Using Substitutions in Your Recipes

Once I became Gluten Free and Vegan, I wanted to convert all my favorite recipes to eliminate wheat, gluten, dairy and eggs.  At first, I did not realize how great a task that would become!

Substitutions are available, but often they don’t act the same or tastes the same.  I found that Jeanne from the Art of Gluten Free Baking had faced the same problem and created a post around the topic.

Here are some of the tips she includes in her post: 

First and foremost: substitutes are what they sound like–they are substituting for the preferred item.  So, most of the time they are not going to behave, taste, or feel EXACTLY like the preferred ingredients. …

… I would like to ask everyone who uses cookbooks and blogs and recipe sites to use some common sense when approaching ingredient substitutes.  Realize that a substitute is a step away from the preferred ingredient.  It is going to be, at the very least, slightly different from the preferred ingredient, and at the most, quite different from the preferred ingredient. …


…   My preferred butter substitute is Earth Balance Soy-Free Butter Spread …Some people use coconut oil in the place of butter.  I do not do this in my baking because it adds a very strong coconut flavor. ….


…Eggs are one of the most difficult things to replace in baking.  Eggs provide structure to baked items in addition to binding.  Without eggs, your baked items are going to be flatter than they would be with eggs. …

… my next preferred egg substitute is ground flax seeds mixed with hot water.  For 1 extra-large egg, I recommend mixing 1 TBL of ground flax seeds with 3 TBL of hot (not boiling) water.  Whisk together and then let sit for 15-20 minutes in order to make a gel.  Then use this gel as you would the eggs–you can beat it with your mixer. …


…Brown rice flour: substitute sorghum flour
White rice flour: substitute millet flour
Sweet rice (also know as glutinous rice) flour: substitute potato flour (not starch)
Tapioca flour: substitute potato starch (not flour)


…Maple sugar is a nice alternative to cane sugar.  It behaves the same as cane sugar, but will add a slight maple taste to baked items.

Palm sugar is another nice alternative to cane sugar.  It comes in many forms.  The granulated form can be used in baked goods.

Honey and agave are hard to use in the place of sugar in baked goods.

Xanthan Gum

I use xanthan gum as the “gluten-replacer” in my baking.  I truly feel it is the best product available for creating baked items that taste and feel like their wheat counterparts. …


Jeanne shares some excellent suggestions.  Here are my personal preferences:

Butter:  Earth Balance Spread or Coconut oil

EggsEner-G Egg Replacer (Flax gel is a good one, but I am allergic to flax *sigh*)

Flour:  Pamela’s Amazing Flour for breads and Jules Gluten Free Flour for cookies, cakes, etc.

Sugar: Coconut palm sugar for brown sugar, Xylitol for white sugar and Coconut nectar for syrup

Xanthan Gum


Interested in more substitution tips:  Check One Green Planet.


One Comment

  1. Ping from Recipe Adaptations - Gluten Free Vegan Living:

    […] Using Substitutions in Your Recipes (this article list my personal favorites at the bottom of the post.) […]

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