Substitutions~ ” I don’t have that in my country!”


Perhaps another one of the most asked questions I get is:

“I don’t have that in my country! What can I use instead?”

My baking experience is limited to the United States, therefore my ingredients list, naturally is limited to the ingredients that are readily available here in the USA.

I have learned so much from so many of you around the globe when it comes to ingredients that I assumed were easy to find!

I did not compile this list myself, since again I wouldn’t know where to start, so this is a list that has been wonderfully compiled from my friends all over the globe and this blog post has turned out to be on going, a work in progress.

So if you have some valid information to share regarding a certain ingredient in your country share it with me below in the comments section and I will gladly update this post so others in your same country will have the best information !

Thank you all for participating to make this blog the BEST EVER!


Sweetened Condensed Milk—leche condensada (Nestle)
Evaporated Milk— leche evaporada (Carnation clavel)
Baking Powder— polvo para hornear (Royal)
Baking Soda— bicarbonate de sodio
Corn Syrup— miel de maíz (miel Karo)
Molasses— melaza
Cream of Tatar— cremor tartaro
All Purpose Flour—- harina
Cake Flour— harina para parteles
Pastry Flour— harina para reposteria
Bread Flour— harina para pan
Self-Rising Flour— harina leudante
Whole Wheat Flour— harina integral
Granulated Sugar— azúcar
Confectioners’ Sugar— azúcar glass o impalpable
Light Brown Sugar— azúcar morena
Dark Brown Sugar— azúcar mascabado
Yeast— levadura
Semi Sweet chocolate — chocolate semi amargo
Vegetable Shortening— Manteca vegetal (yo recomiendo la marca Lirio o Cristal)
Butter — mantequilla
Margarine — margarina
Heavy cream — crema espesa
Whipping cream — crema para batir
Cream cheese — queso crema
Corn starch — fecula de maíz (maizena)
Sour cream — crema agria
Buttermilk — suero de leche

Sweetend Condensed Milk: Milchmädchen
Evaporated Milk: Kondensmilch 10%
Baking Powder: Dr. Oetker Backin, Backpulver
Baking Soda: Kaiser Natron
Corn Syrup: Glukosesirup
Molasses: Zuckerrübensirup,Rübenkraut
Cream of Tatar: Weinstein. The best and cheapest way to get it, is in a drugstore.
All Purpose Flour: Weizenmehl Typ 550
Cake Flour: Weizenmehl Typ 405
Pastry Flour: Weizenmehl Typ 405, doppelgriffig. If you can’t find it in your local Store just add 2 Teaspoons Corn Starch to 500 g Weizenmehl Typ 405.
Bread Flour: Weizenmehl Typ 812
Self Rising Flour: Just add 15 g of Baking Powder to 500 g Cake Flour or Pastry Flour
Whole Wheat Flour: Weizenvollkornmehl
Granulated Sugar: Weißer Zucker, feine Körnung
Confectioners’ Sugar: Puderzucker
Light Brown Sugar: Brauner Zucker, Kandisfarin
Dark Brown Sugar: Echter Rohrzucker
Yeast: Trockenbackhefe
Semi Sweet chocolate: Blockschokolade or Zartbitter Kuvertüre
Dutch Process (or Alkalized)cocoa powder : Backkakao. The best you can get is BensdorpKakao.
Crisco or Solid Vegetable Shortening– Palmin Soft

Sweetend Condensed Milk: Zaslađeno kondenzirano mlijeko
Baking Powder: Prašak za pecivo
Baking Soda: Soda bikarbona
Corn Syrup: Glukoza
All Purpose Flour: Glatko brašno tip 550
Pastry Flour: Oštro brašno tip 400
Granulated Sugar: Kristal šećer
Confectioners’ Sugar: Šećer u prahu
Brown Sugar: Smeđi šećer
Yeast: Kvasac
Semi Sweet chocolate: Čokolada za kuhanje
Cocoa powder: Kakao u prahu
Butter: Maslac
Solid Vegetable shortening: Biljna mast or you can use margarina
Heavy Cream: Slatko vrhnje

Corn Starch:  Maizena er hvitt maismel ~ Maizena is white cornflour

Baking Powder: Bakepulver
Baking Soda: Natron
Corn Syrup: Glukose
Heavy Cream: Kremfløte
Cream Cheese: Kremost (f.eks Philadelphia)
Semi Sweet Chocolate: Bakesjokolade

