Filed Under: Baking Science

Why I Hate Baking Substitutions

By Tessa Arias
  |  
November 4th, 2019

As a professionally trained chef and cookbook author, I’m discussing Why I Hate Baking Substitutions in recipes and why most of them just don’t work well. Please read the full post!!

I have never written a post like this before and to be honest… I’m a little scared. I’m about to say a few things that most bloggers never would.

I’ve been blogging for over 10 years (!) and in that time I’ve been asked thousands of questions and have received a lot of comments about baking and recipes.

The most frustrating question I get is definitely about baking substitutions: swapping out ingredients, techniques, or equipment.

It’s even more frustrating when the comment isn’t posed as a question but instead goes a little something like this:

“I made this recipe and followed it to a T except [insert substitution here] and it didn’t turn out. Disappointed.”

Granted, this is more rare. Luckily the amount of positive comments I receive far outweighs these ones.

But I’ve refrained from speaking my true feelings on this subject for fear of offending someone. Or fear of bringing even a hint of negativity to my usually joyful corner of the internet.

But as my audience grows (which I’m eternally grateful for) this theme has become increasingly common.

So I want to say once and for all…

I HATE BAKING SUBSTITUTIONS.

They drive me crazy.

They simply won’t achieve the same taste and texture as the original ingredient, equipment, or technique called for in the recipe 90% of the time. They basically just waste YOUR time, money, and food!

DISCLAIMER: I realize some of you are working with serious food allergies and I understand that substitutions can’t be avoided in those cases. For those of you dealing with that, you probably know what will work, what won’t, and how the results will be different than the original. You don’t expect identical results without using identical ingredients unless you undergo rigorous testing with trial & error.

I feel the need to underscore something because it’s a question I get asked often: I don’t publish allergen-free recipes. I don’t publish diet recipes.

Why?

Because right now at this time in my career I don’t want to. I only publish recipes and content I’m actually passionate about and excited to share.

I don’t have much experience with these other topics. There are PLENTY of bloggers and publishers online who do and have far more expertise and their advice would be much better for you than my educated guesses.

But I also simply can’t accommodate every recipe for every allergen or diet.

One – because I simply don’t have the resources.

Two – because I know baking is a science. And swapping out even one ingredient can completely alter the chemistry of the recipe, often with less than stellar results. Just check out my infamous Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies.

This is something I address specifically and in depth in my Magic of Baking online class. Take a peek at a few baking substitutions side by side below:

Diving into Cake Flour 101 - A fun visual guide to cake flour including what it is, how to substitute, and side-by-side comparisons so you can see how it works in action!

(Learn more about Cake Flour here, and why the DIY sub doesn’t really work.)

Muffins made with oil vs. muffins made with applesauce. Applesauce muffins are tough and chewy in texture
(From my Ultimate Muffin Guide.)

Once you understand how baking ingredients work you’ll understand that something as simple as reducing the sugar in a recipe, for example, doesn’t just reduce the sweetness or calories.

Sugar can also contribute moisture, tenderness, lightness, and is involved in complex chemical reactions that give us flavors and textures that are essential to some sweets.

Occasionally you can reduce the sugar (typically by no more than 20%), but sometimes even a small reduction will completely compromise the integrity of the recipe.

Often someone comes along and reduces the sugar then complains the cake turned out dry and doesn’t understand the connection. Which of course is frustrating for both of us! This is just one example.

I’ll say it again: Baking is a science. The more you understand that the more you can customize recipes and tweak them with success.

But when you come to me asking about subtitutions, it’s disheartening.

I work tirelessly on developing my recipes. I have a whole process that involves a lot of time and effort to make sure I’m creating recipes that will be successful for my readers.

Tessa in the kitchen pouring flour into a bowl

When you want to change something to a creation that I’ve worked so hard on, and when I know the result likely won’t be as good, it’s hard not to get disappointed.

Especially since it’s a challenge to keep up with the amount of comments and questions I get on ALL the platforms at all hours every day.

