If you are looking for a way to substitute baking powder (including sodium free baking powder) with something else in cookies, then you are not alone.
I know that I seem to struggle regularly to find baking powder in my kitchen. In fact, I usually get really excited when I think I see it but I actually put my eyes on baking soda instead!
If you love to bake cookies but you are looking for a way to substitute baking powder with something that might be more readily available in your kitchen, then you have come to the right place.
By the time you finish this post, you will have a laundry list of other items that you can substitute for baking powder in numerous recipes, including cookies.
Some of the points that you will learn more about in this post include substituting baking powder with:
While I have personally tried all of these in various recipes and some work better than others, you will be excited to try a few of these in your cookie recipes moving forward! So, let’s get started!
Buttermilk as a Baking Powder Substitute
Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product that has a slightly sour, tangy taste. Some people compare it to plain yogurt. This product is made when sweet cream is churned into butter. Buttermilk is the byproduct.
Because of the acidity of buttermilk, this can be combined with baking soda to produce a product that has the same effect as leavening baking powder.
To substitute baking powder with buttermilk you should:
- Combine ½ a cup of buttermilk with a ¼ teaspoon of baking soda for every 1 teaspoon of baking powder
You may need to reduce the amount of other liquids in the recipes to keep the recipe at your desired consistency.
Plain Yogurt as a Baking Powder Substitute
Given that buttermilk is similar to plain yogurt, it should come as no surprise that plain yogurt is on this list as well. When milk is fermented, plain yogurt is produced.
Plain yogurt is relatively acidic, which makes it perfect as a substitute for baking powder when it is also mixed with baking soda.
Plain yogurt works better than flavored yogurt because plain yogurt is relatively acidic, getting the job done without messing up the flavor of your recipe.
To substitute baking powder with yogurt you should:
- Combine ½ a cup of plain yogurt with a ¼ teaspoon of baking soda for every 1 teaspoon of baking powder
Again, you may need to reduce the amount of other liquids in the recipes to keep the recipe at your desired consistency.
Whipped Egg Whites as a Baking Powder Substitute
There are a lot of baked goods that have a light and airy texture. This usually comes from their use of whipped egg whites over baking powder. The process of whipping the egg whites leads to air bubbles that increase the volume and lightness of the recipe.
Whipped egg whites are commonly used in pancakes, meringues, and certain forms of cakes. The exact substitution will vary.
The lighter the recipe, the more egg whites you will need to add. For example, angel food cook requires more egg whites to get its light texture than pancakes require.
To substitute for baking powder with egg whites:
- Whip the eggs slowly until they are foamy. Then, increase the speed of the beating until the whipped egg whites start to form soft peaks. Once you reach the desired texture, fold in the rest of the ingredients, and complete the recipe.
Molasses as a Substitute for Baking Powder
Molasses is a sweetener that is commonly created as a byproduct when sugar is made. As a result, molasses is used not only as a sweetener but also as a byproduct for baking powder due to the acidic nature of molasses.
Molasses is acidic enough to cause an acid-base reaction when it is mixed with baking soda.
To substitute baking powder with molasses you should:
- Combine ¼ a cup of molasses with a ¼ teaspoon of baking soda for every 1 teaspoon of baking powder
Again, you may need to reduce the amount of not only the other liquids but also the amount of sugar in the recipes to keep the recipe at your desired consistency and flavor.
Cream of Tartar Substitute for Baking Powder
Also called potassium hydrogen tartrate, cream of tartar is an acidic, white powder that is often formed as a byproduct by those who make wine. This is commonly used to stabilize creams and egg whites to prevent the sugar from precipitating out as crystals.
Furthermore, cream of tartar also makes a great substitute for baking powder. When using cream of tartar as a substitute for baking powder, it is best to use a two to one ratio.
To do the cream of tartar substitute should:
- Combine ½ a teaspoon of cream of tartar with a ¼ teaspoon of baking soda for every 1 teaspoon of baking powder
This will help you accurately substitute baking powder with cream of tartar.
Lemon Juice as a Substitute for Baking Powder
Lemon juice is very acidic due to its high amount of citric acid. Therefore, it can provide the acid that is needed to create the acid and base reaction when it is combined with baking soda.
Because it has such a strong flavor, this is not going to work in recipes that require high amounts of baking powder. It is simply going to destroy the taste.
To complete this substitution:
- Use a ½ teaspoon of lemon juice and a ¼ of baking soda for every 1 teaspoon of baking powder
Lemon juice can work in some situations as a baking powder substitute.
Self-Rising Flour as a Substitute for Baking Powder
If you are out of both baking powder and baking soda, then you might be wondering if there is anything that will work.
You could be able to get away with using self-rising flour. This is made from baking powder, salt, and all-purpose flour, so it has everything you need to make sure that your baked goods will rise.
Therefore, this type of four is commonly used in cake mixes, quick breads, and some biscuits.
To substitute baking powder with self-rising you should:
- Replace the regular flour in the recipe with the same amount of self-rising flour; however, you should also omit any baking powder and baking soda that is included in the recipe
It might take some math, but you can definitely replace baking powder with self-rising flour.
What’s the Next Step?
Be sure to give these substitutes a try with your next baking recipe if you find yourself out of baking powder. Then, comment below with your opinion and let us know which of these substitutes worked the best for your cookie recipe!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can you substitute baking powder for baking soda in cookies?
Baking soda is a common substitute for baking powder; however, it cannot be used as a substitute alone. Baking soda is commonly combined with other ingredients such as buttermilk, plain yogurt, or cream of tartar to replace baking powder.
What happens if I substitute baking soda for baking powder?
If you end up substituting baking powder for baking soda alone, then the texture, taste, and pH of your recipe is going to be thrown off, as baking soda is similar to corn free baking powder. You will not have enough acid in your recipe if you use baking soda alone, which is going to through off the taste and alter the texture. Particularly with cookies, this is going to lead to some issues.
Can I use self-rising flour instead of plain flour and baking powder?
Yes! Because self-rising flour contains both baking powder and plain flour (along with salt), this substitution will work. To do this substitution, replace the regular flour in the recipe with the same amount of self-rising flour; however, you should also omit any baking powder and baking soda that is included in the recipe.
What is the pH of baking powder?
Baking powder has a slightly basic (or alkaline) pH at 8.1.
Is cornstarch the same thing as baking powder?
No, cornstarch and baking powder are not exactly the same thing. The biggest difference between the two is the baking powder is a mixture of baking soda, acid, and cornstarch. In this manner, baking powder actually contains cornstarch. The other ingredients in baking powder actually help the counterbalance the taste of cornstarch. Therefore, substituting baking powder with cornstarch alone is going to leave the recipe a little bit short, throwing off the taste and the texture.
Is baking powder keto-friendly?
Baking powder does contain carbs because cornstarch is, in and of itself, a carb. On the other hand, baking powder does not contain that many carbs. It only contains around 1.3 grams of carbs per teaspoon. Therefore, as long as you aren’t loading up the recipe with baking powder, you should be safe.
Healthline: What’s the Difference between Baking Powder and Baking Soda?
ThriftyFun: Uses for Expired Baking Powder
Image Credit via Flickr Creative Commons: “<“Cookies” (CC BY 2.0) by Plutor