Baking Powder: Bakpulver
Baking Soda: Bikarbonat
Corn Syrup: Ljus sirap
Molasses: Mörk sirap
All Purpose Flour: Vetemjöl
Corn Starch: Maizena
Whole Wheat Flour: Fullkornsvetemjöl
Granulated Sugar: Strösocker
Confectioners’ Sugar: Florsocker
Light Brown Sugar: Ljust muscovadosocker
Dark Brown Sugar: Mörkt muscovadosocker
Yeast: Jäst
Semi Sweet chocolate: Mörk blockchoklad
Cocoa Powder: Kakao
shortening: Kokosfett (not perfect, but the best I can find)
butter: Smör
sour cream : Gräddfil
heavy cream : Vispgrädde
cottage cheese: Keso
Cream cheese: Philadelphiaost
Buttermilk: Kärnmjölk
Sweetend Condensed Milk: Kondenserad mjölk, finns sötad och osötad
Creame of Tartar: Vinsten
Whole wheat flour: Grahamsmjöl
High gluten flour: Vetemjöl Special

Sweetend Condensed Milk: Latte condensato zuccherato
Baking Powder: Lievito per dolci
Baking Soda: Bicarbonato di sodio
Corn Syrup: Glucosio
Cream of Tatar: Cremor Tartaro
All Purpose Flour: Farina tipo 0
Pastry flour: Farina tipo 00
Granulated Sugar: Zucchero
Confectioners’ Sugar: Zucchero a velo
Brown Sugar: Zucchero di canna
Yeast: Lievito
Cocoa powder: Cacao in polvere
Butter: Burro
Solid Vegetable shortening: margarina
Heavy Cream: Panna da montare

Sweetened Condensed Milk: leite condensado
Baking Powder: fermento em po
Baking Soda: bicarbonato de sódio
All Purpose Flour: Farinha de Trigo (tipo 1)
Granulated Sugar: Açucar cristal
Confectioners’ Sugar: Açucar confeiteiro or Açucar impalpável
Yeast: fermento biologico
Cocoa powder: Cacau em Pó
Butter: manteiga
Solid Vegetable shortening: gordura vegetal
Brown Sugar: açúcar mascavo
Corn Syrup: Xarope de Milho
Cream of tartar: Cremor Tártaro
Pastry flour: Farinha de Trigo (tipo 1) & amido de milho (maizena)
Heavy cream: creme de leite
Cornstarch: amido de milho or maizena

Sweetened Condensed Milk: kondenseret mælk fra Nestlé
Baking Powder: Dr. Oetker Bagepulver
Baking Soda: Natron
Cream of Tartar: vinsten
Corn Syrup: Glukose sirup
Shortening: Palmin
All Purpose Flour: Hvedemel
Granulated Sugar: Alm. Hvid Sukker
Confectioners’ Sugar: flormelis
Light Brown Sugar: lys farin (det sælges dog ikke, så måske kan rørsukker bruges)
Dark Brown Sugar: brun farin
Yeast: gær, kan fåes i brevpakke form
Semi Sweet chocolate: mørk bagechokolade
Dutch Process (or Alkalized)cocoa powder : mørk kakaopulver til bagning
Heavy crème: piskefløde
Butter: smør kan fåes usaltet fra lurpak
Molasses: melasse

solid vegetable shortening – Planta (brand name)
Sweetend Condensed Milk: mleko skondensowane słodzone / mleko skondensowane slodzone
Baking Powder: proszek do pieczenia
Baking Soda: soda
Cream of Tatar: kamień winny / kamien winny
All Purpose Flour: mąka pszenna typ 550/ maka pszenna typ 550
Cake Flour: mąka tortowa typ 450/ maka tortowa typ 450
Flour best for pie dough (don’t know english name) – it is heavygrounded wheat flour – krupczatka
Whole Wheat Flour: mąka razowa / maka razowa
Granulated Sugar: cukier kryształ / cukier krysztal
Confectioners’ Sugar: cukier puder
Yeast: drożdże / drozdze
Semi Sweet chocolate: czekolada deserowa
Butter – masło / maslo
Heavy cream: śmietana kremówka / smietana kremowka (30% or 36% of fat)
Sour cream of different kinds – we just use fat percentage to describe them: kwaśna śmietana / kwasna smietana (12%, 18% or 24% of fat)
Cottage cheese: twaróg / twarog or biały ser / bialy ser
Cream cheese: kremowy serek śmietankowy / kremowy serek smietankowy (fresh is difficult to find, all are salted)

Shortening: Futiko lipos Nea futini
Sweetend Condensed Milk: Zaxarouxo gala Vlaxas
Evaporated Milk: Gala Simpiknomeno Noynoy
Baking Powder: Baking Powder Giwtis
Baking Soda: Baking soda Carrefour
Corn Syrup: glykozi Hai
Molasses: Melasa Fytro
Cream of Tatar: kremorio Matina
All Purpose Flour: Aleuri Alatini
Bread Flour: Aleuri skliro Miloi agiou gewrgiou
Granulated Sugar:Kristaliki leuki zaxari EBZ
Confectioners’ Sugar: Axni Manna
Light Brown Sugar: Mavri Zahari” brands Fytro or Zografos (brown sugar is written in English on the boxes)
Dark Brown Sugar: Mavri Zahari” brands Fytro or Zografos (brown sugar is written in English on the boxes)

