Common ingredients and their substitutions


If you cook or bake regularly like I do, you find a lot of common ingredients that you will need to substitute for gluten or dairy free ingredients.

Here are substitutions that I use almost on a daily basis, and some I have never tried out, but others have.  I do not have any endorsement deals with these products.  I just love the results they provide.

Wheat flour

In baking, I use King Arthur Measure for Measure flour almost exclusively.  I have never had an issue using this flour, in fact, I am amazed at its versatility and resemblance to wheat flour.

Substituting wheat flour can be tricky, since every recipe calls for a different blend. My advice is to stay away from recipes that use multiple flours as you cannot possibly have space for all of them, plus the recipe will have to be tweaked as far as liquids.   Find recipes that use wheat flour and use a measure for measure or cup for cup flour instead.  You will need no other recipe changes.

Baking mixes

I used Gluten free Bisquick almost exclusively.  But if a recipe calls for a specific baking mix, I generally use it because ratios of leavening can vary.  But in a pinch, I have used another brand and the recipe was fine.


I use Smart Balance spread in pretty much every recipe that calls for butter, including baking.  You can also substitute grapeseed oil in baking with good results.  You could also use coconut oil.


Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to dairy free milk and let stand at least five minutes.

Cheddar Cheese

Since I started getting away from soy, I use Daiya cheese cheddar block and slices.
I do not care for their shreds, so I buy the block and shred my own.

Parmesan Cheese

I use Go Veggie Parmesan substitute.  It does contain soy, but I don’t use it that often.  Tastes like the real thing.

Heavy cream

I have been advised by several bakers that they use coconut cream, shaken and stirred together, not chilled, with good results. I use plain coconut milk and have had no problems.

Thickening Sauces/Gravies

I make a roux of 1 tablespoon rice flour with one tablespoon fat for each cup of liquid.  You do have to whisk it thoroughly, but it comes together nicely with no grit.

These are just some of the common ingredients that often need substituting.  Please share your tips on what ingredients you use.

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