Missing an ingredient? 14 ingredients you can make in a pinch, and 3 ingredients you can replace for others

If you’re looking to bake or cook and find you’re missing some key ingredients, here are 14 ingredients you can make in a pinch, and three you can replace for others.

News 12 Staff

May 14, 2020, 1:23 PM

Updated 1,520 days ago


If you’re looking to bake or cook and find you’re missing some key ingredients, here are 14 ingredients you can make in a pinch.
Baking powder
Mix cream of tartar, baking soda and cornstarch to make baking powder. Click here for more on the science of baking powder and the measurements you’ll need to make this baking staple.
If your biscuits or pancakes recipe calls for buttermilk, here’s a substitute you can easily make at home. Add 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk (whole or low fat). Let it sit for 5 minutes. The milk will slightly curdle, giving it a buttermilk-like texture and taste. Use this substitute (including curdled bits) as you would buttermilk in your recipe.
Give your salads more flavor and texture with homemade croutons! A crouton is essentially a piece of rebaked bread. It’s often cubed and seasoned. You can save up old, hard bread in the freezer - cube it before freezing. When you have enough, add all the bits to a sheet pan, add olive oil, your favorite seasoning (Italian seasoning works well here) and bake until crispy. And BONUS! If you crumble up all those croutons you get - bread crumbs!
Bread flour
Bread flour is a high-protein flour. You can make this substitution at home. For each cup of all-purpose flour add 1 teaspoon of wheat gluten. 
Cake flour
For one cup of cake flour, start with one cup of all-purpose flour, remove two tablespoons of the flour, and add two tablespoons of cornstarch back in. Sift or stir the mixture together to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
Self-rising flour
According to King Arthur Flour, self-rising flour is a staple in many Southern recipes. It’s made from a softer, lower protein version of all-purpose flour, which is what grows there. For every cup of all-purpose flour use 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. You may need to add a little more liquid to your recipe.
Italian seasoning
You will need dried basil, dried oregano, dried rosemary, dried parsley, dried thyme, red chili flakes and garlic powder. If you are growing a herb garden during the quarantine, you can use them in this seasoning mix - see more here.
Mac & Cheese sauce
This cheesy sauce can easily be made at home with milk, flour, cheese and salt. This Kitchn recipe adds powdered mustard too! 
Why buy mayonnaise when you can make it in about 5 minutes? All you need is a bowl, whisk, egg yolks, mustard, vinegar (or lemon juice), oil, and salt. Learn to make it with Jamie Oliver in the video below.
Pumpkin spice
Missing your pumpkin spice latte, even as we head into the summer months? Make the spice yourself. All you need is ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, ground allspice, and ground nutmeg. Click here to see how much of each ingredient you need. Get ready to top everything with pumpkin spice!
Brown sugar
Mix together plain white sugar and molasses! Store in an air-tight container, and add a slice of white bread in the container to keep it from clumping together. Click here for more tips on how to make it.
Powdered sugar
This is a once-step kind of recipe. Just grind regular sugar in a coffee grinder or blender for a few seconds! Easy-peasy.
Taco seasoning
Craving tacos? Can't find taco kits, or packs of seasoning at the grocery store? Taco seasoning can quickly be made at home, with many ingredients you already have. It's also less expensive if you already have these spices. You'll need chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and dried oregano. Here's a recipe from Delish with the measurements! If you like it extra caliente, add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Vegetable broth
All you need for this vegetable broth are vegetable scraps and garlic and onion skins collected throughout the week. Put a ziplock bag in the freezer to start collecting the scraps. Click here for a simple, one-pot recipe from Minimalist Baker Recipes.
Here are 3 ingredients you can replace with other options:
One cup of butter can be replaced with one cup of applesauce, one cup greek yogurt or one avocado.
Substitute one cup of oil for one cup of any of these: applesauce (preferably unsweetened), banana (ripe and mashed), melted butter, cauliflower (unseasoned, cooked, pureed), mayonnaise, pumpkin (cooked and pureed).
Substitute egg with any of these ingredients - Aquafaba (chickpea cooking liquid), ground flax seed, chia seeds, arrowroot powder, applesauce, mashed banana, a mix of water, oil and baking powder, and carbonated water. When baking a muffin, The Kitchn found that carbonated water performed the best when substituting an egg - see their results here.

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