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You have just dove into a recipe for the first time! It's that cookie recipe your mother-in-law gave you and it was your husband's favorite when he was growing up. 

But wait! It call's for cream of tartar and you don't have any. Now what? 

We're here to help with your emergency substitutions! Check the list below for the most common ingredient substitutions. Don't see what you want? Email us and we can help you find the right substitute!


1/2 vanilla bean: Substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste.



  • You can use baking soda combined with acid to replace yeast. 

    • Examples of acids to use alongside baking soda to replicate the leavening action of yeast include:

    • lemon juice

    • buttermilk

    • milk and vinegar mixed in a one-to-one ratio

    • cream of tartar

  • Like yeast, baking powder acts as a leavening agent. In baked goods, you can replace yeast with an equal amount of baking powder. Just keep in mind that the leavening effects of baking powder will not be as distinct as those of yeast.

  • Sourdough starter contains naturally occurring yeast. You can use 1 cup of sourdough starter to replace one 2-teaspoon package of yeast.



  • In baked goods that you want a strong, buttery flavor, you  can replace butter with Ghee at a 1:1 ratio.

  • In most recipes, olive oil can be substituted for butter at a 3:4 ratio by volume.

  • Coconut oil can replace butter in baking at a 1:1 ratio, though it may slightly change the flavor, with some types of coconut oil affecting taste more than others.



  • Substitute 1 scant cup milk plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice or light vinegar.

  • Thin one part yogurt or sour cream with one part milk.

  • Thin two parts yogurt or sour cream with one part water.

  • There are powdered buttermilk products on the market as well. I have used The Saco Pantry Cultured Buttermilk Blend with good success.


Heavy Cream (for cooking):​

  • 3/4 cup milk plus 1/4 cup melted butter

  • 1 cup milk plus 1 to 2 tablespoons cornstarch or flour.

  • Coconut milk, coconut cream or softened cream cheese whisked with water.


Evaporated Milk:

  •  You can create evaporated milk by mixing 1 cup of powdered milk with 1½ cups of warm water. Stir until the powdered milk has dissolved completely.

  • You can substitute with regular milk. To produce 1 cup of evaporated milk, simmer 2 1/4 cups of regular milk down until it becomes 1 cup.



  • Use half and half or heavy cream thinned with water.

  • Use evaporated milk, light coconut milk, light cream, oat, nut or soy milk.

  • Reconstitute powdered milk


.Cream of Tartar:

  • If you're using in a recipe that requires stabilized egg whites or you need to prevent crystallization, you can substitute an equal amount of lemon juice or white vinegar.

  • You can replace cream of tartar with baking powder in recipes that also contain baking soda. Substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder for 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar.


Brown Sugar:

  • To make your own light brown sugar, mix 1 cup granulated white sugar with 1 tablespoon of molasses. If you need dark brown sugar, increase the molasses to 2 tablespoons.

Powdered Sugar:

  • You can make powdered sugar from granulated sugar by simply blending 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cornstarch until a fine powder.


  • 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar can be substituted for 1 cup granulated sugar but the success of the recipe really depends on how you are using the sugar.

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