Raw Sugar: Kastani Zahari
Yeast: Ksiri Magia Giwtis
Cocoa: Kakao Giwtis
Heavy cream: Krema galaktos Noynoy/ Fage
Unsalted Butter: Bouturo agelados Royal/ Lurpak

shortening: graisse végétale
whipping cream or heavy cream: creme liquide 33 ou 35 %
Sweetend Condensed Milk: lait concentré sucré
Evaporated Milk: lait concentré
Baking Powder: levure chimique
Baking Soda: bicarbonate de sodium
Corn Syrup: glucose liquide
Molasses: mélasse
Cream of Tatar: crème de tartre qui sert à stabiliser notamment les blancs d’oeufs
All Purpose Flour: farine tout usage type 55
Cake Flour: farine type 45
Pastry Flour: farine a patisserie 000 ( francine ulra tamisée par ex)
Bread Flour: farine a pain
Self Rising Flour: farine avec adjonction de poudre levante
Whole Wheat Flour: farine de blé entier
Granulated Sugar: sucre semoule
Confectioners’ Sugar: sucre glace
Light Brown Sugar: cassonnade
Dark Brown Sugar: rapadura
Yeast: levure de boulanger
Semi Sweet chocolate: chocolat de couverture mi sucré
Dutch Process (or Alkalized)cocoa powder : cacao non sucré pas de banania par ex
Cream of Tatar: Crème de tartre / Bitartrate de potassium (check on the internet, my pharmacist did not have it, but you may ask yours).
All Purpose Flour: farine de blé toute utilisation/ordinaire
Cake Flour: farine de blé pour patisserie (avec levure intégrée)
Granulated Sugar: sucre en poudre
Shortening : matière grasse végétale hydrogénée (Astra, Végétaline)

Molasses: Melaza or Miel de Caña
Cream of Tartar – Cremor Tártaro (Dr. Oetker brand)
Sour Cream/Creme Fraiche – Nata Fresca (avaliable at Mercadona supermarkets)
Buttermilk – Leche Fermentada (arab specialty shops)
Brown Sugar – Use a “Panela” Block and grate it very finely. Or Azucar Morena
Corn Syrup – Glucose

Sweetend Condensed Milk – Lapte condensat
Baking Powder – Praf de copt
Baking Soda – Bicarbonat de sodiu
Corn Syrup – Sirop de porumb
Granulated Sugar – Zahar granulat
Confectioners’ Sugar – Zahar pudra
Brown sugar – Zahar brun
Yeast – Drojdie
Cocoa powder – Cacao
Butter – Unt
Heavy cream – Smantana dulce
Buttermilk – Lapte batut
Pastry flour – Faina 000
All purpose flour – Faina 550
High gluten flour – Faina 650
White whole wheat flour – Faina dietetica
Cake flour – Faina 450

Baking powder: bakpoeder
Baking soda: Natrium bicarbonaat.
Light brown sugar: basterdsuiker
Granulated sugar: griessuiker of ultrafijne suiker
Confectioners sugar: poedersuiker of bloemsuiker
Cake flour: Cakebloem
Sour cream : zure room
Self-rising flour: Zelf rijzende bloem
Yeast: Gist from dr Oetker or Bruggeman instant
Vegetable shortening: Crisco at “” or “Het zoete magazijntje”. You can find them online.
Cornstarch: Maïzena or Maïszetmeel
Evaporated milk: gecondenseerde melk (in any supermarket)
Sweetened condensed milk: gesuikerde gecondenseerde melk. I use Nestlé(in any supermarket).
Buttermilk: karnemelk of botermelk
Heavy cream: room, slagroom
Corn syrup: almost can’t be found here . I use fructosesiroop instead
Cream of tartar : wijnsteenzuur
Baking chocolate: 80% dark chocolate: Callebaut at Makro. (Sacs of 2.5 kg).
Milk chocolate: Callebaut at Makro.

