Cooking 201: Substitutes

Have you had this moment? Gathering ingredients at the beginning of  baking something…walking to the cupboard…looking in…and then exclaiming “I’m out of that!  I was SURE I had that!”

My personal favorite experience was when I was testing various homemade dishwasher blends. I had just moved and hadn’t bought vinegar yet. Of course, it was when I was gathering ingredients that I realized this. So I stood in the kitchen wondering “Is white wine vinegar close enough to vinegar?” Hmmm…..

This is when…drumroll, please…we substitute something else. In a pinch, substitutes can be life-savers. Well, maybe meal-savers.

Substitutes below:
– Chocolate: Cacao, Cocoa, Baker’s Chocolate, Etc.
– Dairy Products: Milk & Cream
– Fats: Liquids (Butter, Oil, Shortening, etc.)
– Flours: Wheat
– Flours: Non-Wheat
– Leavening Agents (Yeast)
– Leavening Agents (Non-yeast)
– Salts
– Sweeteners: Non-sugar (syrup, honey, etc.)
– Sweeteners: Sugars

(For an a list of and description of various cooking/baking ingredients, please visit the “Ingredients” page.)

Chocolate: Cacao, Cocoa, Baker’s Chocolate, Etc.

Baker’s chocolate (aka: unsweetened chocolate): 
1 oz. baker’s= 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa plus 1 Tbsp. butter (or shortening)
1 oz. baker’s= 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa plus 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 oz. baker’s= 3 Tbsp. Dutch cocoa plus 1 Tbsp. butter (or shortening)

Chocolate, dark: 
Dark chocolate is rarely called for in recipes. Should it be called for, it’s because the recipe is probably “built around” the dark chocolate taste. But if for some reason you absolutely must find a dark chocolate substitute: try using semi-sweet chocolate plus some cocoa powder (to give it more intense flavor and to balance out of the extra sugar)

Chocolate, milk: 
1 oz. milk chocolate= 1 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate plus 1 Tbsp. granulated white sugar
1 oz. milk chocolate= 1 oz. sweet dark chocolate
1 oz. milk chocolate= 1 oz. white chocolate

Chocolate, semi-sweet & bittersweet:
1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate= 1 oz. baker’s chocolate plus 4 tsp. sugar (or 1/2 oz. baker’s chocolate plus 1 Tbsp. sugar)
1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate= 1 oz. semisweet chocolate chips plus 1 tsp. shortening
1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate= 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder plus 3 Tbsp. sugar plus 1 Tbsp. butter (or shortening)

Cocoa powder:
1/4 C. cocoa powder= 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder= 3 Tbsp. Dutch cocoa plus 1/8 tsp. cream of tarter (or lemon juice or vinegar)
-or- 3 Tbsp. Dutch cocoa & leave out any baking soda called for in the recipe
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder= 1 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate (reduce fat in recipe by 1 Tbsp.)
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder= 3 Tbsp. carob powder

Cocoa powder, Dutch:
3 Tbsp. Dutch cocoa= 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder plus 1/8 tsp. baking soda
3 Tbsp. Dutch cocoa= 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate plus 1/8 tsp. baking soda (reduce fat in recipe by 1 Tbsp.)
3 Tbsp. Dutch cocoa= 3 Tbsp. carob powder

Mexican chocolate: 
1 oz. Mexican chocolate= 1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate plus 1/2 tsp. Mexican cinnamon (or Ceylon cinnamon)

Sweet chocolate (aka: sweet dark chocolate, sweet baking chocolate):
1 oz. sweet chocolate= 1 oz. white chocolate

White chocolate: 
1 oz. white chocolate= 1 oz. milk chocolate
1 oz. white chocolate= 1 oz. sweet dark chocolate

Dairy Products: Milk, Whipping Cream, Etc.

Buttermilk:
1 C. buttermilk= 1 C. yogurt
1 C. buttermilk= 1 Tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar plus 1 C. milk
1 C. buttermilk= 1 C. water, 2/3 C. powdered milk, and 1 tsp. vinegar
1 C. buttermilk= 1 C. milk plus 1 & 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 C. buttermilk= 1 C. sour cream

Clotted Cream (contains minimum fat content of 55%, ranges up to 64%):
1 C. clotted cream= 1 C. cream fraiche
1 C. clotted cream= 1 C. heavy whipping cream, whipped

Creams: 
• Half & Half (blend of whole milk and cream. Contains between 10.5% and 18% milk fat.)
1 C. half & half= 7/8 C. whole milk plus 1 & 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 C. half & half= 1/2 C. coffee cream plus 1/2 C. milk
1 C. half & half= 1 C. evaporated milk, undiluted
1 C. half & half= 1/2 C. light cream plus 1/2 C. whole milk
1 C. half & half= 1/2 C. 1% or 2% milk plus 1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
• Light cream (contains between 18% and 30% milk fat; usually in the range of 20%)
1 C. light cream= 1 C. evaporated milk
1 C. light cream= 3/4 C. whole milk plus 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 C. light cream= 1/2 C. evaporated milk plus 1/2 C. milk
1 C. light cream= 1/2 C. heavy cream plus 1/2 C. milk
• Light whipping cream: (contains between 30% and 36% milk fat)
1 C. light whipping cream= 3/4 C. whole milk plus 1/4 C. unsalted butter (for baking; will not whip)
• Heavy whipping cream (heavy cream): (contains between 36% and 49% milk fat)
1 C. heavy cream= 1 C. evaporated milk
1 C. heavy cream= 3/4 C. milk plus 1/3 C. unsalted butter (for baking; will not whip)
• Double cream: contains 42-48% milk fat. Only available in Europe.

Cream Cheese: 
1 C. cream cheese= 1 C. pureed cottage cheese

Creme fraiche (English/American definition):
1 C. creme fraiche= 1 C. heavy cream plus 1 Tbsp. plain yogurt (or buttermilk), stand at room temperature for 6 hrs.
1 C. creme fraiche= 1 C. sour cream
1 C. creme fraiche= 1/2 C. whipping cream plus 1/2 C. sour cream

Evaporated milk: 
1 C. evaporated milk= 1 C. light cream
1 C. evaporated milk= 1 C. light whipping or heavy cream

Milks:
• Whole milk (3.5% milk fat)
1 C. whole milk= 1 C. soy, almond, or rice milk
1 C. whole milk= 1 C. skim, 1%, or 2% milk plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 C. whole milk= 1 C. water plus 1/4 C. dry milk powder
1 C. whole milk= 2/3 C. evaporated milk plus 1/3 C. water
1 C. whole milk= 1 C. fruit juice (in baking)
1 C. whole milk= 1 C. water plus 1 & 1/2 tsp. butter (in baking)
1 C. whole milk= 1 C. buttermilk plus 1/2 tsp. baking soda (decrease baking powder by 2 tsp. in recipe)
1 C. whole milk= 1/2 C. condensed milk plus 1/2 C. water
 2% milk
• 1% milk
• Skim milk (.1% to .5% milk fat)
1 C. skim milk= 1/3 C. instant nonfat dry milk plus 7/8 C. water
1 C. skim milk= 1/2 C. evaporated skim milk plus 1/2 C. water

Sour Cream: 
1 C. sour cream= 1 C. plain yogurt
1 C. sour cream= 1 C. cream plus 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (or vinegar)
1 C. sour cream= 3/4 C. buttermilk combined with 1/3 C. unsalted butter
1 C. sour cream= 7/8 C. milk, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, & 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 C. sour cream= 1 & 1/8 C. powdered nonfat dry milk, 1/2 C. warm water, & 1 Tbsp. vinegar (put in refrigerator for 2-3 hrs).
1 C. sour cream= 1 C. evaporated milk plus 1 Tbsp. vinegar (allow to stand 5 min. before use)
1 C. sour cream= 1/3 C. buttermilk, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 C. cottage cheese; blend in blender
1 C. sour cream= 1 C. creme fraiche
1 C. sour cream= 1 C. whole milk plus 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (or vinegar) (allow to stand 5 min. before use)

Sweetened Condensed Milk:
14 oz. can= 3/4 C. white sugar, 1/2 C. warm water, and 1 & 1/8 C. dry powdered milk: Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 20 minutes  (another site says to simply set pan of combined ingredients in a bowl of hot water until sugar dissolved)
14 oz. can= 1 C. instant nonfat dry milk, 2/3 C. white sugar, 1/2 C. boiling water, and 3 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter (process in blender or food processor until smooth)

