When it comes to the main ingredients in baked goods, there are many substitutions that you can make. Whether you need eggs, milk, butter, or oil, you can use dried goods from your prepper pantry in place of any of these particular ingredients. (Saving money or an extra trip to the grocery store!) The following substitutions are ones I use often. They might change the texture or consistency of some foods, but when you’re making cakes, quick breads, and other similar baked goods the ingredient swap is barely noticeable.
Running out of eggs in the middle of a baking project is always a bummer. Even my two little hens out in the barn aren’t always able to keep up with my baking needs. Because of this, I have flax and tofu on hand at all times. When substituting flax for an egg, use 1 T of ground flax mixed with 3 T of water and let it set for about 5 minutes before adding it to a recipe. Ground flax is perfect for quick bread and cake recipes – it adds tons of fiber and good heart-healthy Omegas!
If you need eggs for something with a smoother consistency, such as a custardy pie, a ¼ C of blended tofu is a better substitution. It won’t make the custard grainy-tasting like the ground flax would. You can also substitute a quarter cup of applesauce or a tsp of baking soda plus a T of vinegar for an egg as well, if you’re trying to cut down on calories. The baking soda/vinegar combo is great for muffin, cake, and cupcake recipes, whereas the applesauce one will add a lot more moisture.
You can use evaporated or powdered milk in place of regular milk in all recipes. I prefer the flavor of evaporated milk over powdered milk, but either one works in a pinch. Evaporated milk is also easier to use, since 1 C of it is equal to 1 C of regular milk. As for powdered milk, it has to be mixed according to the directions on the box it comes in.
When you’re substituting unsalted butter, 1 C shortening or 7/8 C oil will do the trick. Use the shortening for things like pie crust and recipes calling for unmelted butter or margarine. Cooking oil can be used for recipes requiring the use of melted butter or margarine.
Additional Substitutions to Try
Molasses is one staple I don’t often have in the pantry, but I do usually have brown sugar and cream of tartar on hand. If you have a recipe that calls for 1 C of molasses, you can use ¾ C brown sugar and 1 tsp cream of tartar as a substitute.
This combination of ingredients can be used in just about any baking recipe calling for molasses. I’ve used it in both cookie and quick bread recipes without fail.
Use the dark brown sugar if you are looking for the dark color associated with adding molasses to a specific recipe. The final product still won’t be as dark of a color as it would if you used actual molasses, but the flavor will be very similar.
Making Substitutions: Considerations to Keep in Mind
A good rule to follow when making substitutions in baked goods is to think about what the final product is supposed to be like and determine if the particular ingredient you are trying to change will create a work of art or a horrible disaster only edible to wildlife in your back yard. (Don’t laugh. My backyard friends love me!)
For instance, if you’re making something light, fluffy, and creamy, don’t use dried flax meal in place of eggs, go for one of the smoother substitutions. If it’s an ingredient you are unfamilar with, try it with a recipe you’ve made multiple times so you can see how much the dish changes in texture or consistency.
Do you often find the need to make substitutions when baking?