That’s why I’m enacting a NO SUBSTITUTION POLICY.

Moving forward, if I know a substitution will work because I have personal experience with it, I will include that information in the recipe post.

However, if I haven’t personally tested that substitution then I can’t in good conscience give an answer to your question because I can’t guarantee it will be accurate.

It would simply be my educated guess and would likely require you to trial and error your way through it which takes time and ingredients.

So when I say “no subs” I simply mean I won’t be making it a habit of attempting to answer questions on this topic.

You, of course, are free to bake my recipes any way you want and use Google as your tool to get possible answers to your specific questions!

It would be impossible for me to test every recipe to see if it would work without eggs, gluten, or dairy, or to try out a vegan, keto, or other dietary version.

Luckily I have a few seasoned readers in my community who like to share the results of their allergen-free or special dietary baking. Join my Facebook group if you’d like to see their tips and posts.

I also have a baking substitutions guide you can download here.

However, as I mentioned, I can’t guarantee any substitution will work as well as the original ingredient.

Little details are what makes the difference between average desserts and stellar desserts. That’s what the experts know. So when you don’t want to go back to the store to get an ingredient in the recipe and try to make something else work instead, just keep that in mind.

You can also search the comments of a recipe to see if anyone has reported success using a substitution.

TIP: use Control+F, or Command+F on a Mac to bring up the Find feature so you can pinpoint any mention of “gluten free” or whatever you’re looking for on the page.

If that’s a problem for you, I’m sorry. There are PLENTY of bloggers focused on creating content that might be a better fit for you.

My hope is that enacting this policy will allow us to continue to cultivate a positive and joyful community of people who love traditional baking.

LOVE YOU!
Tessa

First image by Constance Mariena. Portraits by Lauren Hansen.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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  1. #
    Theresa — July 24, 2020 at 6:19 am

    I think it’s really great, that you write about your dislike for substitutions! You are the expert and your own boss and are allowed to set boundaries. 🙂

  2. #
    Jodi — July 24, 2020 at 6:18 am

    I was on KETO for 3 1/2 weeks and had to use the almond flour etc… Nothing tastes the same. The original ingredient is always the best!

    Thank you for your recipes!
    Jodi

  3. #
    Bill Mulready — July 24, 2020 at 5:35 am

    Agree completely. Great stand. And yes baking is a completely scientific experience even down to atmosphere conditions (which change regularly here in the North East Coast. Even boiling an egg. At sea level take one time, at higher elevations take drastically different times. Thank Tessa

  4. #
    Rita Zelig — July 24, 2020 at 5:11 am

    The one thing I know about ANY & ALL recipes…including yours Tessa; is I practice a “Rule of Thumb” to get SPECTACULAR RESULTS…EVERY SINGLE TIME!
    1) Patience
    2) READ THROUGH RECIPE FIRST
    3) RE-READ RECIPE THROUGH A 2nd, 3rd & 4th time if necessary! You might just find your skipping over steps just reading through the first time. Now imagine what you’re doing once you’ve actually done the recipe & it doesn’t turn out correctly? YOU MISSED SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT!
    4) PATIENCE! Once again…is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
    5) FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS & USE CORRECT INGREDIENTS! Stop blaming the recipe author for using substitutions without THOROUGHLY checking to make Absolutely certain that particular substitution will work.

    I agree with you Tessa. And THANK YOU once again for your unwavering self discipline in creating recipes & in taking the time to explain things so very well. I have only one more piece of advice for those who struggle…if you are not watching Tessa’s videos, try watching videos posted by others on You Tube. You’ll begin to understand just how uncomplicated Tessa is making things!

  5. #
    Diane Meibauer — July 24, 2020 at 5:05 am

    I rarely leave a comment but couldn’t help on this one. I, too, go nuts when someone makes a recipe to a “T” except substituted one or another ingredient and it did not come out good!! Of course it didn’t!!! You substituted!! You changed it!! Not to a “T”. Cracks me up!! I usually pass up the rest of the comment when the word substituted or except is used because it is a useless review.
    Thank you for all your hard and very yummy work. It is certainly appreciated in our home.

