Run out of baking powder for a recipe and need a quick alternative? Learn which baking powder substitute works best for different baked goods.
Baking powder is an important ingredient in the baking process. There are, however, times where you might not have any on hand and are in the middle of a recipe. Trust me,
What Is Baking Powder?
Baking powder is a leavening agent used for baking. It enhances the rising of the ingredients used to make the baking good. A traditional baking powder leavening agent has:
- Sodium bicarbonate (a base)
- Cream of tartar (an acid)
- Cornstarch (a filler)
When baking powder is mixed with water, an acid-base reaction occurs between sodium bicarbonate and cream of tartar to release carbon dioxide gas. This results in the formation of bubbles that normally make the mixture rise.
A baking powder mixture helps to add volume to bread, cakes, and other baked goods.
Why Would You Need to Replace Baking Powder?
Although baking powder is a favorite leavening agent during baking, you may decide to replace it once in a while. One of the main reasons you may want to replace baking powder is when it has expired.
Using an expired baking powder won’t effectively serve its purpose (as a leavening agent). It may not make your baked goods rise. To test if your baking powder has expired, put ½ teaspoonful of the leavening agent into warm water.
Check out if the mixture fizzes. If this doesn’t happen, you’ll have to throw it away and replace with a baking powder alternative.
What Does Baking Powder Do in a Recipe?
Baking powder plays a critical role in your recipe. As a leavening agent, the baking powder helps the baked products rise and have a light texture. Also, when the powder is mixed with water, its acidic compounds react with the base to form carbon dioxide.
During this process, bubbles are also released, hence making your cake/muffin/baked good rise.
Difference between Baking Powder and Baking Soda
The main difference between baking powder and baking soda lies in the type of ingredients. Baking soda is basic, while baking powder is acidic. Baking powder makes the baking good rise by itself, baking soda needs to be mixed with an acid to achieve that.
If you don’t mix it with an acid (like lemon juice), it leaves an undesired metallic taste in the final product. Whereas baking powder comes with an acidic ingredient; hence you don’t need to add something else before making the baking good rise.
Can You Use Baking Soda as a Substitute?
Yes, it’s possible to use baking soda as a substitute for baking powder. Baking soda also has sodium bicarbonate, just like baking soda. However, to make it work effectively like baking powder, you’ll need to introduce some acidic substance.
You can add lemon juice to baking soda to make it have the “leavening” effect on the baked good.
Best Baking Powder Substitutes
You can use the following substances to replace baking soda in your recipe.
Make Your Own
To make your own baking powder, you can pick and combine all the ingredients used to make the original baking powder. You’ll need cornstarch, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
To replace one teaspoon: use ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon cream of tartar, and ¼ teaspoon cornstarch. To make an additional amount, double or triple the ingredients.
The main difference between baking soda and baking powder is the acidic component in the latter. To use baking soda as a substitute for baking powder, you must add an acidic component such as lemon juice or vinegar.
To replace one teaspoon: you’ll need 1 teaspoon of baking soda plus 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar.
Lemon juice also works wonders during baking. To substitute baking powder, you’ll need a lemon juice-baking soda mixture.
To replace one teaspoon: use ¼ teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon lemon juice.
One great advantage of self raising flour is that it comes with already packed leavening agents. With this, you won’t need all-purpose flour or extra baking powder. Just substitute 1 cup of self-rising flour for every 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
How to Choose the Best Substitute?
The flavor of the final dish can impact which substitute you choose. Will the substitute maintain or worsen the desired flavor? A substitute like vinegar could add some sour taste to your final product. Hence is preferred for recipes that require it in small amounts.
When deciding on the best substitute, you may also need to change the ratio of the other ingredients to your recipe. For example, when using a liquid substitute, you must decrease the amount of other liquid components.
This strategy helps to maintain the desired texture and consistency for your recipe. Also, when using a baking powder substitute with a strong flavor, you’ll have to adjust the flavor of other components to achieve the desired taste for your recipe.
Baking powder is an important leavening agent during baking. Despite its significant role, it’s possible to substitute it with other components.
When substituting baking powder, always make sure that the original flavor and texture of the desired baked good are maintained. You can achieve this by adjusting the quantity and flavoring for other recipe ingredients.
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Baking Powder Substitute | 3 Ingredients Only
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
- In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together until combined.
- Use to replace one teaspoon of baking powder.
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