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Food, Life

Simple baking swaps

Simple baking swaps for flour, eggs and milk

We have all been in the position where we’re missing an ingredient, so it can be handy to know what baking swaps work. Here, I explain what alternatives you can use, so you’re never caught short.

Before I dive in, I just want to let you know that I’m not a professional baker (by any stretch of the imagination) and you should always check the ingredients of all substitutes, especially if you’re baking for somebody with an allergy.


If you’ve ever tasted (or baked) a vegan cake, then you’ll know that it’s definitely possible to find a decent vegan egg substitute. These ingredients make eggcellent (sorry!) alternatives:

  • To replace one egg, use 0.25 cup of vegetable oil instead.
  • To replace more than one egg, combining water, oil and baking powder would work better. 2 tablespoons of water, 1 teaspoon of oil and 2 teaspoons of baking powder make the equivalent of one egg, so tweak your recipe accordingly.
  • Mush a ripe banana into your mixture. Use half a banana per egg and make sure you tweak the amount of sugar you’re adding so your cake isn’t too sweet.
  • Mash silken tofu with a fork, or blend it. 0.25 of a cup will replace one egg.
  • Use 0.25 of a cup of fizzy water to replace one egg.
  • If you have milled flaxseeds, linseeds or chia seeds, mix one tablespoon with 3 tablespoons of water and you have an egg replacement.
  • When it comes to egg baking swaps, chickpea flour is probably one to avoid. But this is a great go-to if you want an egg-less omelette. If you do, then 1 tablespoon of flour, mixed with 4 tablespoons of water, will replace one egg.


Wheat flour can be difficult to get a hold of and it’s hardly something you can make yourself!

If your recipe calls for a different type of flour than the one you have in your cupboard, then here’s what you can do:

  • You have plain, but you need need self-raising flour. Use 1.5 tablespoons of baking powder per cup of plain flour.
  • You have self-raising flour, but you need plain flour. Account for the baking powder when doing you calculations (remember that there’s 1.5 tablespoons of baking powder per cup of self-raising flour).
  • If you need bread flour, you could use plain or self-raising flour instead, but keep in mind that the gluten content will be higher.

If you don’t have any flour in the house and you’re looking for baking swaps, you could try:

  • Oats. Blend them into a flour. This works well for muffins and certain types of bread, but I’d avoid this baking swap if you’re making cupcakes.
  • Chapatti flour. This is wheat flour, so you can use it in most recipes as a plain flour substitute.
  • If you’re desperate, you could try and make a rice flour (in the blender), but I found it tricky to work with. You could also try chickpea flour, but this is an acquired taste.


There are lots of daily milk alternatives available to buy at the supermarket, but if you find yourself in need of an emergency baking swap, then you could make your own. Here’s how:

  • Oat milk. Soak a cup of oats for around 30 minutes. Rinse them, drain them and then blend them together with 2-4 cups of fresh water. After blending them, add some water if you need to thin the mixture out. Sieve the mixture to remove any lumps before using.
  • Almond milk. Mix a cup of almonds and 2-4 cups of water and blend. You may need to add extra water to get the consistency you need.

Baking powder

If you don’t have any in, then these make great baking swaps:

  • Baking soda with lemon juice. Use 0.25 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, to make 1 tablespoon of baking powder.
  • Baking soda with apple cider vinegar. Use 0.25 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, to make 1 tablespoon of baking powder.

Baking soda

Use 3 tablespoons of baking powder per 1 tablespoon of baking soda.

baking swaps - flour, milk and egg alternatives

Final thoughts

If you’re missing an ingredient, then don’t let that stop you in your baking tracks. If you haven’t got time to buy an alternative, or you’d prefer to use something you already have in the cupboard, then these baking swaps will work a treat.

If you enjoyed this article, then you should check out my other foodie hacks.

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