Anyone that has been in the middle of baking a batch of cookies only to find out that they are out of baking powder knows how important baking substitutes can be. Here are a list of substitutes for the most common baking ingredients.
Jump directly to the baking substitute you are looking for.
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Brown Sugar
- Powdered Sugar
- Half and Half
- Sour Cream
- Lemon Juice
Baking Powder Substitute
Baking Powder is a leavening agent used in baking which creates bubbles and adds volume to baked goods and gives them shape. When you add water with the baking powder it produces a chemical reaction and carbon dioxide is produced and it creates air pockets inside the dough. While the dough or batter is cooking in the oven, carbon monoxide is produced and mixes with the carbon dioxide and creates steam. These gases expand because of the pressure which results causing the dough or batter to rise and expand.
If you don’t have baking powder you can use:
All substitutes equal 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
- Yogurt or Buttermilk. ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and a ½ cup of plain yogurt or buttermilk Decrease liquid ingredients by 1/2 cup or equal to the amount of yogurt used.
- Cream of Tartar. 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- Lemon Juice. 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, ½ teaspoon of lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. This may give your baked goods a slight sour lemon flavor. Recommended to not use this method in recipes that require a lot of baking powder.
- White Vinegar. ½ teaspoon of vinegar with ¼ teaspoon of baking soda.
How Long Will Baking Powder Last?
The shelf life for baking powder is 6-12 months. Keep it stored in a dry, dark place. To make sure your baking powder is still good mix 1/2 teaspoon baking powder with 1/2 cup hot water. If the mixture doesn’t bubble immediately, get rid of it.
Baking Soda Substitute
Baking soda is also a leavening agent used in baking and is pure sodium bicarbonate. It produces carbon dioxide when combined with an acid such as buttermilk, vinegar, yogurt or lemon juice. The bubbles get trapped causes your dough or batter to expand and rise. This process creates the airy texture of baked goods. Baking soda is hard to substitute in a recipe.
Can I substitute Baking Powder for Baking Soda?
Although they sound similar, baking soda and baking powder can not be used interchangeably or substituted one for one. They are different and chemically work differently. There is a whole science lesson here but just take my word for it!
If you don’t have baking soda, baking powder can be used as a substitute but it will most likely result in a different texture. To substitute baking powder for baking soda you will need a full teaspoon of baking powder to replace each 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in a recipe. Also, swap a non-acidic or less acidic liquid for an acidic one. If your recipe calls for buttermilk, use regular milk.
You can use baking soda in place of baking powder only when it is combined with an acid such as listed above, never just by itself.
In cakes eggs are a leavening agent which makes the cake light and fluffy. In cookies and muffins, the eggs acts as a binder and gives the baked good moisture, holding all the ingredients together. It is easier to use an egg substitution in a recipe that calls for 1-2 eggs versus a recipe that calls for 3-4.
Use any of these substitutes:
- Smashed Fruit. In baked goods smashed fruit works well as a substitute. Applesauce is one of the most popular and 1/4 cup smashed fruit equals 1 egg. You can also use smashed banana or avocado. You will notice the least amount of flavor change using applesauce.
- Flax Seed and Chia Seed. One tablespoon of flax or chia seeds combined with three tablespoons of water can replace 1 egg.
- Buttermilk. In cakes you can substitute one egg with 1/4 cup of buttermilk.
Brown Sugar Substitute
Use a scant 1 cup of regular sugar with 1 tablespoon molasses or maple syrup.
You can always just replace the brown sugar with granulated sugar. It may effect the taste slightly but will work fine.
Powdered Sugar Substitute
Blend equal amounts of granulated sugar in blender until fine.
Use equal amounts of coconut oil, lard, Crisco or margarine.
For 1 cup buttermilk you substitute 1 cup plain yogurt or 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
Use 1 1/2 tablespoons flour for 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
Half and Half Substitute
Substitute 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup whipping cream for 1 cup half and half. You can also use equal amounts of non dairy coffee creamer.
Equal amounts of corn syrup, maple syrup, agave or molasses can be used.
Sour Cream Substitute
Equal amounts of plain yogurt or Greek yogurt can be used.
Lemon Juice Substitute
When not needed for flavor replace with equal amounts of apple cider vinegar. You can also replace lemon juice with equal amount of lime or orange juice.
I hope these baking substitutes come in handy the next time that you are pinch. Now you are ready to try some of my favorite baking recipes: