Put down those car keys! If you need a baking powder substitute, we've got five easy options for you. These tips just might save your cookies, and they'll definitely save you time and money!
If you've got a serious craving for some lemon blueberry bread, but you're all out of baking powder, don't panic! Before you rush out to the store, try one of these five super easy baking powder substitute ideas.
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In less than the time it would take you to load up the kids and back out of the driveway, you'll have a baking powder substitute ready to go. And before you know it, you'll be chowing down on your favorite baked goods! Sweet!
WHAT IS BAKING POWDER?
Will you indulge us in a quick science lesson? Before we talk about baking powder substitutes, let's chat about what baking powder even is in the first place. The short answer: it's a leavening agent that's frequently used when baking.
The longer answer: it's usually a combination of baking soda (a base) and cream of tartar (which is an acid). Most commercial baking powder has a filler like cornstarch in it, too. Together, the acid and the base create bubbles when paired with water, and those bubbles cause foods to expand when cooking. It's almost like magic, but really, it's science!
Baking powder and baking soda are not the same things, so you can't use them in place of one another if you're hoping to see your baked good rise. The leaving power comes from the acid and base combo, which is how all the substitutes we're about to share work. Ready for them?
USE BUTTERMILK + BAKING SODA AS A BAKING POWDER SUBSTITUTE
If you have some leftover buttermilk from making a big batch of homemade biscuits, you can put those leftovers to good work! A 1/2 cup of buttermilk, plus a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda add up to the perfect substitute for one teaspoon of baking soda.
It sounds weird, we know, but the pH in buttermilk mimics the chemical makeup of baking powder, so it helps get the job done. One word of caution: since you're adding 1/2 cup of liquid to your recipe, be sure to adjust accordingly. Reduce other fluids by enough to keep the liquid content the same.
CREAM OF TARTAR + BAKING SODA = A PERFECT BAKING POWDER SUBSTITUTE
Baking soda is the real MVP of baking powder substitutes. The two are practically cousins, so it makes sense! While baking soda on its own doesn't make the best one-to-one substitute, with a partner in crime, it can work wonders. In this substitute, cream of tartar joins forces.
For every teaspoon of baking powder in your recipe, use a 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar plus a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in its place. Not familiar with cream of tartar? It's a good pantry staple to have on hand, and you can find it on the spice aisle in your grocery store! Cream of tartar is a good substitute for buttermilk, can be used in meringues, and is the star ingredient in homemade playdough.
HOW TO USE WHITE VINEGAR AS A SUBSTITUTE
Vinegar in baked goods?! Yep. We promise you won't taste it, so hear us out. Remember what we said about pH levels when we mentioned using buttermilk as a substitute? Well, the same science applies here!
When vinegar teams up with baking soda, it becomes a leavening agent that's perfect for cakes, breads, and cookies. Technically, any type of vinegar works, but white vinegar's flavor is more neutral, so that's our go-to! For each teaspoon of baking soda, sub in a 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar and a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Voila! Problem solved.
LEMON JUICE AND BAKING SODA
Pop quiz! How can you turn lemon juice into a baking powder substitute? You guessed it! With a little help from baking soda, of course.
Here's how: replace every teaspoon of baking powder with a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Warning: lemon juice packs a whole lot of flavor, so use this substitute sparingly! If your recipe calls for tons of baking powder, it's probably best to choose another replacement.
USE SELF-RISING FLOUR IF YOU'RE OUT OF BAKING SODA, TOO
We know what you might be thinking by now. All these substitutes are easy peasy, awesome-sauce options, but what happens if you're out of baking soda, too? Well, here's an option! Since self-rising flour contains baking powder, it's a good pinch hitter.
Use a one-to-one ratio for substituting, but make sure to omit any salt or baking soda in the recipe. Self-rising flour contains both of those ingredients, too. #FunFact
SHARE YOUR FAVORITE INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTION HACKS
And there you have it! Give Alexa a break and bookmark this post. The next time you're out of baking powder, you'll know exactly what to do!
Want to help us keep the substitution tips coming? Share your best hacks in the comments!
Since we're on the topic of ingredient substitutions, here are a few more posts you might like!
- Here are ten smart egg substitutes.
- These maple syrup substitutes will help you save a bunch of cash!
- Need cream of mushroom soup in a pinch? This 20-minute mushroom soup will save the day!
Bake it away!