Baking powder: Dr. Oetker Bakpoeder
Cream Cheese: Monchou
Light brown sugar: Lichte basterd suiker
Granulated sugar: kristalsuiker
Confectionerssugar: Poedersuiker / suikerbakkerspoeder
Cake Flour: Cakemeel
Self Rising Flour: Zelf reizend bakmeel
AP Flour: Tarwebloem
Yeast: Dr. Oetker gist
Vegetable shortening: Crisco at ‘De leukste taartenshop’ Also available online!
Cornstarch: Maïzena
Evaporated milk: Koffiemelk (it’s this little can that you can buy in any supermarket, but it’s very unknown).
Sweetened condensed milk: gecondenseerde melk, gesuikerde gecondenseerde melk. Nestle or Friesche Vlag (in any big AH, C1000 or Jumbo)”.
Buttermilk: Karnemelk
Heavy cream: slagroom
Corn syrup: Not available in the Netherlands, but ‘appelstroop’ works as well. (**In Holland u can find corn syrup at the Asian stores)
Cream of tartar: Wijnsteenzuur (hard to come by)
Baking soda: here you buy it at the “drogist” and it’s called “Natriumbicarbonaat” or “zuivere maagzout” (they sell it for stomach problems). You can also get it at “Dille&Camile” and at Jumbo supermarkets in the baking section.
Molasses : Friese suikerstroop

Baking powder: אבקת אפייה
Baking Soda: סודה לשתיה
Cream Cheese: גבינת שמנת ,פילדלפיה או נפוליאון
Light brown sugar: סוכר דמררה
Dark Brown Sugar: סוכר חום
Granulated sugar: סוכר לבן
Confectioners’ sugar: אבקת סוכר
Cake Flour: קמח עוגה, שטיבל מספר 5
Self Rising Flour: קמח תופחקמח תופח מאליו
AP Flour: קמח רב תכליתי
Yeast: שמרים
Vegetable shortening: Not available in Israel.
Cornstarch: קורנפלור
Evaporated milk: not available in Israel
Sweetened condensed milk: חלב מרוכזחלב מרוכז וממותק
Buttermilk: רוויון
Heavy cream: שמנת מתוקהשמנת לקצפת
Corn syrup: גלקוזה או סירופ תירס.
Cream of tartar: קרם טרטר
Semisweet chocolate: שוקולד מריר

Sweetened Condensed Milk: Leche condensada
Evaporated Milk: leche evaporada
Baking Powder: Polvo de hornear (usually the brand is Royal)
Baking Soda: Bicarbonato de sodio
Corn Syrup: Jarabe de maiz (we don’t usually use this, we use glucose)
Molasses: Melaza
Cream of Tatar: cremor tartaro.
All Purpose Flour: Harina 0000 (the common varieties of wheat flour are 0000 and 000, the latter used for baking bread and the first for pastries, but can also be used in breads)
Corn Starch: fecula de maiz.
Self Rising Flour: Harina leudante (There are two kinds: harina leudante which is self rising flour and harina con levadura which is flour with yeast)
Whole Wheat Flour: Harina integral
Granulated Sugar: azucar
Confectioners’ Sugar: azucar impalpable
Light Brown Sugar: azucar rubia
Dark Brown Sugar: azucar morena
Yeast: levadura
Semi Sweet chocolate: chocolate semiamargo
Cocoa Powder: cacao en polvo
Vegetable Shortening: manteca vegetal, vetalina
Butter: manteca
Unsalted butter : manteca sin sal
Sour cream : crema agria
Heavy cream : crema de leche
cottage cheese: queso cabaña
Cream cheese: queso crema (We have more bitter tasting cream cheese which is the Mendicrim brand and a milder flavor, not bitter but a little bit salty which is Casancrem

Sweetened Condensed Milk: Leche condensada
Evaporated Milk: leche evaporada
Baking Powder: Polvo de Hornear, polvo Royal, levadura en polvo
Baking Soda: Bicarbonato de sodio
Corn Syrup: miel o jarabe de maiz
Molasses: chancaca
Cream of Tatar: cremor tartaro.
All Purpose Flour: Harina sin preparar
Corn Starch: fecula de maiz.
Self Rising Flour: Harina preparada
Whole Wheat Flour: Harina integral
Granulated Sugar: azucar
Confectioners’ Sugar: azucar en polvo, azucar impalpable
Light Brown Sugar: azucar rubia (clara)
Dark Brown Sugar: azucar rubia (oscura)
Yeast: levadura fresca
Semi Sweet chocolate: chocolate semidulce
Cocoa Powder: cacao en polvo
shortening: manteca
butter: mantequilla
unsalted butter : mantequilla sin sal
sour cream : crema agria
heavy cream : crema espesa
cottage cheese: queso cabana
Cream cheese: queso crema