  6. #
    Julie — July 24, 2020 at 4:22 am

    Well stated! You are an artist, whose obviously studied baking and understand it, that’s why people like me go to your site. You do the work and we benefit so thank you very much! I do read reviews of recipes before I try them out, I hate those that switched ingredients. This is all part of the education process in baking just as your recipes are.
    I’ve always heard baking a science, have fun with ingredients in cooking not baking! Thank you for all your hard work!

  7. #
    Patricia — July 24, 2020 at 3:53 am

    YES!

    I just received your email about substitutions on July 24, 2020, but comments here are from Nov 2019. Now that was slow internet service.

  8. #
    Jessica — January 4, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    YES! THIS…!!!

    “I made this recipe and followed it to a T except [insert substitution here] and it didn’t turn out. Disappointed.”

    Or, “I made this recipe and it was SO GOOD, except I added x, y, and z”.

    THEN YOU DIDN’T MAKE THE RECIPE, SO HOW CAN YOU WRITE A PROPER REVIEW ABOUT IT THAT WILL BE BENEFICIAL TO OTHER READERS?

    Sorry for “yelling”, this is just one topic that I am very passionate about as well. 😉

  9. #
    Gilbert Poet — December 19, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Incredible story there. What happened after? Take care!

  10. #
    Wendell Ball — December 19, 2019 at 10:34 am

    Thanks for the useful info.

  11. #
    team sportswear|custom team jerseys} — December 18, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Very good

  12. #
    carol — December 3, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Preach it, sister!!

  13. #
    Tony Alexander — November 18, 2019 at 11:39 am

    I’m totally on board with this thought. What you present is what you want to present – IT’S YOUR BLOG. Keep doing what you do, and what you love. You have good reasons, not least of which is “this is my space”.

    If I decide to change things later because I want to substitute something, then it’s my fault – not yours or your recipe’s – if things don’t turn out. Imagine telling an automotive blogger “I tried your suggestion, only I used the 8mm box wrench instead of the 11mm socket. It didn’t come off. DISAPPOINTED.” HA! People are funny.

    And if I do substitute something that works well, I’m happy to share my results so others can do the same if they like – and thankful for those who do share their work.

    Keep doing you. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

  14. #
    Dee_G — November 18, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Tessa – I’ve got your back. When I find I recipe I’m interested in making, I’ll go to the comments to see what others thought of it. The minute I see,”well I substituted” or any other comment that mentions changing the recipe I skip right over the comment. What I have found though – when I see a recipe of yours, I don’t need to check the comments because I know your recipe will work and always works.

  15. #
    Seth — November 17, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    It takes courage to post a blog like this one. Taking a stand for what you believe in and not wavering because of followers. I too agree with you because by the time you post a recipe, you have done endless hours of experiments and research. I for one wouldn’t want to use baking substitutions but it’s because of the country that I live in, we don’t get most of those “rare” ingredients. Yes, Everytime I use substitutions they come out perfect for me because I haven’t had the chance to use the actual ingredient

  16. #
    Rebecca — November 17, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    I live in a third world country and many common ingredients are unavailable in my area, so sometimes I am forced to make a substitution. I had to do DIY cake flour for the longest time until I found a store that sold it. So yes, I make substitutions, but I would NEVER leave a bad review on a recipe I didn’t actually follow. ‍♀️ I just keep searching for recipes that I like…. and yes, it took me over 2 years to find a pizza dough recipe that was good without bread flour. but well worth the efforts. I promote that recipe frequently

  17. #
    Su Maneck — November 17, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Just wanted to say we have a “rule” in our house that you always ALWAYS bake (cook) a new recipe as written. No substitutions. If you don’t have everything, don’t make it! After that, if you find there are things you didn’t like, either don’t make it again, or substitute at your own risk. My sister, and daughters all follow this rule, and it works.

