How to Bake Part 3: Substitutions

How to Bake Part 3_merged
All right, so we’ve talked about ingredients in Part 1 and Proper Measuring Techniques in Part 2. Now let’s talk about substitutions that work


What’s the point of substituting in recipes anyway?

Well, what if you’re vegan and a recipe calls for eggs? What if you have celiac disease and a recipe calls for flour? What if you’re trying to reduce sugar in your diet but you REALLY want some scrumptious homemade cookies? Or what if–simply–you ran out of an ingredient and don’t have the time/money to replace it?

You COULD go into and type in all the ingredients you have and hope to find a recipe that suits you. OR you could just learn these simple substitutions and never have to worry about looking up an alternative recipe ever again!

I’ve listed the substitution for the ingredients we talked about in Part 1. But there are huge lists online such as Quaker Oats‘s websites. I’ve also attached a chart at the end of this post.


Interested in gluten free baking or just simply like the taste of grain free flours? Try mixing up a huge batch of gluten-free flour blend. The Minimalist Baker has a great combination: 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour, 1/2 cup potato starch, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 cup white rice flour (optional: 1/4 tsp xanthan gum). I’ve never tried it but I 100% trust that MB’s recipe is legit.

If, however, you’re just trying to reduce your intake of white flour, replacing it is easy: use oatmeal, whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour or any other whole grain flour.

As I mentioned in Part 1, you can also replace the flour in a recipe like quick bread with nut butters. Recipe here.



Fat is also easy to sub. Use nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew, etc) to replace half to all of the fat in a recipe. The other day I used peanut butter to replace oil in a banana bread recipe and it was amazing.

If you’re a vegan, you can use vegan butter or coconut oil. I don’t have experience with these two fats but there are a lot of recipes online and in books that are successful. 

If you’re truly trying to reduce the fat content, replace up to half the fat with a fruit such as bananas, applesauce, or dates. Just be aware that replacing the fat with fruit increases the sugar content; so you’ll want to compensate that with less sugar.



Replacing sugar in a recipe is somewhat difficult as it really contributes to the flavors and textures of a baked recipe such as banana bread, cookies or brownies. I’ve used all from Sweet’n Low to Stevia to Splenda to Agave to Applesauce. And truly the sugar substitutes–aside from honey and agave–are a terrible alternative.

Rather than replacing the sugar or honey, try reducing the amount by 25-33%. Instead of 1 cup of sugar, use 3/4 cup or 2/3 cup. This will still give you the majority of the flavors that the original amount would provide, but reduces the calories significantly.



Eggs are a fun one to sub. Many times I’ve realized half way through a muffin or cookie recipe that I forgot to buy eggs. But I always keep a good stock of flaxseed on hand;  I soak 1 TBS per egg in 3 TBS of water. You can do the same thing with chia seeds. More egg substitutes here with Joy the Baker.



Sorry, you can’t sub these guys! You can fudge if you don’t have baking soda and use baking powder. But if you don’t have yeast, you can’t use baking powder or soda in a bread recipe; it just doesn’t work. Yeast is what makes bread, bread.



Thanks for following me through this series of How to Bake! If you liked what you read, don’t forget to share. And if you have anything to add to these lessons, comment away below!  Also if you have any ideas for other Series you want me to write about, let me know as well!


PART 1 – How to Bake: Ingredients
PART 2 – How to Bake: Measuring



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