Baking Substitutions

I love to bake; I've been doing it for over 20 years and have made a wide assortment of baked goods for family, friends, fundraisers and more.  

Over the years as I began to learn more about the health benefits of fresh ground flour I made changes in how I baked.  Then I started grains&more and things have never been the same since.

When I began to teach whole grain baking classes I also began to create recipes of my own.  One of the challenges that I ran into was that some of the people who took my classes weren't ready to switch to fresh ground flour but they wanted to still enjoy some of the recipes I created.  This is a quick overview of a few substitutions you can make to my recipes. Although the flavors may change slightly the recipes should still work just fine.

fresh ground wheat – I highly recommend King Arthur Flour's Whole Wheat as a substitute.  While some of the nutrition has oxidized out all the fiber is there.  Hodgson Mills also makes a great product and is a good substitute if you cannot find King Arthur however the Hodgson Mill product tends to be a little coarser than King Arthur and you'll need to run it through a blender or food processor to make it finer

ezekiel flour – whole wheat flour is a reasonable substitution here, see above

spelt flour – again, whole wheat flour is a reasonable substitution, see above

oat flour – I grind oat groats to make this but you can grind rolled oats in your blender or food processor

brown rice flour – Bob's Red Mill makes an excellent brown rice flour or you can try grinding this in your food processor

corn flour – this tends to be finer and richer than corn meal plus, of course, it is the whole grain.  Bob's Red Mill has a good corn flour.  If you prefer to use cornmeal (which I don't really recommend) you need to grind it in your blender or food processor to make it finer and preserve the texture of the baked goods

flax meal – there is no substitution for this, the purchased flax meal is usually de-germed for shelf stability.  Simply buy flax seeds and an inexpensive coffee grinder to make your own

sucanat – if you cannot find this product on your store shelves use organic evaporated cane juice crystals.  I DO NOT recommend white sugar at all. Sucanat has a very rich flavor due to the molasses and minerals still present.  In some recipes (such as pumpkin muffins) you want that rich flavor so I would add a tablespoon of molasses with the cane juice crystals

coconut oil – in spite of the fact that so many people think this is not good for you it is an excellent choice as a baking fat. However a good substitute is organic unsalted butter.  NOTE:  when using coconut oil only use virgin, cold pressed coconut oil

buttermilk or kefir – a quick substitute is to put 1 T. of fresh lemon juice into 1 C. whole milk and let it sit for at least 5 minutes to sour
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About Mira

Mira Dessy is The Ingredient Guru. A holistic nutrition professional, author, and a popular public speaker, she knows that it's not just what you eat, but what's in what you eat. She is the author of The Pantry Principle: how to read the label and understand what’s really in their food. Dessy is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner whose mission is to educate and empower consumers. She curates the Lean Clean Green Subscription box, the premier, organic, earth-friendly, healthy, sustainable subscription box which can be found online at