Tip Tuesday – Substitutions

measuring spoonsI don’t know about you but when I decide I want to bake something I want to dive right in and start cooking. That’s when I find out that I don’t have everything I need to make the recipe. Bummer!

Here is where substitutes come to my rescue. Usually there is something in the kitchen I can use in place of the standard ingredient that will enable me to complete the recipe. Yay!

I have listed just a few of my favorite ones below (with more to come) but there are many more that can be found with a little internet searching so don’t give up in the kitchen when you don’t have every ingredient listed in your recipe – just experiment and have some fun!



1 cup Butter = 1 cup vegetable shortening or ¾ cup vegetable oil. Reduce fats in recipe by substituting ½ the butter with ½ cup unsweetened applesauce.

These next two substitutions need a little adjustment to the recipes but are great for baking such as cakes or muffins:  1 cup mashed avocado (reduce  oven temperature by 25% & increase cook time by 5-10 minutes) or banana (reduce cooking time by 25%)

Egg yolks = 1 whole egg

Whole-wheat flour

Flours – to make a recipe where you want more fiber, substitute half of the white flour for whole wheat flour or, for cutting calories when baking cakes or muffins, try using 1 cup of black bean puree for 1 cup flour

1 cup Flour, Cake = 2 Tablespoon cornstarch then fill measuring cup with all purpose flour to 1 cup line

1 cup Flour, self-rising (I am always using this one!) = 1 cup all purpose flour mixed + 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup Flour, whole wheat = 7/8 cup white flour + 2 Tablespoons wheat germ or 1 cup graham flour

1 cup Oil = 1 cup mashed banana, 1 cup Greek yogurt or even 1 cup grated zucchini for baking cakes, muffins, cookies or breads. Substituting this ingredient is a great way to reduce fat!


1 cup Sugar = 1 cup packed brown sugar or 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce + ½ cup of the sugar and reduce liquids in recipe by about 1/6 cup. To reduce a recipe’s calorie count by as much as 400, cut sugar by half and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

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