Super big sugar (coarse sugar/ pearl sugar) = Hagelzucker
Kinda big Granulated sugar = Normalkristallzucker (I say big because the grains are bigger than in the states)
Medium Granulated sugar = Feinkristallzucker (It is relatively closer to granulated american sugar in size on the smaller side)
Baking sugar**= Backzucker (It isn’t confectioner’s sugar it has very fine seeable grains but it isn’t powder sugar and it comes in handy when making cakes in which you have to cream the butter with the sugar and stuff. 🙂
Confectioner’s Sugar= Puderzucker (super mega fine this is the stuff to go to for icing and fillings), Streuzucker (to put on top of brownies or to decorate), and Staubzucker (For making things and using in recipes, you can do icings but as a last resort instead of the puderzucker but the buttercream can end up having a sandy texture partially because it is beet sugar and not cane)
Cane sugar= Rohzucker/ Bio Rohzucker (Very hard to find in white… mostly brown) EXPENSIVE
Brown Sugar= Braunzucker/Rohzucker
Glucose sugar= Traubenzucker.
Fructose sugar= Fruchtzucker
Syrups. People here tend to use Glucose syrup or molasses. Corn syrup is liquid gold.
Corn Syrup= Mais syrup
Brown Corn Syrup = Braun Mais Syrup
Molasses= Melassen. (It can be found in Bio stores but it is hard to find)
Baking Powder= Backpulver
Baking Soda = Natron
Cream of Tartar = Weinsteinpulver

All Purpose: Plain Flour
Cake Flour: Self Raising Flour
Fine Sugar: Caster Sugar
Unsalted Butter: Lurpak or Lydl Unsalted Butter
Shortening: Trex
Corn Syrup: Glucose
Molasses: Treacle or Golden Syrup
Creme of Tarter is available! E-Number 354 (Calciumtartrat) in pharmacie or drugstore.
A further name is “Weinstein Backpulver” at least in Germany.

Random Bits and Pieces, I hope we can add to these countries lists!

Solid Vegetable shortening.

Malaysia. For High Ratio Shortening, look for Krimwell.

New Zealand- Kremelta

Kenya- East Africa- KIMBO

Australia- SO-LITE or Copha ** I have gotten mixed review on using Copha, many say DO NOT USE IT, the claim is that it WILL NOT soften at room temp and it will give you lumps of shortening throughout your buttercream recipe.
Another for Australia is frymasta but a fellow Gretchen’s Bakery Helper warns, “Do not confuse with “superfy” (similar packaging) becuase superfry is solidified animal fat.

Mexico- Manteca Inca **I have been told that Manteca Inca is made with animal and vegetable fat, it’s not shortening is more like lard, and wouldn’t taste good in the buttercream recipe where the shortening in not meant to be cooked, it is better use all margarine or butter.

Philippines- Purico

Another one for Mexico is-Manteca Cristal, it is pure vegetable shortening.

Ireland – Cookeen (Frytex has beef fat in it)

India- Dalda


In the UK self raising flour is called self raising flour. It consists of flour, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and cream of tartar. It can have other ingredients to improve the carbon dioxide eg tartaric acid, calcium phosphate, no salt!!! It is genrally called baking powder. It is heavier than cake flour.
Plain flour has no leavening = All Purpose, is heavier than cake flour

Cake flour plain = Extra fine flour 00 grade without leavening, either made by McDougals or Home Pride
Cake flour self raising = Extra fine 00 grade with leavening also made by McDougals/ Home Pride
Extra fine 000 grade used for making sauces, custards, gravy
dusting fish for frying. Looks almost like corn flour/corn starch

Quickest acting baking powder in the UK is Dr Oekter which is activated when wet even at room temperature.
In the USA Rumford’s baking powder contains calcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate and corn starch which is an anti caking agent.


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  1. Hello!
    I’m from sweden and would like to add that corn syrup is better substituted by glykossirap, small tubes can be found at the pharmacy and bigger jars usually at stores with a more international profile, though I have found it at my local grocer (coop) so I guess it’s getting more common.

  2. Gretchen i Will try the swiss meringue buttercream. But here in venezuela there is Just Mantequilla (animal butter) and Margarina (vegetal) we used to find cristo But no anymore, now there is anything here. How about the recipe? Sorry about my english, i understand everything But it is difficult to me to write

    1. Hey there! This list was actually not created by me, since I would not the first thing about these ingredients in other countries.
      This list was created from all my wonderful fans who have helped to provide these substitutions, so if you or someone you know can make a list of all the substitutions in the UAE that would be great and I will be happy to add it here!

      1. Hi, In the UAE we get alot of American and UK products including crisco where you can find at Lulus. Alot of the ingredients mentioned above is available here- just cross reference with Us products mentioned and above Uk list.

  3. Hi Gretchen!
    I love your web site and your channel – have followed you sins “the olden-days” 🙂

    Here are some more for you to add to the SWEDEN-list

    Sweetend Condensed Milk: Kondenserad mjölk, finns sötad och osötad
    Creame of Tartar: Vinsten
    Whole wheat flour: Grahamsmjöl
    High gluten flour: Vetemjöl Special

    Thank you for just being you! Keep up the “mmm that’s sooo good” dance! 🙂 //Annika J, Sweden

  4. Hi Gretchen! And thank you soooo much for this post! I’m from Mexico and was having a really hard time cause, as you said, there’s no “shortening” here. We have Manteca Inca but it’s not really good for frosting or buttercream. And crisco.. Well, you could find it here but it will be very expensive! So I just wanted to congratulate you, cause not anyone dedicates a whole post dedicated to solve our troubles (us who don’t like in the US).
    Keep on the good work! 🙂

    1. Hi There! If you read the blog post I mention that I did not create this list. This list has been a work in progress provided to me from people from all over the globe, since I would not know the first thing about ingredients in those other countries. So if you have some helpful tips to add for the Phillipines I would be happy to add them! thanks!

