12 Handy Substitutes For Baking Powder (+PHOTOS)

best substitutes for baking powder
15 min reading time

Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked goods wafting through your home, but what do you do when you’ve run out of key ingredients like baking powder? Before you fret, don’t worry–there are plenty of substitutes for baking powder that can be used to do the same leavening job as baking powder.

Whether it’s because your recipe calls for an alternative or if a trip to the store isn’t possible right away, here are 12 inspiring hacks and substitutions to relieve some stress. With these creative replacements for baking powder, you’ll never miss a beat in your bakery endeavors!


We’ve compiled 12 baking powder substitutes that are sure to keep those delicious treats coming without missing a beat! So grab your mixing bowl and let’s get baking!

What is Baking Powder?

Baking powder is a leavening agent used in recipes such as cakes, cookies, and muffins to help them rise and become light and fluffy. Unlike yeast, which needs time to activate and proof, baking powder is a quick-acting chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide gas when it comes into contact with a liquid. This reaction causes the batter or dough to expand and rise in the oven, resulting in baked goods that are lighter and more tender than if they were made without any leavening agents.

Baking powder typically consists of baking soda, cream of tartar, and a small amount of cornstarch to prevent clumping. It can be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores and comes in both single-acting and double-acting varieties.

What Does Baking Powder Do?

Baking powder is a crucial ingredient in recipes like cakes, muffins, and pancakes. Without it, baked goods would not be fluffy. Additionally, some baking powders also include acid ingredients, like cream of tartar, which reacts with the baking soda to create an even stronger leavening effect. So, next time you’re prepping your baking supplies, remember the important role that baking powder plays in your delicious treats.

How To Test Your Baking Powder

If your baking powder is no longer fresh, it can dramatically affect the outcome of your baked goods. As such, it’s essential to test your baking powder before baking. Testing your baking powder is relatively easy and takes only a few minutes. You can perform the test by adding a tablespoon of baking powder to a small bowl of water and taking note of the reaction. The solution should bubble vigorously and immediately.

If there is no reaction or a delayed reaction, it’s time to replace your baking powder. Testing your baking powder beforehand ensures that your baked goods will turn out perfectly every time.

How To Properly Store Baking Powder

It is essential to store it properly to avoid any issues. The simplest method is to transfer the baking powder from its original container into an airtight container. This ensures that it is not exposed to moisture which can cause it to clump or fail to react properly.

Another important factor to keep in mind while storing baking powder is temperature. It is wise to keep it in a cool, dry environment and away from sunlight. Proper storage of baking powder not only ensures that your baked goods taste delicious but also affects their texture and appearance. Taking these precautions will help you make the most of this versatile kitchen staple.

Baking Powder vs Baking Soda Difference

While both baking powder and baking soda are common ingredients in baking, they are not interchangeable. Baking powder is a combination of baking soda and an acid, typically cream of tartar. When mixed with liquid, the acid reacts with the baking soda to create carbon dioxide gas, which causes the batter or dough to rise.

Baking soda, on the other hand, is a pure leavening agent that also produces carbon dioxide gas when mixed with liquid. However, it needs an acidic ingredient like buttermilk, vinegar, or citrus juice to activate the reaction. If you use too much of either ingredient, your baked goods may have a bitter taste. It’s important to choose the right one depending on your recipe to ensure your baked goods are perfectly fluffy and delicious.

12 Best Substitutes For Baking Powder

Whether you’re out of baking powder or looking for a healthier option, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from. Some of the best substitutes for baking powder include sour milk, cream of tartar, vinegar, lemon juice, buttermilk, and yogurt. Each of these ingredients can provide the necessary acidity to help your baked goods rise and achieve that light, fluffy texture that we all love.

So don’t let a lack of baking powder hold you back – try one of these 12 substitutes for baking powder instead and see what delicious creations you can come up with!

1. Plain yogurt

Plain Yogurt - an alternative to baking powder

Plain yogurt is a wonderful ingredient to have on hand in the kitchen, especially if you’re trying to cut back on your use of baking soda. While baking soda is a common ingredient in baked goods, it can sometimes be harsh on the digestive system. In contrast, plain yogurt adds a tangy flavor and a creamy texture that can take your baked goods to the next level. It can also help to activate leavening agents, making your cakes and bread rise beautifully.

Simply swap one tablespoon of baking soda with one-quarter cup of plain yogurt in your recipes, and enjoy the delicious results! Best of all, you’ll be doing your body a favor by opting for a healthier option.

