10 Best Baking Powder Substitutes

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Baking powder is a MUST-HAVE in the kitchen for both bakers and avid cooks alike, so you can easily find them in almost every grocery store.

So this is not a matter of running out or not being able to find it at your locals. However, it’s also important that you know about some of the best baking powder substitutes and why it is beneficial to have them in your recipe box.

Think about plain yogurt, buttermilk, molasses, whipped egg whites, sour milk, lemon juice, club soda, vinegar, cream of tartar, and self-rising flour. These are all suitable replacements for baking soda that you can always settle for whenever the need arises.

You never can tell when you might need them!

What Is Baking Powder?

Baking powder is a leavening agent generally used for baked goods. It’s a mixture of baking soda and cream of tartar, with a filler like cornstarch to keep the two from interacting before adding liquid.

When the dry ingredients are mixed with liquid, the baking soda and cream of tartar react with each other, releasing carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide gets trapped in tiny pockets within the dough or batter, causing it to rise.

You should also know baking powder and baking soda are two different staples, even if they look and sound alike. No doubt both are leavening agents with almost the same ingredients. But their chemical makeup is different.

See Also: Baking Chocolate Vs Dark Chocolate

Best Baking Powder Substitutes

However, most people are petrified it could ruin their whole batch of baked goods by not getting the proper rise.”

This is the reason why most people don’t care about an alternative. Suppose I’m out and out. The store is just a stone’s throw from getting baking powder.

Well, that’s because you haven’t tried any of these alternatives I’m about to show.

1. Buttermilk

Baking Powder Substitutes

Most cookie recipes call for baking powder, but did you know that you can use buttermilk as a alternative? Well, buttermilk is one of the best baking powder substitutes.

You can use buttermilk to make your cakes and cookies without any complaint. Because when combining buttermilk with baking soda, the acidity helps create the effect of baking powder.

This means that the dough or batter will rise more than it otherwise would without any chemical help. The result is a light, fluffy baked good–just as if you had used baking powder!

You need to add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda plus 1/2 a cup of buttermilk to the rest of your ingredients to substitute for one teaspoon (5 grams) of baking powder.

Note: you will have to reduce the amount of other liquid to compensate for the buttermilk. So you can arrive at the desired texture and consistency of your final baked product.

2. Plain Yogurt

Baking Powder Substitutes

Similar to buttermilk, yogurt undergoes a fermentation process. YES, you can use yogurt instead of baking powder. However, the truth is that the two are not interchangeable.

While it’s true that both ingredients make your baked goods rise, if you’re looking for a 1:1 substitution for baking powder, you’re going to be disappointed by what happens when you swap in yogurt.

So for it to work as a substitute for baking powder, you have to add a pinch of baking soda and the yogurt.

Then measure 1/2 cup (122 grams) of plain yogurt with 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) of baking soda to replace one teaspoon (5 grams) of baking powder for your baking goods.

You won’t even notice the differences. And like buttermilk, reduce the amount of other liquid in the ingredients to offset the plain yogurt mix.

3. Whipped Egg Whites

Baking Powder Substitutes

One of the most significant differences between whipped egg whites and baking powder is that whipped egg whites are made from only real and natural ingredients.

Therefore it can be used as a healthier substitute for baking powder and are an excellent way to add some protein to your baked goods.

Another difference is that whipped egg whites offer a more light and airy texture to many baked goods like pancakes, soufflés, meringues, and certain types of cakes.

When substituting whipped egg whites for baking powder, use one tablespoon of whipped egg whites per 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

For example, if your recipe calls for two teaspoons of baking powder, you would use two tablespoons of whipped egg whites instead.

We recommend using the same amount of sugar in place of the sugar in the recipe. Although, the quantity of whipped egg whites to use differs according to the recipes.

For example, angel food cake demands up to 12 egg whites. Meanwhile, a batch of pancakes needs only two or three. So endeavor to get the appropriate measurement for your recipe.

4. Sour Milk

Baking Powder Substitutes

And if you’re a frequent baker, it’s even more likely that you have run out of baking powder at least once and had to make an emergency trip to the store.

But don’t worry—as long as you have sour milk, you’re good to go!

Since the milk had gone through acidification by bacteria to form lactic acid, which causes a decrease in pH levels when paired with baking soda, the reaction produces the same leavening effect as baking powder.

So the first and most important thing is to get the measurement right –a 1/2 cup (122 grams) sour milk and 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda for one teaspoon of baking powder.

Then remember to reduce the quantity of liquid to match that of the sour milk.

5. Molasses

Baking Powder Substitutes

Molasses and baking powder are both leavening agents, meaning they help baked goods rise by creating air bubbles.

No, really! Molasses can be used in place of baking powder because it’s acidic enough to cause an acid-base reaction when coupled with baking soda—which is what happens when you use baking powder in a recipe.

That means your cakes and muffins will rise, your cookies will be soft, chewy, and every pastry will be perfectly baked—and you’ll only need two ingredients to do it all!

