Let’s say the power has been out for several days, social unrest and violence is at an all time high, and you and your family have decided to “bug in” until the worst is over. You all need a morale boost, so you decide to make pancakes for breakfast. You get your camp grill going, put a griddle on it, get out your Emergency Food Storage & Survival HandbookSubstitutes for Baking Ingredients and look up the recipe for fluffy buttermilk pancakes. You go through your food cache, start gathering your ingredients, and then you realize, “I never stocked up on baking powder!” Or maybe you did, but it’s gone bad.

Baking powder only lasts 18 months at best, and only 3 to 6 months once you’ve opened the container. To test it, add a teaspoon of it to a 1/3 cup of hot water. If it foams, it’s still good. If not, you’ll have to find a substitute. Not a problem. Just combine 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon of cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tarter. These three items can last indefinitely if stored well, removing the need to stock up on baking powder. Here are some more common substitutes:

  • Baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon: 1/2 teaspoon of potassium bicarbonate.
  • Bread crumbs, 1/2 cup: 1 slice of bread or 1/2 cup of cracker crumbs or cornmeal.
  • Broth (beef or chicken), 1 cup: 1 bouillon cube and 1 cup of boiling water.
  • Butter, 1 cup: 7/8 cup of shortening or lard and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • Buttermilk, 1 cup: 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and enough milk to make 1 cup.
  • Cake flour, 1 cup: 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons of corn starch.
  • Catsup, 1 cup: 1 cup of tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of vinegar.
  • Chicken stock base (instant), 1 teaspoon: 1 bouillon cube.
  • Chocolate (sweetened), 1 ounce: 1/2 ounce of unsweetened chocolate and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.
  • Chocolate (unsweetened), 1 ounce: 3 tablespoons of natural cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of shortening, vegetable oil or unsalted butter.
  • Cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons: 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate and 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda.
  • Corn syrup (dark), 1 cup: 3/4 cup of light corn syrup and 1/4 cup of light molasses.
  • Corn syrup (light), 1 cup: 1 cup of granulated white sugar and 1/4 of liquid in recipe.
  • Corn starch, 1 tablespoon: 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour.
  • Cracker crumbs, 3/4 cup: 1 cup of bread crumbs.
  • Cream of tarter, 1/2 teaspoon: 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Cream (half-and-half), 1 cup: 7/8 cup of whole milk and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
  • Cream (heavy), 1 cup: 2/3 cup of whole milk and 1/3 cup of unsalted butter.
  • Cream cheese, 1 cup: 1 cup of pureed cottage cheese or 1 cup of plain yogurt strained in a cheese cloth.
  • Egg, 1 whole: 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of liquid in recipe.
  • Flour (self-rising), 1 cup: 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  • Flour (whole wheat), 1 cup: 7/8 cup of all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons of wheat germ.
  • Honey, 1 cup: 3/4 cup of corn syrup and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar.
  • Lard, 1 cup: 1 cup of solid vegetable shortening.
  • Marshmallow cream, 3 ounces: 9 marshmallows.
  • Mayonnaise, 1 cup: 1 cup of yogurt, sour cream or pureed cottage cheese.
  • Milk (sweet condensed), 14 ounce can: 1 cup instant non-fat dry milk, 2/3 cup of granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of boiling water and 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
  • Milk (evaporated whole), 1 cup: 1 cup of half-and-half.
  • Milk (whole), 1 cup: 1 cup of skim milk and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
  • Molasses, 1 cup: 1 cup of dark corn syrup.
  • Ricotta cheese, 1 cup: 1 cup of cottage cheese.
  • Shortening, 1 cup: 7/8 cup of lard or 1 1/8 cups of unsalted butter.
  • Sour cream, 1 cup: 1 cup of plain yogurt or 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and enough whole milk to make 1 cup.
  • Tapioca, 1 tablespoon: 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour.
  • Vinegar, 1/2 cup: 2/3 cup of fresh lemon juice.
  • Yeast, 1 package: 1 cake yeast or 1 tablespoon of dry yeast.
  • Yogurt (plain), 1 cup: 1 cup of sour cream.
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