I never have the right ingredients. What can I say, with 6 people in the family, I tend to run out of things a lot! I also try to cook a bit more healthy than what some recipes call for. For instance, I may use applesauce instead of oil for baking a cake. Below are some substitutes that I tend to use. You can find a good list of these from the Land O' Lakes and Budget 101 Make your Own Recipes and Budget 101 Mix Recipes. These are a few of my most common substitutes.


How to Substitute Sweeteners

1. Honey and maple syrup are sweeter than sugar, so use less (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup) for each cup of sugar.

2. When substituting a liquid for a granulated sweetener (e.g. using honey when the recipe calls for sucanat or brown sugar), for every 1 cup of honey, subtract 1/4 cup of liquid from the recipe (that means also, for every 1/4 cup of honey, subtract 1 Tbsp of liquid).

3. The converse is then, when substituting a granulated for a liquid sweetener (e.g. using sucanat or coconut sugar when the recipe calls for maple syrup or honey), for every 1 cup of sweetener, add 1/4 cup of liquid from the recipe (that means also, for every 1/4 cup of honey, add 1 Tbsp of liquid).

4. If baking with honey or maple syrup, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit, since maple syrup and honey will tend to caramelize and burn faster than granulated sweeteners.

5. Since maple syrup and honey are somewhat acidic, when baking, you will need to add 1/4 – 1/2 tsp baking soda per cup of honey or maple syrup to the batter so it will rise.

Broth, Beef or Chicken

*Substitute 1 cup boiling water and 1 teaspoon instant bouillon granules (or 1 bouillon cube) for 1 cup broth

Breadcrumbs Substitute

*3 to 4 slices oven-dried bread crushed for 1 cup breadcumbs.

*Substitute 3/4 cup cracker crumbs for 1 cup breadcrumbs.

*Substitute 1 1/4 cups croutons or stuffing cubes, crushed for 1 cup breadcrumbs.

*Rolled oats or crushed brand cereal

Butter and Oil

*Substitute equal amounts melted butter or margarine for vegetable oil.

*Applesauce or prune puree of equal amounts for butter and oil.

*May also sub. 2/3 amounts applesauce in place of the fat.

*Substitute unsalted butter for salted butter in any recipe. It is NOT necessary to add salt.

*Substitute whipped butter, based on weight, not volume for stick butter.

*Substitute stick margarine made from canola oil in most baking applications except in pastry recipes. Using margarine will produce a softer dough than one made with butter, and may not have the same flavor as butter.


*Substitute 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to equal 1 cup for 1 cup of buttermilk. Let stand 5 minutes.

*Substitute 1/2 cup plain yogurt plus 1/2 cup milk for 1 cup buttermilk.

*Cream (40% fat) (Heavy Whipping Cream not for whipping)

*Substitute 1/3 cup melted butter and 2/3 cup whole milk for 1 cup whipping cream.

*Two tablespoons flour whisked into two cups non fat milk

Cream, Half & Half

*Substitute 3/4 cup whole milk and 1/4 cup whipping cream for 1 cup half & half.

*Substitute 1 tablespoon melted butter and enough milk to equal 1 cup for 1 cup half & half.


*Substitute 1/4 cup refrigerated egg product for 1 whole egg or two egg whites for 1 whole egg.


*Substitute 1 teaspoon dried herbs for 1 tablespoon fresh herbs.

Sour Cream

*Substitute 1 cup plain yogurt for 1 cup sour cream.

Sugar, Granulated

*Substitute 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar for 1 cup granulated sugar. (Flavor will be affected somewhat.)

Whipping Cream

*Substitute 1/3 cup melted butter and2/3 cup whole milk for 1 cup whipping cream.

White Flour

*Whole-wheat flour for half of the called-for all-purpose flour
Self Rising Flour
*1 cup all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, Combine. Makes 1 cup.

Packet Soup Mixes
Here are some seasoning mixes that I use as substitutes for the packet stuff you can get in the store (example is my MEATLOAF that uses the packet of onion soup mix.) You can use this instead- with out all the sodium!

Onion Soup Mix

4 teaspoons Beef bouillon granules (if using low sodium add 1/2 tsp. salt)
8 teaspoons Dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon Onion powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 tsp. parsely flakes

use instead of buying soup mix packet

Ranch Seasoning Mix

1 cup Dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. Ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 cup Garlic powder
1/4 cup Onion powder
Pinch dried thyme
2 Tbls. Dried dill

Mix all ingredients and place in air tight jar.
*If you want that milky flavor added, mix in 1/2 to 1 cup powdered milk or powdered buttermilk.

Italian Dressing Mix

1/3 cup Powdered Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. Garlic powder
1 tbsp. Onion powder
1 tbsp. Paprika
2 tsp. Celery seed
1 tbsp. Sesame seeds
1 tbsp. Dried Italian seasoning blend
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Pepper

Measure all into a ziploc baggie & seal until ready to use

Taco Seasoning Mix

1 tablespoon cornstartch
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground corriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.

Creamed Soups
This is my most used substitution. I use it in place of basically every cream soup a recipe calls for.
This is one recipe where you can see The Way I Made It my Own, calls for this basic cream soup:

Basic Cream Soups


3 Tbls butter
3 Tbls. Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 cup Milk


Melt 3 tbsp margarine in small saucepan, blend in 3 tbsp flour and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook and stir until bubbly. Using a wire whisk, stir in 1 cup milk and cook just until smooth and thick.

Add spices if desired.

You can vary the flavor by adding curry powder, garlic, onion, celery salt, lemon juice, chili powder, parsley, chopped veggies, chives, etc

*Mushroom Soup: Add 1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
*Celery Soup: Add 1/2 cup minced celery
*Potato Soup: Add 1 cup diced potatoes, cooked
*Vegetable Soup: Add 3/4 cup mixed vegetables, cooked
*Broccoli Soup: Add 1 cup chopped broccoli, cooked
*Asparagus Soup: Add 1 cup chopped asparagus, cooked
*Cheese Soup: Add in 1 cup shredded Cheese of your choice (usually whatever the recipe calls for, is what I add).

Cook's Notes:
Makes slightly over 1 cup and is the same as a 10 oz. can of undiluted condensed