Baking Tips

This is the miracle page. There have been SO many times where I’ve gone to bake and after starting, discovered that we are completely out of an ingredient. Here are some solutions that don’t involve yet another trip to the grocery store. Please read the directions under each ingredient to make sure that it will work for your application. There are also some tips and tricks for anyone who is curious about ways to improve their (most likely already fantastic) baking. If there are any other ingredients you would like to see here, or if you have any questions, please comment!

The charts are for those who either aren’t too snazzy with math or are like the rest of us who simply can’t remember the many, many conversions out there for baking and cooking. The seasonal charts are fantastic because in season foods are better for the environment and of course, just taste better. Enjoy!

Baking  Soda and Baking Powder

We all know that baking soda is a leavening agent. However, not everyone knows how baking soda works. In order to make your baked goods fantastically light and fluffy, it needs to react with an acidic food, such as buttermilk or sour cream. If your recipe calls for baking soda, but not buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, or any other wet acid, I would recommend using baking powder instead. Baking powder works when combined with any liquid ingredient, so it’s always effective. For most muffin or cookie recipes, 1/2 teaspoon – 1 teaspoon is the perfect amount.


Brown Sugar

For 1 cup:

1 cup of granulated sugar

1 tablespoon of molasses

Combine the sugar and molasses in a bowl. Mix with a fork until the molasses is completely incorporated with no chunks left.



For 1 cup:

1 cup of milk

1 tablespoon of vinegar

Combine the milk and vinegar. Let it sit for 10 minutes before using.


Heavy Cream

For 1 cup:

1 cup of half and half

This works well for lower fat ice creams. Do not use half in half in place of heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream, for that matter) in any situation where you need to whip the heavy cream mixture. The voice of experience is telling you right now that it will not work, and asks you kindly to please trust me on this one.



For 1 cup:

1/2 cup of half and half (If for some reason you have half and half, but not milk…it’s been know to happen in my house)

1/2 cup of water

Stir together water and half and half. Pretty simple!



One of the best ways to get a great baked product is to sift your dry ingredients before you add them to the wet ingredients. It removes any lumps and makes the batter smooth and even. The result? Perfect cookies, cakes, muffins, and more, every time.


Unsweetened Chocolate 

For a 1 ounce bar:

1 tablespoon of butter

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Melt the butter for 10-20 seconds in the microwave. Add in the cocoa powder and stir to combine. Best use for this is in brownies.



All from Live

Volume Conversions:

Mass and Volume Conversions:

And because eating foods in season is definitely the way to go:


6 responses to “Baking Tips

    • Thank you! I thought it would be a good resource for people who don’t have instant access to a grocery store, especially if they’ve already started baking…been there, done that!

    • You can- I want to try making my own vanilla extract but it has to sit for almost 2 months before you use it. Its not really a quick fix, but its definitely more fun than buying it from the store.

      • Oh, true, true…why nearly two months, though? Can you make lemon extract?

        Food Network Iron Chef America is on! Why are pretty much all of the secret ingredients fish???? 😦

        Hey, wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a Food Network competition for kids? Like, people eighteen and under? Hehe, that’d be fun to watch.

      • It takes two months for the vanilla to infuse into the bourbon, so you really can’t shorten the time it takes. I’m sure you can make lemon extract, but I don’t use it very much, and vanilla extract has a lot more applications. And if there was a Food Network competition for kids, I would totally sign up!

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