Whipped cream:
1 C. whipped cream= 1 C. frozen whipped topping, thawed (such as Cool Whip)
2 C. whipped cream= 1 C. chilled evaporated milk plus 1/2 tsp. lemon juice; whip until thick

Yogurt: 
1 C. yogurt= 1 C. sour cream
1 C. yogurt= 1 C. buttermilk
1 C. yogurt= 1 C. sour milk
1 C. yogurt= 1 C. cottage cheese, blended until smooth
1 C. yogurt= 1 C. creme fraiche
1 C. yogurt= 1 C. heavy whipping cream plus 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Fats: Butter, Oil, Shortening, Etc.

Butter (unsalted):
1 C. butter= 1 C. shortening plus 2 Tbsp. water
1 C. butter= 7/8 C. vegetable oil
1 C. butter = 7/8 C. lard

Butter (salted):
1 stick salted = 1 stick unsalted plus 3/8 tsp. salt (can vary from brand to brand; this is average)
1 C. butter= 1 C. shortening plus 1/2 tsp. salt plus 2 Tbsp. water
1 C. butter= 7/8 C. vegetable oil plus 1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. butter= 7/8 C. lard plus 1/2 tsp. salt

Lard:
Shortening or butter (same amount)
1 C. lard= 7/8 C. vegetable oil

Olive oil
1 C. olive oil= 1 C. canola oil or vegetable oil (might be slight taste difference)
Butter can sometimes be used- this is a “hot topic” among those who get passionate about such things. I’ll leave this up to personal preference and the experts.

Shortening:
Unsalted butter (same amount)
1 C. shortening= 1 C. margarine, but subtract 1/2 tsp. salt from recipe
1 C. shortening= 1 C. minus 2 Tbsp. lard

Vegetable oil, for baking:
1 C. oil= 1 C. applesauce
1 C. oil= 1 C. fruit puree
1 C. oil= 1 & 1/4 C. melted unsalted butter, but you need to subtract 2 oz. of liquid from elsewhere in the recipe (example, reduce milk by 2 oz.).

Vegetable oil, for frying:
1 C. oil= 1 C. lard
1 C. oil= 1 C. vegetable shortening

General butter-to-oil conversion ratio:
Butter   =   Olive Oil
For the rest use:
1 tsp.   =      ¾ tsp.
1 Tbsp.  =     2-¼ tsp.
2 Tbsp.  =   1-½ Tbsp.
¼ C.   =     3 Tbsp.
½ C.   =   ¼ C.  plus 2 Tbsp.
⅔ C.   =    ½ C.
¾ C.  =   ½ C. plus 1 Tbsp.
1 C.  =    ¾ C.
2 C.  =  1-½ C.

***Many of the above substitutes are vegetable oil. Other types of oil can also be substituted. See the ‘Liquid Fats: Oils’ post for information on the many, many types of oils and which are interchangeable.

Guidelines:
The above substitutes require some other knowledge. As I said in the intro, substituting the wrong thing can ruin a recipe. The following guidelines are general baking knowledge/tips to help guide you.

• If you’re making a recipe that requires the creaming/fluffing together of the softened butter and sugar (such as cheesecake or cookies), do NOT substitute oil. The incorporation of air is vital for the proper texture of the final product.
• If making pie crusts, do not use oil in place of the butter, shortening, or lard. The latter three can be substituted.
• Avoid substituting oils for solid fats when baking cookies, cakes, and pastries; it will make the dish greasy and dense. If you must do so, substitute 3 parts oil for every 4 parts solid fat and consider increasing the amount of sugar and eggs in the recipe.
• Using shortening in place of butter will make cookies crunchier and breads crusts softer.
• If you’re making cakes or muffins (or frying something), this is the ideal place to substitute oil for butter.
• Substituting olive oil for vegetable oil in baking is done by some…if you wish to attempt this, make sure you get neutral or “late harvest” oil flavors. Strong olive oil flavor does not come across well in baked goods (obviously).
• Using margarine as a substitute is an option, but keep in mind that it will make bread crusts tougher, cookies softer, and cookies more difficult to shape. I, personally, wish margarine would “un-exist.”

