Baking Soda Substitutes

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Baking soda is a very important ingredient in many recipes. It helps our cakes, cookies, and breads rise, making them fluffy and yummy. But what happens if you run out of baking soda? Don’t worry! There are some cool Baking Soda Substitutes that you can use.

baking soda on a flat wooden soon
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Baking is like a fun science experiment. Sometimes, we might not have all the ingredients we need. But with a little creativity and some awesome substitutes, we can still make delicious treats!

Baking Powder Substitute

Did you know that baking powder is like the cousin of baking soda? It’s because baking powder actually has baking soda in it! But it also has an acid, which makes it double-acting (that means it can make things rise twice!).

If you need to use baking powder instead of baking soda, you’ll need to use more of it. For every 1 teaspoon of baking soda, use 3 teaspoons of baking powder.

This Substitute is Best For: Recipes that require leavening, like quick breads, muffins, and pancakes. I love these easy banana oatmeal pancakes!

how to make baking soda substitutes

Self-Rising Flour Substitute

This is a magical type of flour. It already has baking powder and salt mixed in! If your recipe needs baking soda and you have self-rising flour, you can use it. But remember, you’ll also need to skip any salt or baking powder that the recipe asks for.

Use when replacing 1 teaspoon of baking soda: 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of self-rising flour (adjust based on the recipe).

This Substitute is Best For: Recipes where a small amount of salt and leavening is needed, like biscuits and some types of bread.

how to make baking soda substitutes

Club Soda Substitute

You know those fun bubbles in club soda? They can actually help your food rise! Club soda has carbonation (tiny gas bubbles) that can make pancakes and some other recipes light and fluffy. Just replace the liquid in your recipe with club soda.

Use when replacing 1 teaspoon of baking soda: 1 teaspoon of club soda.

This Substitute is Best For: Recipes where the carbonation can aid in leavening, such as classic waffles or pancakes.

baking soda substitutes

Baking Soda and All-Purpose Flour for Self-Rising Flour Substitute

Use when replacing all-purpose flour and baking soda in a recipe: Replace an equal amount of all-purpose flour and baking soda in the recipe with an equal amount of self-rising flour. Adjust based on your specific recipe’s requirements.

This Substitute is Best For: Recipes where you need both flour and leavening, such as biscuits, pancakes, and some types of bread.

baking soda substitutes

Vinegar or Lemon Juice Substitute 

Vinegar and lemon juice are both acids. When they meet baking soda, they create a bubbly reaction. This can help your food rise! If you’re using vinegar or lemon juice as a substitute, mix it with the baking soda first.

Use when replacing 1 teaspoon of baking soda: 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar. 

This Substitute is Best For: Recipes where the slight acidity won’t affect the flavor, such as cookies, cakes, pancakes and muffins–like these lemon poppy seed muffins.

how to make baking soda substitutes

Cream of Tartar Substitute

What is cream of tartar? It is a white powder that comes from grapes. It’s an acid, just like vinegar and lemon juice. When mixed with baking soda, it also makes bubbles! For every 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, use 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar.

This Substitute is Best For: Recipes that require both leavening and acidity, such as these extra soft snickerdoodle cookies.

baking soda substitutes in small dishes

Recipe FAQs

Why do we even need baking soda in recipes?

Baking soda is a type of leavening agent. That means it helps our baked goods rise and become fluffy. When baking soda meets something acidic, like vinegar or lemon juice, it creates bubbles of carbon dioxide. These bubbles make our cakes, cookies, and breads puff up.

Can I use baking powder and baking soda interchangeably?

Not exactly. While both are leavening agents, they work a bit differently. Baking soda needs an acid to activate it, while baking powder already has acid in it. If you’re substituting baking powder for baking soda, you’ll need more of it (usually three times more).

If I use vinegar or lemon juice as a substitute, won’t my baked goods taste sour?

It’s possible. When using vinegar or lemon juice, you might notice a slight change in flavor. But in many recipes, the taste is subtle and can even add a pleasant tanginess.

What happens if I don’t use any substitute for baking soda?

If a recipe calls for baking soda and you skip it without using a substitute, your baked goods might not rise properly. They could turn out dense or flat. The texture and taste might also be a bit off.

baking soda substitutes

Expert Tips

  • Always mix your substitute well with the other ingredients.
  • Remember that some substitutes might change the taste of your food a little. For example, lemon juice might make it a tad sour.
  • Sometimes, using a substitute can alter baking times. Always check for doneness a little earlier than the recipe suggests.

More Baking Recipes To Consider

Remember, while substitutions can save the day, they might not always provide the exact desired outcome. However, they can often get pretty close, and the process provides a fantastic opportunity to learn and experiment in the kitchen! Happy baking!

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