• 5 Healthy Foods to Swap Out When You are in a Baking Pinch

    5 Healthy Foods to Swap Out When You are in a Baking Pinch

We’ve all been there at one time or another. You are in the middle of making something and suddenly you realize you are missing a key ingredient. Whether it’s the hectic holiday hustle or a bake sale for your grandchildren’s fundraiser, here are your healthy ingredient hacks for when you need substitutes for baking.

Substitutes for Baking

Flour Substitutes

Out of flour? No problem, these healthy flour replacements will go great in your baked goods.

Black Beans

A gluten-free vegan flour replacement, black beans pack an extra protein punch as well. Perfect in baking, simply drain, rinse, and puree. Swap one cup of flour for one cup of bean puree (roughly one 15 ounce can). 

Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is a little trickier than a simple can of beans. It behaves differently when baking, so you cannot do a simple one to one switch. As a general rule for baked goods, 1/4 – 1/3 cup of a cup of coconut flour can be substituted for 1 cup of wheat flour. Be aware that gluten-free flour substitutes tend to be thicker and don’t pour quite as easily. Coconut flour absorbs moisture from eggs and liquids, so be sure to increase your liquid measurements as well.

Sugar Substitutes for Baking

Everyone’s got a little sweet tooth. Here are a few suggestions for sugar replacements in baking to soothe your sugar cravings.

Apple Sauce

Since apples are naturally high in sugar, applesauce is a wonderful addition to your growing list of ingredient hacks. Use unsweetened applesauce for a sugar substitute in a one to one ration in your recipe. Since applesauce is a little runnier (at least compared to sugar) you will want to reduce the liquid used in your recipes.


Honey is a natural substitute for sugar. As it is already a partial liquid, it emulsifies easily into your baking. Much like applesauce, however, honey is not a one to one ratio substitute and requires some math. For every 1 cup of sugar, substitute 1/2 to 2/3 cup honey.


This natural source of sugar also adds some good fats to your baked goods. To use bananas as a natural sugar substitute first make sure they are overripe. Then mash up one cup of bananas with a few tablespoons of water. Use one to one cup ratio for substitutions. 

Maple Syrup

This one is a given and very similar to honey in that it is a natural vegan sugar substitute. To use this substitute, replace one cup of white sugar with ¾ cup of real maple syrup and reduce the other wet ingredients by a few tablespoons to even out the thickening effect in your baking.

Egg Substitutes

That’s right. There are substitutes for eggs. Honestly, we were surprised too but couldn’t be happier to discover these egg substitutes for when you’re baking on a deadline.


You don’t need to be a to appreciate a little extra flaxseed in your diet, and if you run out of eggs mid-batch these are a great way to make up the difference quickly. Simply add one tablespoon of flaxseed with 2 ½ tablespoons of warm water.

Butter & Oil Substitutes

If you are out of butter and oil, or just want to try for healthier ingredient replacements, these will go nicely in your next dish.


You heard us. This might not strike you as a good butter substitute, however many people have been using avocado as a butter substitute for years. This is due to avocado’s naturally high fat content. You can use avocado as a baking butter replacement primarily in foods that are made with chocolate, such as brownies and cookies because the powder will help with the avocado texture.

Canned Pumpkin

Another flavor popular with the younger generation, pumpkin is also a substitute for butter in baking. But it can also be used as an oil substitute as well. Use the following ratios to substitute:

  • For butter, apply the puree at a ratio of ¾ to the measured butter asked for in your recipe.
  • For oil, apply the puree at a ratio of one to one.

Now that you are on your way to saving your recipe or eating better, how about some more health tips and tricks? With this FREE A-Z guide on Living and Aging the Way You Want you can learn the ABCs of aging successfully. Download your PDF and start living the lifestyle you want.

Concord Reserve is a continuing care retirement community in Westlake, Ohio. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Concord Reserve online or at 440-871-0090. Concord Reserve is a continuing care retirement community in Cleveland, Ohio.

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