No Baking Powder? Use These 7 Substitutes

Making baked goods is delicious and fun. Many recipes call for baking powder, a basic leavening agent. But what happens when you only have baking soda? Before you toss it in, hold that thought. The two are very different.

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is an alkaline ingredient. This means it needs an acid to make batter rise. If a recipe calls for baking soda, it’ll probably list an acid as well. Examples include lemon juice, buttermilk, or vinegar. Baking powder is baking soda plus a dry acid. All it needs is water to start doing its job.1

If you only have baking soda, adding an acid will make a baking powder alternative. This will save a trip to the store – and a couple bucks! Here are 7 easy ideas to do just this.

7 Ways To Make A Baking Powder Alternative

1. Molasses + Baking Soda

Molasses and baking soda make a great alternative for baking powder

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Molasses is often used in the place of refined sugar. It’s also an acid, so it’ll react with baking soda. This combination will serve as a great alternative to baking powder. But keep in mind that it has liquid and sugar. Cut back on an equal amount of other liquids and reduce other sweeteners. This will help your baked good stay just right.

How To Substitute

1 teaspoon baking powder = ¼ cup molasses + ¼ teaspoon baking soda

2. Cream of Tartar + Baking Soda

Cream of tartar and baking soda make a great alternative for baking powder

Baking powder is usually made of baking soda and cream of tartar. If you have both ingredients, you can make DIY baking powder. Cream of tartar, or potassium hydrogen tartrate, is used to keep egg whites fluffy. Macarons, angel food cake, and soufflé often call for cream of tartar.

How To Substitute

1 teaspoon baking powder = ½ teaspoon cream of tartar +

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¼ teaspoon baking soda

3. Vinegar + Baking Soda

Vinegar and baking soda make a great alternative for baking powder

From being used for cleaning to cooking, vinegar is a household staple. This liquid is created when bacteria ferment ethanol. The fermentation gives it at least 4 percent acidity, making it useful for baking.2 Think back to your Science class in grade school. Remember the vinegar and baking soda experiments? The fizzing effect is exactly what will make a batter rise.

How To Substitute

1 teaspoon baking powder = ¼ teaspoon baking soda + ½ teaspoon vinegar

4. Lemon Juice + Baking Soda

Lemon juice and baking soda can be used instead of baking powder

Lemon juice works in the same way as vinegar. It has a high citric acid content, making

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it an ideal pairing for baking soda. However, lemon juice is strong and sour.3 To avoid making lemon-flavored treats, use it wisely. This option works best in recipes that need very little baking powder.

How To Substitute

1 teaspoon baking powder = ¼ teaspoon baking soda + ½ teaspoon lemon juice

5. Buttermilk + Baking Soda

Buttermilk and baking soda cause fermentation and work well in place of baking powder

When sweet cream is churned into butter, a by-product called buttermilk is formed. It can also be made by fermenting normal milk with bacteria. In either case, acid is formed.

As a low pH food, buttermilk will react with baking soda. Just be sure to decrease the rest of the recipe’s liquid. For instance, if you use ½ cup of buttermilk, cut out

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½ cup of other liquids. This will make sure the texture stays just right.

How To Substitute

1 teaspoon baking soda = ½ cup buttermilk + ¼ teaspoon baking soda

6. Plain Yogurt + Baking Soda

A mixture of plain yogurt and baking soda can be used instead of baking powder

Yogurt is similar to buttermilk. Technically, it’s also fermented milk! When lactic acid bacteria “eat” the sugar, lactic acid is released. This is what makes yogurt acidic.4 Use plain yogurt to avoid changing your recipe’s flavor. Again, to maintain texture, reduce an equal amount of liquid in the recipe.

How To Substitute

1 teaspoon baking powder = ½ cup plain yogurt + ¼ teaspoon baking soda

7. Self-Rising Flour

Self-rising flour works the same as all-purpose baking flour

What

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happens if you’re out of baking soda and powder? Hopefully, you have self-rising flour on hand. This ingredient is made of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. It doesn’t need anything extra. To use it in a recipe, swap out all-purpose flour for self-rising flour. Skip any acids that were needed for baking soda.

How To Substitute

All-purpose baking flour = Self-rising flour

To make baking easier, post this list on your refrigerator. The next time you’re out of baking powder, you’ll have these tips ready to go.

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