Reducing Fat: 
Reducing the amount of fat in a recipe will affect the final product. Baked goods will have a denser texture. To correct for this, try increasing the sugar in the recipe and/or beating the egg whites and folding them into the batter. Also try using a softer flour, like pastry or cake flour. (Thanks to the “Cook’s Thesaurus” for that tip!)
If you want to try reducing fat, try substitutes such as applesauce, pureed prunes, fruit puree, apple butter, ricotta cheese, bananas, avocado puree, or (obviously) reducing the amount of fat. As fat is a vital part of recipes, look up the tips for particular substitutes before you use them.

Flours: Wheat

All-purpose flour
For thickening, substitute cornstarch or quick-cooking tapioca.
1 C. all-purpose= 1 & 1/8 C. cake flour
1 C. all-purpose= 1 C. minus 1 Tbsp. whole-wheat flour
1 C. all-purpose= 1 C. self-rising, but omit baking powder and salt from recipe
1 C. all-purpose= 7/8 C. rice flour
1 C. all-purpose= 1/2 C. cake & 1/2 C. whole wheat flour

Bread flour
1 C. bread flour= 1 C. all-purpose & 1 tsp. wheat gluten (can omit gluten if must)

Cake flour
1 C. cake flour= 3/4 C. all-purpose flour & 2 Tbsp. cornstarch. Sift 5-6 times (must sift so many times to both mix everything together and give the flour the “airy” feel of cake flour).

Pastry flour
1 C. pastry flour=3/8 C. all-purpose flour & 5/8 C. cake flour
2 C. pastry flour= 1 & 1/3 C. all-purpose & 2/3 C. cake flour [ratio different from above…choose whether you’re going for a “lighter” product or a heavier, denser product.] 1 C. pastry flour= 2 Tbsp. cornstarch plus enough all-purpose flour to equal 1 cup

Self-rising flour
1 C. self-rising= 1 C. all purpose -and- 1 & 1/3 tsp. baking powder -and- 1/3 tsp. salt

Whole-wheat flour
1 C. whole-wheat= 7/8 C. all-purpose & 2 Tbsp. wheat germ

Flours: Non-Wheat

In the case of non-wheat flours, many recipes call for a specific flour because it is fundamental to the recipe. Rye bread isn’t “rye bread” without the rye. Cornmeal is essential to cornbread. That being said…for many recipes, there are substitutes you can use if you find a recipe you love but can’t find a speciality grain. In addition, many of these contain little or no gluten, so using them to make raised bread is a challenge (or impossible, depending upon gluten content).

Barley flour: barley was the primary cereal grain of the ancient Middle East. Widespread use throughout history despite it now being a minor food in the Western world. Low in gluten, but does contain some, making it a useful alternative to wheat flour.
1 C.= 1 C. other non-wheat flours (oat, buckwheat, etc.)

Buckwheat flour: native to Siberia and despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat. (Yes, I know, I’m shaking my head also). In fact, it’s not a cereal or grass; it’s a wild fruit related to wild rhubarb. High in fiber, protein, and other nutrients, and low in gluten (or sometimes gluten-free). Used to make a variety of baked goods and substituted for bread flour in recipe (but for no more than half of total flour content); also good in pastas and pancakes.
1 C.= 1 C. all-purpose flour
1 C.= 1 C. other non-wheat flours (barley, oat, etc.)

Chickpea flour (besan, gram flour): made from ground chickpeas (versions include using raw and roasted). Can be made at home by lightly roasting dried garbanzo beans, then grinding in blender until they have the consistency of flour. No gluten, higher protein than many other flours.
Substitute: same process as above but use dried yellow split peas
1 C.= 1 C. all-purpose flour (note: final product will have different flavor and consistency)

