Recipe Substitution Frustration

So many delicious and tempting recipes call for ingredients that are impossible or very difficult to find in Taiwan. It can be frustrating.

How would you do this recipe?
What substitutions would you make?

No Bake Lemon Icebox Cake


  • Cake:
  • 2 packages lemon pudding mix
  • 1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 (16 oz) package graham crackers
  • Lemon Frosting:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

The graham crackers, lemon pudding mix and cool whip are the things needing substitutions.

That is tough. Here are my thoughts:

Graham crackers: I am planning on making key lime pie this week and I also need graham crackers. My plan is to pick up some of these IMEI crackers as I’ve noticed they have a similar taste and texture to graham crackers:
Hopefully they will not be too crumbly, but I figure any kind of lightly sweetened cracker or cookie that you can crush up and add melted butter to should be a good substitute. I’ve made a gluten-free “graham cracker” crust with Chex cereal before and it turned out all right.

Lemon pudding mix: Vanilla pudding mix plus lemon zest and juice? Or homemade lemon pudding if you can’t find any pudding mix at all.

Cool whip: You can make it from scratch, perhaps using this recipe:

Use cookies called “digestive cookies”, available in most supermarkets

You can make the lemon pudding without using a premade mix, it can be prepared in many ways and it’s not very time consuming

Cool whip = any whipped cream

Source: my wife is into baking and she never uses pre-made mixes. Some recipes can be a pita (especially in terms of time required).


yes, throw them in the food processor or, if you don’t have one, a ziplock bag and a crush them with a rolling pin

They have a generic spray can version at all baking stores and I think even Chuen Lien has it now

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I can’t see why this is even necessary in the batter?? I would look for a new recipe

But as was said above, vanilla pudding is everywhere

Costco occasionally sells boxes of 24 cans. Haven’t seen them in a while though.

I was going to suggest the same. It’s more work but shocking how much better it will be. I learned how to cook in Taiwan. One of my favorite combinations is a cheesecake with coconut cookie crust topped with lillikoi or guava syrup.

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My wife doesn’t like coconuts so she never uses them as ingredients. They’re one of my favorite things in life.


Yeah, make the lemon pudding with the three cups of milk and use that. Alternately, mix ingredients seem to be just sugar, cornstarch, and flavor, and there are some ideas about proportions online.

Ditto on Mcvitie Digestive Biscuits, easy to get and close enough.

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