Have you gone to bake a cake and realized you are out of baking powder?
Maybe your hands are full of ingredients and you want to know what you can use instead of baking powder?
Maybe you are looking to change up your usual ingredients and want some inspiration?
No matter the reason for your visit here today, we have the answer for you!
Baking can be super relaxing, but it can also be super stressful.
Especially when you are halfway through a recipe and realize you don’t have baking powder hiding in the back of your cupboard.
You head online to see what you can use in its place but are met with conflicting and contradictory information.
You end up more confused than when you started and with a cake that is close to being ruined, what do you do?
Well, you stick with us! Today we have 13 fantastic baking powder substitutes that you need to try (see also our favorite glycerin alternatives)!
All of these substitutes will work like baking powder and save you from a baking disaster!
So let’s not delay any further and get into what these substitutes are today!
First up, we have Buttermilk! Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product that makes a wonderful alternative to baking powder!
If you aren’t sure what it tastes like, buttermilk (see also ‘How To Substitute Buttermilk‘) has a slightly sour and tangy taste, similar to plain yogurt.
It is often used in baked goods and it’s not unusual to find it listed on the ingredients list of any store-bought baked goods.
There are two types of buttermilk out there, traditional buttermilk which is a byproduct of sweet cream that is churned into butter, and commercial buttermilk which is formed by combining bacterial cultures with milk that ferments and breaks down the sugars into acids.
Thanks to the acids, you can mix some buttermilk with baking soda to get a similar effect as baking powder!
As buttermilk is a liquid, we recommend reducing the amount of other liquids in the recipe.
How much by will depend on how much buttermilk you have added.
For example, if you add 50ml buttermilk, reduce the milk or water amount by 50ml to compensate for the buttermilk.
We know it sounds a little odd, but vinegar is a brilliant substitute for your baked goods!
You can combine vinegar with some baking soda to release carbon dioxide, which will help your baked goods to rise!
You will want to add half a teaspoon of vinegar and a quarter of a teaspoon of baking soda to your recipe for every one teaspoon of baking powder that is required.
Although vinegar has a distinct taste, in this small quantity you should not notice any difference in the taste of your finished cake or cookie!
We found that vinegar instead of baking powder works brilliantly to create light and fluffy pancakes!
We know the smell can be a little off-putting, after all, who do you know that adds white vinegar to their pancakes?
If you are worried about this, simply add a pinch more sugar to the recipe.
The sugar will offset any potential vinegar taste, but this is not essential!
Although there are a few varieties of vinegar out there, we recommend a white vinegar for your baking powder replacement.
3. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is one of the best substitutions for baking powder!
It has a high level of citric acid which makes it a wonderful substitution when paired with salt to give you the perfect fluffy baked goods!
The acid in lemon juice triggers an acid-base reaction when combined with baking soda.
This reaction will cause bubbles in your mixture that helps the baked goods rise and leave you with light and fluffy baked goods!
Plus this option is vegan-friendly too, so you can make a vegan cake or cookie worry-free!
There is a downside, though. Lemon juice does have a strong flavor which can change the overall taste of your baked goods.
For lemon cakes or bars, this isn’t a problem, but if you don’t like the taste of lemon, then this might not be the best substitute for you.
When substituting baking powder for lemon juice, add half a teaspoon of lemon juice and a quarter of a teaspoon of baking soda for every one teaspoon of baking powder in the recipe.
4. Plain Yogurt
Plain yogurt is another wonderful alternative to baking powder.
You get the right amount of acidity in the yogurt that allows you to add it to your recipe and get cooking!
Most of us already have some opened plain yogurt in our refrigerators too, making it a fantastic alternative!
Simply replace a teaspoon of baking powder with a quarter teaspoon of baking soda and half a cup of plain yogurt.
Just like when you add buttermilk to the recipe, you will need to adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe.
You can do this by reducing the amount of water or milk by half a cup (the same amount of yogurt you put in).
Using plain yogurt shouldn’t impact the taste of your baked goods in any way, but if you want to, why not use it as an opportunity to flavor your baked goods?
You could use a berry or vanilla-flavored yogurt to add some new flavors to your recipe!
This is a good option too if the recipe calls for vanilla extract and you don’t have any at home.
5. Club Soda
You will have noticed that a lot of our substitutions so far have also called for baking soda to be used.
But if you don’t have baking soda what can you use? Well, club soda!
If you don’t have any baking soda, adding something carbonated (like club soda) will help get some bubbles into your mixture and help the cake rise!
You can add unflavored seltzer or soda if the flavor pairs well with the baked good you are making, and add it to the batter.
