Guest Post: Substituting Ingredients

Yesterday I reviewed Becky Epstein’s new book, Substituting Ingredients… And now here is a guest post from Becky herself!


When I originally wrote the first draft for Substituting Ingredients, I was working with a friend, in her big kitchen in Santa Barbara. As I recall, it was a sunny weekend morning and there were lots of people around. We decided to test out pancake recipes with and without eggs, to see how the substitutes would work. We made several versions be cooking involves chemical reactions like leavening (rising) and proportions of liquids and solids.


When we felt we had it down, we invited people to taste. I think we made them try each one without syrup first, which wasn’t exactly what they wanted. But after they made their choice of favorites, we let them pour on the syrup. Surprisingly, most people’s favorite was the pancakes we made without the eggs.

That gave us a lot of courage, to keep trying more and more substitutes. It was also a signal to our families that they were going to have to try a lot of strange things before the book was finished.

The simplest thing is to take your favorite pancake recipe and if you don’t have an egg, add:

  • 2 tablespoons milk or juice
  • 2 tablespoons flour (not packed down)
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.

The pancakes will be nice and fluffy!

Thanks again, Becky. Can’t wait to try out more of your substitutions!

If you haven’t seen it already, here is my dad’s buttermilk pancake recipe. It’s awesome… but I don’t always have the right ingredients. Perhaps I should use some of Becky’s subs 🙂

This weekend we are headed into New Jersey for lots of wedding errands. What are your weekend plans?


What are the most common ingredient substitutions that you do?

One Reply to “Guest Post: Substituting Ingredients”

  1. Have fun with the wedding plans! I use vinegar in milk when I am out of buttermilk – you can’t tell the difference!

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