What Can You Substitute For Baking Powder?

This brief article answered the question, “What Can You Substitute For Baking Powder?” with an in-depth analysis of baking powder, the adequate substitutes for baking powder, how to use them, and important points to keep in mind while using them.

A Little About Baking Powder

Baking powder is the main ingredient used in baking. It acts as a leavening agent, giving volume and fluffy texture to baked goods by entrapping air bubbles.

It is made out of sodium bicarbonate, which is referred to as a base in chemistry, and cream of tartar acts as an acid. It might likewise contain a filler like cornstarch. Baking powder contains one or more acid salt that is added to sodium bicarbonate. These salts can include: monocalcium phosphate/monohydrate, dicalcium phosphate dihydrate, sodium aluminum sulfate, sodium aluminum phosphate, or and potassium bitartrate (street name: cream of tartar). These dry acid salts are added to the baking soda when the recipe contains no other acid ingredients. Cornstarch is also added to baking powder to reduce clumping (2).

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more consumers than ever have been seeking healthier choices, looking for “clean ingredients” to feed their families. Pantry stocking was overwhelmingly the main growth driver. As bread making and baking became more popular pastimes, sales of organic flours and baking ingredients grew by 30 percent (1).

Role Of Baking Powder In Baking

When water is added to baking powder, the acid-base reaction takes place which results in the production of a gas called carbon dioxide. Air bubbles are entrapped in the dough as the result of this reaction. This adds volume and gives a raising texture to the baked item (2).

Baking powder is frequently mistaken for baking soda, which comprises sodium bicarbonate. Baking soda does not contain any acid. It  begins to react and create carbon dioxide when it comes into contact with an acidic liquid, such as buttermilk, sour cream, applesauce, citrus juices, honey, molasses, or vinegar (2). Accordingly, it should be joined with an acid to have a similar raising impact as baking powder

Test To Check The Quality

One more significant thing to recall—baking powder doesn’t keep well forever. It’s typically useful for around a year if kept in a cool, dry spot, be that as it may, similar to any ingredient, it can spoil over time.

Typically, baking powder has a shelf life of 24 months. However, in a study, baking powder was stored for 29 years in cool (15-25°C) and dry conditions and was used to produce biscuits. Total CO2 of produced biscuits ranged from 18.1-21.9% of sample weight and did not significantly decrease over storage time. The long-term stored baking powder sample produced acceptable biscuits, indicating that baking powder retains its functionality over time (3).

Continuously check the expiry date. If your baking powder is expired or then again in case you think there is something wrong with it. Here’s a simple test: Mix ½ teaspoon baking powder with ½ cup warm water; the combination should bubble immediately.

Substitutes For Baking Powder

If your baking powder has lost its oomph or you’re only absolutely out of it, use one of these simple baking powder substitutes.


Buttermilk is a fermented dairy item with an acrid, somewhat tart taste that is regularly contrasted with plain yogurt.

The conventional type of buttermilk is made as a result of agitating sweet cream in the process of making butter. Nowadays buttermilk made for business is prepared by adding bacterial cultures to ferment the milk thus separating sugars into acids.

Buttermilk can be used to replace eggs due to its good emulsification and good water-holding capacity. Whey proteins and milk fat globule membranes in buttermilk possess inherent emulsifying properties. Buttermilk has been used in bakery, chocolate, cheese, yogurt, and for the delivery of bioactives as wall material for encapsulation. Buttermilk improved crumb texture and enhanced water-holding capabilities of yogurt (4).

Use in baking

Buttermilk when combined with baking soda can deliver a similar raising result as baking powder. Add 1/2 a cup of buttermilk and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to the mixture for a simple substitute for 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

To keep up with the ideal texture and consistency of the baked item, ensure you reduce the number of other fluids added to the mixture to make up for the added buttermilk.  

Plain yogurt

Yogurt is also a fermented product produced by adding bacterial cultures to milk. The process separates sugars and builds the centralization of lactic acid, successfully bringing down the pH and enhancing the acidity.