     ~~~Corn products~~~ 
These can be a confusing issue due to international difference in word usage. In addition there are five basic types of corn.
• Corn flour (in the U.S.) is what it sounds: corn meal ground down to a flour texture. White corn flour can be blended with wheat flour to reduce gluten in various recipes. Can be made at home by using a blender to grind down corn meal until it reaches flour consistency.
Using a substitute depends upon the recipe you are using it for. If you are using corn flour for bread, feel free to substitute wheat or white flour. For breading, white flour.
• Corn meal (in the U.S.) is corn coarsely ground (down to .2 mm across), used to make a variety of things, including corn bread. Less coarse than grits, more coarse than corn flour.
1 C.= 1 C. polenta
1 C.= 1 C. corn flour (goods will be “lighter”)
for breading: can use finely crushed corn chips
• Masa: corn is milled, wet, after undergoing preliminary cooking. Stone ground to produce a dough-like material. Made into tortillas, tamales, and corn chips.
• Masa harina: flour made by flash-drying freshly made masa particles. Is used to make corn tortillas and tamales.
• Grits: corn coarsely ground (particles between .6 and 1.2 mm across). Coarser than corn meal.
• Blue cornmeal: ground from a variety of flint corn; ground from whole blue corn.
• White cornmeal: same as regular cornmeal but ground using white corn.
• Hominy: kernels of corn are soaked in alkaline solution; hull and germ falls off and grain doubles in size. Rinse away hull, germ, and solution, and you are left with hominy.
Note: Corn starch (in the U.S.) is a starch obtained from the endosperm of the corn. Often used as a thickening agent by cooks and bakers. In the U.K., it is called cornflour (one word), which I am including it in this post on flours. Corn meal goes by the name of maize flour overseas. Local usage will vary.

Millet flour: millet is name used for a number of different grains, their common trait being very small, round seeds. Ground into flour; has high protein content.
1 C.= 1 C. gluten-free flour that is “white” (quinoa, rice, sorghum)

Oat flour: Rolled oat can be ground into either a oat flour or a coarse meal. Can be made at home by grinding oatmeal in blender until it reaches consistency of flour (1 & 1/4 C. oats will produce approx. 1 C. oat flour).
1 C.= 1 C. whole wheat flour
1 C.= 1 C. other non-wheat flour (barley, buckwheat, etc.)

Potato flour: produced from cooked, dried, ground potatoes. Made using the entire potato. (Often confused with potato starch which is produced from starch part of potato only)
Hard to substitute for without taking into account dish. Best option is to substitute equal weight (not volume) of another gluten-free flour.

Quinoa flour:  quinoa is a native of northern South America. Ground, it is made into a variety of flatbreads. Can be ground from milled or unmilled seed.
1 C. = ¾ C whole quinoa, ground in a blender until it has the texture of fine cornmeal.
1 C.= 1 C. brown rice flour

Rice flour: made from finely milled rice, either brown or white.  Is unique in being almost 90% starch and smallest starch granules of major cereals. Thus it has a fine texture making it idea to make rice noodles and desserts, among other things. There are thought to be more than 100,000 distinct varieties of rice throughout the world (McGee, 2007).
1 C.= 1 C. cake flour, especially if rice flour is being used to “soften” the texture of a baked good.
1 C.= 1 C. barley, millet, or potato flour
1 C.= 1 C. pastry flour
1 C.= 1 C. spelt flour (will make baked goods heavier)

Rye: substitute doesn’t really exist, but buckwheat is probably the best choice.
• Light: white rye flour is made from grinding the center endosperm of the rye berry.
• Dark: flour made from grinding the outer endosperm of the rye berry, which contains more of the coloring pigment from the berries. (An unauthentic alternative that is also used is using white rye flour and adding molasses, cocoa, or instant coffee to darken it).
• Pumpernickel: flour made from coarsely grinding the entire rye berry.
(above info on rye is from “The Kitchn,” in an article in which they were explaining the different types of rye bread. Please visit them sometime! They have great stuff on their site.)

Sorghum flour: type of cereal that is tolerant of drought and heat, making it a staple in parts of the world.
Notes:    This is widely used in India and Africa, especially by poor farmers who can’t afford wheat flour.  It’s somewhat bland but very nutritious and gluten-free.  You can sometimes find it in health foods stores, but you can get it for less in an Indian market.
1 C.= 1 C. rice or potato flour

Spelt flour: cereal grain that looks similar to wheat; also has tastes similar. Due to gluten content, good for substituting in place of wheat flour in recipes. Gluten is different though, and requires much less kneading/mixing.

Teff: tiny grain from Ethiopia region that has spread throughout world. Used both ground as flour and unground in other cooking. Can be made at home by grinding teff in a blender until it reaches consistency of flour.
1 C.= 1/2 C. wheat flour & 1/2 C. rye flour

*There are also a number of nut flour and meals in existence. I have never actually seen them used in a recipe, hence it is beyond the scope of this website. In a pinch, take the nut in question, toast them slightly. Then add a touch of sugar or flour (1 Tbsp. to 1 cup nuts; to help absorb the oil) and blend it & the nuts together until it reaches flour consistency.

Leavening Agents: Yeasts

Active dry yeast (one package= 2 & 1/4 tsp.= 1/4 ounce):
1/4 oz.= one cake fresh yeast (.6 oz.)
1/4 oz.= 1/4 oz. instant yeast or bread machine yeast (add to dry ingredients/don’t proof; bread will only need to rise once).

Compressed fresh yeast cakes:
1 cake (.6 ounces)= 2 & 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 cake (.6 ounces)= 2 & 1/4 tsp. instant dried yeast
1 cake (.6 ounces)- 2 & 1/4 tsp. bread machine yeast

Instant dried yeast:
Equal amount bread machine yeast
1/4 oz.= 1/4 oz. active dry yeast (will need to proof in water first; bread will need to rise twice)
1/4 oz.= 1 cake fresh yeast cake (yeast must be dissolved in water first; bread will need to rise twice)

Bread machine yeast:
Equal amount instant dried yeast

~~~For information on why non-yeast and yeast leaveners cannot be substituted for each other, please visit the original blog post “Substitutes for Leavening Agents”.

Leavening Agents: Non-Yeasts

Baking Powder (double-acting):
Any amount= 2 parts cream of tartar, 1 part baking soda, 1 part cornstarch
1 tsp.= 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter plus 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp.= 1 & 1/2 tsp. single-acting baking powder
1 tsp= 1/4 tsp. baking soda (to dry ingredients) and 1/2 C. buttermilk (to wet ingredients). [Decrease liquid in recipe by 1/2 C. Can also try substituting yogurt or sour milk for the buttermilk.] 1 tsp.= 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter, 1/3 tsp. baking soda, 1/8 tsp. salt. Do not store long-term. (from Joy of Cooking)

Baking Powder (single-acting):
1 tsp.= 2/3 tsp. double-acting baking powder
1 Tbsp.= 1 tsp. baking soda & 2 tsp. cream of tartar.

Baking Soda (sodium biocarbonate):
Equal amount potash (German markets)
Equal amount potassium bicarbonate (used as a substitute by people on sodium-restricted diets. Available in some pharmacies. May want to add a small amount of salt to recipe.)
1/2 tsp.= 2 tsp. baking powder (MUST replace acidic liquid in recipe with non-acidic liquid)

Cream of tarter: 
1/2 tsp.= 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp.= 1/2 tsp. vinegar

Self-rising flour: 
1 C. self-rising= 1 C. all purpose plus 1 & 1/3 tsp. baking powder plus 1/3 tsp. salt

Baker’s Ammonia: Originally made from the ground antlers of deer, this is an ancestor of modern baking powder.  Northern Europeans still use it because it makes gingerbread cookies very light and crisp.  Greeks also use it in some cookies. Unfortunately, it can impart an unpleasant ammonia flavor, so it’s best used in cookies and pastries that are small enough to allow the ammonia odor to dissipate while baking.  Can be found in German, Scandinavian, or Greek markets; drug stores; or baking supply stores.  Don’t confuse this with ordinary household ammonia, which is poisonous.
Can substitute equal amount of baking powder, but (obviously) might not result in the very light and crisp effect that baker’s ammonia provides.

~~~~For information on why non-yeast and yeast leaveners cannot be substituted for each other, please visit the original blog post “Substitutes for Leavening Agents”.

Leavening Agents: Non-Yeasts

Baking Powder (double-acting):
Any amount= 2 parts cream of tartar, 1 part baking soda, 1 part cornstarch
1 tsp.= 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter plus 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp.= 1 & 1/2 tsp. single-acting baking powder
1 tsp= 1/4 tsp. baking soda (to dry ingredients) and 1/2 C. buttermilk (to wet ingredients). [Decrease liquid in recipe by 1/2 C. Can also try substituting yogurt or sour milk for the buttermilk.] 1 tsp.= 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter, 1/3 tsp. baking soda, 1/8 tsp. salt. Do not store long-term. (from Joy of Cooking)

Baking Powder (single-acting):
1 tsp.= 2/3 tsp. double-acting baking powder
1 Tbsp.= 1 tsp. baking soda & 2 tsp. cream of tartar.

