener, sweetener, or frosting - just like in these kid-friendly cinnamon rolls!
- For 1 cup cream cheese, substitute 1 cup pureed cottage cheese (You might need to add in a pinch of margarine depending on the fat content of the cottage cheese)
- For 1 cup cream cheese, substitute 1 cup strained plain/Greek yoghurt
4. Baking soda/powderBaking soda and powder are 2 ingredients that often get confused, but the key difference is that baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, and baking powder is sodium bicarbonate as well as a dry acid. Both ingredients require liquid to activate, but baking soda will need an additional acidic ingredient (e.g. lemon juice) to complete the process.
- For 1 tsp baking soda, substitute 3 tsp baking powder and adjust salt levels in your recipe accordingly. You might get a salty or bitter taste due to the other ingredients in baking powder so keep tasting your mixture and try to cut the saltiness with sugar or a dash of citrus.
- For 1 tsp baking powder, substitute 1/2 cup buttermilk and 1/4 tsp baking soda and adjust the liquids in your recipe accordingly
- For 1 tsp baking powder, substitute 1/2 cup plain yoghurt and 1/4 tsp baking soda and adjust liquids accordingly
- For 1 tsp baking powder, substitute 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp vinegar (white vinegar usually has the most neutral taste)
5. Instant/active dry yeast
- Fresh/compressed/cake yeast: composed of 100% living yeast bacteria, requires no proofing and is considered the fastest and also most perishable.
- Active dry yeast: Many of the cells are destroyed during processing, and the yeast must first be proofed or dissolved in a hot liquid to reactivate the living bacteria.
- Instant/rapid rise/bread yeast: More gently dried compared to active dry yeast, with every particle being living or active. Can be added directly into a recipe without being dissolved or proofed.
- For 1 tsp yeast, substitute 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- For 1 tsp yeast, substitute 1 tsp double-acting baking powder
6. Cocoa powder
- For 3 tbsp Dutch-Process cocoa powder, substitute 3 tbsp natural cocoa powder and 1/8 tsp baking soda
- For 3 tbsp natural cocoa powder, substitute 3 tbsp Dutch-Process cocoa powder and add in 1/8 tsp cream of tartar OR white vinegar OR lemon juice for every 3 tbsp of cocoa powder used (This will restore the acidity you get in natural cocoa powder)
- For 3 tbsp natural cocoa powder, substitute 1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate and remove 1 tbsp of butter/oil/shortening from the recipe to balance out the fat content
7. Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Chopped dark chocolate between 60%-70% is recommended although you can pick any chocolate bar that suits your taste and adjust any sugars in the recipe accordingly. Dark chocolate can generally be used in the exact same way, with minimal changes to the overall recipe.
- Carob pastilles or chips can also be substituted in for chocolate. Carob beans have a slightly nuttier taste, so you may want to balance it out with some sugar.