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A Baking Cheat Sheet: Substitutes in the Kitchen

kids baking in the kitchen

I am new to the kitchen as far as cooking meals in my home goes. But I have been falling in love with cooking simple meals from scratch for my family. The Master Cleanse detox really did wonders for me and my relationship with food . I spent most of my life eating fast food for breakfast, making Top Ramen or Spaghettio’s for lunch, eating takeout for dinner and then Coldstone or Pinkberry for dessert.

I took pride in being a woman who did not cook. I was too busy doing important things, always in my car, and never had time to cook. And a lot didn’t change once I became a mother. Drive-thrus became my best friend. But once I detoxed, my body started telling me what I needed: water, fruits and veggies. Now I make a green smoothie for breakfast everyday (the perfect fast food), have leftovers for lunch, and I cook five to six meals per week for my family.

I have also started baking. Now I am no Betty Crocker nor my current kitchen inspiration, Isa Moskowitz, from The Post Punk Kitchen. But I have learned to satisfy my husband’s sweet tooth after dinner. All by combining staple household ingredients.

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New Baker in the Kitchen

I have made snowball cookies, flourless chocolate chip cookies, blueberry muffins and some very chalky peanut butter cookies with flaxseed. My husband called my flaxseed cookies, “sandy”. You know– like a beach. Newbie chef got super sensitive (that’s me). I got flustered, threw my oven mit off and said to my husband, “I will not cook anymore. You cook dinner from now on.”

While I huffed and puffed,  I did double check the recipe, and of course I forgot 1/2 a cup of sugar. Does anyone else forget to add a main baking ingredient, or is it just me?

Since we are getting confessional about baking skills… I also put 1/4 cup of salt in my snowball cookies for Christmas instead of 1/4 teaspoon. I am the ultimate novice when it comes to baking. Everyone knows cookies would never need 1/4 cup of salt in the recipe. Even my four year old daughter asked to lick the spoon followed by a “bleh.” She let me know that something didn’t taste right.

I licked the spoon with the ocean lingering on my tongue and told my daughter we just need to mix it well. So I put the wonderfully salty cookie dough in my Cuisnart blender. The blender got smokey. The blender motor stopped. The cookie dough did not mix much.

My salty dough balls still made it into the oven. I prayed the hot oven would bake the dough to something edible. Epic baking fail. I blame it on the blender.

I’m not giving up on baking. I know it’s a science. And I know it takes practice. I also promise not to serve anyone but my husband and daughter my baked goods until I master the art and science of baking.

As a family, we are trying to adopt a more vegan meal plan. So when I bake, I always look for alternatives to replace eggs, milk and sugar. I keep searching the same baking substitutes over and over.

I have decided to make a baking cheat sheet.  I want all of the common baking substitutes I look up on online in one convenient place. For more details and tips for using the baking substitutes, check out The Post Punk Kitchen.

soy milk and soy beans

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Baking Substitutes

Eggs: If you are baking a cake or another product that you want to be light and fluffy
1 egg = 1/4 cup applesauce + 1/2 tsp baking powder (sweet baked dessert)
1 egg = 1/4 cup purée soft tofu – plain (quiche, custard, brownies and some cakes)
1 egg = 1 Tbsp ground flax seed simmered 3 Tbsp. water (cornbread, pancakes, bran muffins, cookies)
1 egg = 1/2 mashed ripe banana + 1/2 tsp baking powder (sweet baked dessert)
1 egg = 1/4 cup canned pumpkin or squash (sweet baked dessert)
1 egg = 3 Tbsp purée fruit
1 egg = 1/4 cup soy, rice or coconut yogurt (muffins, cakes)

Eggs: If you are baking cookies or another product that you want to be dense and thick
1 egg = 2 Tbsp water + 1 Tbsp. oil + 2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg = 1 Tbsp corn starch + 3 Tbsp water
1 egg = 2 tsp baking powder + 2 Tbsp water + 1 Tbsp oil

Milk
1 cup milk = 1 cup soy milk (rich desserts)
1 cup milk = 1 cup coconut milk (rich desserts)
1 cup milk = 1 cup almond milk
1 cup milk = 1 cup rice milk
1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup unsweetened soy milk + 2 Tbsp lemon juice (or vinegar)
1 can of sweetened condensed milk = 2 1/2 cups soy milk + 6 Tbsp vegan margarine + 1/2 cup sugar + dash of salt

Butter
1 cup butter = 1 cup vegan margarine, Earth Balance
1 cup butter = 3/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup butter = 10 tbsp canola oil

Wheat Flour
1 cup all-purpose flour = 1/2 cup wheat flour + 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour = 1 cup wheat-free flour (1/4 cup soy flour + 1/4 cup tapioca flour + 1/2 cup brown rice flour)

Sugar
1 cup sugar = 1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar = 3/4 cup honey (reduce another liquid in the recipe by 3 tbsp)
1 cup sugar = 3/4 cup maple syrup + 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (reduce another liquid in the recipe by 3 tbsp)

 

Printable Baking Substitutes

Want the baking substitutes cheat sheet without my personal baking story? Subscribe here to receive the Family Sponge printer-friendly Baking Cheat Sheet in next week’s exciting newsletter.

Baking Confessional

Have you ever made a mistake while baking in the kitchen? I’d love to hear your story. Otherwise I will feel all alone in baking experiments gone wrong. Please share…

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3 Responses to A Baking Cheat Sheet: Substitutes in the Kitchen

  1. Indy February 1, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    I love baking (cooking, not so much). But I run a traveling creperie with my husband. It took us months to figure out the recipe to make them egg and gluten free (he discovered his gluten intolerance over 10 yrs ago before I ever heard about it). They are as good as the traditional! My horror story happened when we set up our booth and the crepes were NOT good! Ugh! Husband mixed the batter that morning and he insisted he followed our recipe correctly. No. Way. I know this man in the morning and you don’t want to! So I sped back to the kitchen and made another batch myself. They were fine, and luckily we didn’t lose out that day, except for 2 gallons of his bad batch. Needless to say, I’ve been mixing the batter ever since!

    • Jadah Sellner February 1, 2012 at 10:36 am #

      That story melts my heart. A traveling creperie sounds so wonderful. I love that you mix the batter now. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Popo Joy February 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    When I first started cooking, most of my dishes came out burnt on the outside and raw on the inside. Now, I can pull off just about anything, and even feel like a real chef most of the time.

    Just remember, we learn by doing. Example, bet you’ll never put 1/4 cup of salt in a baking recipe again! Baking is a science, measurements are really important. Cooking leaves room for much more improvisations. Thanks for sharing the healthy conversion chart, very cool!

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