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Can I Use Baking Soda Instead Of Baking Powder?

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The Answer To The Question: Can I Use Baking Soda Instead Of Baking Powder


Don Ho sang about the tiny bubbles. And, they are key to successful baking. Most pantries have both baking soda and baking powder on hand. One, the other, or both may be called out in recipes for bread, cakes, cookies, etc. Are they interchangeable?

Baking powder consists of sodium bicarbonate, acid salts, and corn starch. Baking soda consists solely of sodium bicarbonate. For each product, the sodium bicarbonate, chemically considered base, reacts with the acid, and carbon dioxide is released. That carbon dioxide provides the rise sought after with baked products.

With baking soda, the carbon dioxide is released when an acid (e.g. vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt, etc.) is presented to the sodium bicarbonate. The chemical reaction is spontaneous.

can i use baking soda instead of baking powder

Baking powder is a more controlled product. It contains acid salt(s) which, generally, allows the release of carbon dioxide in two stages. The first action is released when dry and wet products are combined.

The second action is implemented with the introduction of heat during the cooking phase, thus the rising of bread, cakes. Corn starch is present in baking powder to keep the other components dry and separate while in storage.

So, you are ready to bake, or so you think. You did your shopping and you were sure there was baking powder in your pantry, or you did your shopping but were unaware the recipe called for baking powder. Regardless, the oven is preheating you are starting to gather your ingredients when you realize there is no baking powder in the pantry.

Do you just shut it down? Or, can the project be saved with the box of baking soda in the pantry? All is not lost, but you should not just substitute the baking soda one to one for baking powder.

Due to the acid salts and corn starch in baking powder, the sodium bicarbonate ratio (or strength) is one quarter that of baking soda.

To truly replicate baking powder, however, you must also introduce an acid component. The component you choose will depend on what you have on hand and what your recipe can withstand. Options include:

can i use baking powder instead of baking soda

o Cream of Tartar

o Buttermilk

o Yogurt

o Sour Milk

o Lemon Juice

o Vinegar

o Molasses


If most of these components are available to you, then the quantity of the component required should be considered. Your recipe may have to be modified if the acidic component adds unwanted volume to the liquid aspect of the recipe.

Vinegar, lemon juice, or molasses may impact the flavor profile of the recipe. The following outlines the baking soda / acidic component combination to produce a baking powder substitute:

baking soda instead of baking powder

Cream of Tartar

 If you beat egg whites stiff or make icing frequently, you may have the cream of tartar on hand. Cream of tartar, potassium bitartrate, is a white powder and can be combined with baking soda to make a dry substitute for baking powder. For one tablespoon of baking powder mix two teaspoons cream of tartar with one teaspoon baking soda.




The acidity of buttermilk combines well with baking soda. For a teaspoon of baking powder add a teaspoon of baking soda to the dry ingredients and cup buttermilk to the wet ingredients. Other wet ingredients should be reduced accordingly.




 The acidity and volume of yogurt are similar to buttermilk in the mimicking of baking powder. For a teaspoon of baking powder add a teaspoon of baking soda to the dry ingredients and a cup of plain yogurt to the wet ingredients. Reduce the other wet ingredients accordingly. Make sure you use plain yogurt; no one wants banana strawberry yogurt in their biscuits.

can i use baking soda instead of baking powder for cake

Sour Milk

The milk was off this morning, but you did not throw it out. That lactic acid can be just the activation agent you need. Use the same ratios as buttermilk and yogurt. For one teaspoon baking powder, teaspoon baking soda to cup sour milk.



Lemon Juice

High in citric acid lemon juice is a strong activator. For one teaspoon of baking powder use teaspoon baking soda with the dry ingredients and only teaspoon lemon juice with the wet ingredients. Be forewarned the dish may take on a lemony flavor.




As with lemon juice vinegar is highly acidic. For a teaspoon of baking powder combine teaspoon baking soda with a teaspoon of vinegar. White vinegar being neutral in flavor is preferred, but apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar will suffice.




Not as acidic as the other alternatives, molasses with its high sugar content can still replace the leavening properties of baking powder. For a teaspoon of baking powder use teaspoon baking soda and cup molasses. Not only will the liquid component of the recipe need adjusting the sweet components may also have to be reduced.

I hope that we are successful answer a question- can I use baking soda instead of baking powder. So, baking soda is not a direct replacement for baking powder. But, with a little help, baking soda will keep your kitchen smelling like the neighborhood bakery.

If you want to read more about the question -can I use baking soda instead of baking powder, and a lot more about cooking you can read here.

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