  5. Hi,
    I’m from Norway and I noticed a wrong translation. Corn flour is not Potetmel (potato flour) it is : Maizena er hvitt maismel ~ Maizena is white cornflour

    We do not have a substitute for Crisco, which is soft. Delfia fett is palm oil and it is not pliable at all. It is great to use in tortillas, or boiling hot to fry doughnuts in, but not in sugar paste.

  6. Hi Gretchen,

    I just wanted to say thank you for posting this page on your website! I have recently moved to Brazil and am finding cooking and baking a challenge! The grocery store is always a challenge as I’m still learning the language. I’m hoping more things like sour cream, buttermilk, and molasses get added to that list.

    In the meantime, we have a bread machine…yes that’s probably sacrilege to a pastry chef but do you know if it is possible to just use regular yeast in it? Not sure where to find this out as the manufacturer is not responsive!

    Once again, many thanks!

    1. Hey there! You are welcome! Good luck finding your way! Its strange how some of the things we have always had at our fingertips from decades are still not available in some countries !
      As for bread machine yeast, use Instant. If you are not sure if it is dry INSTANT just read the directions- if it says to proof it in water first, it is not instant.
      However if all you can get is dry active, Im not sure it would be a problem to just proof the yeast in the water for the recipe first.

  7. Hi Gretchen!
    I think you are AMAZING!! and you’ve done such a great job getting all your content back up, and starting all over again, I’ve been a fan for a long time! I haven’t commented on anything before but I’m from Australia & I’m a qualified pastry chef like you! I’ve been using your Swiss Buttercream recipe for a few years now and I love it so much. I’ve made it with all butter before and it’s beautiful (though doesn’t stand up as well in the heat of Australian summer!) and I’ve also used it with shortening – but as you know shortening is not really readily available in stores here. I used to buy Crisco online from USAfoods, a supplier that ships to your door here in Australia, but because of the weight, shipping was pretty expensive, though it did last me a while! Copha doesn’t work, it’s good for chocolate crackles and that’s about it. It melts like candle wax. SOLITE is the right alternative for us, and it’s what we used at pastry school (William Angliss is the school, which is kind of our version of the CIA) BUT, it’s also not available to the masses, you can only get it if you buy direct from a wholesaler in huge 15kg bulk – with your business etc. All the bakeries I know of/have worked at use it, but it’s near impossible to get your hands on it from home. So anyway, just tried the “Frymasta” vegetable shortening option for those of us in Aus, and it blended OK once softened – but even with a whopping tablespoon of pure vanilla extract – it left a-not-so-great taste behind, kind of like “Vaseline”, the stuff we put on chapped lips around here.. I also flavoured the buttercream with melted chocolate to see if that would help disguise the taste (and plus it was for a choc layer cake) but it was still present.. It’s not absolutely HORRIBLE, but it’s not ideal. I found Crisco to be less offensive…and the addition of shortening really does help stabilize the buttercream when it’s 35 degrees outside! (that’s 95f for everyone else), I don’t think going for all butter will solve it…SO, if anyone out there knows another alternative for Australian shortening, let’s get the word out! Just thought I’d let any other Aussies out there know what I’ve learned so far with the shortening thing!
    p.s. Gretchen, I think you’re just such an inspiration and the world is a better place with you in it. Thank you! xo <3
    p.p.s Currently wearing my fat pants lol

    1. Hi Naomi! Thanks for the first comment! YAY! But really- thankyou for this such valuable feedback, it is such a benefit to others who are wondering these same things!
      Did you happen to see the note someone else left about the Copha and the success she had but not without much manipulation?
      Again thankyou for this lovely comment I so appreciate the support and encouragement! And my fat pants have been on and seem to be staying on! LOLOL

      1. HAHAHA! I feel like all pants should be elastic “fat” pants, honestly, what’s the point of other pants?! Hopefully my findings will help someone! I can’t seem to find the comment about the copha – maybe it’s on the buttercream recipe page instead of this one, I’ll go check it out! I have been thinking of asking a local bakery if i can buy some Solite from them lol but I don’t know if they will agree to it? lol I must say though that I have tried the “Frymasta” vegetable shortening in your apple pie recipe and I couldn’t taste it at all in the crust, AND the pie was just PERFECT, crispy and divine pastry, sooooo good!! So I would recommend the Frymasta one for your pie shells, just not the buttercream! Speaking of which, I’m about to blanch my peaches for my next endeavor, your peach pie! Can’t stop fantasizing about eating it, no one really does peach pie here in Australia! So this will be my first attempt at both making and eating it. Ahhhh I’m so excited!! I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out, might have to take the pants off all together after this one! HA!

