One of the challenges of living in Shanghai (as a foreigner) is finding the right ingredients for my baking needs. I can find pretty much everything I need at import stores like City Shop or Pines, however the prices are usually double the U.S. prices. For example, an 8oz bag of chocolate chips costs 50-60 RMB ($7-9 USD). The other day, I bought a 10oz can of Clabber Girl baking powder for 28 RMB ($4USD) and cream of tartar for 58 RMB ($9 USD)!! Gluten-free baking mix costs even more!
Foreigners have no choice but to pay these exorbitant import prices unless they know enough Chinese to acquire the Chinese equivalent of certain items. Some items do have equivalent local brands which cost significantly cheaper than the import brands. However, not all local brands work the same way so you have to experiment and see what works and what doesn’t.
I’ve added an entire category called Where to Buy on this blog to share some of the items that I use in my cooking/baking.