Can I substitute baking soda for baking powder in pancakes?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can I substitute baking soda for baking powder in pancakes?” and will discuss the difference between baking soda and baking powder.

Can I substitute baking soda for baking powder in pancakes?

Yes, you can substitute baking soda for baking powder in pancakes.  You can, but they will not rise to the same height. Baking powder has a dual-action because it combines baking soda with a second component that releases carbon dioxide gas when heated. The pancakes will not be as fluffy as they once were, but they will still be delicious.

THE TERMS “baking powder” and “baking soda” are not interchangeable. Baking powder is a combination of soda and acid that interacts to generate gas, which helps the cake rise. Only half of the baking soda is used. It has a high pH, which makes proteins weak and causes the cakes to turn black.

What is baking powder?

Baking powder is made up of sodium bicarbonate, powdered acid, and starch. It may be activated without the need for an external acid. Most baking powders are “double acting,” which means they release carbon dioxide twice: once when they come into contact with moisture and again when they are heated.

 As a result, baking powder-leavened products are lighter and fluffier than those made only with baking soda. This isn’t to say that you should let a baking powder mixture sit and wait for the second set of bubbles to accomplish all the leavening for you—the initial response is crucial to the texture of your baked goods.

What is baking soda?

Sodium bicarbonate is the chemical name for baking soda. It produces carbon dioxide when it comes into touch with acids. Carbon dioxide is trapped in batters and expands when they are baked, leavening your quick bread. Quick bread produced with baking soda must be baked soon after combining since it responds quickly. Because of its alkalinity, it can expedite browning processes, giving pancakes, cookies, and muffins more color (and hence flavor).

Is it possible to use Baking Soda instead of Baking Powder, or vice versa?

With this understanding, it should be apparent that while baking powder may be substituted for baking soda in a recipe (use a ratio of three measures of baking powder for every measure of baking soda), the flavor profile won’t be the same due to the additional acid that baking powder provides to the mix.

Baking powder, on the other hand, may easily be replaced with a homemade combination of baking soda, cornstarch, and cream of tartar (a powdered acid). Use 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch for every teaspoon of baking powder. However, keep in mind that your homemade batter will not be double-acting, so you’ll have to work extra quickly to get your pancakes on the griddle or zucchini bread in the pan after mixing the batter.

Alternative to baking powder


Buttermilk is a sour, somewhat acidic fermented dairy product that is sometimes likened to plain yogurt. When you churn sweet cream into butter, you get old-fashioned buttermilk as a by-product. The majority of commercial buttermilk is made by fermenting milk with bacterial cultures, which break down sugars into acids.

Buttermilk and baking soda can have the same leavening effect as a baking powder because of their acidity. To replace 1 teaspoon of baking powder, combine 1/2 cup buttermilk with 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with the remainder of your ingredients.

Cream of tartar

A cream of tartar, also known as potassium hydrogen tartrate, is an acidic white powder that is produced as a byproduct of the winemaking process. It’s most often used to prevent sugar crystals from forming in egg whites and creams.

It’s also a quick and easy baking powder replacement that can be purchased in most grocery shops’ spice section. For optimum results, use a 2:1 mixture of cream of tartar and baking soda. Replace 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Sour milk

Baking powder can be substituted with sourdough milk. This is because sour milk has gone through a process called acidification, which lowers the pH values. Baking soda interacts with the acidity of sour milk to create the same leavening action as baking powder.

To substitute 1 teaspoon of baking powder, use 1/2 cup sour milk and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. To account for the additional liquid from the sour milk, lower the amount of liquid in your recipe by the same amount.

Other FAQs about Baking soda that you may be interested in.

What Can You Substitute For Baking Soda?

Can you substitute baking soda for baking powder in pancakes?

Can you use baking soda after it has been in the fridge?


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can I substitute baking soda for baking powder in pancakes?” and discussed the difference between baking soda and baking powder.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.