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One of my first experiences with following a recipe was when I ran out of baking powder. I had an excess of cornstarch at the time and had no clue whether it would work to substitute baking powder. I never wanted to be in that stressful scenario again, so I decided to look into baking powder replacements.

In general, cornstarch cannot be used in lieu of baking powder. Cornstarch is used to thicken the batter, while baking powder is used to leaven it. Cornstarch thickens mixes, but baking powder causes the dish to rise.

When I plan to create a cake for a family occasion, I make sure my pantry is well stocked with all of the necessary ingredients. I’m not perfect, just like I’m not perfect at baking! I used this as a learning experience and discovered the most efficient baking powder replacements.

What Is the Difference Between Cornstarch and Baking Powder?

Cornstarch Baking Powder
Extracted from corn kernels and formed into a starch Air bubbles formed which gives height to desserts
Used for thickening liquids Is composed of an acid, base, and a buffer
Thickening reaction comes from heat and starch molecules Used in baking to make desserts less dense and airy

Despite their very similar looks, cornstarch and baking powder are fundamentally different!

Baking powder is more sophisticated and contains numerous ingredients. Let us pretend to be crazy scientists for a bit and discuss about acids and bases. So don’t worry, I won’t harm your head!

*You may also be interested in whether baking powder can be used in lieu of cornstarch. I just published an essay titled Effective Cornstarch Substitutes. This article may be found here!

Is there a difference between baking powder and cornstarch?

Baking powder and cornstarch are not the same thing. Baking powder is a leavening agent, which means it creates air bubbles in the batter, causing the cake to rise. Cornstarch is a thickening ingredient used to make puddings and pie fillings thicker.

Cornstarch is a handy item to have on hand. I like cooking various pies with varied contents such as apple, blueberry, and lemon (which is my husband’s ultimate favorite!)

When my fillings get too loose for my satisfaction, I add cornstarch to help thicken them up since its primary function is to thicken liquids.

Cornstarch is created from the starches of corn kernels, thus any protein and fibre have been removed to create this refined, starchy powder.

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What makes baking powder function is a combination of a base (often sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda) and an acid (usually cream of tartar). When these two elements come together, a reaction happens.

Take, for example, vinegar and baking soda. If you put baking soda in a basin and pour vinegar over it, it will expand and bubble!

The reaction was generated by the combination of the acid (in this instance vinegar) and the base (baking soda), and you can see bubbles developing and growing visibly. When we add baking powder in a recipe, we get the same effect.

Baking powder is used in baking as a leavening ingredient to give sweets height.

Baking powder contains both an acid and a base in the form of powdered materials. This enables us to store it in our pantries without it responding on its own.

The timer begins ticking after we put baking powder into our wet ingredients! Baking powder will gradually begin to react, generating bubbles that will allow our cakes to rise and wow all of your visitors!

*Side Note: If you’ve ever wondered what the difference between a sponge cake and a butter cake is. You may read about it in my essay here!

This article explains when to use baking powder and how the textures change!

What may be substituted for Baking Powder?

To learn what baking powder alternatives genuinely work and why cornstarch is not an acceptable replacement in recipes, we must first investigate the substitutes and the science behind them.

Baking Powder Substitutes

Baking Powder Substitutes Amount to Replace 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
Yogurt 1/2 Cup of Yogurt + 1/4 tsp of Baking Soda
Molasses 1/4 Cup of Molasses + 1/4 tsp of Baking Soda
Cream of Tartar 1/2 tsp of Cream of Tartar + 1/4 tsp of Baking Soda
Lemon Juice 1/2 tsp of Lemon Juice + 1/4 tsp of Baking Soda
Self-Rising Flour Substitute all flour in your recipe
Buttermilk 1/2 Cup of Buttermilk + 1/4 tsp of Baking Soda

You’ll note that practically every single item on the table above needs some baking soda.

Can baking soda be used in place of baking powder? Baking soda, in general, cannot substitute baking powder! Baking powder is distinct in that it has a dormant reaction as a result of the interaction of an acid and a base. Baking soda is merely a base; it requires an acid supply from outside.

All of the ingredients mentioned above are ideal for combining with baking soda to produce the same reaction and effect as baking powder!

*By the way, if you need a Sifter to break down clumps in your dry ingredients, I discovered the ideal Baking Sieve Cup Stainless Steel Sifter. This sifter is fantastic because it can sift through big volumes of dry materials much quicker than traditional handheld sifters. This Sifter Sieve Cup is available on Amazon!

Make use of Yogurt

4 teaspoon of baking soda. 2 cup yogurt and 1 One unexpected product that works well as a replacement for baking powder is yogurt! Yogurt is characterized as acidic due to the presence of lactic acid. 1 teaspoon baking powder may be used in lieu of 1 teaspoon baking powder in a recipe.

The yogurt will react with the baking soda to create air bubbles, which will make your cakes light and fluffy.

