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How to substitute baking powder in recipes

Updated July 20, 2017

Baking powder is often a crucial leavening ingredient in many cookies, cakes and breads, as it contributes to the light, airy texture we associate with many well-loved baked goods. If you've run out of baking powder, or simply can't use it in your baking, there are several substitution options for average baking powder (sodium bicarbonate).

Replace one teaspoon baking powder with the combination of 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar and 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch.

Replace one teaspoon of baking powder with the combination of 1/2 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 cup sour milk/buttermilk or plain yoghurt. Be sure to reduce the total liquid of the mixture by 1/2 cup to make up for the added liquid. For example, reduce the milk called for in a batch of cookies to 2 cups if the recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups with all of the called-for ingredients.

Replace one teaspoon of baking powder with the combination of 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/3 cup molasses. Be sure to reduce the liquid of the mixture by 1/3 cup to make up for the added liquid. For example, reduce the milk called for in a batch of cookies to 2 cups if the recipe calls for 2 1/3 cups with all of the called-for ingredients.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Cream of tartar
  • Cornstarch
  • Sour milk, buttermilk or plain yoghurt
  • Molasses
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About the Author

A. Boncimino graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She works at "Crain's Chicago Business" newspaper.