Judging from the number of questions tagged substitutions, this is a common thing to ask.

Are there any resources to find substitutions, and what circumstances those work under? For example, applesauce can partially substitute for oil in muffins (because the oil is for moisture content), but can't substitute for oil when cooking an omelet (because the oil prevents the egg from sticking).

2 Answers 2


This one from AllRecipes.com is pretty comprehensive. I remember finding one a long time ago that was laid out in categories though. Maybe someone else can find it.

  • Great, it answers the oil substitution question by splitting out into "Vegetable oil--for baking" and "--for frying". Was hoping for something with more explanations about why the substitution work, so if I'm unsure whether the substitution is appropriate in my situation, I can see if the underlying substitution fits.
    – flicken
    Commented Jul 11, 2010 at 0:56

The Cook's Thesaurus comes in handy, as it groups items together into categories, and describes what the differences are, and often lists substitutions for specific purposes.

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