Baking Soda (sodium biocarbonate):
Equal amount potash (German markets)
Equal amount potassium bicarbonate (used as a substitute by people on sodium-restricted diets. Available in some pharmacies. May want to add a small amount of salt to recipe.)
1/2 tsp.= 2 tsp. baking powder (MUST replace acidic liquid in recipe with non-acidic liquid)

Cream of tarter: 
1/2 tsp.= 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp.= 1/2 tsp. vinegar

Self-rising flour: 
1 C. self-rising= 1 C. all purpose plus 1 & 1/3 tsp. baking powder plus 1/3 tsp. salt

Baker’s Ammonia: Originally made from the ground antlers of deer, this is an ancestor of modern baking powder.  Northern Europeans still use it because it makes gingerbread cookies very light and crisp.  Greeks also use it in some cookies. Unfortunately, it can impart an unpleasant ammonia flavor, so it’s best used in cookies and pastries that are small enough to allow the ammonia odor to dissipate while baking.  Can be found in German, Scandinavian, or Greek markets; drug stores; or baking supply stores.  Don’t confuse this with ordinary household ammonia, which is poisonous.
Can substitute equal amount of baking powder, but (obviously) might not result in the very light and crisp effect that baker’s ammonia provides.

~~~~For information on why non-yeast and yeast leaveners cannot be substituted for each other, please visit the original blog post “Substitutes for Leavening Agents”.

Salts

Non-Salt Alternatives:

  • Herb and spice blends, such as Mrs. Dash. Many contain no sodium (check the label) and offer a good mix of flavors with absolutely no effort. Ratio of substitute is 1 to 1. Aka: recipe calls for 1 tsp. of salt, use 1 tsp. of herb/spice blend instead.
  • Lemon and/or lime juice- this works on everything from meats to fresh salads.
  • Garlic powder (not garlic salt). A lot of flavor and can be added to anything. A little bit goes a long ways.
  • Onion powder (not onion salt). Again, a lot of flavor and can be added to anything. A little bit goes a long ways.

For herb ideas for various meats and vegetables, please see the full “Salt Substitutes” post.

Low- and No-Sodium Options:
If you are considering switching to a low- or no-sodium option, make sure you check with your doctor. The amount of potassium in such items can be harmful for some conditions (including kidney problems and some hypertension medicines). In addition, they often have a bitter or metallic taste.

“Lite” or “low-sodium” alternatives: most of these (including Morton Lite Salt) are a combination of sodium chloride (normal salt) and potassium chloride (which tastes similar to salt, but isn’t supposed to raise blood pressure). Note these ingredients still contain some sodium.

No-sodium alternatives: these usually consist entirely of potassium chloride. These include: Morton Salt Substitute, NoSalt, & Nu-Salt.

Consumer reports suggests “Diamond Crystal Salt Sense.” It is still real salt, but the volume of the crystal means that there is less sodium per tablespoon. This will work to cut sodium provided you don’t simply pour more salt on the food.

Non-Potassium Chloride:
As stated above, the common low- and no-salt substitutes are made of potassium chloride. But for those avoiding potassium chloride: there are few options out there. I would recommend shopping online, though, as they will be hard to find in stores. Search specifically for “potassium chloride free salt substitutes.” Taste of these will vary, so you may have to try a few before you find one you like.

I have seen recommended, but have never tried: dried seaweed flakes and kelp granules. Note that they do have some sodium. I have had dried seaweed, though, and found it edible!

Sweeteners: Non-Sugar

Corn syrup, dark
1 C.= 3/4 light corn syrup plus 1/4 cup light molasses

Corn syrup, light
1 C.= 1 & 1/4 cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup water
1 C.= 1 cup honey
1 C.= 1 cup light treacle syrup
1 C.= 1 cup dark corn syrup (might affect taste)
1 cup liquid glucose (suggested by another site, but I haven’t tested it)

Honey
