English / American Ingredient Conversions

Clare Chambers


Trying to figure out what the equivalent of an ingredient you have never heard of can be difficult. Hopefully this list will take away some of the confusion, both for us Brits and all my American friends. Enabling us all to enjoy making each others recipes.

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5 Min


5 Min


No-Cook or Other


plain flour = all purpose flour
caster sugar = superfine sugar
icing sugar = confectioners’ sugar
golden syrup = corn syrup
treacle = dark molasses
vegetable lard = shortening (crisco)
bicarbonate of soda = baking soda
cornflour = corn starch
4oz butter = 1 stick of butter
1 tsp allspice = 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg & 1/4 tsp ground clove
croissants = crescent rolls
double cream = pasteurised heavy cream not ultra-pasteurised heavy cream
digestive biscuits = graham crackers
mixed spice = DIY English Mixed Spice

Directions Step-By-Step

A lot of lovely looking American recipes use Bisquick, which is hard to get and hugely expensive over here. This is the home made variation of Bisquick that I use all the time.

8 Cups Flour
1 1/4 Cups Nonfat Dry Milk Powder
1/4 Cup Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Cups vegetable lard or butter (I use butter)
Combine flour, milk, baking powder, and salt in a very large bowl.
Cut in lard/butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Makes about 10 cups. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1-2 months.
Thank you very much to Linda Kauppinen for her English mixed spice recipe :)

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Other Non-Edibles
Main Ingredient: Non-Edible or Other
Regional Style: English