Bare-Cupboard Baking: How to Bake With What You've Got

Missing an ingredient? No problem! Make banana bread, brownies and more without a trip to the market.

April 13, 2020


Shelf of glass storage jars in kitchen pantry.

Photo by: Mod Quaint

Mod Quaint

Get a Complimentary 1-Year Subscription to the Food Network Kitchen App

Download Food Network Kitchen to sign up and get access to daily live classes, thousands of on-demand cooking classes, in-app grocery ordering and so much more. Own a Fire TV or Fire tablet? You can now get a 1-year complimentary subscription to the app — read here for more details. Terms and conditions apply.

By Regan Cafiso for Food Network Kitchen

Are you stuck at home and in the mood to bake? There's no need to let a bare cupboard stall your plans. We've rounded up more than a dozen of our favorite recipes that won't suffer from an absent ingredient. The only thing you might be missing is your imagination.

If You're Out of Eggs

Who needs eggs — or cookies for that matter — when you can just snack on the dough? Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is safe to eat without baking. If you're not in the mood for chocolate, try Peanut Butter Cookie Dough, which is equally delicious!

If You're Out of Butter

Butter is a precious ingredient when groceries are scarce. Try a batch of Olive Oil Brownies or Coconut Oil-Chocolate Chip Cookies —you'll never miss the butter. Or go with a classic one-bowl style Chocolate Cake that gets its moist crumb from vegetable oil.

If You're Out of Oil

There's no oil or butter in this decadent frosted chocolate layer cake. Regular old mayonnaise (yes, mayonnaise!) stands in for the fat in this recipe. Or if you have a surplus of butter, try Brown Butter Banana Bread — standard vegetable oil is swapped for rich, caramelized butter in this one.

If You're Out of Flour

With no flour in the cupboard, there's still plenty to bake. You can whip up a batch of 3-Ingredient Pancakes or Cappuccino Swirl Meringues. Or try Peanut Butter-Chocolate No-Bake Cookies, packed with melted chocolate, peanut butter and oats.

If You're Out of Chocolate

Alton Brown's Cocoa Brownies are rich and chocolatey — without any bar chocolate or chips. Instead, plain cocoa powder is bolstered by brown sugar and butter to create a decadent and chewy treat. Or skip the chocolate altogether with simple and classic Vanilla Pudding — it's so comforting.

If You're Out of Milk

Our classic Banana Bread has no milk — and hundreds of 5-star reviews. Or try Cake-Mix Blueberry Pancakes, which are equally good for breakfast or dessert. They're a great way to use up extra sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Show us your baked creations by tagging them on Instagram with #FoodNetworkKitchen and #WeCook!

Related Content:

Next Up

Baking Ingredient Guide

Everything you need to know about flour, sugar, chocolate and other pantry staples.

Baking Tools Guide

Stocking your bakeware arsenal? Read through our handy guide first to find out which tools you definitely need.

Baking with Butter

Find out how using different butters and butter-mixing strategies can affect the outcome of your baked goods.

Baking Measuring Do's and Don'ts

Turn out better baked goods by following these cardinal rules.

Bakers' Dozens: Corn Desserts

Corn contains natural sweetener, has a buttery and sometimes creamy texture, and is seasonal and local for many of us. Sounds like the perfect dessert ingredient!

The Only List of Baking Substitutions You'll Ever Need

We all know what it's like to reach for the baking powder and only come up with baking soda. With this guide, you'll never be caught without an ingredient mid-recipe again.

Adorable Bread Animals

Get the family into the kitchen to make these edible animals out of bread dough. They're super fun to create — and eat.

This Shapeshifting Cake Batter Is the Ultimate Party Trick

With this genius base recipe, if you can make one cake flavor, you can make six — and just by adding, never subtracting or swapping.

How to Make Sourdough Starter

Our step-by-step guide makes tackling this days-long process way less intimidating.

Top Tips for Baking Better Cupcakes

Cupcakes are easy to bake, but little tips and tricks will help you make the best batches. Here are a dozen rules of thumb — plus a bonus one — for how to bake like a pro.

Check Out Our

Get a sneak-peek of the new Food Network recipe page and give us your feedback.

See it Now!