What Can You Substitute For Baking Soda?

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

What Can You Substitute For Baking Soda?

Did it ever occur to you that baking soda can be used as a natural deodorant? Also known as sodium bicarbonate baking soda seems to have multiple uses. In addition to being used as a leavening agent, when baking.

It can also be used to clean and deodorize surfaces. It is even safe for treating conditions such as heartburn.

What To Do When You Run Out Of Baking Soda?

If a recipe calls for baking soda and you don’t have any in the house, well you could rush to the store and buy some. Or you could check and see if there’s anything already in your pantry that you can use as a substitution.

Here are a few alternatives you can use when baking without baking soda:

Baking Powder

People often get baking soda and baking powder confused with each other. That is probably due to their similar-sounding names. Fortunately, even if you do get the two confused it doesn’t matter because they’re essentially interchangeable as far as actual baking is concerned.

This is because the baking powder in part is made with baking soda as a key ingredient. The other main ingredient that is used for baking powder is potassium bitartrate otherwise known as cream of tartar.

Cream of Tartar

Cream of tartar is the powdered form of tartaric acid, a natural substance found in a certain variety of plants. And just like baking soda, cream of tartar also is a leavening agent making it a useful addition when baking.

With this in mind baking soda is a more than adequate substitution for baking powder when you don’t have the baking soda on hand.

How to Use it

Baking powder does not work as effectively as baking soda works. But if you want to have the same potency as baking soda you’ll need to use about three times as much powder as you normally would.


It is also worth mentioning that using baking powder as an alternative to baking soda may also slightly alter the taste of the item you’re baking. To compensate for the added saltiness and acidity of baking powder, reduce the amount of salt as well as any other ingredients with a high acidity content.

Bakers Ammonia

Feel free to try baking using Baker’s ammonia instead of baking soda. Also known by the scientific name of ammonium carbonate. Baker’s ammonia adds a distinct taste and texture to baked goods compared to other leavening ingredients. Leading to a delicious creation such as thin crispy cookies and crackers.


Baker’s ammonia is a great addition to a variety of specialty recipes. It might not be a suitable alternative to baking soda for all recipes. Another thing to be mindful of is the smell.

Ammonia is famously known for its pungent aromas and Baker’s ammonia is no exception. In particular, Baker’s ammonia produces a combination of ammonia as well as carbon dioxide when exposed to heat.

This can lead to a particularly unpleasant smell that can potentially stink up your kitchen. Which is another reason why Baker’s ammonia might not be ideal as a substitute in all situations.

Self-rising flour

If you run out of baking soda or don’t want to use it you can always pick some self-rising flour. Self-rising flour is a combination of different baking ingredients that have already been handily mixed. All-purpose flour is combined with around a teaspoon and a half of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.


Self-rising flour comes pre-portioned with baking powder and salt is already thrown into the mix. That means you may need to make some adjustments to your recipe as compensation. Otherwise, it might change the taste and texture of the baked goods.

Because baking powder already contains an acidic component as well. Replace the acid in your recipe with something neutral to get the desired leavening reaction.

All in all self-rising flour may not be the ideal alternative to baking soda for individuals who are new to baking. It may require a little bit of trial and error before you get the hang of using it in all your baking recipes.

Potassium Bicarbonate

Potassium bicarbonate is commonly used as a dietary supplement but in a pinch, it can also be used as a leavening agent for baked goods. Because it doesn’t contain any sodium.

Potassium bicarbonate might be an ideal substitution for people who are trying to reduce their sodium intake.


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



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.