Can I use baking powder instead of cornstarch?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can I use baking powder instead of cornstarch?” and will discuss the difference between baking powder and cornstarch. Moreover, we will discuss some cornstarch alternatives.

Can I use baking powder instead of cornstarch?

No, you cannot use baking powder instead of cornstarch. However, baking powder does not have the thickening capacity of corn starch and should not be used as a replacement for baking soda in certain recipes. The primary function of baking powder is to provide lightness and airiness to baked products. It could create air bubbles in a pie filling or pudding, but it wouldn’t thicken it correctly.

What is cornstarch?

Kernel corn has a significant amount of corn starch, which is a naturally occurring carbohydrate. It’s devoid of gluten and may be used as flour on rare occasions, although its primary use is as a thickener. Additionally, corn starch may be used as laundry starch or as a treatment for sunburn or rashes thanks to its wide range of applications. 

Typically, cream of tartar and sodium aluminum sulfate are the two acids used to make baking powder. Baking soda, when combined with a liquid, produces carbon dioxide, causing baked products to rise and become puffy.

What is Baking powder?

This leavening ingredient consists of carbonates or bicarbonates, as well as an acid that isn’t too strong. A buffer, such as cornstarch, prevents the base and acid from reacting too quickly. In baking, baking powder is used to make baked products puffier and lighter in texture. When an acid-base interaction releases carbon dioxide gas into a batter or dough, it causes bubbles in the wet liquid to expand, leavening the substance.

Alternatives for cornstarch

·         Wheat Flour

Wheat flour is a fine powder that is ground from whole grains of wheat. Wheat flour, in contrast to cornstarch, includes a combination of protein, fiber, and starch. This implies you may use flour instead of cornstarch, but you’ll need more of it.

Thickening recipes call for using two times as much white flour as cornstarch. Use 2 teaspoons of white flour for every 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. The fiber content of brown and whole grain flour is higher than that of white flour, thus thickening with these flours will need a lot more of them to get the same effect.

To make a wheat flour paste to thicken recipes, first combine it with a little amount of cold water. By doing this, you’ll prevent it from sticking together and clumping together in recipes. If you’re replacing cornstarch with wheat flour, be aware that it contains gluten and is thus inedible for individuals with celiac disease.

·         Arrowroot

Maranta root flour, which is used to make arrowroot, is produced from the starchy flour of Maranta roots, which grow in the tropics. Roots are dried and crushed into a fine powder to create arrowroot, which is thickening for cooking. Because it has more fiber, some individuals prefer arrowroot over cornstarch.

When combined with water, it creates a clear gel, making it ideal for thickening transparent liquids. To get comparable results, use two times as much arrowroot as cornstarch. As a bonus, arrowroot is gluten-free, making it ideal for those who cannot consume gluten.

Cornstarch may also be replaced with potato starch. Crushing potatoes releases the starch, which is subsequently dried to form a powder. Because it’s not a grain, like arrowroot, it’s gluten-free. This refined starch is rich in carbohydrates and low in fat and protein, yet it is a healthy choice.

·         Potato starch

Potato starch, like other tuber and root starches, has a mild flavor and won’t overpower your dishes. In a 1:1 ratio, potato starch should be used in place of cornstarch. If your recipe calls for 1 tbsp. cornstarch, use 1 tbsp. potato starch in its place.

Many chefs suggest adding starches from roots or tubers like potato or arrowroot later in the cooking process. This is because starches derived from legumes absorb and thicken water faster than starches derived from grains. If heated for an excessive amount of time, the thickening characteristics will be lost.

·         Tapioca

Cassava, a root vegetable prevalent across South America, is used to make tapioca, a processed starch product. To make tapioca flour, cassava roots are ground into a pulp and their starch-rich liquid is filtered away. Tapioca flour is then dried from the resulting product.

Because certain cassava varieties contain cyanide, the cassava must first be treated. Tapioca flour, pearls, and flakes are all forms of tapioca that are gluten-free. Tapioca flour may be substituted for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in most recipes.

To check out the cornstarch recipes, click here 

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

Does baking powder go bad?

Can you get sick from eating expired baking powder?

How long does baking powder last?


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can I use baking powder instead of cornstarch?” and discussed the difference between baking powder and cornstarch. Moreover, we discussed some cornstarch alternatives.


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