The Best Baking Powder Substitute

Looking for the best baking powder substitute?

There are times when we find ourselves in a jam!

We might be planning on baking something only to find out that we’re missing all of part of an ingredient. In this case, you might be missing baking powder.

Baking powder is often used in bread and cakes to create volume during the baking process.

So what should you do if you need baking powder but don’t have it? How can you substitute for it?

Before running out to the store, glance through this article and see if you have any of these substitutes.

What is Baking Powder?

Baking powder is composed of sodium bicarbonate, which is a base (chemistry term!) and is paired with an acid, such as cream of tartar. Baking powder may also contain fillers like cornstarch.

When you combine baking powder with water, the acid in it reacts with the sodium bicarbonate in an acid-base reaction and releases a gas – carbon dioxide.

The mixture of baking soda with water is important because it reacts as soon as you mix it. That’s why you’re supposed to mix all dry ingredients together and all wet ingredients together before combining them.

This release of gas results in the formation of little bubbles and causes the mixture to expand. Which then adds volume to baked goods like cakes, breads, and waffles!

This not only adds volume but also texture to baked goods. It’s what makes baked good light and fluffy.

Baking Powder vs Baking Soda – What’s the difference?

Baking Powder is often confused with Baking Soda. Don’t make that mistake!

Baking soda consists of only the base – sodium bicarbonate and is missing the acid component. Therefore, it must be combined with an acid to have the same leavening effect that baking powder does.

Types of Baking Powder

Single action and double action are the two types of baking powders available.

Single action baking powder will only react once as soon as the liquid is added to the mix.

Double action baking powder reacts just like single action as soon as it touches water, except it has an additional reaction to heat. So this second reaction happens during the baking process.

Because of these two reactions, double action baking powder tends to give you fluffier, lighter baked goods.

Pro Tip – to achieve even fluffier baked goods like waffles or pancakes, many people will use sparkling water in addition to double action baking soda!

The Best Substitute for Baking Powder

Before you keep reading, make sure you have Baking Soda! You can easily find a substitute for baking powder by combining baking soda and another ingredient.


Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product with a sour taste that can be best compared to plain yogurt.

Because of its acidity, combining buttermilk with baking soda produces the same leavening and rising effect as baking powder.

Add 1/2 cup of buttermilk and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for every 1 teaspoon of baking powder needed.

1/2 cup buttermilk + 1/4 teaspoon baking soda = 1 teaspoon baking powder.

It’s important to note, though, that when you add liquid of any kind, you must also remove the same amount of liquid, whether it be water or milk, from the recipe

Plain Yogurt

Yes, just like you can combine buttermilk with baking soda, you can also combine plain yogurt with baking soda to produce the same effect.

The same ratio that buttermilk uses can be used with plain yogurt.

1/2 cup buttermilk + 1/4 teaspoon baking soda = 1 teaspoon baking powder.


Yeast can be a good alternative to baking powder because it forms bubbles and is often used in bread making to make bread rise.

If you’re going to use yeast as a replacement for baking powder, then you should follow the formula below.

1 teaspoon years for every 2 cups flower that the recipe calls for.


Molasses is formed as a by product of making sugar and is often used as a replacement for refined white sugar. However, it can also replace baking powder.

This is because molasses is acidic enough to cause a reaction when mixed with the base – baking soda.

Use the formula below to guide your substitution.

1/4 molasses + 1/4 teaspoon baking soda = 1 teaspoon baking powder

In this case, you might want to reduce the amount of sweetener in the recipe since molasses is extremely sweet already.

Self Rising Flour

Self rising flour is actually just a combination of all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. This works only if your recipe calls for flour and baking powder.

The challenge of this recipe is that it’s difficult to control the portions and also adds gluten to the recipe.

Cream of Tarter

Cream of Tartar is also known as potassium hydrogen tartrate. It’s an acidic white powder that’s a by-product of winemaking.

It’s often used to stabilize creams and is an easy substitute to baking powder.

It’s best to stay to a 2:1 ratio of Cream of Tartar to Baking Soda in order to form baking powder.

Here’s the ratio,

1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar + 1/4 teaspoon baking soda = 1 teaspoon baking powder.

Whipped Egg Whites

The process of whipping egg whites creates tiny air bubbles that increase volume and lightness. This is a process often used in souffles, pancakes, meringues and certain cakes.

It can be a good option if you don’t have baking soda available.

The amount varies by recipe. A cake may need a dozen egg whites or waffles may need just a couple.

To make the best of it, beat your egg whites at a low speed until they’re foamy and then increase the speed after that. That will ensure maximum fluffyness.

How to choose the best baking powder substitute?

To select the best substitute, keep in mind the flavor of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Molasses will have a strong sweetness to it. Therefore, you may want to use it on desserts rather than savory bread.

Cream of Tartar may be a good choice but it’s not something many people have readily available.

Egg whites are usually readily available but they’re more labor-intensive.

In addition to all of this, you might have to adjust other ingredients or amounts in your recipe to account for these substitutions.

We hope that we’ve made your life a little easier. That’s what we strive to do at Easy Kitchen Appliances. Not only do we review kitchen appliances, including some of the most innovative ones, but we want to make your cooking (and eating) life easier!

What other substitutions for baking powder have you used?

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