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12 baking substitutions every kitchen, especially a homestead kitchen, needs to know about. One of the things I pride myself on is not running to the store and having a well-stocked larder to cook and bake things from scratch. But even with the best of intentions, you know it happens.
When you start a recipe and realize, oh crud, I’m out of an ingredient. It happens to the best of us.
I don’t know about you, but pretty much the end of November all the way through December, my least favorite place to be is the grocery store because, it gets a little bit crazy. Sometimes it’s so busy, you can’t even find a cart.
If your kitchen is like mine, then you’re probably do a whole lot of baking. No worries, I’ve got some great healthy baking substitutions and hacks that I have used for years here on our homestead and I’m gonna share them with you so ya can skip that holiday frenzied rush to the grocery store.
Speaking of holiday pie baking, ever struggle with:
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Listen below to, Episode #162 – 12 Baking Substitutions Every Homesteader Needs to Know of the Pioneering Today Podcast, where we teach families how to grow, preserve and cook their own food using old-fashioned skill sets and wisdom to create a natural self-sufficient home, with, or without, the homestead.
Real, cultured buttermilk is a beautiful, beautiful thing. One of the reasons it’s so gorgeous is because it adds extra acid to a recipe which produces a flakiness and light, airy texture. So if a recipe calls for buttermilk, like buttermilk biscuits, you do not want to use regular milk. You need that extra acid. Below are two buttermilk substitution options:
Another buttermilk substitution is using:
I’m not a milk drinker, so oftentimes I will go to bake something and I’ll grab the milk and I’m like, “Oh, we’re almost out or there is definitely not enough here to make this recipe.” So here are some many substitutions in place of milk.
Sometimes you will see recipes that specifically call for cake flour and I don’t ever buy cake flour, or self-rising flour. In fact, if you want to go back and listen to Episode #161 Best Flour for Baking- Home Baker’s Flour Guide 101 , I really get into the nitty gritty of what these different flours and how to use them with your baked goods. My substitution for cake flour is:
I really don’t have any recipes that call for self-rising flour, but I know there’s a lot of recipe books that do. So here you go:
Mix it all together and it will equal one cup of self-rising flour.
A quick note about this one for a minute because if you know me, then you know that I am a huge advocate for staying away from and not consuming GMOs. High fructose corn syrup is a genetically modified product because most commercial corn grown in the United States is genetically modified. It’s then severely processed in order for it to become high fructose. Corn syrup that you’re buying for baking wise at home is generally not high fructose corn syrup. If you have a brand of organic and non-GMO verified corn syrup that you like to use, by all means, keep using that, but I have yet to find one in our local stores.
I don’t use corn syrup very often, except during some of those holiday baking episodes, but a lot of those once a year recipes will call for corn syrup (candy making, some fudge recipes, caramels, homemade marshmallows, popcorn balls, caramel corn, etc). All of those things usually call for corn syrup. But I don’t even stock it. I haven’t stocked it for years. I’ve got two substitutions.
You don’t want to just substitute in regular white sugar because the brown sugar has the molasses in it which adds flavor and moisture, causing your food to come out dry.
We don’t actually use regular white table sugar. I use organic evaporated cane juice, it’s very similar to sugar in the raw so it’s a caramel creamy color. This substitution will work fine no matter what type of sugar you have. Either the sugar in the raw, the evaporated cane juice, regular white sugar. Doesn’t matter. I’ve tested it with all of them, but using the raw organic or evaporated cane juice does make this a tad more of healthy substitute for brown sugar in baking.
I rarely purchase powdered sugar from the store. But when you really do need powdered sugar for certain recipes, especially when it comes to homemade frosting because regular sugar ends up giving a pretty gritty texture.
Be sure you pulse it so it doesn’t get super hot.
Other than some holiday recipes and traditional family favorites, I try to keep our sugar at a minute. So here is a natural sugar free substitute that I use that you can replace cup for cup in baking for healthy baking substitutions.
I find that powdering the erythritol in a coffee or spice grinder first for things like frosting, cheesecakes and glazes is best.
This is not like it’s aspartame or those different blends on the store shelves that say that they are sugar free substitutes. This is the good stuff and it is a lot more frugal.
This is one of my favorite things. But sometimes you don’t always have heavy cream or maybe you don’t have enough of heavy cream because you have used too much too liberally in your coffee or your homemade hot cocoa. Here’s a good substitute for you:
Sometimes people want to just lower the fat content of a recipe and other times you just might not have oil or you don’t have enough. This is a healthy cooking substitution and allows me to use two crops we can grow ourselves. You can swap out (in baked goods) cup for cup of:
If your apple sauce has sugar in it or is really sweet naturally, then you may want to cut back on the sweeteners within the recipe.
I rarely have bakers chocolate on hand, but I’ve always got cocoa powder on hand. So this is a great substitution for one ounce of a semi-sweet chocolate square.
This is a replacement for one ounce. You would double or triple or whatever you would need to meet the ounces with that substitution.
Pumpkin pie spice in your baking, there’s no need to buy pre-made pumpkin pie spice. It is so easy to make at home. In fact, I have never bought pumpkin pie spice. Now I don’t like cloves, and when you buy the store version, it’s gonna have some cloves in there. So here is a substitution with or without cloves.
I call this pumpkin pie spice, but really works awesome in apple pie, or anytime you’re doing a spice cake, it’s a great blend to put in.
If you are looking for more old fashioned, from scratch tips and cooking just like this, you are definitely gonna want to check out both my books, —–> The Made-From-Scratch Life, and, Hand Made: The Modern Woman’s Guide to Made-from-Scratch Living <——- are packed with recipes and information just like this to help you serve up amazingly tasty food with old fashioned whole ingredients.
Also, if you have the Made-From-Scratch Life or you’re planning on ordering it, you can go to, madefromscratchlife.com and the bonus button. There’s a little form for you to fill out but there is a gorgeous ingredient substitution chart all done up for you that has a lot of these included in it. It looks like it’s a chalkboard art. So you could print it out, and frame it, or keep it in your kitchen up on the wall. It’s that pretty.
There you have it, my 12 baking substitutions. I want to thank you so much for joining me on this episode of the Pioneering Today Podcast. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving day filled with delicious from scratch food, a thankful heart, and the company of those you love.
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.