Home » Pantry » 12 Easy Baking Powder Substitute Options 

12 Easy Baking Powder Substitute Options 

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Many recipes call for baking powder, but who bakes enough to use a whole can before it expires? Instead of giving up on a recipe or making an extra trip to the store, you can make your own. If you’ve ever needed baking powder, but realized yours was expired, keep reading. 

Baking Powder.
Baking Powder Substitutes. Photo credit: Low Carb – No Carb.

Why Baking Powder—or Baking Powder Substitutes Are Necessary

Here are a few reasons why you need it:

  • Baking powder acts as a leavening agent—-it helps baked goods like breads rise.
  • It gives cookies, cakes and quick breads a fluffy, light and porous structure.
  • Baking powder gives baked goods an airy, light texture.
Keto Book with recipes
Newsletter and Keto Free Ebook

Why Expired Baking Powder Doesn’t Work

Inactive baking powder won’t work correctly in your recipes. Baked goods will end up dense and tough because they won’t rise. To test if your baking powder is still good, stir half a teaspoon into a cup of hot water. If it starts to fizz, it’s still good. If not, it is expired and needs to be thrown out.

Common Baking Powder Substitutes

Baking powder usually contains cream of tartar, which is a dry acid that will produce carbon dioxide bubbles when added. It is usually called for in recipes that don’t have an acidic ingredient like buttermilk or molasses. Substitutes must contain an acid to create the same effect.

Homemade Baking Powder

Homemade baking powder has baking soda, cream of tartar, and cornstarch. One-quarter teaspoon of baking soda, one-half teaspoon of cream of tartar and one-quarter teaspoon of cornstarch replaces 1 teaspoon of baking powder. 

Cream of Tartar and Baking Soda

Cream of tartar is the acid that is typically in baking powder, so if you combine it with baking soda, you are good to go. One-quarter teaspoon of baking soda plus five-eighths teaspoon of cream of tartar replaces one teaspoon of baking powder.

“When I realize I used the last of my baking powder, I substituted it with one part baking soda plus two parts cream of tartar. You can use that one-for-one as a replacement for baking powder. It works for things like muffins and quick breads without changing the taste. Though it isn’t quite as effective as traditional baking powder, it works in a pinch.”

– Michelle Price, Honest and Truly
Instant Pot Keto Cold Start Greek Yogurt to save in a glass container
Homemade Greek yogurt

Baking Soda and Yogurt

Yogurt is slightly acidic, so that is where the acid comes from in this substitution. One-quarter teaspoon of baking soda plus one-half cup of yogurt replaces 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Reduce the wet ingredients in your recipe by about one-half cup to maintain the right ratios. 

Baking Soda and Vinegar

White vinegar has the most neutral flavor, but any type of vinegar can be used. It will still add a little flavor to your cake, muffins or other baked goods. 1 teaspoon of vinegar plus one-quarter teaspoon of baking soda replaces 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

Baking Soda and Buttermilk

Buttermilk is acidic, so it can be combined with baking soda to substitute baking powder. One-half cup buttermilk plus one-quarter teaspoon baking soda replaces 1 teaspoon of baking powder. To maintain the correct consistency in your recipe, reduce the other liquids by one-half cup.

Baking Soda and Sour Milk

If your milk has started to go bad — it smells off but hasn’t curdled yet, it is starting to go through fermentation. It contains lactic acid, which will activate baking soda. One-half cup of sour milk plus one-quarter teaspoon of baking soda replaces 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Reduce the other liquids in your recipe by one-half cup to maintain the correct consistency.

Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

Lemon juice will alter the flavor of your dish, so only use this if you don’t mind some lemon flavor or have no other options. 1 teaspoon of lemon juice plus one-quarter teaspoon of baking soda replaces 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

Baking Soda and Molasses

Molasses has enough acid to create carbon dioxide when combined with baking soda. One-quarter cup of molasses plus one-quarter teaspoon of baking soda replaces 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Molasses has a strong flavor, so only use it if you don’t mind changing the flavor of what you are making. 

Self-Rising Flour

Self-rising flour is made from all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt, so it has everything needed to make baked goods, like cookies, rise. Replace the regular flour in your recipe with self-rising flour without adding baking powder or baking soda.

Whipped Egg Whites

Whipping egg whites creates air bubbles which help increase the volume and lightness of baked goods. This method doesn’t add much volume, so it is best when making pancakes or waffles because they don’t need much height. One egg white replaces 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

Eggs in a basket on a wooden table.
Eggs in a basket on a wooden table.

Club Soda

Club soda adds bubbles, which is what baking powder creates. It doesn’t have much sodium bicarbonate, so it works best in baked goods that don’t need much added volume like pancakes or waffles. For best results, replace all of the liquid in your recipe with club soda — unless the other liquids added flavor.

Soda Pop

Soda pop is very sweet, so this one works best in cakes or cupcakes. They won’t rise as much as normal, though. Sprite and 7-Up are best in yellow cakes, and Coke and Pepsi are best in chocolate cakes. Just like with club soda, replace all of the liquid in your recipe with the soda pop. Because soda pop is so sweet, you may want to add less sweetener than your recipe calls for.

Final Thoughts

When using a substitute, it’s important to remember that your recipe may not turn out exactly like the original. Baking powder substitutes will help your baked goods rise, but not as well as baking powder itself. Try different ones to see which substitute works best for you.

This article originally appeared on Food Drink Life.

Pin For Later:

Discover substitutes for baking powder.
Discover substitutes for baking powder.

Need Support or have Questions? Join our Free Facebook Group.

Follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Flipboard, or YouTube.

For weekly New Recipes and a FREE E-Book get into our NEWSLETTER.

If you are still looking for some Low Carb products, visit our recommended site on Amazon, which we participate in as affiliates. Just click on the image below and all will be revealed.

Amazon Low Carb Keto
Amazon Shop

Keto Desserts E-Book

Keto E-Book for Dessert Lovers

Living a Keto Lifestyle but still, have a sweet tooth?

Explore 31 Days with Top Keto & Low Carb Dessert Recipes.

All new recipes never featured anywhere else.

image with 10 sheets for keto meal plan
7 Day Keto Meal Plan
By Zuzana Paar on November 10th, 2023
Photo of author

About Zuzana Paar

Zuzana is the creative force behind this vibrant blog. With passion as a recipe developer, content creator, food writer, movie maker, and photographer, she poured her heart and soul into curating a space brimming with delightful keto and low carb recipes. Join her on this flavorful journey where quick, easy-to-make dishes take center stage, bringing joy and nourishment to your table.

More Posts by this author.

Leave a Comment