2. Buttermilk

Buttermilk - one of the best options to use as a substitute for buttermilk

If you’re looking for a substitute for baking soda in your baking, buttermilk might just be the answer. This may come as a surprise to some, but it’s a fantastic trick to keep in mind for those times when you’re in the middle of baking and realize you’re out of this essential ingredient. Buttermilk is acidic and contains lactic acid, which reacts with baking soda to create the same leavening effect as baking powder.

It can also add a tangy flavor to your baked goods, making it an excellent choice for pancakes, biscuits, and more. Just remember that you’ll need to adjust your recipe accordingly, using ⅓ cup of buttermilk for every 1 teaspoon of baking powder you would typically use. So next time you run out of baking powder, grab a carton of buttermilk instead and give it a try!

3. Sour Milk +Baking Soda

Did you know that sour milk can be used as a substitute for baking powder? It’s true! When baking, baking powder is used to help your batter or dough rise, but if you’re out of baking powder, sour milk may be the solution. Sour milk contains lactic acid which reacts with baking soda, creating carbon dioxide and acting as a leavening agent.

To use sour milk as a substitute, simply mix one teaspoon of baking soda with one cup of sour milk, and voila! You have a homemade baking powder substitute. Plus, using sour milk in your baking can add a tangy flavor to your treats. So next time you’re in a pinch, try reaching for the sour milk instead of panicking about a trip to the store.

4. Molasses

molasses: substitutes for baking powder
Source: finedininglovers.com

Molasses is a surprising ingredient that can act as a substitute for baking powder. While baking powder is typically used to add rise and fluffiness to baked goods, molasses can do the same job with the added benefit of contributing a unique flavor. This thick, dark syrup is a byproduct of refining sugar cane and is rich in nutrients like iron and calcium.

When combined with an acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, it creates carbon dioxide gas that helps baked goods rise. But beware – molasses can also contribute a sticky texture and deep brown color to baked goods. So next time you’re out of baking powder, give molasses a try as a substitute to add some depth and nutrition to your next baking adventure.

5. Cream of Tartar + Baking Soda

While it may seem like an unusual substitute, cream of tartar is actually an acidic byproduct of grape fermentation that can react with baking soda to create the necessary leavening agent. To substitute for one teaspoon of baking powder, simply mix 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.

Cream of tartar has a slightly acidic taste, so be sure to adjust your recipe accordingly. Just keep in mind that this substitution may affect the taste of your final product, so use it in recipes where the tangy flavor won’t clash. Now you can avoid any last-minute grocery store runs or recipe adjustments with this handy trick up your sleeve.

6. Lemon Juice + Baking Soda

lemon juice - one of the best substitutes for baking powder

If you find that you’ve run out of baking powder or want to try something new, lemon juice can easily take its place. The acidity in the lemon juice reacts with the baking soda in the recipe, causing a chemical reaction that results in the same fluffy texture as using baking powder.

Simply substitute 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for every 1 teaspoon of baking powder called for in the recipe. Keep in mind, however, that lemon juice may add a slightly different taste to the final product.

7. White Vinegar

White Vinegar as a substitute for baking powder
Source: tastingtable.com

White vinegar is a versatile household item that can come in handy when you find yourself out of baking powder. This sour and acidic liquid is an excellent substitute for baking powder, as it can help with leavening and give your baked goods a slightly tangy taste. A tablespoon of white vinegar can replace one teaspoon of baking powder, but make sure to adjust your other ingredients accordingly to get the right texture and taste.

Note that vinegar can alter the color and flavor of your baked goods, so it might not be the best choice for delicately flavored treats. Nonetheless, white vinegar is a cost-effective baking alternative that can save you time and money in a pinch.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar + Baking Soda

Apple cider vinegar as an alternative to baking powder

If you run out of baking powder, there’s a great alternative that you might already have in your pantry: apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which reacts with baking soda to create the same chemical reaction as baking powder. Simply combine one teaspoon of baking soda with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and use immediately in your recipe.

This substitution can be used for a variety of baked goods, such as cakes, muffins, and biscuits. Not only is apple cider vinegar a pantry staple, but it also adds a slightly tangy flavor to your baked goods. It’s best suited for recipes where a touch of acidity is welcome. Try this substitution out for yourself and see the delicious results!

9. Club Soda

club soda: substitutes of baking powder
Source: integrisok.com

When you’re in the middle of baking and realize you’re out of this key ingredient, club soda can come to the rescue. The carbon dioxide in club soda acts as a leavening agent, helping your baked goods rise just like a baking powder would. Simply replace the baking powder in your recipe with half the amount of club soda.

