While we said in the past that substituting certain ingredients when you are baking is rather unacceptable, there will be times when substitutions are needed, and this is when you find yourself mixing your ingredients together and realizing that you lack one or two things. Instead of running to the store, or wasting what you already began mixing, here are some substitutions that you can use. Just make sure that you measure properly to ensure that you do not mess up your recipe entirely.

  1. If you are out of baking powder, what you need to do is, to create a 1 teaspoon substitute, is to mix together 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, with 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch and half a teaspoon of cream of tartar.
  2. If you are out of baking soda, and you need half a teaspoon of this, you can use sodium bicarbonate as a substitute. You can also use double acting baking powder, but you will need 2 teaspoons for every half teaspoon of baking soda needed in your recipe, and you will need to substitute whatever acidic liquid is added to your recipe with a non-acidic one.
  3. When you are out of dry bread crumbs, and you need this for your recipe, there are actually quite a few viable replacements you can choose from. For every cup of breadcrumbs needed, you can replace this with an equal amount of 1.) cracker crumbs; 2.) crushed cornflakes; 3.) fine crushed or ground oatmeal; 4.) crushed potato chips.
  4. If your recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate, you can substitute this with unsweetened chocolate mixed in with a tablespoon of white, granulated sugar. On the flip-side, if you are looking for unsweetened chocolate, simply mix natural cocoa powder with some butter or shortening (3 tablespoons of cocoa and 1 tablespoon of butter or shortening for every ounce needed).
  5. When you are asked to add strong, brewed coffee to a recipe and you do not have a coffee maker, let alone the grinds to make these with, simply add some instant espresso powder to your recipe. For each 1/4 cup of strong brewed coffee needed, 2 tablespoons of espresso powder in 3 tablespoons of hot water should do the trick.
  6. Cornstarch is often asked for when a thickening agent is required, but if you do not have this, there are a few substitutes that will work just as well. For every 1/4 tablespoon of cornstarch being asked for, the substitutions you can use include: 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon rice flour or potato flour, and 2 tablespoons instant tapioca.
  7. Need cream of tartar but do not have any in your kitchen? Half a teaspoon of cream of tartar can be substituted with the same amount of lemon juice or even white vinegar.