Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have something you need to complete your recipe, there just might be something here you can substitute. Kitchen tricks and short cuts abound in this category.

5,295 Questions
Ingredient Substitutions

How much imitation vanilla to substitute for vanilla extract?

I would suggest doubling whatever the recipe calls for.

Ingredient Substitutions
Ice Cream
Half and Half (dairy)

Can milk be used instead of half and half for making homemade ice cream?

Maybe whole milk if you're using an ice cream maker. You need something with fat/cream in it to solidify with the other ingredients. If you are using a specialized blender (like vita-mix or blend-tec) skim milk can be used when making soft serve (if your fruits/berries are frozen).


You can use whole milk and whipping cream for the fat in the ice cream.

Ingredient Substitutions
Dog Health
Veterinary Medicine

Where would you buy vanilla extract to rub on a dog's nose?

Vanilla extract contains alcohol, and alcohol is not appropriate for application to an area as sensitive as a dog's nose. The result would be intense pain and drying; it is no less than abusive to apply such a substance to a dog's nose, and no veterinarian would approve of it. Also, dogs have extremely acute senses of smell and vanilla extract has a very strong odor to it - this would be the equivalent of putting an air horn to your ear and hitting the button. It would be extremely painful and there's no reason to be that cruel.

Never apply anything to a dog's nose other than clean lukewarm water if and only if the outside of the nose needs cleaning.

Actually most modern vanilla extracts are alcohol free and use polyethylene glycol instead as the solvent. However its still probably not a good idea to put it on anyone's nose.

Where did you happen to get this strange idea from?

Ingredient Substitutions
Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate)

What is an alternative to bicarbonate soda?

Depends on what reciepe you are using and what the purpose is: I often use yeast but in some recipes depending on the fluffiness of the cake I will sometimes use baking soda. A friend of mine uses "fizzy water" (carbonated water) as an alternative.

Yeast is only used in bread related recipes, whereas bicarb can be used n cakes


Baking Soda in a recipe is to help with 'spreadability of the cookie or cake. You don't use it in pancakes so you want the batter to 'stay put'. In a cookie, you want it to spread out a bit, in the cake, you want it to fill in the space of the pan.

Baking Soda and Baking Powder CAN be used for each other in a subbing situation. They are both considered leavening agents. In choosing to substitute one for the other you have to know the ratio AND the fact the flavor WILL be DIFFERENT.

1 TSP of Baking Soda needs 3 TSP of Baking Powder. OMIT all SALT.

Reverse it to use soda instead of baking powder.

You can also use 2 tsp soda and 1 tsp cream of tarter to create BAKING POWDER. Again, omit the salt from the recipe.

AGAIN, any substitutions of ingredients, expect flavor change to happen.

Ingredient Substitutions

Is evaporated milk the same thing as condensed milk?

Not exactly. Both are forms of concentrated milk in which roughly 60 percent of the water content has been removed. The difference lies in the sugar content; condensed milk is sweetened and evaporated milk is unsweetened. Condensed milk is thick and rich, often used in baking and as a sweetener in tea or coffee. Evaporated milk is used in recipes that call for a creamy texture but no added sweetness.

Cooking Measurements
Ingredient Substitutions

When making a rue how many tablespoon of flour do you add for every tablespoon of butter?

Equal amounts flour and butter. For future inquiries, it is spelled roux.

Food & Cooking
Ingredient Substitutions

How can you make a butterscotch sauce without cream?

1 egg

1/4 c. water

1/3 c. white corn syrup

1/4 c. butter

2/3 c. brown sugar

Mix well and boil in double boiler until thick. Store in refrigerator.

If you can't use butter due to allergies use a soy butter it tastes just as good, along with if you cannot use the egg, boil one cup of flax with two cups of water and then let stand over night after it is strained, use 2 tbs as a egg substitute. If you use a real egg make sure you are constantly whisking it over the double boiler, because you could end up making scrambled eggs. Also you can use brown corn syrup,, although it will then have a sweeter taste. I hope this answer and recipe helps.

Food & Cooking
Ingredient Substitutions
Citrus Fruit

Can you substitute tangerine zest for orange zest?

They are slightly different things, but both are edible, and probably have a similar (but different) flavour.

Ingredient Substitutions
Butter and Margarine

Can you substitute margerine for butter when making dough?

Margarine may be substituted for butter when making dough as long as it is not "lite" or "low fat" margarine. It is a great option for Vegans.

Ingredient Substitutions
Baker's Yeast

Can you substitute baker's yeast for brewer's yeast?

In alcoholic beverage's!


Ingredient Substitutions

What can you use as a substitute for dry yeast?

The only alternative to dried yeast is fresh yeast. There are other raising agents such as baking powder but they would not have the same effect as yeast.

Ingredient Substitutions
Eggs (food)

What if a recipe calls for two eggs but you have only one?