Again, the appropriate measurement is vital. For every one teaspoon (5 grams) of baking powder, use a mix of 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda and 1/4 cup (84 grams) molasses.

You will also need to decrease the amount of liquid plus the amount sweeter from the other ingredients. 

6. Cream Of Tartar

Baking Powder Substitutes

Cream of Tartar is another way to make your baked goods rise without using baking powder. It is a sweetener, an acidic white powder, gotten as a by-product of winemaking.

Don’t worry. It’s easy to locate in the spice aisle at any grocery store. But to make it work, you need neighboring help. Yes, you guessed it, from baking soda.

For best results, do a 2:1 ratio of cream of tartar to baking soda.

How can you do this:

Mix a 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) of baking soda plus a 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) cream of tartar to replace one teaspoon of baking powder.

7. Vinegar

Baking Powder Substitutes

Vinegar is not just for salad dressing. You can use it to make those pancakes rise, too, since it undergoes a fermentation process by which bacteria convert the alcohol to acetic acid.

Regardless of its harsh and distinctive flavor, vinegar can still serve, though it’s important to note that it may not provide the same volume or lightness that baking powder would.

That’s where the proper measurement comes in handy. You should mix 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) vinegar with 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking for each teaspoon (5 grams) of baking powder in your recipe.

This way, it will leave the same leavener effect as baking powder.

Lastly, any vinegar will do the trick, but I recommend white vinegar since it has no coloring and the most neutral taste. So it won’t alter the color of your final product.

8. Club Soda

Baking Powder Substitutes

Club soda and baking powder have their differences. For instance, baking powder has sodium acid pyrophosphate. In contrast, Club soda is a carbonated beverage comprised of water and sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda.

Yet both can be used interchangeably in baked goods.

This is because club soda is a leavening agent too, which means it is an ingredient that causes baked goods to rise or become lighter in texture.

But you will have to use up more club soda since the amount of sodium bicarbonate is less.

9. Lemon Juice

Baking Powder Substitutes

Lemon juice and baking powder are both leaveners. The difference between lemon juice vs baking powder is that lemon juice is acidic, while baking powder is alkaline.

But you can use lemon juice in place of baking powder for your baked goods by mixing the lemon juice with an alkali such as sodium bicarbonate or baking soda.

So it would be best if you did a mixture of  1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda to replace one teaspoon (5 grams) of baking powder.

Fortunately, lemon juice has a robust flavor, so it’s best left for recipes that require a relatively small amount of baking powder.

10. Self-Rising Flour

Baking Powder Substitutes

If you can’t get baking powder at the moment, you don’t have to beat yourself up. Quickly reach out for self-rising.

They are an excellent alternative since they contain baking powder. It will make your baked good rise and fluffy.

It is a combination of all-purpose flour and baking powder. You can use this staple to create beautiful fluffy pancakes, cakes, scones, biscuits, and other bakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Baking Powder Leave An Aftertaste?

If you are making a cake or cookies, you need to use baking powder to make the dough rise. However, baking powder has an aftertaste that some people don’t like, especially when you use too much.

Can Too Much Baking Powder Hurt You?

Baking powder has no known toxicity. In fact, baking powder is one of the safest preservatives available. However, baking powder is an acidic compound, and as such, when you use too much of it, you can become more acidic (or more alkaline) than the recipe’s original pH.

This means that your baked goods can change in color and texture. Furthermore, too much baking powder can trigger a specific allergic reaction.

Is It OK To Eat Baking Powder?

Maybe! But it is weird. But baking powder is weird because it’s not one thing — it’s two things. Baking powder contains both an alkaline and an acid that react in water. This reaction causes carbon dioxide bubbles to form, so it’s used as a leavening agent in baking.

So there are two questions here: Is it OK to eat the alkaline half of baking powder? And is it OK to eat the acid half of baking powder?

The alkaline is most likely sodium bicarbonate, more commonly known as baking soda. Baking soda is a common folk remedy for upset stomachs, so it seems safe to consume by itself.

The acid part of baking powder can be a cream of tartar or sodium aluminum sulfate. Cream of tartar is fine for human consumption (and has been for centuries).

Sodium aluminum sulfate is also commonly found in food additives, though some studies have found that ingesting too much can be harmful over time.

Is Baking Powder Salty?

The answer is yes! Baking powder is a mixture of salt and other compounds that can help give baked goods a more fluffy and porous texture. Many people think baking powder is one of those ingredients with no salt, but you might be surprised by how much salt it actually has.

See Also: Baking Chips Vs Chocolate Chips: Key Differences

Conclusion

So when next you don’t have baking powder at hand and you need to bake some cookies or cakes, there is no reason to despair.

There is numerous quick-fix baking powder substitute. However, your selection should be driven by your finished product’s flavor and texture profile.

While these options act the same way as leavening agents like baking powder, you won’t like the final result without the proper measurement with baking soda.

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