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Missing an ingredient?

A couple of horrifying, all-too-familiar scenarios:

1.  You’re elbow deep into a new recipe when you realize you are out of one of the ingredients.  It’s 2:00 am, there’s a blizzard going on outside, and you’re in your pj’s.  No way are you going to run out to a store or bang on a neighbor’s door to get the missing ingredient.  What to do?

2. You are going to surprise Birthday Boy with that wonderful, delicious dessert for your Shabbat meal, when you see that your new recipe calls for a dairy ingredient.  The recipe is half done and there’s no turning back.  What can you do to turn a dairy recipe pareve?


Chefs like to call it a substitution, but either way resourcefulness is the key.  Fortunately, we have put together a handy dandy list of common ingredients showing what you can substitute in a pinch.  We hope we have thought of everything, but if you have any questions, just leave a comment and ask!

Here is our list of common baking substitutions:

Baking powder – 1 tsp

Sub:  1/3 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Bay leaf – 1 whole leaf

Sub: 1/4 tsp cracked bay leaf

Butter – 1 cup

Sub: either 1 cup non-dairy butter, 1 cup coconut oil; or 7/8 cup of oil + 1/2 tsp salt

Buttermilk – 1 cup

Sub: either 1 cup plain yogurt; or 1 cup of non-dairy milk + 1 TBS lemon juice

Chocolate Liqueur - 3 tablespoons

Sub: 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract  (Try it in my Chocolate Liqueur Pie)

Coconut milk – 1 cup

Sub: either 1 cup of milk or 1 cup non-dairy milk (cashew or oat milk are best)

Cornstarch (for thickening) – 1 TBS

Sub: either 2 TBS all-purpose flour; or 4-6 tsp quick-cooking tapioca; or 1 tablespoon arrowroot, potato starch, or oat flour

Cream of tartar – 1/2 tsp

Sub: 1 1/2  tsp lemon juice or vinegar

Cream, whipping – 1 cup

Sub: 2 TBS lemon juice, 2 TBS sugar, and 1 cup evaporated milk or 1 cup canned coconut milk

Egg Coating - 2 eggs

Sub: 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing when breading chicken

Flour – 1 cup all-purpose flour

Sub: 1 cup corn flour or 5/8 cup potato starch flour. If you are making bread, be aware that the substitution flours require more leavening than wheat flour, and will result in a heavy bread that’s also reduced in volume. For bread recipes, add 2 tsp baking powder per cup of specialty flour

Flour, whole wheat – 1 cup

Sub: 1 cup white wheat flour

Lemon – 1 tsp juice

Sub: 1/2 tsp vinegar

Lemon peel (dried) – 1 tsp

Sub: 1/2 tsp lemon extract

Onion – 1 small

Sub: 1 tsp onion powder

Parsley (fresh chopped) – 3 tsp

Sub: 1 tsp dried parsley

Pumpkin pie spice – 1 tsp

Sub: 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/8 tsp allspice and 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Shortening (for baking) -- 1 cup

Sub: 1 + 1/8 cups butter or margarine, then decrease the salt called for in the recipe by 1/2 tsp

Sugar (confectioners) – 1 cup

Sub: 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Sugar (brown) – 1 firmly packed cup

Sub: 1 cup granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup molasses

Sweetened condensed milk - 1 cup

Sub: Make your own Go Dairy Free - click here!  (Sweetened condensed milk is just evaporated milk with sugar added)

Tomato juice – 1 cup

Sub:  1/2 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup water

Tomato sauce -- 15-ounce can

Sub:  6-ounce can of tomato paste + 1 cup of water

Wine – 1 cup,

Sub: 13 tsp of water, 3 tsp lemon juice and 1 TBS sugar

Worcestershire sauce – 1 tsp

Sub: 1 tsp bottled steak sauce

Sometimes baking can be tricky when using substitutions for a more in depth guide to using dairy free substitutions in baked goods click here.