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A list of the most common (And BEST) ingredients you can use to substitute for baking powder to help out while baking.

For more resources, check out: Common Baking Substitutions and How to Make Buttermilk.

Baking powder

What is it, and why is it important?

We see it in most baking recipes, but – What is Baking powder?

Baking powder is a blend of baking soda (alkali) and some type of acid. Some common acids used include cream of tartar, aluminum sulfate or calcium acid phosphate. 

Why is it important? Baking powder is used to make whatever you are baking expand and grow. It’s what makes cookies puff up and quick breads rise. As soon as the baking powder mixes with water a chemical reaction takes place. This reaction causes little air pockets to form in the food. Further pockets are created as the food bakes and steam is created. As the steam expands so does the baked goodie.

Expiration: Though baking powder can be used after the expiration date on the package, it will eventually truly expire. If you have a can that’s been lingering in the back of the cupboard for a while you can easily test to see if it’s still good to use. In a small bowl add ½ teaspoon of baking powder, then add 1/3 cup of hot water. It should immediately and intensely start bubbling. If it does not, then toss the bottle and go in search of a new can.

Baking powder substitute

What can I substitute for Baking Powder?

Substitutions: I have found myself right in the middle of making a recipe only to find I don’t have a certain ingredient. I don’t always have the ability to just run to the grocery store. Thankfully, I have a neighbor who is always willing to lend me something. Another route I take is to see if I can just substitute it with an ingredient I do have on hand. Baking powder can be substituted with several different things.

  • Cream of Tartar: Make your own baking powder blend with baking soda and cream of tartar. Mix 1 tsp Cream of Tartar + 1/2 tsp baking soda + ½ tsp cornstarch. Once you have the blend made you can substitute 1 tsp baking powder with 1 tsp of the blend.
  • Self Rising Flour: Self rising flour is a mixture of all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Use self rising flour in lieu of all purpose flour. Omit the added baking soda and salt from the recipe. 
  • Plain Yogurt or Buttermilk: Once you have mixed up all your dry ingredients in a bowl mix in baking soda, then add plain yogurt or buttermilk. The acid in the dairy will activate the baking soda. You may need to reduce the amount of liquid ingredients you add to compensate for the liquid in the dairy.
    • 1 tsp baking powder= 1 tsp of baking soda + ½ c plain yogurt/buttermilk
  • Lemons: depending on the type of baked good you might want to try combining baking soda with lemon juice. Use in a recipe that would be complimented by a lemon flavor. Also, use in recipes that call for 1 tsp or less of baking powder.
    • 1 tsp baking powder= ½ tsp lemon juice + ¼ tsp baking soda. 
  • White Vinegar: Much like lemons you want to use white vinegar in recipes that call for 1 tsp or less of baking powder.
    • 1 tsp baking powder= ½ tsp lemon juice + ¼ tsp baking soda
What can I substitute for baking powder?

Recipes that call for Baking Powder:

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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  1. 2pots2cook says:

    Great post ! It’s so good to know how to manage lack of baking powder since sooner or later my pantry stocks will come to a point of no return LOL 🙂

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      LOL..thank you!