  18. #
    Noel Williams — November 17, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    I agreed with your stance on the issue. I am not an expert in baking. If anything, I am a hacker. But I have long understood that I should not expect my recipe to come out precisely as demonstrated. I usually substitute ingredients to make the recipe my own.

  19. #
    Kim Nitchkey — November 17, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Please know that I am currently standing in my kitchen, at my baking island, giving you a standing ovation! The dogs are giving me side eye. Have you read ‘Delicious: A Novel’ by Ruth Reichl? You’d love it.

  20. #
    Cathy — November 17, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for addressing a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I have never understood how people can honestly give a recipe a bad review when they state in their review that they did not make the recipe as written. So, THANK YOU for saying what needed to be said. ♥️♥️♥️

  21. #
    Angie — November 17, 2019 at 8:40 am

    I have loved your recipes. I have substituted with my own because I know what works and what doesn’t. As you said, “Baking is a Science.” and it is true, I have been told that my entire life. Change one thing and you compromise the entire dish. You have spent so much time perfecting your items to share with us, I don’t know why people would ask you half the things they do. I even had food allergies and would never go on a site and ask someone to make something different to see if it works. It’s my allergy, I’ll figure it out. Luckily my allergy doesn’t affect my baking. Thank you for all you time and effort you put into this blog.

  22. #
    Cindy Torelli — November 17, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Good for you! We live your recipes!

    One of my grandmothers made great pound cakes that everyone loved. She shared the recipe with everyone and even stood beside several of them to watch them make her recipe. They would be upset because the ones they made at home weren’t the same. Took one of my cousins to figure out 1) Granny’s sugar cup was a Fiesta that actually help 1-1/4 cups and 2) she was using duck eggs instead of chicken (they cracked both kinds of eggs in a measuring cup and adjusted the recipe). Granny let everyone know the changes and all were happy.

  23. #
    Cindy — November 17, 2019 at 2:21 am

    Amen! Great post!
    I would however, love to see a once a month “blooper” post on the craziest “sub” comments. Cause really they can be so humorous! It’s NOT fair to give a recipe/chef a low rating on a recipe when you don’t follow the step by step instructions.

  24. #
    Terry — November 12, 2019 at 7:35 am

    This may sound daft, but I never considered baking to be a science. Since learning that, I consider how ingredients will perform. Substitutions have never worked for me, and now I know they just don’t perform the same way as the intended ingredient. I have tried using substitutions, like applesauce, in order to make something low sugar for my husband, but it does not work. Perhaps it’s my lack of baking skill. I am not sure. Artificial sweeteners, like Equal, are out of the question. They just don’t deliver the same result. Now I know it’s more than just the difference in taste – now I know that chemically, substitutions just don’t perform like the real thing. Other people have told me they bake very well with artificial sweeteners, so I don’t know what I am doing wrong. Husband likes the (expensive) low sugar cookies and pies the supermarket sells, so I will leave it to their bakers.

  25. #
    Hasti — November 12, 2019 at 2:09 am

    So true! I love your recipes. They are amazing. I know how it feels to work hard on something just to have someone change it.

  26. #
    Hasti Sanghani — November 12, 2019 at 2:06 am

    So true! Although I do tweak recipes a bit, I do it knowing it won’t be as good. I love your recipes!!!

  27. #
    Margo — November 11, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    I love your honesty about faking desserts using substitutes. I once shared a shortbread recipe with a co-worker She said it was the best she ever had, and would I share the recipe. Well, I shared and instead of using real butter, she used margarine they were awful. when I share recipes now, I make sure to tell them do not substitute any of the ingredients.

  28. #
    John Dickey — November 11, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    I understand perfectly about not doing substitutions. There are SO many variables and one cannot cater to everyone’s tastes or issues. Having said that, I do create alternatives for some of my friends and customers. It is a lot of work requiring calculation and experimentation. It is wonderful when it works, but along the way there a number of tossed batches. Not all failures exactly, since something is learned along the way. There are other sites catering to those specialties or revealing clues. Science marches on! Thank you for your recipes and hints.They are very helpful, entertaining and insightful.

