News you can trust since 1817

Egg, flour and butter substitutes for home baking - plus ideas for smaller batches

If you're trying home backing while in lockdown but don't have some key ingredients don't worry, as many can be substituted for store cupboard staples.

Published: April 13, 2020

Whilst everyone is staying at home, many of us will be using the time to indulge in home baking but don't worry if you can't source all the ingredients for your favourite recipes as there are a few easy substitutes.

Here, Bonne Maman share their store cupboard tricks can help you to adapt.

There's a bit of an element of experimentation, but these alternatives will work in place of staple baking ingredients.

If you don't have eggs

Replace one egg with any of these other ingredients:

3 tbsp mayonnaise

3 tbsp golden flaxseed soaked in 3 tbsp cold water

1 mashed ripe banana with ¼ tsp baking powder

Chocolate replacement

Replace 25g chocolate with 3 tbsp cocoa powder and 1 tbsp softened butter

The Black Grape restaurant opens in historic building on The Royal Mile

If you don't have butter

Try using pureed cooked apple, mashed banana or pureed prunes. For best results, use an equal volume of the substitute i.e. replace ½ cup butter with ½ cup apple puree etc.

Use in place of buttermilk

A mixture of milk and lemon juice works well. Roughly 1 tbsp lemon juice for every 150ml milk, leave to stand for 5 minutes before using.

If you don't have self-raising flour

Mix 1tsp baking powder in to 100g plain flour.

Ideas for smaller bakes

If you're now baking for a smaller number of people, using a smaller tin and cutting the cooking time accordingly can successfully halve most cake recipes or you could also turn your favourite cake recipe into muffins by using muffin tins and again cutting the cooking time.

Food Q&A: MasterChef: The Professionals 2022 contestant Sagar Massey

For a teatime treat, why not try this Bonne Maman rhubarb crumble cake?


For the crumble topping
10g of each plain flour, rolled oats, sunflower seeds, flaked almonds
For the cake
200g unsalted butter
200g light soft brown sugar
330g golden syrup
2 medium eggs
225ml whole milk
330g self-raising flower
For the filling
250g tub mascarpone cheese
2 tbsp ready-made chilled vanilla custard OR extra thick double cream and a few drops of vanilla extract
600g jar Bonne Maman Rhubarb Compote
3 tbsp elderflower cordial
icing sugar, to dust


Scottish School Food Awards winner, Alastair MacDonald, on his day cooking for Fettes College

Heat the oven to 180C, 160 fan, gas 4. Line the base of a 20cm deep, round cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

First make the crumble topping. Put all the topping ingredients in a small bowl and add 25g of the butter and 25g of the brown sugar. Rub together until crumbly. Spread evenly onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 140C, 120C fan, gas 1.

Put the remaining butter, brown sugar and the golden syrup in a medium pan and heat gently, stirring, until melted and smooth.

Beat the eggs and milk into the sugar mixture in the pan. Measure the flour into a medium bowl and lowly whisk in the contents of the pan until you have a smooth batter.

Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for about 1 hour 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cover the top of the cake loosely with foil after 1 hour.

Leave in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile make the filling. Beat together the mascarpone cheese with the custard or the cream and vanilla, and chill.

Tip the rhubarb compote into a wide sieve over a bowl and leave to drain for 10 minutes. Stir 1 tbsp of the cordial into the drained rhubarb.

Put the remaining cordial in a small saucepan with the rhubarb liquid and bring to the boil. Bubble gently for about 5-7 minutes until it is thickened and syrupy. Cool.

Cut the cooled cake in half. Put the base on a serving plate and drizzle generously with some of the rhubarb and elderflower syrup.

Spoon on the whipped mascarpone cream and top with the rhubarb.

Pierce the top of the cake with a fine skewer and spoon over more of the syrup. Lift the top onto the cake and press on the crumble topping. Dust lightly with icing sugar and serve.

Top tips

If you're short of ingredients, you can use any type of flour, seeds and nuts for the crumble topping and if making a smaller version of the cake, halve all of the quantities and when mixed, pop into a deep 18cm sandwich tin or a 500g loaf tin. Bake for about 45mins to 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool and split in half.

Make up half the filling from mascarpone or any soft cheese; even a soft, fresh goat's cheese would be delicious.

Bonne Maman Apricot Compote can be used as an alternative to Rhubarb or simply use a Bonne Maman conserve such as Fig, Apricot or Plum.

Scran series 2: Secrets of the Birch Tree - with Rob and Gabrielle from Birken Tree

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

Let us know what you think


Copyright ©2022 National World Publishing Ltd
Cookie SettingsTerms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy
crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram