Saturday, June 10, 2023

Alternatives and substitutions!

Have you ever been excited to make a recipe that you stumbled upon but you don’t have all of the ingredients? Maybe you’re missing butter or milk? Or maybe you bought too much of certain ingredients and now you don’t know what to do with it. Well, don’t worry because I may have just the tips for alternatives and substitutions that could be just as good as the original!

I’m out of milk! What do I do?

Well, for many recipes (especially bread/biscuits) you can substitute water and butter for milk. It seems that for every cup of milk that is called for, you use a cup of water plus 1 ½ teaspoons of butter.

Yogurt can be substituted in some recipes. In this case, you use the same amount of yogurt as milk called for.

Evaporated milk or dry milk are possible substitutions as well. Dry milk is a 1:1 ratio substitution ingredients, however, for every cup of milk listed in the recipe, you will need a ½ cup of evaporated milk mixed with a ½ cup of water.

Canned coconut milk is another 1:1 ratio replacement for milk. But, make sure that all of the coconut solids are removed. I believe that plain almond milk would likely serve as a substitution as well, but doesn’t have any solids to remove.

This recipe calls for unsalted butter but I only have salted butter!  

Unsalted butter is commonly used in recipes so that the chef or baker can control the amount of salt that is in the recipe. Adding too much or too little salt can greatly affect the recipe. However, if you only have salted butter on hand (like I do) then you should be able to use it in place of unsalted butter. However, just reduce or cut out any added salt until you taste it first.

Or, I’m out of butter! What do I do?

Now, if you do not have either type of butter on hand, or if you don’t have enough then there are a few options for substitutions.

  1. If you baking, consider mixing peanut butter and oil together in place of butter. It’s a 1:1 ratio substitution that will certainly add flavor and depth to baked goods!
  2. Coconut oil is another 1:1 ratio substitution for butter but be cautious that you use it in as it may change the flavor a bit
  3. Applesauce is a substitution that I have used in several recipes for my son as an attempt to make them healthier. Great in baked goods but it will impact the flavor and texture.

How can I use all of this cream cheese that I bought?

Alternatives and substitutions!

Obviously one of the best uses for cream cheese is to make a homemade cheesecake! I recommend the baled New York-style because there is simply so substitution for it!

Lucinda’s New York Style Cheesecake (thanks to

  • 4 ounces graham crackers, broken into pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling
  • 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese (five 8-ounce packages), room temperature
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in lower third of oven.
  2. Butter bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line sides of pan with 4-inch-high strips of parchment and butter parchment.
  3. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers with salt and sugar to fine crumbs. Add butter and pulse until fully incorporated. Press evenly into bottom of prepared springform pan and bake until crust is golden brown and set, 15 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool 10 minutes.
  4. In a large stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, butter, and sour cream with sugar until light and smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Beat in remaining egg yolks, zest, and vanilla extract.
  5. Crisscross two long pieces of foil and place a piece of parchment on top. Place springform in center of foil and wrap foil tightly around the bottom and sides of pan. Transfer to a roasting pan, pour filling into springform pan, and smooth the top.
  6. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan and carefully transfer to oven. Bake for 1 hour until top of cheesecake is golden brown, edges are set, and center jiggles slightly. Lift cheesecake from water bath, remove foil and parchment from outside of springform, and chill cheesecake in refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
  7. To serve, remove side of springform pan and parchment strips. Cut cheesecake with a long, thin-bladed knife.
Alternatives and substitutions!

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Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!


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