  8. Hi Gretchen!
    Do you happen to know what condensed milk in Austria is called and where I might be able to buy it? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Kara! Since this list has been compiled by my helpful friends all over the world that watch Gretchen’s Bakery, I really wouldn’t have much to add since I am not familiar with those items/ingredients. But if you or someone you know has helpful additions to make for your particular part of the world I will be glad to add them!

  9. Do you happen to know the gluten content of Polish flour called Maka Tortowa 450? I am trying to compare it to American flour. I have a gluten sensitivity and found that I can eat pastries made with Maka Tortowa without any ill effects. I see that it is considered a soft flour or cake flourbur can’t find the gluten content.

  10. Hi Gretchen coming from Australia I too tried using COPHA with no success and so relied on a USA online provider to get crisco.
    I had run out and just for experimental sake since I had some leftover cakes in my freezer I resorted to the COPHA.
    It worked a dream.
    What they need to do is to grate the COPHA from the fridge into a large bowl set on scales to get the correct weight and set aside.
    Follow your recipe and while your bowl is still just a hint warm add the powered sugar and then add the COPHA a bit at a time. The grating and warmth of the bowl is enough for it to cream in smoothly, then add your butter and flavouring.
    I only use shortening when I need stability and a whiter frosting other wise I happily use all butter. Your recipe is the bomb and I have been using it since forever.

  11. Hello Gretchen! I’ve been following your youtube channel since the woodland bakery channel. I’m from the Philippines but now living in Japan, do you happen to know what Japanese brand of shortening can I use with your smbc?

    1. Hi Thanks! I actually do not know the substitutions from other countries, this list was compiled with the help of others from around the globe, if you do find the info please let me know so I can update japan!

  12. Thank you so much for this post. I am from Greece and I have lots of trouble to figure out some definitions, though i search it a lot on the net. You are very sweet and great in what you do and I believe that you are genuine at helping other bakers, not holding tips for yourself only. And i say that as a huge attribute to you since this is what most proffessional bakers do unfortunately. I am new to this hobby, and hope to make it as a living eventually so i appreciate people with your true nature.. Thank you and lots of love from Greece .. 🙂

  13. Thank you for your post. I love the tips on the Netherlands, side notes in NL, Germany and Belgium they do not use liquid vanilla, almond or any other extract. I have been importing them from the US on my trips when I visit my mom and I do not have the patience to make my own. In addition I bring large boxes of baking soda for my refrigerator and freezer. Its cheaper than shipping them.

  14. Hi Gretchen,

    I have enjoyed reading your blog very much. I just wanted to add that So-Lite is probably the best option for High Ration Shortening in Australia, however you cannot buy it in supermarkets, it must be purchased from specialist cake decorating stores. You can also get Crisco in Australia from specialist stores eg, USA food importers . I would avoid Copha, it is really only good for Chocolate Crackles and White Christmas and stick to the various unsalted butter options available.

  15. Can I ask you if you have found the butter equal to the Norwegian Meierismør? I want to use it in a cake filling, but I am not sure what to get to make it work.

  16. Hi!! In my country (Perú), se don’t have Crisco or High fat ratio shortening.
    We have a 100% vegetal shortening (“Tropical” brand) and hidrogenated shortening (another brands), which de use to make fondant or another pastry uses.
    . Some of them, can replace the High fat ratio?

    Florencia Flores
    Perú (Southamerica)

  17. Hi Gretchen!
    I have been watching all of your buttercream making videos religiously!!
    I love the way you explain to us in detail what should and shouldn’t be done!!!
    It’s a BIG HELP to us novice bakers.

    I’m from UAE and its mostly warm here. So if I use all butter for Italian meringue buttercream, will it stay stable for about 1-2hours outside, after I frost my cake?

    I am really counting on your reply.

  18. Hi Gretchen,

    Thanks for all the tips u have always been giving us, I personally appreciate a great deal.

    Please I will be most glad if u can show me again the easy way to make a crumbs free buttercream cake and buttercream roses. I keep finding it difficult.

    Thanks in anticipation. forgot to mention that I am writing from Lagos Nigeria in Africa.



  19. Hi Gretchen

    Really confused with flour in some of your cake recipes you use cake flour plus baking powder but not sure what to use in the Uk if I was to use self raising flour do I use baking powder or do I use all purpose four which is plain flour in the Uk and add baking powder please help.