You can replace all the liquid in your recipe with club soda to ensure that you get plenty of rising, without impacting the flavor!
We don’t recommend doing this if the original liquid in the recipe contributes to the flavor of the finished baked good.
Although this is a fantastic option, club soda doesn’t have that much sodium bicarbonate.
It is best to use it in recipes where you don’t need much, like pancakes, or where you can replace all of the liquid with club soda.
6. Sour Milk
If you have some sour milk in your kitchen, don’t throw it away!
It is a fantastic alternative to baking powder and can be used in your baked goods today!
Milk that has gone sour has already gone through an acidification process, that not only cuts down pH levels but when mixed with baking soda, will have the same effects as baking powder!
Here you can save yourself the trouble of running to the store for baking powder, and use up milk that has gone bad, cutting down on food waste!
For every teaspoon of baking powder, use half a cup of sour milk and a quarter of a teaspoon of baking soda.
You will be left with baked goods that have risen beautifully and have the desired light and fluffy texture!
Just like with other liquids on today’s list, remember to reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe to compensate for half a cup of milk you are adding.
This might mean reducing other milk you were adding or water.
7. Self-Rising Flour
Self-rising flour does an excellent job at raising your baked goods, and is a substitution you should strongly consider!
Self-rising flour is made with all-purpose flour (see also ‘All-Purpose Flour Vs Self-Rising Flour (What’s The Difference?)‘), salt, and baking powder, giving you everything you need to create some fluffy pancakes or your baked goods rise.
To use self-rising flour in your recipe, simply replace your flour with it!
You can then omit the baking powder and baking soda, as the flour will do the job of raising your baked goods on its own!
We strongly recommend keeping some self-rising flour in your pantry, as it is ideal for use with baked goods!
8. Whipped Egg Whites
It will come as no surprise to some of you that egg whites are super important in baking recipes, and they are a fantastic way to get a light and fluffy texture in your baked goods!
Whipped egg whites feature minuscule air bubbles that expand within your mixture, to create light and fluffy baked goods!
Typically, we see whipped egg whites used in meringues, souffles, and pancakes, but you can use it in other baked goods recipes as a replacement for baking powder.
How much you need will vary depending on your recipe.
For pancakes, you might need two or three eggs, but for larger cakes, you might need as many as ten!
To get the egg whites whipped so they are light and fluffy, whip them on a low speed until they become foamy.
Next, increase the speed until your eggs can form soft peaks.
To finish, mix your other ingredients into the egg whites (see also ‘Egg Yolk Substitutes: 5 Top Picks‘) and bake as you normally would.
Just like buttermilk, molasses is a byproduct! But this time it is made of sugar, rather than cream.
Molasses is typically used as an alternative to refined sugar, and they can also be used instead of baking powder.
Molasses is also acidic enough to cause the acid-base reaction that we need to replicate baking powder, what more could you want?
To use molasses instead of baking powder, add 84g of molasses (¼ of a cup) and a quarter of a teaspoon of baking soda for every teaspoon of baking powder the recipe calls for.
The two ingredients will react with each other and leave you with light and fluffy baked goods to enjoy!
However, molasses does have high sugar content. It is worth reducing the amount of sweetener and liquid in the recipe to allow room for the molasses in your mixture
This also prevents your baked goods from being too sweet!
10. Cream Of Tartar
Cream of tartar, or potassium hydrogen tartrate, is an acidic alternative to baking powder that works brilliantly!
The white powder is a byproduct of winemaking and is incredibly popular with chefs, who often use it to stabilize creams and egg whites or to prevent sugar crystals from forming.
Cream of tartar is super easy to use and find, making it a fantastic substitution for baking powder.
You can usually find it in the spice aisle of your grocery store, although you can purchase it online if you need to.
To use cream of tartar, use half a teaspoon of tartar and a quarter of a teaspoon of baking soda for every teaspoon of baking powder you need.
We recommend using a 2:1 ratio of tartar to baking soda to ensure the right reaction and consistency of your baked goods!
11. Dry Active Yeast
Dry active years is a popular substitute for baking powder as it is easy to use and incredibly effective!
It is also a natural product with no chemical compounds that could cause any side effects.
Rich in calcium, vitamin C, and iron, dry active yeast is a fantastic product to add to your baked goods.
We love using this with cookies instead of baking powder as it works super well and doesn’t add any bitter flavors to your cookies.
They will remain super sweet with the right texture.
So whether you are making them for friends, for a bake sale, or to enjoy yourself, we are sure you will be happy with them!
Dry active yeast is also gluten-free, making it the perfect choice for those with any allergies or intolerances!
Simply add the same amount of dry active yeast as you would baking powder and you are good to go!