It is possible to use less eggs than a recipe calls for, because I have done it many times. Usually, they'll be a slight change in texture, like the cake may come out tougher or crumblier, but it will still be edible. There are also sites that will tell you other ingredients you may add to make up for a deficiency of one particular ingredient that will also salvage a cake. In certain circumstances, you could also cut your recipe in half.

Ingredient Substitutions
Sugar and Sweeteners

Can you substitute granulated sugar for cane sugar?

One might be sweeter than the other, but yes, they can be switched. * granulated sugar can be cane sugar or beet sugar. Read the label.

Food & Cooking
Ingredient Substitutions

What can you use instead of creme de cacao?

chocolate liqueur (not as sweet) OR Cheri Suisse OR Vandermint OR coffee liqueur (not as sweet) OR chocolate syrup

Food & Cooking
Ingredient Substitutions

Are flour and starch the same?

Flour is considered a starch or technically has starch in it but flour is typically referring to wheat while there are many other types of starch.

ie. Corn starch is much more effective thickening gravy than flour.

Ingredient Substitutions
Bread Crumbs

Can you substitute Italian dressing and flour for ranch and bread crumbs for the ranch chicken recipe?

You could substitute Italian dressing and flour for use in the ranch chicken recipe, but without the breadcrumbs you won't have anywhere near the same texture. It'll be good, but not the same.

Italian dressing is basically oil and vinegar, or oil and lemon juice, like a vinaigrette dressing. Ranch dressing is a creamy dressing, completely unlike vinaigrette.

You could marinate chicken pieces in any sort of bought or home-made Italian dressing, in a dish or plastic bag: leave for at least an hour, or overnight. Preheat the oven to 175C (350F), oil a pan with a little olive oil, drain the chicken and bake, turning now and then, for an hour, or until the juices run clear when pierced to the bone or at the thickest part.

*Use proportions of about six chicken breasts (halves) to two cups (500ml or 16oz) dressing.

*When the chicken is drained from the marinade you could dredge it in flour (put flour in a plastic bag and shake a couple of chicken pieces at a time) before baking.

*A salad, with Italian dressing, and crusty bread, would be a good accompaniment. You could also bake peeled and halved potatoes in with the chicken.

*It might be a good idea to give the dish a different name, because anyone expecting ranch chicken will be surprised and maybe disappointed to find themselves served something that, however delicious, isn't ranch chicken.

Don't use the word 'ranch' at all, to avoid misleading your family or guests. You might call it Italian baked chicken, or put your own name to it.

Herbs Spices and Seasonings
Ingredient Substitutions

Are vanilla essence and vanilla extract the same?

No, they aren't the same. Vanilla extract is extracted from the vanilla bean, and the FDA sets standards for the percentage of vanilla and alcohol in the extract. From what I have read, vanilla essence is much stronger, and it can either be derived from vanilla beans or from synthetic sources. Additionally, some forms of vanilla essence are not food grade, not for consumption, based on the method of creating the essence, and are intended more for perfume and scent purposes, I suppose.

Ingredient Substitutions

Can you use other cheese instead of pepper jack cheese?

Depends on what recipe

Ingredient Substitutions

Can you substitute wheat bran for bran flakes?

Wheat Bran is just one ingredient in bran flakes, and not the same thing. Substitute cornflakes instead.

Food & Cooking
Ingredient Substitutions

What sauce can you use in place of fish sauce?

There is not really an alternative to fish sauce that will produce the same taste. However, depending on the dish you are making, some substitutions that may work include: Thai thin soy sauce, coconut or soy aminos, vegetable broth and salt, or just salt. Please see this article for more indepth information:

Ingredient Substitutions

What is the substitute for rose water?

What I have learned, several substitutions for rose water are: orange flowers water, or rose syrup ( use just a few drops). Almond x tract, or vanilla xtract. Use less of these substitutes, and remember that rose syrup is alot stronger that rose watwer so go easy!

Cooking Techniques
Wine and Champagne
Ingredient Substitutions

Can Merlot be used in place of cooking sherry?

Merlot is not a good substitution. In any light color dish, it will discolor your meal to a nasty purpley-brown. A chardonnay or other white wine would be more suitable.

Drinks and Beverages
Ingredient Substitutions
Fruit and Vegetable Juices

How much lemon juice concentrate is equivalent to one lemon?

3 tbsp is equal to one medium sized lemon.

Ingredient Substitutions

What is a substitute for agave nectar?

Maple syrup works fairly well, but is quite expensive. A runny honey may also work.

Herbs Spices and Seasonings
International Cuisine
Ingredient Substitutions

Is Kummel and Caraway the same spice?


Kummel is also an alcoholic drink, a liqueur/digestif flavoured with caraway. Caraway is very good as a carminative (it helps you get rid of wind/gas) hence its use in a digestif.


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