Cakes are the go-to dessert for any event. Whether it be for a pre-planned party or a sudden get-together, cakes are the way to go.

However, all the ingredients required to make a cake are not always readily available around the house. So it is never really easy to just make a cake and call it a day.

Luckily though, there are ways to make a cake without key ingredients. With some simple ingredient swaps here and there, it is possible to make a great cake.

And today, we’ll learn how to make cake without key ingredients. So, let’s begin.

How to Make Cake Without Key Ingredients | Simple Ways

Want to know more about how you can easily get over the hurdle of the lack of key ingredients and whip up the most delicious cake? Well, read on to find out!

Simple Ways to Make Cake Without Key Ingredients

Butter Substitutes

Butter is one of the most important ingredients required to make a cake. Many recipes start with butter. So what to do if there is none around? Find out for yourself from the substitutes here.

Butter Substitutes

1. Oil

A no-brainer substitute for butter is oil.

Any oil with a mild fragrance works great in the stead of butter, like canola oil, rapeseed oil, vegetable oil.

Coconut oil is also a great replacement for butter. It is slightly tropical in taste when unrefined, so it is advisable to use a more refined variety for a neutral flavor profile.

Now, oil is not capable of being creamed with sugar as perfectly as butter, and so makes a slightly denser cake. So for every cup of butter, use three-quarter cups of oil to retain the fluffiness of the cake.

2. Clarified Butter AKA Ghee

A great substitute for butter is clarified butter, otherwise known as ghee.

Clarified butter provides the cake with the same amount of richness as butter, if not more. It also provides more moisture to the cake than butter.

Clarified Butter AKA Ghee

Replace butter with clarified butter at a one-to-one ratio.

3. Margarine

Margarine works great as a replacement for butter. Just make sure to use margarine sticks and not from the tub.

4. Shortening

Shortening is a great substitute for butter. Use it in the same amount as butter.

5. Yogurt

Yogurt, especially of the Greek variety, adds moisture and structure to the cake, just like butter.

Use half a cup of yogurt instead of one cup of butter up to one cup of yogurt, as more of it will lead to too much moisture in the cake.

Butter Yogurt Cake

6. Fruit Puree

Fruit purees are not the most conventional choice as a butter substitute, yet they work really great.

Among all fruits, avocado works best due to the high amount of natural oil present within. Cut the avocado in half, deseed and turn into a mash. Take the puree and replace the required butter in the same amount. The point to remember- the cake will be chewier than usual and may end with a slightly greenish tinge.

A great fruit to work with is the apple. Apple puree not only replaces butter but also adds natural sweetness and thus lessens the amount of sugar required. Replace butter with the same amount of apple puree. A piece of advice would be to add some extra fat like oil or yogurt to prevent dryness in the cake.

Fruit Puree

An excellent choice to make is to use some pumpkin. Other than moisture and structure, pumpkin puree also adds fibers, which retain more water within the cake.

Another amazing choice is prune. Blend half a cup of prune with a quarter cup of hot water, and use the mixture instead of butter.

Sugar Substitutes

What is cake without sugar? After all, a cake is sweet, and sugar adds sweetness. Might as well not make cake at all without any sugar at hand. But no, there is no need to give up, because here are some great substitutes.

1. Honey

If there is one synonym for sweetness other than sugar, it is honey. So it is only natural to use honey as a substitute for sugar.

Use three-quarter cups of honey for every cup of sugar. While it will make the cake slightly denser, it will also provide more richness.


2. Golden Syrup

Golden syrup, also known as light treacle, works as an excellent replacement for sugar. Made from refined sugar cane or sugar beet juice, the golden syrup has more depth in flavor than regular sugar and so provides the cake with greater sweetness.

Golden Syrup

3. Maple Syrup

Yet another syrup to use as a substitute, maple syrup, is another alternative to sugar.

Use three-quarter cups of maple syrup per cup of sugar. Not only will it make the cake sweet, but also give it a different but delicious flavor profile.

4. Molasses

Get out the molasses from the shelves and add a few tablespoons to replace sugar in the cake.


5. Natural Sweeteners

Natural sweeteners like stevia, splenda, yacon syrup, palmyra nectar are also solid sugar substitutes. Just make sure to first check the potency of each and then add them to the cake.

Natural Sweeteners

Egg Substitutes

Oh no, there are no eggs! How will the ingredients bind, how will the cake rise? Well, worry not, for here are some substitutes that work just as great.

1. Flaxseed

Flaxseed binds the batter together and holds the cake together in the oven. It also provides the cake with a firm texture.

Use a mixture of one tablespoon of flaxseed and two tablespoons of water per egg.

2. Baking Soda and Vinegar Mix

Combine a teaspoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of vinegar, and add to the cake batter to create fluffiness in the end result.

Baking Soda and Vinegar Mix

3. Vegetable Oil And Baking Powder Mix

Whisk one teaspoon vegetable oil, two teaspoon baking powder, and water into the cake batter to ensure softness.

4. Mashed Banana

Use a one-quarter cup of mashed banana per egg to make the cake soft and also add some structure and sweetness.

Mashed Banana

5. Silken Tofu

Blend a quarter cup of silken tofu with some water till smooth and combine with the rest of the cake mix. Use only when one egg is needed, as more will lead to heaviness in the cake.

Milk Substitutes

Milk contains a lot of water and fat, and so provides the cake with some much-needed moisture and texture. So instead of milk, just add some extra water and fat, and all will be good to go.

Milk Substitutes

Baking Powder Substitutes

Baking powder makes the cake rise, so baking soda is an easy swap for the ingredient since the latter is actually much more active than the former. And so for every tablespoon of the powder, a teaspoon of the soda works more than well.

Flour Substitutes

Without flour, the cake will not flourish. Get it, flour, flourish? No? Anyways, here are some substitutes for when you have none.

Flour Substitutes
  1. Finely grind up some oats into a powder-like substance. Use three-quarter cups of oat flour for every cup of flour.
  2. Blanch some almonds, take off the skin, and grind until fine. Replace every cup of flour with three-quarter cups of almond flour.
  3. Gently toast some quinoa and blend into a fine powder. Swap the flour with the quinoa flour.


Now that you know how to make cake without key ingredients, you may as well have the key to the treasure box of cake secrets.

So absolutely no need to feel disheartened the next time you cannot find an ingredient, because you can make a delicious cake even without them.