  20. Hi Gretchen, I love your cake videos. I live in Kenya and just made delicious cream cheese ‘soup’. Is there a substitute to Philadelphia cream cheese? It’s not here and the cream cheese I used was in a tube. Please advice

    1. There are many different brands of cream cheese, bu the “tube” variety does make difficult cream cheese icing. I do list a way to avoid the soupy-ness of it though on the written blog post. Try to keep it cold and see if it gets any better, the las thing I can say is try to mix it with buttercream to at least salvage it from the trash (Or use ONLY as a filling)

  21. Hi Gretchen!

    What an awesome list you created!
    I’ve been to new zealand and had a hard time finding substitutes, as in the Netherlands where I originally come from!

    I’ve noticed you wrote “koffiemelk” is pretty unknown but you can actually buy that everywhere!? even at petrol stations! It’s like unsweetened condenced milk and comes in boxes, cans and bottles.
    Is this the same product you mean?

    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Thanks! I actually got tremendous help from my loyal followers here who provided me with the list of ingredients since I have no idea what things are like in other countries!! So Im not sure how to answer that! LOL

  22. Hi Gretchen

    I’m from the UK and would love to make cake flour but I’m confused, is cornstarch in the UK cornflour? please don’t laugh x

    1. Its Ok, it IS very confusing! In the US it’s cornstarch, but in the UK/Australia it’s called corn flour. If it is very fine, white and powdery it is cornstarch

  23. Hi Grechen, What a great post!! I just moved to Brazil from the UK 6 months ago and am still looking for substitutes for some of my favorite recipes. One thing you can add to your list for Brazil is cornstarch = amido de milho or maizena.

  24. Sweden: I dont think that Kokosfett is very suitable as a substitute for Crisco. Kokosfett is roughly translated coconutfat, and it leaves a really sharp taste…
    Crisco can be bought online on some swedish websites, for example It’s kind of expensive though 🙂

    Can Crisco be left out of the swiss buttercream? 🙂

  25. Hi there! In Brazil, regular sugar is just sugar=Açúcar. but in the list appears as “Granulated Sugar: Açucar cristal” which is not right – Here they have “açúcar cristal” and “açúcar refinado”, the one you would use everyday. Acucar cristal is one that has bigger crystals- i used it in a class for using around candied fruit. It has bigger granules-

    In regards to translatinging butter as manteca please be advise -or write a little disclaimer!-that while butter IS manteca in some Spanish speaking countries, it cannot be extrapolated, as in other parts of the Spanish speaking universe manteca is… animal fat! real LARD, (not butter or shortening)- so be careful!

    Super congrats on our website and work!

    1. Yes you can do it but it takes a long time, so dont give up. The key is to get the meringue very thick, glossy and strong before adding the rest of the ingredients

  26. Hi there. I`m from Bulgaria and I really want to try the recipe for American buttercream. But I don`t know that exactly is High ratio shortening in my county. So please help me … Probably solid vegetable shortening in Bulgaria is like in Italy – margarina, bur I am not 100 % sure.

  27. Hi, Gretchen….I’m stunned by the amount of info on your site!! You answered all my questions…and then some! Have never tried Swiss Buttercream, but am preparing cupcakes for 60, in May, in Arizona…OUTDOORS in the evening! We are probably looking at 90 degrees or higher! This recipe looks like just the ticket for me!
    Thank you so much for sharing all your insights with us!!

  28. Hi Gretchen,
    I’m A Greek Australian living in Greece and have been following your sites for the last years. Thank you for everything!
    I was looking up some ingredient substitutions and noticed that there is an error for Greece.
    Brown sugar should be “Mavri Zahari” brands Fytro or Zografos (brown sugar is written in English on the boxes), “Kastani Zahari” means Raw Sugar.
    Also, where it says light Brown Sugar if you mean Raw Sugar then “Kastani Zahari” is correct.
    I hope this was helpful.
    I wish you good health and happiness and keep up the good work.

  29. Dear Chef,
    I have added the butter so early to the Italian meringue mixture, then It has been deflated and turned out to a soup, do you think it could be fixed or not???

  30. Hi Gretchen!
    I just wanted to point out that in India, Dalda as a substitute will overpower the flavour in the buttercream with the lacy taste that is associated with shortening even if you use butter.
    I recommend buying from CCDS. They’re basically a shop cum decorating school and Wilton is partnering with them so they know what they’re doing.
    They shelve regular and high-ratio shortening and produce their own fondants and gel colours. I’ve mixed ABC using their stuff several times and I’ve had great results.

  31. will a hand mixer work on your italian meringue buttercream?
    will it work on a hand mixer without the balloon whip attachment(on the italian meringue buttercream recipie) I need to know before I make it……

    1. Hi Yes it will work, but it is a lengthy process and some have really stressed out their hand mixers trying to achieve the full volume required for a stiff meringue. That said, yes it can be done 🙂

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