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Ingredient substitutions and equivalents

Janet Hackert, regional nutrition and health education specialist, Harrison County, University of Missouri Extension


If you’ve ever started to cook or bake and realize mid-stir you didn’t have a needed ingredient, or if there are some ingredients that you just never have on hand, this list is for you. Here are some substitutions that may come in handy.


Ingredient: 1 whole egg


  • teaspoon baking powder plus 1 tablespoon vinegar plus 1 tablespoon liquid (for baking use only)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (may be suitable for cake batter)
  • Reconstituted powdered eggs (follow package directions)

Note: If you don’t use eggs often, it may be handy to keep powdered eggs on hand.


Ingredient: 1 cup all-purpose white flour


  • cup whole-wheat flour and cup all-purpose flour (using more whole-wheat flour than this can result in a heavier, denser product)


Ingredient: 1 cup self-rising flour


  • 1 cup minus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour plus 1 teaspoons baking powder and teaspoon salt


Ingredient: 1 cake compressed yeast


  • 1 package ( ounce) active dry yeast
  • Scant 2 teaspoons loose active dry yeast


Ingredient: 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate


  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon butter, margarine or oil


Ingredient: 1 cup butter


  • 1 cup regular margarine
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening (for baking)
  • 1 cup oil (only if melted butter is called for)

Note: Margarine labeled light, lower fat, reduced fat, fat-free or vegetable oil spread may be too low in fat and too high in water content to substitute well. For regular margarine, check the Nutrition Facts label – one tablespoon has 100 calories.


Ingredient: 1 teaspoon baking powder


  • teaspoon baking soda plus 5/8 teaspoon cream of tartar


Ingredient: 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • There is no substitute for baking soda!



Source: FOOD REFLECTIONS Newsletter, University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County,


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Last update: Thursday, February 11, 2010