  29. #
    Jeff — November 8, 2019 at 8:14 am

    I,m an old boomer of 70 years and I can tell you for sure, YOU ARE SO RIGHT! It doesn’t just happen to you but it is seen all over the internet. Recipe after recipe with substitutions followed by ” I will never make this again” I believe there are some who want to try to prove you wrong or show it can be done differently just to toot their own horn. Keep the great knowledge coming, we all love you and what you do.

  30. #
    Jeff Wilde — November 8, 2019 at 8:12 am

    I,m an old boomer of 70 years and I can tell you for sure, YOU ARE SO RIGHT! It doesn’t just happen to you but it is seen all over the internet. Recipe after recipe with substitutions followed by ” I will never make this again” I believe there are some who want to try to prove you wrong or show it can be done differently just to toot their own horn. Keep the great knowledge coming, we all love you and what you do.

  31. #
    Emily Larsen — November 8, 2019 at 7:59 am

    I hope you get many messages like this, but I couldn’t not tell you thank you for your honesty, bravery in speaking your true feelings and for working tirelessly to develop such wonderful recipes for all of us!
    I completely agree that no one should ever complain about a recipe not turning out of a substitution was made! Not just in baking even. I always try to make a new recipe exactly as written before even considering any changes, baking or cooking.
    I’m fortunate not to have any dietary restrictions myself or in my immediate family, but when I bake or cook for those who have restrictions or allergies, I specifically seek out recipes that were written to accommodate.

    Anyway, I wanted you to know I appreciate you and hope that your new policy makes your daily experience with commenters more enjoyable.

    Happy baking!
    Emily

  32. #
    Angie — November 7, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    Love , love your blog. Totally agree with what you wrote. I myself have stopped reading negative
    reviews of recipes as soon as they start listing the changes they’ve made. Basically, people be crazy..
    Rock on girl !

    Angie D.

  33. #
    Angela — November 7, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Good for you! i learned a long time ago that speaking my mind reduces my stress level. I usually complain to my daughter when I read reviews that blame the recipe that the person didn’t actually follow. I sell baked goods from home and run into similar issues with some clients with over the top requests. I either say I don’t do substitutions or charge extra for each substitution. I have lost a client or two but I have my piece of mind. It’s really a shame that we have to be nervous about expressing our feelings in this day and age but it is what it is.
    Stand in your beliefs.

  34. #
    Darlynn — November 7, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    I agree with you. Thanks for your input on this topic.

  35. #
    Paula Spencer — November 7, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Rant NEEDED and Appreciated
    I hate it when people trash a recipe that they have altered

  36. #
    Jane — November 7, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    I have just recently started baking, approximately one year ago. I LOVE YOUR WEBSITE! I enjoy reading about the chemistry of baking. Thank you for your honesty and the great recipes.

  37. #
    Susan A Budzinski — November 7, 2019 at 10:58 am

    I hear you sister, it makes me crazy when I read those negative comments. There is no “I followed it to a T except”. Baking is absolutely a science. You can’t expect perfect results if the chemistry is altered. Thank you Tessa for all your insights but especially for your sharing them.

  38. #
    dianna — November 7, 2019 at 10:52 am

    This is wonderful!

  39. #
    Brenda Staple — November 7, 2019 at 9:49 am

    Thank you for this post! Personally, I think it is about time you put on your big girl oven mitts and stood up for your hard work and talents. When I joined your group, you said that it was not a “diet” site. I know where you are coming from and it isn’t my recipe! I have family and friends that ask me to make less carb treats. My response it make the portion size smaller. I am not substituting anything! Keep up with the amazing recipes and posts!!! And other Followers, keep posting your productions. I love seeing the inspirations!