*Important Tip: Reduce the amount of liquids in your recipe somewhat. Yogurt provides moisture to the batter, which may cause it to become overly loose.

With this in mind, buttermilk also comes under this group. Since adding buttermilk to your batter will make it runny, you should reduce the amount of your other liquids significantly. The reaction of baking soda and buttermilk will mimic the actions of baking powder.

Make use of molasses.

Molasses is one of those mysteriously delicious foods that everyone should have on hand! Molasses is a thick syrup that is used as a sweetener in a variety of dishes. It is formed from the fluids of sugar that have been crushed and boiled down.

Molasses is amazing in any other way. It may be used in place of baking powder!

4 teaspoon of baking soda. 4 cups of molasses 1 1 teaspoon baking powder may be used in lieu of 1 teaspoon baking powder in a recipe.

When molasses is combined with baking soda, it produces a leavening response comparable to that of baking powder.

*Caution: Molasses is naturally highly sweet. If you use it as a replacement, lower the quantity of sugar in your dessert.

Make use of Cream of Tartar.

Cream of tartar is an excellent dry ingredient to use in place of baking powder! Cream of tartar, due to its acidic nature, functions as the acid required to combine with baking soda to form a leavening agent.

What causes the acidity of cream of tartar? Cream of tartar is acidic because it is a result of the fermentation of wine in barrels. Cream of tartar is tartaric acid, which produces carbon dioxide gas when combined with baking soda. In other words, it aids in the increase of your sweets!

Add 4 teaspoon baking soda to your batter. 2 teaspoon cream of tartar with 1 teaspoon To substitute one teaspoon of baking powder in a recipe, combine 1

Make use of lemon juice.

Lemons are one of the most popular pantry items that most of us keep on hand! It’s rather surprising that this item was so effective at substituting baking powder! Due of its very acidic nature, it is ideal for combining with baking soda and adding to your batter.

4 teaspoon baking soda to produce a reaction that will aid in the rising of your dessert! 2 teaspoon lemon juice, followed by 1 teaspoon Pour 1 teaspoon of baking powder in lieu of one teaspoon.

Make use of self-rising flour.

Sometimes, even if we run to the shop and look for baking powder, there isn’t any! Self-rising flour is one of my best-kept secrets for when I run out of baking powder.

What exactly is self-rising flour? Self-rising flour is all-purpose flour that already contains leavening ingredients. These chemicals, which are mainly baking powder and salt, enable sweets to rise.

Self-rising flour is often used to provide a lot of air to baked items. The following baked foods need considerably more air than your usual cake:

  • Biscuits
  • Cupcakes
  • Pizza dough
  • Scones
  • Sponge Cakes

If you don’t have any baking powder and need it for a recipe, just replace all of the flour in the recipe with self-rising flour. This easy switch is quite effective and a perfect backup for any kitchen!

Make use of buttermilk.

Buttermilk is a beautiful ingredient that I love to use in both baking and cooking! I can’t image preparing fried chicken without a lovely buttermilk batter. Putting my favorite dishes aside, buttermilk is a fantastic ingredient that may be utilized as a perfect alternative for baking powder!

Buttermilk is fairly sour and serves as the acid required for the reaction with baking soda.

To have the same effect as baking powder, use 4 teaspoons baking soda. 2 cup buttermilk plus 1 1 teaspoon baking powder may be substituted for 1 teaspoon baking powder in your recipe.

*Important Tip: Since buttermilk is a liquid, reduce the quantity of liquid in your batter to keep it from getting runny.

What if you don’t use Baking Powder?

Baking powder is often used as a leavening agent. There is no reaction to give your sweets height if you do not use baking powder. To give cakes height, the acid and base components of baking powder react and form air bubbles.

Using this information, you may potentially attempt to bake a cake or other dish without using baking powder. But, and this is something I want to highlight, your cake will be flatter than the ground.

How did I find out? Because I am far from immune to forgetting stuff!

Is it possible to produce your own baking powder?

Make your own baking powder by combining two parts cream of tartar, one part baking soda, and one part cornstarch. This ratio enables you to produce your own baking powder, which is quite effective. Baking powder is easy to make and less acidic than store-bought.

We’ve all figured out what baking powder is by now. The reaction is a straightforward acid-base reaction. We’ve seen a lot of acidic substitutes for baking soda that may assist generate the similar impact that baking powder has on sweets.

Cream of tartar is a powder that may be used to make your own baking powder. Baking soda is the base required to aid in the reaction with the acid. Cornstarch is an important component in this recipe because it absorbs excess moisture in the homemade baking powder and extends its shelf life.

In conclusion

Baking does not have to be a stressful activity! I am a forgetful person who sometimes fails to notice that I have used up an ingredient and have yet to purchase it.

I’ve learnt over the years that baking doesn’t have to be stressful since there are so many options to replace items in your recipes!

Baking powder is one of those items that has several substitutes, and after spending time optimizing ratios and knowing the science behind it, you will never run out of baking powder again.