Substitute for Baking Powder

Here’s a handy substitute for baking powder you can use if you’re baking and you realize you’ve run out!

Substitute for baking powder

Looking for a substitute for baking powder? If you’re in the middle of a recipe and have that oh crap moment, we’ve got your back! As two cookbook authors and recipe experts, we’ve found a simple formula for how to substitute for baking powder in pancakes and baked goods.

Substitute for baking powder

Here’s how to substitute baking powder in recipes. The formula is basically one part baking soda to two parts cream of tartar, so you can use the math to increment the quantities:

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder = 1 teaspoon baking soda + 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Keep in mind, homemade baking powder is not double acting like most baking powders on the market. This means that it will start to react as soon as it gets wet. So, get your batter in the oven as soon as possible and don’t let it sit out! This isn’t as big of an issue with baking powder you’ll purchase at the store, because double acting means part of the leavening occurs in the batter and part in the oven.

What is baking soda vs baking powder?

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and baking powder are both leaveners, which means they’re used to make baked goods rise. What’s the difference?

  • Baking soda is a base. When combined with an acid (lemon, buttermilk, vinegar, yogurt) in a recipe, it produces carbon dioxide bubbles and makes the baked good rise. It’s about 3-4x stronger than baking powder.
  • Baking powder is a mix of baking soda, plus an acid (like cream of tartar). Since it already has the acid, it doesn’t rely on acid in the recipe to provide lift to baked goods.

Did you want the opposite?

Were you looking to substitute baking powder for baking soda instead? You can do that too: go to Substitute for Baking Soda.

Frequently asked questions

What is baking powder, and what does it do?

Baking powder is a leavening agent that helps baked goods rise by creating carbon dioxide bubbles. It’s a combination of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), an acid (usually cream of tartar), and a starch (often cornstarch).

Will using a substitute affect the taste or texture of my baked goods?

This substitute may slightly alter the taste or texture of your baked goods. If at all possible, use baking powder in your recipes.