1 C.= 1 & 1/4 cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup water (still use liquid called for in recipe)
1 C.= 1 cup corn syrup
1 C.= 1 cup light treacle syrup
1 C.= 3/4 cup maple syrup plus 1/2 cup white sugar
1 C.= 3/4 cup light or dark corn syrup plus 1/2 cup white sugar
1 C.= 3/4 cup light molasses plus 1/2 cup white sugar

Maple syrup
To make approximately 2 cups, combine 2 cups granulated sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a clear boil. Take off heat and add 1/2 tsp. maple flavoring.
1 C.= 1/2 cup maple sugar (increase liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup)
1 C.= 1 cup honey
1 C.= 3/4 cup corn syrup, 1/4 cup melted butter, and 1/2 tsp. maple extract

Molasses
1 C.= 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, mixed
1 C.= 3/4 cup white sugar (increase liquid by 5 Tbsp, decrease baking soda by 1/2 tsp, add 2 tsp baking powder)
1 C.= 3/4 cup white sugar plus 1 & 1/4 tsp. cream of tarter (increase liquid by 5 Tbsp.)
1 C.= 1 cup honey
1 C.= 1 cup dark corn syrup
1 C.= 1 cup maple syrup
1 C.= 3/4 cup dark brown sugar heated to dissolve into 1/4 C. of liquid (this can be a tricky process, though!)

Some “health” sites recommend using agave nectar -or- one of the many artificial sweeteners: Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet); Stevia leaf extract (Truvia, Pure Via); Saccharin (Sweet’N Low); Sucralose (Splenda). Using these in place of any sweeteners- sugars and non-sugars will greatly affect the final product. I recommend, unless needed for medical reasons, to stick with the real stuff and eat in moderation.

Sweeteners: Sugar

Baker’s sugar
1 C.= enough granulated sugar processed (food processor until coarser than superfine, but finer than granulated) to equal 1 C
*You can try substituting granulated (without processing) for baker’s, but if a recipe calls for it, it is usually because it needs the finer granules for quick dissolve.

Brown sugar
1 C. packed= 1 cup white sugar plus 1/4 cup molasses (decrease the liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup)
1 C. packed= 1 cup white sugar
1 C. packed= 1 C. raw sugar plus 1/4 cup molasses (decrease the liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup)
1 C. packed= 1 & 1/4 C. confectioners’ sugar (last resort)
1 C. packed= 1/2 C. liquid brown sugar
Light and dark brown sugar can be used interchangeably if needed. There might be a slight taste difference. (Or for 1 C. light, use 1/2 cup dark plus 1/2 cup granulated)

Coarse sugar (aka: decorating, pearl, or crystal)
*If using for sanding over desserts/foods, substitute granulated
*If using colored strictly for decorating, substitute edible glitter

Granulated sugar
1 C.= 1 cup packed brown sugar
1 C.= 1 cup raw sugar
1 C.= 1 cup superfine sugar
1 C.= 1 & 1/4 C. to 1 & 1/3 C. confectioners’ sugar (do not substitute in baking)
1 C.= 3/4 C. honey (decrease liquid by 3 Tbsp. for each cup replaced)
1 C.= 3/4 C. corn syrup [recommend not replacing more than 1/2 of called for sugar with corn syrup] 1 C.= 3/4 to 1 C. maple syrup (decrease the liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup; if no liquid required, add 1/4 cup flour instead)
1 C.= 1 C. molasses plus 1/2 tsp. baking soda (decrease baking powder by 1 tsp.; decrease the liquid in recipe by 6 Tbsp.)

Maple sugar
1 Tbsp.= 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 C.= 1 C. maple syrup (decrease liquid in recipe by 1/2 C.)
1/2 C.= 3/4 C. granulated plus 1 tsp. maple extract

Powdered sugar:
Should NOT be substituted for/with granulated sugar (but if you absolutely must: 1 & 3/4 C. packed powdered = 1 C. granulated)

Raw sugar:
1 C.= 1 cup light or dark brown sugar

Superfine sugar:
1 C.= enough granulated sugar processed (food processor until very, very fine) to equal 1 C

Notes:
*It is possible to substitute applesauce for sugar in order to “health-ify” a recipe. If you wish to do so, it is a 1:1 ratio, but reduce liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of sugar. Also be aware this is going to affect taste and texture. And in some recipes (such as cheesecake), it is impossible to do this.