For example, if your recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of baking powder, use 1/2 teaspoon of club soda instead. This could be a great solution for those who want to avoid using baking powder due to dietary restrictions or simply because they don’t have any on hand. So next time you find yourself without baking powder, give club soda a try!

10. Self-rising Flour

self-rising flour - baking power substitute
Source: southernliving.com

This versatile ingredient contains baking powder and salt, making it an easy and convenient substitute for baking powder in a pinch. Simply use 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of self-rising flour for every 1 teaspoon of baking powder needed.

Self-rising flour can give your baked goods an extra lift, resulting in a light and fluffy texture. While it may not work for every recipe, it’s certainly worth a try if you’re in a bind. It’s also an easy way to cut down on the number of ingredients needed in a recipe. Give self-rising flour a try as your next baking powder substitute!

11. Whipped Egg Whites

Whipped egg whites - one of the best substitutes for baking powder

Whipped egg whites can serve as one of the most effective substitutes for baking powder. By beating egg whites until they reach stiff peaks, you create a light and airy foam that can help your baked goods rise. This method is particularly useful in recipes that require a delicate texture, such as sponge cakes.

While using whipped egg whites as a substitute for baking powder is not always a perfect one-to-one replacement, it can save you a trip to the store and result in a delicious final product. Give it a try next time you find yourself in a baking bind!

12. Soda Pop

soda pops used as a substitute for baking powder

Did you know that soda pop can be used as a substitute for baking powder? It may come as a surprise, but the carbonation in soda pop can act as a leavening agent and helps baked goods rise, resulting in fluffy and delicious treats. This can be especially handy in a pinch if you run out of baking powder and need it for a recipe.

Simply substitute an equal amount of soda pop for the baking powder, and you’re good to go. However, keep in mind that depending on the flavor of soda pop you use, it can alter the taste of your recipe slightly. So, while soda pop may not be the ideal substitute for baking powder, it can certainly get the job done in a pinch.

How To Choose The Best Substitute?

There are some options available, such as using baking soda, cream of tartar, vinegar, or lemon juice, among others as substitutes for baking soda. However, it is essential to know that not all substitutes will work for every recipe. Depending on the ingredients and the required texture, one substitute may work better than others.

To choose the best substitute, it is necessary to understand the recipe, the type of dish you want to bake, and the role baking powder plays in the process. By doing some research or testing, you can find the most suitable substitute and continue baking without any interruption.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the substitute for 1 tbsp baking powder?

One recommended substitute is a mixture of 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar. Simply mix the two together and use as you would baking powder. Another option is to use 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar combined with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Both of these substitutes will activate the baking soda and provide the necessary leavening agent for your baked goods.

What equals baking powder?

While individual ingredients can be substituted for baking powder in recipes, it’s important to keep in mind the proper ratios and to adjust for acidity levels, as too much acid can cause baked goods to taste sour. By understanding the science behind baking powder and experimenting with different ingredients and measurements, home bakers can perfect their recipes and create delicious desserts and baked goods.

Can I use Eno instead of baking powder?

Eno is a fruit salt that contains a mix of baking soda and citric acid. While it can be used as a substitute for baking powder, it may affect the taste and texture of your dish. Baking powder, on the other hand, is specifically designed for baking and has a balanced acidic and alkaline mixture for the perfect rise and taste in baked goods.

How to make baking powder?

Combine baking soda (an alkaline) and cream of tartar (an acid), and you have baking powder. To make one tablespoon of baking powder, mix together one teaspoon of baking soda and two teaspoons of cream of tartar.

What can be the alternative to baking soda or baking powder?

One alternative to baking soda is to use lemon juice or vinegar, both of which are acidic and will react with the other ingredients in the recipe to produce carbon dioxide. Another option is to use buttermilk or yogurt, which can also provide the necessary acidity.

As for baking powder, you can try using the cream of tartar, which is also acidic and can react with baking soda to create the desired leavening effect.

Bottom Line

While baking powder is certainly an essential staple in any baker’s pantry, it’s reassuring to know that there are so many options when it comes to finding a substitute. Whether you’re looking for something vegan or gluten-free or just don’t have any baking powder on hand, try one of the twelve options listed above to take your recipes from ordinary to extraordinary.

Don’t forget though, each substitution will require its own unique measurements and ratio adjustments. With a little research and time, you’ll learn the techniques needed for creating delectable treats regardless of which ingredients you choose! Baking is an adventure and has such possibilities, so don’t be afraid to experiment with other ingredients—you never know what surprises may come as a result!

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