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12 Ingredient Substitutions to Bake like the Pros

Ever find yourself in the middle of baking the most mouthwatering dessert, only to open your pantry to find you are missing an ingredient? No??? Maybe you are working on a birthday cake or a batch of brownies only to realize you are out of chocolate chips, or brown sugar, or you only have 1 egg. Whatever the case may be, none of us like to stop mid-bake to make a run to the grocery store.

Instead of getting discouraged, or throwing the batter in the trash, check out these useful ingredient substitutions that might help you in a pinch.

A quick comment on substitutions, though: It is critical to manage expectations when you are using what's on hand. With some of these substitutions, your guests will never know the difference while others may result in a slightly different taste or texture. But that is OK. We would suggest minimizing the number of substitutions to just one or two to make sure your dessert still bakes as expected.

Do you have a substitution that you have used recently? Or one that you are looking for? Contact us! We would love to hear from you.

Here are 12 ingredient substitutions to make sure your desserts still turn out amazing:

  1. Baking Powder - Replace 1 tsp. of baking powder with 1/4 tsp of baking soda, 1/2 tsp. of cream of tartar, and 1/4 tsp. of cornstarch

  2. Baking Soda - What if the shoe is on the other foot and your are short on baking soda??? Use 4 tsp baking powder for every 1 tsp. of baking soda!

  3. Chocolate - Chocolate can make or break a dessert! If you find yourself without, just combine 3 tbsp. of unsweetened cocoa powder with 1 tbsp. of unsalted butter.

  4. Eggs - This takes a bit of trial and error depending on the type of dessert and the size of the eggs. But as a general rule, you can replace each egg with 1/4 cup applesauce or 1/2 a mashed banana with 1/2 tsp. baking powder.

  5. Cake Flour - Use 3/4 cup of sifted, all-purpose flour plus 2 tbsp. cornstarch for every 1 cup of cake flour.

  6. Brown Sugar - Critical for getting those ooey, gooey cookies, replace 1 cup of brown sugar with 1 cup of white sugar and 1 tbps. molasses for light brown sugar or 2 tbsp. for dark brown sugar.

  7. Yogurt/Sour Cream - Crazy as it may seem, these two are interchangeable. Use the same measurement and replace.

  8. Buttermilk - You can replace 1 cup of buttermilk with 1 cup of yogurt. OR use 1 cup of normal milk along with 1 tbsp. of vinegar or lemon juice. Set the mixture aside for 5-10 minutes until curdled.

  9. Powdered Sugar: For every cup of powdered sugar, take 1 cup of granulated sugar and add one tsp. of cornstarch. Blend this mixture in a food processor until finely ground.

  10. Butter - There are a lot of common replacements for butter. Margarine is often a 1:1 substitute. If that's not in the cards either, look to replace the butter with vegetable oil or coconut oil. Lastly, a 1/2 cup of applesauce can be used for every cup of butter needed.

  11. Heavy Cream - Take a 1/4 cup of melted butter and whisk with 3/4 cup whole milk for every cup of heavy cream called for.

  12. Chocolate Chips - Pretty straight forward but if you are our of chocolate chips, scour the holiday candy baskets for chocolate bars. Chop those by hand or lightly with a food processor and use as a replacement.


Does the thought of finding ingredients (or substitutions) make you sigh? Worry not, that is why we are here! We would love to use our extensive stock of ingredients to bake a fresh dessert for you, your friends, and loved ones. Whether it be cake, cookies, brownies, or some other decadent delight, please call us at 937-310-1305 or email us here to discuss your dessert desires!



Simply Decadent is a premier dessert bakery located in Bellbrook, Ohio. Founded in 2017 by three amazing women, Simply Decadent has established itself as a destination for fresh baked, great tasting, beautiful desserts that are customized to the client. While any dessert is within reach, Simply Decadent focuses on Birthday cakes, Wedding cakes, Special Occasion Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies, and various Dessert Bars! Combining personalized service with years of experience, the owners of Simply Decadent treat your special events like their own. To learn more about owners Jackie, Adonica, and Debby, and the history of Simply Decadent, click here.

Have a question? Contact us here!

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