How to Substitute Baking Ingredients

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I love to cook. I bet you never knew that. Lol. Cooking is very therapeutic for me. I find baking bread, making a pizza that tastes good, or attempting just about anything baking- or cooking-wise relaxes me and gives me confidence. I have spoken repeatedly about how little my grocery budget is. I have a crazy small budget that has to cover pet food, personal products, paper products, and just about anything else you can think of that can possibly be put on the grocery budget. Making great-tasting meals from that budget has become a worthy goal.

I make much of what I cook from scratch. This is cheaper but more time-consuming. I have found that making a few easily homemade ingredients ahead of time makes it easier to do. The more you make from scratch, the less processed food you buy, the less money you spend.

Today, it is baking supplies that work great and saves you money. I will be using Walmart.com prices, as it has been quite a while since I actually purchased most of these items.

bread baking supplies

Credit Image: PhotoAtelier on Flickr

I make brown sugar, cake flour, and self-rising flour every time they are called for in a recipe. I make all the spice mixes that I use, as I don’t have a spice rack, I have a spice cabinet. It is quite full of so many spices. You can also make powdered sugar, but I just haven’t been able to have it come out as fine as the store-bought powder sugar.

Brown Sugar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp molasses for light- or 2 tbsp for dark-brown sugar

Put sugar into a food processor and drizzle the molasses through the chute until combined. You will need to scrape the sides of the bowl and pulse until the molasses is combined with the sugar. You may still need to use a fork to mash the little bits of molasses into the mixture.

The brown sugar can be made using a fork. It takes longer, but without a food processor it is the best option.

Brown sugar is $.69 for 14 ounces. Domino brand sold on the Walmart website is $20.28 for 12, 14-ounce packages. A 14-ounce bag of brown sugar is nearly 3 cups. 2.954, to be exact.

  • 3 cups of sugar cost $.67
  • 1 tablespoon of molasses is $.27. Now the weight of homemade brown sugar is 21 ounces. You spend $.94 for 21 ounces of freshly made brown sugar at $.09 per ounce. The store-bought brown sugar is $.12 per ounce. You control the quality and freshness. This was the first nondairy baking item I made at home. This is also my favorite.

Cake flour is just one of those items I barely bought, but started when I learned how to make fresh croissants. The price threw me for a loop. I just could not begin to understand the cost. I searched for an alternative and found it. This homemade cake flour works just as well as the Swan brand and is a whole lot cheaper.

Cake Flour

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour minus 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch

Put the flour and cornstarch in a sifter and sift 5 or more times to make fluffy. The more you sift, the lighter it is.

Softasilk cake flour is $4.47 for 32 ounces of cake flour. There are 6.4 cups of cake flour in the package. This is $.70 for 1 cup.

  • 1 cup of flour is $.10
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch is one ounce, which equals $.06. 1 cup of homemade cake flour is $0.16 a cup. That is a savings of $0.54 per cup.

Self-rising flour is something I so rarely use it is silly for me to ever buy. Now that I know how to make it, I don’t ever have to. The key with this flour is to make only as much as you can use at one time. This is still pretty easy.

Self-Rising Flour

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour is $0.10
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt

Mix with a whisk until completely blended. The cost of the baking soda and salt is so smal,l and I normally have them on hand, anyway, so I don’t include them in the price.

The cost of 1 cup of White Lily self-rising flour is $0.29. This is still a savings of $0.19 per cup.

The other substitute I make in the kitchen when baking is buttermilk. I never have buttermilk on hand. I choose to make this instead.

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