Substances that have a low pH are considered acidic, while substances with a high pH are viewed as basic. Plain yogurt has an acidic pH, which makes it an ideal substitute for baking powder when combined with baking soda.

Plain yogurt works best over different substitutes since it gives the volume and raising effect without giving its flavor.

Yogurt contains casein. Sodium caseinate is a valuable food ingredient with its high protein content and functional properties of emulsification, water binding, and texture improvement (5).

How to use it?

You can substitute 1 teaspoon of baking powder in a formula with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 cup of plain yogurt. Like with buttermilk, the measure of fluid in the formula ought to be diminished depending on how much plain yogurt is added.


Molasses is a sweetener that is formed as a byproduct in the process of making sugar. It can be substituted for refined sugar in various recipes. Molasses can likewise be utilized as a trade for baking powder.

Molasses is produced via the separation of sucrose crystals that follow the water evaporation from clarified juice (from sugarcane or beet) during the production of crystal sugar. The composition and final quality of molasses vary a great deal among batches, having different titers of nutrients (e.g., minerals, sucrose, glucose, fructose, vitamins, fatty acids, etc.) and toxic compounds (e.g., aluminum and sulfites and thermal sugar degradation compounds). Sugarcane molasses contains citric acid and malic acid (6).

This is because molasses is adequately acidic to cause an acid-base response when combined with baking soda.

How to use molasses

Utilize 1/4 cup molasses and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to substitute 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

As well as diminishing the number of fluids to make up for the additional fluid from molasses, you may likewise want to decrease the sugar in the recipe, since molasses is richly sweet.


Vinegar is obtained by fermentation, during which liquor is changed to acetic acid by fermentation causing bacteria. Regardless of its rich and unmistakable taste, vinegar is a typical ingredient in many baked commodities. The acidic pH of vinegar is ideal for use as a substitute for baking powder.

Vinegar is generally defined as a sour or acidic liquid obtained from a two-step fermentation process. The fermentation process utilizes yeast for the anaerobic fermentation of sugar to ethanol and acetic acid bacteria for the aerobic oxidation of ethanol to acetic acid. As a key metabolite, acetic acid is an important ingredient in vinegar and its concentration defines the organoleptic characteristics of vinegars. Typically, vinegar is not generally classified as food, but as a food-flavoring agent, an important feedstock in the food industry and a food preservative (7).

Vinegar has a raising effect similar to baking powder when combined with baking soda in cakes and treats. Any kind of vinegar can work the same but white vinegar has the most subtle taste and will not change the color or flavor of the baked goods.

How to use vinegar?

Substitute every teaspoon of baking powder in the formula with 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon vinegar.

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

Does baking powder have yeast?

How can I replace baking powder?

How to test baking powder?


This brief article answered the question, “What Can You Substitute For Baking Powder?” with an in-depth analysis of baking powder, the adequate substitutes for baking powder, how to use them, and important points to keep in mind while using them.


  1. HAUMANN, BARBARA FITCH. Organic in the United States: Sales Surpass 60 Billion Dollar Mark. the World of organic agriculture: 284.
  2. Alvarado, Jacqueline. The Math and Science of Kitchen Ratios. Yale University.  
  3. Lloyd, Michelle A., et al. Effect of long-term storage on baking powder functionality. 2004. Annual Meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists in Las Vegas.
  4. Zhao, Lili, Ran Feng, and Xueying Mao. Addition of buttermilk powder improved the rheological and storage properties of low‐fat yogurt. Food Sci Nutr, 2020, 8, 3061-3069.
  5. Isleten, M., and Y. O. N. C. A. Karagul-Yuceer. Effects of dried dairy ingredients on physical and sensory properties of nonfat yogurt. J dairy sci, 2006, 89, 2865-2872.
  6. de Oliveira Lino, Felipe Senne, Thiago Olitta Basso, and Morten Otto Alexander Sommer. A synthetic medium to simulate sugarcane molasses. Biotechnol Biofuel, 2018, 11.
  7. Hutchinson, Ucrecia Faith, et al. Vinegar engineering: a bioprocess perspective. Food Eng Rev, 2019, 11, 290-305.