Easy Substitutions for Everyday Ingredients

Here’s a chart (well, it was supposed to be a table actually, but the format was wrecked when I tried to transfer it.

So here the information is presented in an alphabetically presented list.  If you would like the alternative of the table format, email or message me and I’ll send it to you.

Allspice (ground)     

Combine (ground) – ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Bacon (diced) – 125g    

Ham, diced – 150g

Balsamic vinegar

Sherry or cider vinegar with a pinch of allspice per cup of vinegar

Beans – dried – ¾ cup  

425g canned beans


In many instances, such as in a cake, muffin or cup cake mixture, olive oil or light olive oil can be used


Add 2 teaspoons lemon juice to a cup skim milk and allow to stand for a few minutes

Castor sugar      

Use a food processor to grind regular white sugar to finer texture

Chilli (one long red fresh)

½ teaspoon chilli powder or ¼ teaspoon chilli paste

Cornflour paste 

Arrowroot, rice or potato flour, even plan flour mixed to a paste with cold water

Cottage cheese  


Cream cheese    

Natural or Greek yoghurt, strained though muslin or similar for a few hours

Crème fresh  

1 cup cream + 1 tablespoon yoghurt. Leave to stand at room temperature for a couple of hours

Dijon mustard   

1 tablespoon mustard powder, 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons mayonnaise and ¼ teaspoon sugar, well mixed


For cakes, muffins and cupcakes ,1 egg can be substituted with ¼ cup apple puree


There are many recipes for flourless cakes available on the Internet, worth researching. Sometimes ground nuts are used, or polenta, some with no flour substitute at all. Gluten free flour can often be substituted for regular plain flour

Galangal (fresh)    

Fresh green ginger root

Garlic (2 cloves)   

¼ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or a good pinch of garlic salt


2 teaspoons grated fresh = ½ teaspoon ground ginger

Golden syrup  

Equal part honey or maple syrup (A grade quality)

Herbs (fresh)  

1 teaspoon fresh = ¼ teaspoon dried

Lard (1 cup) 


Lemongrass stalk  

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

Lemon juice (1 tsp)  

Depending on dish) 1 teaspoon lime juice, ½ teaspoon vinegar (savoury only), 2 teaspoons dry white wine, 1 teaspoon Verjus (sour grape juice)

Mascarpone – 1 cup   

1½ cups sieved ricotta or 200g cream cheese whisked till smooth with 3 tablespoons whipped cream and 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Mayonnaise – 1 cup  

1 cup sour cream mixed with ½ teaspoon vinegar or 1 cup natural or Greek yoghurt. Add salt to taste and lemon or lime juice to taste

Milk – fresh, 1 cup approx.

¼ cup powdered milk + 1 cup water

2/3 cup evaporated milk + 1/3 cup water

1 cup soy, almond, oat or rice milk

Mince (Beef)

Purchase equal amount of topside, Porterhouse or blade even steak and grind in a mincer or chop finely in a food processor

Mince (Pork)

Diced shoulder of pork – grind in a mincer or chop finely in a food processor

Mince (Chicken or Turkey)

Boneless thigh pieces – grind in a mincer or chop finely in a food processor




A pinch of turmeric is approximate

Self raising flour – 1 cup

1 cup plain flour + 2 teaspoons baking powder, well mixed or sifted together

Sour cream 

Natural or Greek yoghurt, OR 1 cup cream whipped to soft peaks, then 2 or 3 teaspoons lemon juice folded in

Stock powder  

Yeast extract spread such as Vegemite or similar (according to taste – ½ to 1 teaspoon per cup boiling water, well mixed)

Sugar (white)    

¾ cup honey

1 cup raw castor sugar

1 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)

Tomatoes (425g tin)   

250g chopped fresh tomatoes + ½ cup water and 1 tablespoon tomato paste

Tomato juice – 1 cup 

Mix ½ cup tomato puree + ½ cup water

Tomato paste – ½ cup 

Reduce 1 cup tomato puree to ½ cup by boiling OR blend ¾ cup semi dried tomatoes to a paste

Treacle – 1 cup 

½ cup light corn syrup + ½ cup molasses

Vanilla Bean     

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

White sugar – 1 cup  

1 cup castor sugar, 1 cup raw sugar or the following (these may affect texture slightly): ¾ cup honey, 1 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)


Beef, chicken or vegetable stock (savoury dishes)

Apple, pear or grape juice (sweet dishes). For more specific, noticeable flavours, apricot or peach nectar or pineapple juice

Yeast – 10g dried   

30g compressed

One thought on “Easy Substitutions for Everyday Ingredients

  1. Ross Thomas says:

    Hi Sally
    Thanks for this, a big help. Hope you and Robert are doing ok in these trying times.
    Take care and stay safe.


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