5 Easy Baking Powder Substitutes

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Today it’s all about 5 easy baking powder substitutes. When you’re following a recipe to make something from scratch, you may notice that it calls for baking powder. The reason you’ll see baking powder listed as an ingredient in thousands of recipes is that it’s a leavening agent.

It helps baked goods rise to perfection, which is one reason it’s commonly added to the batter for cupcakes, muffins, loaves of bread, and other delicious treats.

While it’s an essential ingredient to use, you might not always have it on hand at home or available at your local store if in an emergency situation. When wanting to bake today and you don’t feel like rushing to the store to get baking powder for something you’re making, you do have options. You can use a few ingredients as baking powder substitutes. It’s essential to use the right alternative ingredients. If not, your recipe might not come out the way you expected it would.

Check out this list of the five best baking powder substitutes to use. There’s a good chance you’ll have at least one of these ingredients in your pantry. In case you missed this post, Substitute Baking Ingredients You Need or this one, 10 Essential Ingredients You Need When Baking

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5 Easy Baking Powder Substitutes

5 Easy Baking Powder Substitutes

1. Buttermilk

If you don’t have baking powder, consider using buttermilk. It’s an acidic ingredient that works well at getting baked goods to rise. It works best in recipes when combined with baking soda to create a baking powder effect. You can combine 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with a 1/2 cup of buttermilk to substitute a teaspoon of baking powder (reduce the liquid in your recipe 1/2 cup).

If your recipe calls for more than that, you can double the amount of buttermilk and baking soda. If you don’t have any baking soda at home, you can still use buttermilk as a substitute for your baking powder.

When you don’t have buttermilk, you can easily make it at home. You’ll need to add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk and allow it to sit and settle for roughly 30 minutes. Give it one good mix with a spoon before measuring it out and adding it to your recipe.

2. Vinegar

Combine vinegar with baking soda to create the perfect substitute for baking powder. It’s best to use white vinegar when you need a quick alternative to traditional baking powder. Suppose you use any other type of vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar. In that case, it could potentially alter the taste of the food that you’re preparing, thus making it less enjoyable for you. However, the white vinegar won’t do that.

Although vinegar has a strong taste, in general, you won’t taste the tang of the vinegar in your baked goods.

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You can combine 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to equal 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Make sure you’re combining these two ingredients before adding them to any batter that you’ve prepared. You want to mix them to create a component that will act like baking powder.

3. Lemon Juice

Do you have lemon juice at home? Whether you have bottled lemon juice sitting in the fridge, or fresh lemons on your countertop, you can put that lemon juice to good use. Like most other ingredients that you can use as baking powder substitutes, it’s vital to have baking soda available to mix with your lemon juice.

You’ll combine 1/2 a teaspoon of the lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of the baking soda to quickly create an alternative equivalent to a teaspoon of baking powder. Of course, you may need to increase your measurements based on how much baking powder you’ll need to complete the recipe.

It doesn’t matter if you choose to use refrigerated lemon juice or fresh lemon juice that you’ve squeezed. If you don’t have lemon juice, you can also use lime juice because it’s just as acidic. The acidity in the lime juice works well with the baking soda to create a substitute leavening agent that will get your baked goods to rise with no problem.

4. Plain Yogurt

If you like to have plain yogurt in your fridge, you’re in luck. You can use yogurt as a substitute for baking powder. Make sure you’re only using plain yogurt. If it has any flavor, it’ll alter the taste of whatever you’re preparing, whether it’s cupcakes, muffins, or even cornbread! You won’t need too much plain yogurt to make a difference.

Mix 1/2 cup of yogurt with 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to replace a teaspoon of baking powder (reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/2 cup). It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds for you to mix these ingredients, and then carefully add them to your recipe to get the same results that you’d get from using traditional baking powder.

5. Club Soda

Most people don’t realize this, but club soda contains sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate is baking soda, meaning that if you have club soda at home, you can conveniently use it to replace baking powder in recipes. You can add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to the club soda, but it’s not a requirement. 

So, if you don’t have baking soda at home either, club soda is the best substitute ingredient to use for your baking powder. Make sure you’re only using the plain version. Flavored versions can change the taste of your baked goods.

When used correctly, club soda gives your foods the perfect lift that they need. You can expect your baked treats to rise with ease, just like they would when you’d use baking powder.

5 Easy Baking Powder Substitutes

5 from 4 votes
5 Easy Baking Powder Substitutes
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Baking Powder Substitutes
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
mins
Total Time
10 mins
 
Cuisine: American
Instructions
Buttermilk
  1. When you don’t have buttermilk, you can easily make it at home. You’ll need to add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk and allow it to sit and settle for roughly 30 minutes. Give it one good mix with a spoon before measuring it out and adding it to your recipe.

    Combine 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with a 1/2 cup of buttermilk to substitute a teaspoon of baking powder (reduce the liquid in your recipe 1/2 cup).

Vinegar
  1. Combine 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to equal 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Make sure you’re combining these two ingredients before adding them to any batter that you’ve prepared. You want to mix them to create a component that will act like baking powder.

Lemon Juice
  1. Combine 1/2 a teaspoon of the lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of the baking soda to quickly create an alternative equivalent to a teaspoon of baking powder. 

Plain Yogurt
  1. Mix 1/2 cup of yogurt with 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to replace a teaspoon of baking powder (reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/2 cup). It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds for you to mix these ingredients, and then carefully add them to your recipe to get the same results that you’d get from using traditional baking powder.

Club Soda
  1. Most people don’t realize this, but club soda contains sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate is baking soda, meaning that if you have club soda at home, you can conveniently use it to replace baking powder in recipes. You can add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to the club soda, but it’s not a requirement. 

