People use baking powder to add volume and lighten the texture of baked goods. But there are times when baking powder isn’t readily available. Fortunately, there are lots of other alternative ingredients that can just as good of a job as baking soda.
Baking Powder Substitutes
Here are some of the most well-known baking powder substitutes that you can use:
Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product that has a slightly tangy and sour taste that is at times compared to that of plain yogurt.
Because of its acidity, mixing buttermilk with baking soda can produce the same leavening effect as baking powder.
Add about half a cup (122 grams) of buttermilk and a quarter teaspoon (1 gram) of baking soda to the rest of your ingredients for an easy substitute for 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of baking soda.
Similar to buttermilk, yogurt is also produced through the fermentation of milk. The process of fermentation breaks down sugars and increases the concentration of lactic acid, which effectively reduces the pH and increases the acidity of the yogurt.
I teaspoon of baking soda in a recipe can be replaced with ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) of baking soda and ½ cup (122 grams) of plain yogurt. Like buttermilk, the amount of liquid in the recipe needs to be reduced based on how much yogurt is added.
Do you want to make yogurt at home? Check out our Best Yogurt Makers.
Molasses is a sweetener that is created as a byproduct of sugar production and is often used as a replacement for refined sugar. It can also be used as a replacement for baking powder because it’s acidic enough to cause an acid-base reaction when coupled with baking soda.
Use a quarter cup (84 grams) of molasses and a quarter teaspoon (1 gram) of baking soda to replace 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of baking powder.
Cream of Tartar
Cream of tartar, also known as potassium hydrate tartrate, is an acidic white powder formed as a byproduct of winemaking. It’s mostly used to stabilize white eggs and creams and also prevent the formation of sugar crystals.
More to the point, it’s an easy and convenient substitute for baking powder and can be found in the spice aisle at most grocery stores.
Focus on keeping the cream of tartar to baking soda ratio at 2:1 for the best results. Replace 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of baking soda with a quarter teaspoon (1 gram) of baking soda plus half a teaspoon (2 grams) cream of tartar.
Easy Ways to Make your Own Baking Powder
Sour milk, if you can believe it, can also be used as a baking powder substitute. The reason for this is because sour cream has undergone a process known as acidification that causes a decrease in pH levels.
Sour milk acidity reacts with baking soda to produce the exact leavening effects of baking powder. Use half a cup (122 grams) of sour milk and a quarter teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda to replace 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of baking soda.
Just remember to lower the amount of liquid in the recipe by the same amount added to the account for the extra liquid from the sour milk.
One of the most popular options for baking powder substitutes is vinegar.
Vinegar is developed through fermentation in which during the process alcohol is converted to acetic acid by bacteria. It may have a strong and distinctive flavor, but vinegar is a common ingredient in many baked goods. As a matter of fact, the acidic pH of vinegar is perfect to be used as a substitute for baking powder.
When paired with baking soda in cookies and cakes, vinegar has a leavening effect. Although any vinegar would work for the occasion, white vinegar has the most neutral taste and won’t change the color of your final product. Each teaspoon of baking powder in the recipe can be substituted with a quarter teaspoon of baking soda and half a teaspoon (2.5 grams) of vinegar.
Lemon juice is very acidic and has a high amount of citric acid. Because of this, it can provide us with the acid needed to trigger an acid-base reaction when paired with baking soda in baked goods.
But because it has a strong flavor, it would be best to use this in recipes that call for relatively small amounts of baking powder. This prevents the taste of the final product from being altered.
Use a quarter teaspoon of baking soda and half a teaspoon (2.5 grams) of lemon juice to replace 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of baking powder.
Top 7 Baking Powder Substitutes
Club soda is a carbonated beverage that consists of sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda. Due to this, club soda is often used in recipes to act as a leavening agent which can add volume to baked goods without the use of baking powder or baking soda.
However, the amount of sodium bicarbonate that’s found in club soda is small, so it’s best to use this for recipes that require only a bit of added volume. Club soda is mainly used to create moist and fluffy pancakes, for instance.
Use club soda to replace any liquid in your recipe for the best results. This especially works well when replacing water or milk, and could add extra volume and lightness.
If you’re out of both baking powder and baking soda, then self-rising flour could be a good alternative. Self-rising flour is created from a combination of all-purpose flour, salt, and baking soda. Therefore, it contains everything you need to help baked goods rise.
That’s why self-rising flour is a common ingredient in packaged cake mixes, quick bread, and biscuits. Just replace the regular flour in your recipe with self-rising flour and then follow the rest of the recipe as directed.
Whipped Egg Whites
Last but not least on our list of baking powder substitutes are egg whites.
Most baked goods get their light and airy texture from whipped egg whites instead of baking powder. To the reason for this is because the process of whipping egg whites creates tiny air bubbles that boost volume and lightness.
This procedure is most often used in pancakes, souffles, meringues and certain types of cakes. It’s a good option especially if you don’t have baking powder or baking soda with you. The amount required depends on the kind of recipe you want to prepare. For example, angel food cake may require up to 12 egg whites, whereas a batch of pancakes may only need two or three.
In order to make your egg whites perfectly light and fluffy, beat them at low speed until you get a foamy texture, and then increase the speed until the beaten eggs form soft peaks. Lastly, gently fold the remaining ingredients into the whipped egg whites.
Are you looking for Cream of Tartar, Butter, or Cornstarch Alternatives?
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