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Cooking & Baking: substitutions chart

March 22, 2011
Almanach Nouvelle Chronique de Jersey 1891 Fawson

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I know this may seem unnecessary to some of you folks but I thought I would do this post for all our friends that are starting out on their culinary (cooking & baking) journey. I know when I started out I was not all that savvy in the culinary arts.  In other words: I needed this information and I appreciated finding most of it in my newly formatted and wedding gifted Better Homes and Garden’s cookbook.  Not having to call my aunts to ask more questions than a qualitative three-year old was a plus too.  As a matter of fact: My first attempt at baking cornbread resulted in burnt on the bottom and nearly a soup floating on the top – after the tears subsided I reread the recipe and realized the eggs (binding agent) were missing.  So, my dear friends, if you are wondering if you will be eating dinner by candlelight – ah like forever – let me assure you that you will not.  At some point we all arrived at dinner fully lit – candles optional – and you will too.

This brings me to tell you one of the most important things I can tell you: It is a good practice to read the recipe from beginning to end before you ever begin.  It’s also a good practice, especially when baking, to get all your ducks in a row by taking out all the equipment you’ll need and all the ingredients as well to have them at the ready.  It’s so troublesome to be searching for the vanilla, for instance, at the last possible minute only to realize you have none.

The substitutions for each ingredient is in italic immediately behind the ingredient. I hope this helps some of you out there. Blessings to all bakers and cooks from my kitchen to yours.


  • Baking Powder (1 tsp.) – 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar plus 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • Bread Crumbs, dry (1/2 cup) – 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs; or 1/4 cup cornflake crumbs
  • Broth, beef or chicken (1 cup) – 1 tsp. or 1 cube instant beef or chicken bouillon plus 1 cup hot water
  • Buttermilk (1 cup) – 1 tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar plus milk to make 1 cup (let stand 5 minutes before using)
  • Chocolate, sweet baking (4 oz.) – 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 3 tbsp. shortening
  • Chocolate, unsweetened (1 oz.)3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1 tbsp. cooking oil or shortening, melted
  • Cornstarch (1 tbsp.) – 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • Corn Syrup (1 cup) – 1 cup granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup water
  • Egg (1 whole) – 2 egg whites; 2 egg yolks; or 1/4 cup frozen egg product thawed
  • Flour, self-rising (1 cup) – 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 tsp. baking powder; 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • Garlic (1 clove) – 1/2 tsp. bottled minced garlic or 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • Half-and-half (1 cup) – 1 tbsp. melted butter or margarine plus enough whole milk to make 1 cup
  • Herbs, fresh (1 tbsp.) – 1/2 to 1 tsp. dried herb, crushed
  • Honey (1 cup) – 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup water
  • Lemon Juice (1 tsp.) – 1/2 tsp. vinegar
  • Milk, whole (1 cup) – 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water; or 1 cup water plus 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • Molasses (1 cup) – 1 cup honey
  • Onion, chopped (1/3 cup) – 1 tsp. onion powder; or 1 tbsp. dried minced onion
  • Sour Cream (1 cup) – 1 cup plain yogurt
  • Sugar, granulated (1 cup) – 1 cup packed brown sugar, or 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • Yeast, active dry (1 package) – 1 cake of compressed yeast


  • 1 cup = 8 fl. oz. = 1/2 pint = 237 ml
  • 2 cups = 16 fl. oz. = 1 pint = 474 ml
  • 4 cups = 32 fl. oz. = 1 quart = 946 ml
  • 2 pints = 32 fl. oz. = 1 quart = 0.946 liters
  • 4 quarts = 128 fl. oz. = 1 gallon = 3,784 liters
  • 3 tsp. = 1 tbsp. = 1/2 oz. = 14 gm
  • 2 tbsp. = 1/8 cup = 1 oz. = 28 gm
  • 4 tbsp. = 1/4 cup = 2 oz. = 57 gm
  • 5 1/3 tbsp. = 1/3 cup = 2.6 oz. = 76 gm
  • 8 tbsp. = 1/2 cup = 4 oz. = 113 gm
  • 12 tbsp. = 3/4 cup = 6 oz. = 1/2 lb. = 170 gm
  • 32 tbsp. = 2 cups = 16 oz. = 1 lb. = 454 gm

For Liquid IngredientsUse a liquid measuring cup with a pouring spout.  Place cup on a level surface and check at eye level.  For smaller amounts of liquid (1 tbsp. or less), fill a measuring spoon to the top without allowing the liquid to spill over.

For Dry Ingredients: Lightly spoon ingredients into a dry measuring cup or spoon, and level off any excess with the flat side of a knife or spatula.  When measuring flour, never pack down, shake or tap the cup before leveling off.  When measuring brown sugar or shortening, firmly press ingredient into the cup before leveling off.


Baste: to moisten food while cooking with drippings, sauce or juice in order to add flavor and prevent drying.

Blanch: to partially cook in boiling water or steam; also used to loosen skins from tomatoes, peaches and almonds.

Braise: to cook meats slowly in a tightly covered pan using a small amount of liquid.

Cube: to cut uniform 1/2 inch square

Dash: a unit of measure equal to 1/16 teaspoon, measured by filing a 1/4 teaspoon one-fourth full.

Deglaze: to add liquid such as water, wine or broth to a skillet after it has been used to cook meat, used to create sauce.

Dice: to cut into uniform pieces, usually 1/8 to 1/4 inch.

Fold: to combine a light mixture, such as beaten egg whites, with a heavy mixture, such as cake batter, without the loss of air. Heavy ingredients are folded directly into the center of the light ingredients with a spatula and pulled toward the edge of the bowl.

Julienne: to cut food into thin, matchstick size strips about 2 inches long.

Mince: to chop food into tiny, irregular pieces.

Poach: to cook food by partially or completely submerging it in a boiling liquid.

Puree: to convert a solid into a liquid or heavy past using a blender or food processor, also refers to the resulting mixture.

Simmer: to cook food in liquid to just below the boiling point.

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These pictures have absolutely nothing to do with this post!  It’s my Mum Ms. Dee china painting (see finished cup and saucer) and I thought she’d like to get some face time 🙂

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