12. Baker’s Ammonia
Baker’s ammonia has been used for years, and was previously the go-to leavening agent!
As time progressed, it was replaced with baking powder, but if you ever run out, you can use baker’s ammonia instead!
It’s a brilliant substitute and not only helps create light and fluffy baked goods but gives them nice crispiness on the outside.
If you were looking to bake cookies that have a crispy outside but a soft and light center, then baker’s ammonia is a fine choice for you!
To use baker’s ammonia, replace a teaspoon of baking powder with a teaspoon of baker’s ammonia and you are good to go!
As it was previously used to level baked goods, you don’t need to worry about adding anything to your recipe!
When it mixes with the liquids in your recipe, bubbles will be formed, helping your baked goods to rise, just like they do with baking powder!
If you don’t want your baked goods to have a crispy texture on the outside, then this might not be suitable for you. We prefer it for use with cookies rather than cakes.
13. Potassium Bicarbonate
Finally, we have potassium bicarbonate, which might sound like an odd substitution, but trust us, it helps create beautiful cakes and cookies!
It has similar qualities to baking soda and powder, allowing you to swap it easily and still achieve light and fluffy baked goods!
The only difference you need to be aware of is the salt level.
Potassium bicarbonate has less salt than baking powder, which shouldn’t be too much of an issue for your baked goods. After all, who wants a salty slice of cake?
Some baked goods recipes will call for salt to be used. In these cases, we suggest adding a pinch more to make up for the loss of salt from the baking powder.
That way, you should still end up with the same salt content as before.
This can be a case of trial and error, so make sure that you taste your mixture as you go along.
You can swap a teaspoon of baking powder out for a teaspoon of potassium bicarbonate and still have a cake that rises but is super light and fluffy!
And there you have it, thirteen best baking powder substitutes that you need to know about!
Whether you are looking to mix something with baking soda, or use an ingredient on its own, you can expect your baked goods to rise evenly and be cooked to perfection!
Remember, the goal here is light and fluffy baked goods, so make sure you are replacing your baking powder with a substitute that can help you achieve that!
Make sure that you double-check the recommended quantity of the substitution before you add it to your mixture and follow any tips we have laid out for you.
This way, your baked goods should taste as they normally do! No one will know there isn’t a pinch of baking powder in sight!
Frequently Asked Questions
Before you leave us today, check out our FAQ section to get your last-minute queries answered.
What Is Baking Powder?
Baking powder is a leavening agent that we often see used in baking!
Its purpose is to make your baked goods fluffy and soft, providing plenty of volume too!
When combined with water, the acid in baking powder reacts with the sodium bicarbonate in it and releases carbon dioxide.
This gas enters the batter or dough and causes bubbles that make the mixture expand.
Then you get plenty of volume for your cakes, pancakes, and other baked goods that require baking powder!
What Happens If I Don’t Use Baking Powder?
If you don’t use baking powder, then your baked goods won’t have a leavening agent.
So they might not rise as well, leaving you with a flat and dense cookie or cake.
You might also notice that your baked goods aren’t as light and fluffy as they usually are.
While the taste might not be affected, the texture sure will!
And after you have gone to the trouble of making these delicious goods, you don’t want the texture to let you down!
Thankfully, if you don’t have baking powder, you can use one of our fantastic alternatives listed above.
Is There A Difference Between Baking Powder And Baking Soda?
Yes, there is a difference between baking powder and baking soda.
Baking powder is made up of sodium bicarbonate and acid that work with each other when exposed to water to level your baked goods and make them light and fluffy.
Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate, but it needs an additional acid and liquid to activate and raise your baked goods.
Often recipes that call for baking soda will also call for lemon juice or buttermilk.
These acidic ingredients will react with the baking soda to help your baked goods rise.
While the goal of baking powder and baking soda are the same, how they react and work in your baked goods is different.
When swapping one out for the other, you will need to be mindful of the quantity and any other ingredients you might need to add to your recipe.
Can I Use Baking Soda Instead Of Baking Powder?
You can use baking soda instead of baking powder, and you will see from our suggestions that baking soda is commonly used instead of baking powder!
However, you need to add another ingredient to your baking soda to ensure that the acid reaction occurs and your baked goods rise to become light and fluffy!
There are lots of options here, including lemon juice, buttermilk, plain yogurt, and vinegar.
All of which can be added to your recipe with some baking soda.
The acidity in these ingredients will react with the sodium bicarbonate in baking soda, releasing carbon dioxide into your mixture, resulting in little bubbles.
It is these bubbles that will help your mixture to rise and become light and fluffy!
Make sure you check out all of our substitutes listed above to see which ones you can use with baking soda!