The past few years have taught us the importance of being self-sufficient in the kitchen. Should a natural disaster occur, supply chain disruptions continue, or should there be a run on food at the grocery store, knowing how to make baking substitutions will go a long way toward keeping your family fed and well.
That’s why I’m sharing some of my favorite baking hacks – including substitutions using emergency food supply products.
There is a simple reason for including these products. Even the best baking substitutions won’t be much good if you find yourself without electricity. The milk will sour, and you won’t be able to cook using your electric stovetop.
But, if you have a stock of long-term emergency food staples, such as whey milk powder, you’ll be able to cook many of your usual meals or baked goods using only water and heat (which you can get from a grill or campfire).
Boost your kitchen knowledge with these baking survival hacks.
Baking Substitutes for Milk
Many recipes call for milk, but what can you use if there’s a run on milk before a big storm or you can’t get to the store to buy it.
Fortunately, there are a variety of easy milk substitutions, including half and half, creamer, and even water.
Instead of worrying about the milk going bad or the grocery store running out, stock up on Ready Hour Powdered Whey Milk, which can last up to 25 years unopened.
Unlike creamer, this powdered whey milk can be used in a recipe as a substitute for milk. Simply follow a 1:1 ratio, as our powdered whey milk mimics a 1% milk fat.
You can also use our powdered whey milk for shakes, smoothies, and creamer for coffee.
Baking Substitutes for Eggs
There are many substitutes for eggs, including mayonnaise. Simply substitute 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise for each egg the recipe calls for.
Mashed banana is another replacement for eggs. Replace each egg with 1/4 cup (65 grams) of purée. The downside to baking with bananas is that your finished product may have a mild banana flavor.
But what if you don’t have or can’t get mayo or bananas when you need them?
If you have Ready Hour Whole Egg Powder in your emergency supply pantry, you’ll never have to worry about egg substitutions again.
Made from real eggs and then spray dried, this egg powder offers a ton of versatility.
To make traditional scrambled eggs or omelets, add equal parts water and whole egg powder, whisk together, and cook as desired.
As a baking substitute for fresh eggs, it’s not necessary to reconstitute the whole egg powder. Simply add to other dry ingredients and increase liquid requirements by the necessary amount.
However, if baking cookies, you may get better results if you whisk it together with water first and then add it to the recipe as called for. (Make sure to see our sugar cookie recipe below!)
Baking Substitutes for Butter
Nothing beats the taste of real butter in baking recipes. If you can’t get your hands on any, you can substitute an equal amount of coconut oil in nearly any baked good. If you don’t want too much of a coconut flavor, use refined coconut oil.
Shortening can also be used as a substitute when baking – just use equal amounts of shortening. The problem is, it lacks flavor (and water), so you may need to add a bit more to the recipe to get the same consistency.
Ready Hour Butter Powder has the same rich and buttery flavor as a stick of butter, and it can be used as a substitute for real butter. Traditional butter is 90% fat. Since ours is dehydrated, it only has 50% fat content – meaning the texture will be a little different and will lack in volume when you swap it 1:1.
Baking Substitutes for Creamer
Powdered coffee creamer is used to flavor more than just coffee. You can use powdered coffee creamer as a substitute for any recipe that calls for dry powdered milk.
For example, you can substitute powdered coffee creamer for powdered milk in this Food.com recipe for potato soup.
The difference between Ready Hour Creamer and store-bought is that it has a shelf life of up to 20 years. Plus, it’s 33% creamer! Anything you can use powdered Coffee-mate for, you can use our creamer for.
Baking Substitutes for Sugar
Sugar is easy to substitute – simply look for food products that act as natural sweeteners, such as honey, syrup, molasses, or agave nectar.
A #10 can of Ready Hour Honey Powder has a 30-year shelf-life and can be used as a substitute for any recipe that calls for sugar or added to beverages.
Baking Substitutes for Baking Powder
If you have baking soda, you can make baking powder. These are separate products, but with the right chemistry, you can work a little magic.
Here are two baking powder baking substitutes.
- Mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda with 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar or 1/3 cup of molasses.
- Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with 1/2 cup of buttermilk or yogurt.
If you need a substitute for baking soda, you can use baking powder.
- ½ teaspoon baking soda = 2 teaspoons baking powder
Baking Substitutes for Yeast
If you can’t purchase yeast from your local grocery store, there is no need to panic.
Yeast occurs naturally, and there are different methods for making your own yeast starters using food products you likely already have at home.
For example, you can make fresh yeast using only water and flour.
Here is a recipe for fresh yeast from MasterClass.
- All-purpose flour
- In a large mixing bowl at least twice the size of your mixture, combine three tablespoons of all-purpose flour and three tablespoons of water and mix with a spatula until evenly combined. Loosely cover and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
- The next day, add another three tablespoons of flour and three tablespoons of water and mix to combine. Loosely cover and leave at room temperature for another 24 hours.
- On day 3, add six tablespoons of flour and six tablespoons of water and combine them. Loosely cover and leave at room temperature for another 24 hours.
- On day 4, remove a fourth of the mixture from the container and discard it. Loosely cover and leave at room temperature for another 24 hours.
- By day 5, your yeast starter should be ready to use. It should be light, bubbly, and fluffy, and have a pronounced, almost sweet, fermentation aroma without any acidity. To double-check, pinch off a small amount of starter and place it in a bowl of warm water. If it floats, it’s an indication that the starter is ready.
See How to Make Bread without Yeast or Flour for even more recipe substitutions.
Using Ready Hour Products to Bake Sugar Cookies
We used Ready Hour products to test this Food Network recipe from Alton Brown for Sugar Cookies.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg, beaten (whole egg powder)
- 1 tablespoon milk (powdered whey milk)
- Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in a large bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap it in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Sprinkle the surface where you will roll out the dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from the refrigerator at a time, sprinkle the rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If the dough has warmed during rolling, place a cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into the desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on a greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Our tester’s take:
The cookies baked up as expected, with no real distinguishable difference between the shelled eggs versus the whole egg powder.
In the directions on the can of whole egg powder, it says, “When using with other dry ingredients, it is not necessary to reconstitute the whole egg powder. Simply add whole egg powder to other dry ingredients and increase the liquid requirement by the necessary amount.”
In the case of these cookies and other similar recipes, it is better to reconstitute the eggs first because the eggs are fully mixed into the creamed fat sugar base before the flour is added in the final step.
My advice is to mix eggs first.
Stock up on Ready Hour survival food products, so you never face a baking emergency, friends!
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply