As we all know, baking is a science. However, there are many different ways that you can go about reaching your end goal, whether you're baking or doing chemistry. With a little knowledge of the ingredients, that extra trip to the grocery store becomes unnecessary. Whether you understand these easy baking substitutes or merely memorize them, they're sure to help you the next time you're in a pinch. 

1. Eggs

chicken, egg
Jocelyn Hsu

There are loads of eggs substitutes, and I recommend trying out all of them to see which you like best. Some work more effectively in some recipes than others, as I learned with my brother's egg allergy. If you know what you're using the egg for, it becomes much easier. Eggs are often used either as a binder or a leavening agent. Luckily, there are lots of options for both, giving you tons of flexibility, 

If you're replacing eggs that are meant to bind the product, you can use 1/2 of a medium banana, 1/4 cup of applesauce, 3 1/2 tablespoons of gelatin blend, or 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds mixed with 3 tablespoon of warm water for every egg needed. If you're instead trying to use eggs as a leavening agent, mix 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil with 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 1/2 tablespoons of water for every egg. 

2. Buttermilk

milk, tea, water
Alex Frank

Buttermilk is often used instead of standard milk in recipes because of the way in which the acid reacts with baking sodas. If you use regular milk alone as a substitute, you lose your leavening agent. The trick to these baking substitutes is finding a dairy with acid, or combining the two.

To replace 1 cup of buttermilk, you can use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar with enough milk to make 1 cup, yogurt that is watered down with milk or water until it has a buttermilk-like consistency (standard is 1/4 cup liquid with 3/4 cup yogurt), 1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar with 1 cup of milk, or a 1/2 cup of sour cream mixed with a 1/2 cup of water. 

3. Garlic

elephant garlic, pasture, relish, condiment, vegetable, garlic
Kristine Mahan

Using garlic in desserts may not be terribly common, but it tastes absolutely stunning. These baking substitutes can also be used in savoury dishes. While I often run out of actual garlic in a flash, the garlic powder in my cupboard lasts forever.

You can replace one clove of garlic with 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic. You can also use 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt, but unless you like your food really salty you'll want to remove 3/8 of a teaspoon of regular salt from the recipe. 

4. Baking Powder

salt, sweet, milk
Jedd Marrero

Baking powder actually already has baking soda in it. Baking powder is just combined with acids to make it double acting. Sadly, that means you can't just use baking soda and baking powder interchangeably. However, mixing baking soda with an acid pretty much does the same thing.

To replace baking powder, mix 1/4 of a teaspoon baking soda with 1/2 a teaspoon of cream of tartar or 1/3 cup of molasses. You can also mix 1/2 of a teaspoon of baking soda with 1/2 of a cup buttermilk or yogurt. If you're using both baking soda and baking powder in a recipe, you can add lemon juice instead of baking powder to provide the acid for the baking soda. 

5. Half and Half

Half and Half is something that I almost never have on hand. Luckily, there are lots of ways to reproduce it with other dairy products. First, you can actually make your own half and half with half a cup of whole milk and half a cup of light cream. You could also mix 3/4 of a cup whole milk with 1/4 cup heavy cream or 2/3 of a cup skim milk with 1/3 cup heavy cream. Much easier than a trip to the store. 

6. Pumpkin Pie Spice

This is less of a substitution and more of a how-to, but it's a great way to use up some of your leftover spices without spending on the pricy seasonal spice. To make your own pumpkin pie spice, mix together 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice, and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves. 

7. Lemon Juice

citron, sweet, lemonade, citrus, juice, lemon
Caroline Grew

A lemon flavor can be really refreshing in both savoury and sweet dishes, but not necessarily worth a trip to the grocery store. Instead, you can substitute lemon juice with lime juice in a 1:1 ratio, or with vinegar/white wine in a 1/2: 1 ratio, to keep your dish from being too acidic. 

8. Butter

cheese, milk, dairy product, butter, dairy
Caroline Ingalls

A lot of people choose to substitute butter with something healthier even when they have it on hand, due to the high fat content. While not all of the substitutions are necessarily healthier, they're all great replacements for butter if you need them.

If you need 1 cup of butter, you can replace it with 1/2 cup applesauce, 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup avocado, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, or 3/4 cup olive oil. You can also use 1/2 cup buttermilk, but this isn't recommended for pie crusts. 

9. Chocolate

milk, milk chocolate, sweet, candy, coffee, chocolate
Christin Urso

Any chocolate that enters my house disappears within seconds. Because of that, I never have any leftover when it comes to baking. However, nobody eats straight cocoa powder. To replace chocolate with cocoa powder in a recipe, mix 3 tablespoons of natural unsweetened cocoa powder with 1 tablespoon of either unsalted butter, vegetable oil, or shortening. 

10. Brown Sugar

If you have granulated sugar but not brown sugar, you can either use a little extra granulated sugar for a slightly different texture, or mix in 2 tablespoons of molasses for every cup of white sugar to make your own brown sugar. Either way, you're going to get your final product. 

Whether you're looking to be a little healthier, have an allergy, or simply can't make it to the grocery store, everyone needs to substitute an ingredient sometimes. If you keep these baking substitutes in mind and a few baking staples in the kitchen, you'll be able to make whatever recipe you want.