Holiday Baking

We’re here to make your holiday season sweet and easy.

A pinch of math + dash of chemistry + loads of flavor = substitutes for baking

Reduce or Replace Substitue Conversion Ratio

Baking Powder

Cream of tartar and baking soda 2 parts cream of tartar with 1 part baking soda

Buttermilk

Cow's milk and lemon juice or white vinegar 1 cup milk + 1 TB lemon juice or white vinegar = 1 cup buttermilk

Cornstarch

Arrowroot ½ - 1 tsp per cup of liquid; heat slowly
Kudzu powder (or kuzu root starch) ½ - ¾ tsp per cup of liquid

Dark brown sugar

White sugar and molasses 4 to 1; stir together until mixture resembles brown sugar

Eggs

Used in recipes to bind or leaven. Not all substitutions will work equally well for both purposes.

Egg Replacer; binds and leavens 1½ tsp + 2 TB water = 1 egg
Baking soda and vinegar or lemon juice; leavens 1 tsp baking soda + 1 TB vinegar = 1 egg
Baking powder and oil; leavens and adds moisture 2 tsp baking powder + 2 tsp water + 1 TB canola oil = 1 egg; only use this in recipes that call for 1 or 2 eggs
Flaxseed meal; binds 2 TB flaxseed meal + 3 TB warm water = 1 egg; let rest for few minutes to thicken
Tofu; binds ¼ mashed tofu (firm or regular) = 1 egg
Applesauce, fruit purée, cooked starchy vegetable purée; binds and adds moisture 3 TB purée = 1 egg

Gelatin

Agar-agar 1 tsp powder per 1 cup liquid; heat slowly, stirring until thickened. Agar-agar must be heated to activate, but will set at room temperature, unlike gelatin which has to be chilled.

Margarine

Butter Equal amounts
½ butter blended with ½ canola oil Equal amounts

Milk

½ half-and-half and ½ water 1 to 1
Kefir; cultured milk drink ⅞ to 1; reduce sweetener in recipe
Plain yogurt (if using Greek-style yogurt, dilute with milk) ⅞ to 1; reduce sweetener in recipe
Soymilk Equal
Nut milks Equal

Refined sugar

Honey ⅔ to 1
Rice syrup ⅔ to 1
Maple syrup ⅔ to 1
Date sugar ⅔ to 1
Molasses ½ to 1
Fruit juice concentrate ½ to 1

Shortening

Expeller pressed oils ⅔ to 1
Butter Equal

White all-purpose flour

Whole wheat flour Use more liquid or less flour
Whole wheat pastry flour Equal or ⅛ less
Gluten-free flour blend Equal
Tapioca flour Use up to ¼ cup of any of these per cup of flour to vary the flavor
Potato flour
Rice flour
Oat flour

Whole wheat pastry flour

½ white flour and ½ whole wheat flour Equal amounts

Dairy-free? Gluten-free? Make traditional meals with modern twists for friends and family with dietary preferences.

  • Recipes. Search by special-diet category in our recipe database.
  • Shopping. Buy clearly labeled (dairy free, gluten free, etc.) packaged dry goods. Skip the bulk section for special diet shopping.
  • Baking. Replace butter with extra-virgin olive oil, non-hydrogenated buttery spread or margarine, or coconut oil. Baking with one of the many popular nondairy beverages, available sweetened or unsweetened, can work well, too. Arrowroot and cornstarch are perfect gluten-free thickeners for pie fillings.
  • Desserts. Some recipes use tofu in place of milk, cream cheese or sour cream.
  • Serving. Label dishes prepared for special diets — or which ones contain "avoid" ingredients. Be sure to have a non-dairy option for whipped cream and ice cream, too. Check our dairy and freezer cases for alternate options.