  40. #
    Laura — November 7, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Tessa, as a long time follower, your blog is my go-to site when I’m looking for a recipe, as I know how thoroughly you research your recipes. I love the emphasis you make on weighing the ingredients and show side-by-side comparisons of how a single ingredient change can change the results, like in your cookies, pie crust and frostings. Keep your standards high, just like you have from the beginning. You have an audience that appreciates that about you.

    One thing I’ve been looking for is a good recipe for a white wedding cake, with fine crumb and good flavor. I’ve yet to find it anywhere. Also, could you explain the difference in AP flour vs cake flour and how it impacts the texture.

    You’re the best and have a big audience that loves you!

  41. #
    Laura Katz — November 7, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Tessa, as a long time follower, your blog is my go-to site when I’m looking for a recipe, as I know how thoroughly you research your recipes. I love the emphasis you make on weighing the ingredients and show side-by-side comparisons of how a single ingredient change can change the results, like in your cookies, pie crust and frostings. Keep your standards high, just like you have from the beginning. You have an audience that appreciates that about you.

    One thing I’ve been looking for is a good recipe for a white wedding cake, with fine crumb and good flavor. I’ve yet to find it anywhere. Also, could you explain the difference in AP flour vs cake flour and how it impacts the texture.

    You’re the best and have a big audience that loves you!

  42. #
    Christina — November 7, 2019 at 8:56 am

    I am a fan from Germany and i can absolutely relate to your post. It must be exhausting that people think you have to satisfy everyone.
    Love your work!
    Regards from Germany 🙂

  43. #
    Claudia Garner — November 7, 2019 at 8:22 am

    I have followed you for at least 5 years and I tell so many of my friends about you. You have encouraged me to try things I have never attempted. I love you honesty and knowledge about substitutions. Your blog was perfect! Thank you for your courage to go out on that limb and truly be yourself. Thanks again for all you do to help me learn the art of baking and also get great compliments. Just love Handle The Heat,

  44. #
    Andrea Schmidt — November 7, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Tessa, you have nothing to be scared about voicing your opinion. My feeling is that if someone comes along and sees your recipe then they should use common sense that the recipe is how you made it. I really hope that made sense. I absolutely love the passion I see in your videos and love your recipes. As a novice baker, I do appreciate everything that you have made available. Not to mention that it is a great stress reliever.

  45. #
    donna — November 7, 2019 at 6:48 am

    This is wonderful!

  46. #
    Sherri — November 7, 2019 at 6:32 am

    Hi Tessa! A few years ago I stumbled across your posts on substitutions for cookies and cupcakes. It was one of the most invaluable posts I have ever read and I saved it. I love the way you took the time to compare the results with each substitution. I still use this guide today. Fast forward, and I stumbled across an awesome recipe on Facebook… link to your blog, and started following you. No idea that you were the same person who posted that awesome substitution info years ago! I do sometimes have to substitute ingredients. Money can be an issue, but I still want to make something yummy for my family and do the best I can with what I have. I understand that when I do swap something in a recipe, the results will be different! I’m not a professional baker, and although I’d love to have picture perfect results every time, my goal is usually just to put a smile on my kids face. Xox

  47. #
    paige ward — November 7, 2019 at 5:27 am

    Good for you! I never respond unless I have tried the recipe….. I only read comments from folks who made the recipe as looking for any guidance I can get before trying a new recipe so I love it when I don’t have to wade thru all the sounds good, can’t wait to try. Geez, how would you know about substitutions anyway??? Go Girl!

  48. #
    Susan Logan — November 7, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Amen to that. Love you and your work

  49. #
    David — November 6, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    Tessa, you’re the greatest! That was very well said. I personally follow a “Whole Foods Plan Based” diet. That basically makes me vegan for the most part and rules out white flour (oh no!). That’s completely my problem and like you said, although I can still make and enjoy baked goods, they’ll never be as good as your unadulterated recipes (which, like you, are the greatest!). Don’t apologize for a single second. You do your thing and we, if we must, will do ours ;-). Keep it up!