Baking Powder (what I do)
  1. I use one part baking soda and two parts cream of tartar. In other words, combine 1 teaspoon baking soda and two teaspoons cream of tartar and you will have 3 teaspoons of baking powder.

Final Word

Baking powder is one of those ingredients that you’ll see listed in lots of recipes. It’s an excellent ingredient to use because of its ability to get foods to rise perfectly instead of sinking in and looking messy. However, you might not always have it.

If you use it a lot, you can run out of it without having to take time to head back to the store for more. When you need baking powder for a recipe and don’t have it at home, try these substitutes.

These different ingredients won’t change the taste of anything you’re making, but they’ll still do the job that baking powder would typically do. You’ll likely have at least one of these options at home to use! Let me know how things went for you if you tried one of these baking powder substitutes. I’d like to share your ideas and experiences with other readers, and they appreciate it too. May God Bless this world, Linda.

20 thoughts on “5 Easy Baking Powder Substitutes

  • June 11, 2021 at 8:08 am
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    Keep in mind that store-bought baking powder is double-acting. It is activated some when combined with a liquid and most of the leavening action is activated by heat in the oven. It is far more forgiving in recipes and far less likely to fail. These DIY substitutes are only single-acting, and if the baked goods they are being used in are not baked right away, the results will be disappointing. It is far better to just store baking powder. According to a BYU study it has at least a 29-year shelf life when stored in its original container and kept cool and dry.

    Reply
    • June 11, 2021 at 9:38 am
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      Hi Jennifer, thanks for the information. This post was designed for times when you realize you are out of baking powder and don’t want to run to the store. I agree with storing baking powder, and I rotate mine. That’s interesting about a shelf-life of 29 years. I think differently. Thank you, Linda

      Reply
  • June 11, 2021 at 10:38 am
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    Thank you for the great info! I collect substitutes to use in an emergency but didn’t have that one. I have stored baking powder for at least 12 years and use it with no problems. I like to buy the huge sizes at Sams or Costco. Be careful to buy aluminum free baking powder. I can taste the aluminum in baked goods. Good brands without it are Red Star, Rumford, Clabber Girl and Trader Joe’s. I get Red Star at Sam’s Club.

    Reply
    • June 11, 2021 at 12:02 pm
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      Hi Kay, great comment! I have to agree do not buy the aluminum baking powder. Great reminder, Linda

      Reply
  • June 13, 2021 at 10:37 am
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    Very useful information- thanks!
    As far as tip#5….is this why 7up cakes work? I’ve never tried one, but figured the carbonation is what gave it life.

    Reply
    • June 13, 2021 at 11:43 am
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      Hi Jerilea, oh my gosh, I think you’re right! Now I want to make a 7-Up cake!! Linda

      Reply
  • June 21, 2021 at 12:26 pm
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    5 stars
    Hi Linda! Thank you for this info! I love knowing there are options if I’m in a pinch!❤️

    Reply
    • June 21, 2021 at 4:57 pm
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      Hi Camille, I decided to make it a printable for everyone! Thank you for the 5 stars! Linda

      Reply
  • June 21, 2021 at 1:25 pm
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    5 stars
    I learn so much from you. This is such great information!

    Reply
  • July 1, 2021 at 2:55 am
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    Linda:

    I have a recipe for a 2 ingredient cake that uses a substitute in it. Either Sprite or Ginger ale. All you have to do is add the sprite or ginger ale to a cake mix and bake. That wold be great in a emergency.

    As for making your own buttermilk I save my soured milk, half and half and whipping cream and mix it in on jug and use it for biscuits and cornbread. My husband seems to like it that way.

    Reply
    • July 1, 2021 at 7:44 am
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      Hi Jackie, oh my gosh, the cake mix with sprite or ginger ale!!!!! Do you cook the cake as directed on the box? I LOVE this tip! Your tip on the milk, etc. is awesome!!! Linda

      Reply
  • July 1, 2021 at 2:49 pm
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    5 stars
    Linda:

    All you have to do is mix the soda with the cake mix carefully not to disturb the bubbles and bake. It’s a easy cake.

    The milk idea was all mine because I had some soured whipping cream and milk (we had been going back and forth for eye exams and surgeries and no one but me uses the buttermilk because according to them they can’t make biscuits and cornbread like I make them (I know my daughter can).

    Reply
    • July 1, 2021 at 8:09 pm
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      Hi Jackie, thank you for the 5 stars. I want to make a cake and some cornbread now!! Linda

      Reply
  • July 25, 2021 at 12:55 pm
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    Ladies,
    I’m just an old country boy, but I was told that baking powder had a relative short shelf life and that the two ingredients (baking soda and cream of tartar) would last almost forever while separate. Apparently, I was told wrong. Thank you for the information. It will change my storage ideas.
    CB

    Reply
    • July 25, 2021 at 2:45 pm
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      Hi Curley, I think years ago more people cooked from scratch so baking soda and cream of tartar were probably used up before they ever went bad. It’s only a guess but my mom made biscuits all the time so I’m guessing hers never went bad. She just bought a new little can. Linda

      Reply
  • July 25, 2021 at 3:05 pm
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    Linda,
    Do you know the ratio of baking soda to cream of tartar to make baking powder?
    CB

    Reply
    • July 25, 2021 at 7:21 pm
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      Hi Curley, baking powder, I use one part baking soda and two parts cream of tartar. I am going to add this to my recipe card. Linda

      Reply
  • July 25, 2021 at 8:51 pm
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    Linda, thank you much.
    CB

    Reply

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