Baking powder is a leavening agent that is usually used in baking in order to add volume to baked goods. It is made out of sodium bicarbonate, which is a base, and an acid, like tartar or cream.
And while baking powder is often confused with baking soda, they share a similar chemical composition. Actually, the only difference between the two is that baking soda consists only of sodium bicarbonate and doesn’t have an acid component.
Although the baking powder is an essential component of baking, you don’t have to worry if you’ve got none left. In fact, with so many replacements out there, it is extremely easy to find a suitable substitute for baking powder. Eager to find out more? Then let’s check out a few of those substitutes and see which one works best for your dish.
1. Plain Yogurt
Generally speaking, plain yogurt is manufactured through the fermentation of milk, which lowers its pH and increases its acidity. As a result, yogurt is an acid, which makes it a great substitute for baking powder when combined with baking soda. And while you could use almost any of its variants, plain yogurt works best because of its high acidity.
When substituting for baking powder, you need to mix ½ cup of plain yogurt with at least ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. Keep in mind that you might need to reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe depending on how much yogurt you decide to use.
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder = ½ Cup Plain Yogurt + ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda.
Molasses is a byproduct of sugar production and is usually the go-to replacement for refined sugar. However, what many people don’t know is that molasses has a low pH, which makes it an acid. Thus, it can trigger a reaction when you mix it with baking soda, similar to baking powder. As such, you can safely replace the baking powder with a mix of molasses and baking soda.
You can substitute one teaspoon of baking powder by combining ¼ cup of molasses and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. But just like plain yogurt, you’ll have to adjust the amount of liquid in your recipe. Additionally, you might want to reduce the amount of sweetener, as molasses is very high in sugar.
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder = ¼ Cup Molasses + ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda.
Buttermilk is another fermented dairy product whose taste is usually compared to plain yogurt. Traditional buttermilk is manufactured by churning sweet cream into butter, while its modern counterpart is formed by adding bacterial cultures to milk. Therefore, due to its acidity, by combining buttermilk with baking soda, you can create a reliable and effective substitute for baking powder.
So, how does it work? All you need to do is add ½ cup of buttermilk and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to the rest of your ingredients to substitute for one teaspoon of baking powder. But, in order to maintain the consistency and texture of the final product, you’ll need to decrease the number of other liquids that you add.
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder = ½ Cup Buttermilk + ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda.
4. Cream of Tartar
Cream of tartar, or potassium hydrogen tartrate, is an acidic white powder that results from winemaking. People often use it to stabilize creams and egg whites and also to help avoid the formation of sugar crystals. But thanks to its acidic nature, cream of tartar is also a perfect substitute for baking powder that you can find in the spice aisle of any grocery store.
The substitution is extremely easy, as all you have to do is add ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to your ingredients in order to replace one teaspoon of baking powder.
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder = ½ Teaspoon Cream of Tartar + ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda.
Vinegar is made through a fermentation process, in which alcohol is converted to acetic acid by bacteria. And while it has a strong flavor and aroma, vinegar is a popular ingredient in all sorts of recipes. As a matter of fact, its low pH makes vinegar an ideal substitute for baking powder.
If you want to substitute for one teaspoon of baking powder, you need to add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and ½ teaspoon of vinegar to your dish. Yet, keep in mind that you should use white vinegar as it won’t change the color of your final product.
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder = ½ Teaspoon Vinegar + ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda.
6. Sour Milk
Sour milk is milk that has undergone a process called acidification, which lowers its pH levels drastically. As a result, sour milk reacts with baking soda and produces a similar leavening effect to that of baking powder.
You can use ½ cup of sour milk and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to replace one teaspoon of baking powder. But don’t forget to reduce the number of liquids in your recipe to make room for the extra liquid from sour milk.
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder = ½ Cup Sour Milk + ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda.
7. Club Soda
Club soda is a beverage that contains baking soda. As such, people often use it to add volume to baked goods, meaning that it can act as a substitute for baking powder. Unfortunately, the amount of sodium bicarbonate present in club soda is very small, so you should only use it in recipes that require low quantities of baking powder.
When substituting for baking powder, you can use club soda in a one-to-one ratio. But most chefs recommend that you replace any liquid in your recipe with club soda. That way, you add extra volume and lightness to your final product.
8. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has a high amount of citric acid, which, as the name suggests, makes it very acidic. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that lemon juice can cause an acid-base reaction when mixed with baking soda.
When it comes to using lemon juice, you can substitute one teaspoon of baking powder with a mix of ½ teaspoon of lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. However, lemon juice has a strong flavor, so it’s best to use it sparingly. Additionally, you should avoid using it in recipes that call for large amounts of baking powder.
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder = ½ Teaspoon Lemon Juice + ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda.
9. Self-Rising Flour
Last but not least, if you are running out of both baking powder and baking soda, self-rising flour can be a reliable alternative. Why? Because it contains every ingredient you might need to help your baked goods rise, such as all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. In fact, that’s why self-rising flour is a common ingredient in cake mixes, quick bread, and biscuits.
In order for this substitute to work, you need to replace all the regular flour with self-rising flour in a one-to-one ratio. Then, you can follow the rest of the recipe as you normally would, omitting baking soda or baking powder.