  50. #
    Suz K — November 6, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    BAKING IS A SCIENCE . . .can you say it a few thousand times more for those who were too slow to understand it the first hundred times? There is nothing more incredible than an artist that stands FIRMLY with their beliefs and doesn’t let ‘popular’ influences change who they are are what they do. You are a creative genuis and should NEVER HAVE TO apologize for anything on YOUR BLOG, EVER! Keep baking and know those of us who appreciate you, do so more now than ever!

  51. #
    Michelle Ortiz — November 6, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Hi Tessa! I have been following you for many years now and I just love you! Your insight and expertise to baking is invaluable! Thank you!!
    I totally agree with you on this subject. It unnerves me to no end when people change a recipe or comment on how it could be better if you add this or add that. Just leave it alone! If the ingredients suit you then make it as is, if not find a different recipe! I have dietary issues myself, but I would NEVER comment to an author of a recipe my advice on how to make it dietary issue specific! I look for ingredients in a recipe that work for me, if not I will either make it for my family to enjoy or I will keep looking and find a recipe that will work for me!
    You keep doing you Tessa, we true followers love you and will always support you! Thank you so much!!

  52. #
    Yulana Low — November 6, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    What a wonderful, thoughtful article on No Substitutions. I agree wholeheartedly that you make substitutions at your own risk. I appreciate the hard work you put into these recipes and I love your handy guides to chocolate chip cookies, muffins, etc.

    Baking is a science and I appreciate the lessons.

  53. #
    Paula Painter — November 6, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    I agree Tessa! Whenever I have to make substitutions, it usually doesn’t turn out as well as I would like. The finished product is only as good as the ingredients used to make it! Thanks for all of your tips and wonderful recipes!

  54. #
    Rebecca — November 6, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    I totally get it friend, no worries. I come here to get the best of the best of the baking recipes and yours do not disappoint. I needed brownies last week and tried your easy brownie recipe and didn’t have the pan you recommended, I baked them in a ceramic pie plate and while they were delicious, they weren’t stellar, and I do not hold you accountable for that 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  55. #
    John Nelson — November 6, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Dearest Tessa,

    Rather than comment on each of your points, I will simply say, BRAVO! One of the reasons I started following you is BECAUSE you made a point of emphasizing that baking is a science. I have not been disappointed by anything you have posted. Thank you.

    John Nelson
    Knoxville, TN

  56. #
    Trisha — November 6, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    Excellent post! About time someone put it out there in plain & simple terms about substitutions.
    I substitute ingredients all the time in my own recipes to change it up, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but it is never the fault of the original recipe. Like you said, every substitution CHANGES the recipe and CHANGES the end result. If a few of your followers don’t understand that then they should find a blogger more suited to their style of baking. Keep up the great work!

  57. #
    Renee-Ann — November 6, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Hi Tessa. Great post. I can so relate. I used to bring some of my ‘new creations’ to work. My co-workers loved it Except this one person who’d ALWAYS say “You know what I would use instead? I would use or add [fill in the blank].” It became so bad, another co-worker actually asked me to STOP bringing baked goods to work because she was tired of listening to that one. 🙁
    You have a great blog and amazing recipes. Don’t change a thing.

    Blessings

    Renee-Ann

  58. #
    Kate — November 6, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    THANK YOU for posting this! Its my biggest pet peeve when I read the comment sections of blogs or recipe sites like Allrecipes, and people complain that their recipe didn’t turn out when they veered from the directions as printed. Recipes are in many ways like medication prescriptions, and I can’t imagine the poor outcomes when you try to outsmart doctors with home remedies!

  59. #
    Marian — November 6, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Amen, sister. You go girl!!! Love your recipes and will continue to bake them. YOU’RE THE BEST!!!

  60. #
    Marian — November 6, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Amen, sister. You go girl!!! Love your recipes and will continue to bake. YOU’RE THE BEST!!!

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