The Baking Powder Substitute Our Test Kitchen Swears By

Baking powder is essential for fluffy breads and baked goods. Learn the substitute you can use when you’re caught without the real thing.

Whether baking a cake, quick bread, or cookie recipe, your recipes will almost always call for leavening agents: baking powder and/or baking soda. Because there are often such small amounts used in these baking recipes, you may think these ingredients are not essential for success. The fact is, your baked goods will not rise without them. No one wants a dense, non-fluffy chocolate cake! And because the chemical properties of the two ingredients are different, they are not fully interchangeable. So if you run out and need a substitute for baking powder, use our Test Kitchen's easy swap before you run to the store or make the mistake of leaving it out altogether.

Baking powder with spoon
Kritsada Panichgul

Baking Powder Substitute

For 1 teaspoon baking powder, substitute ½ teaspoon cream of tartar plus ¼ teaspoon baking soda.

Healthy Baking Powder Substitute

Regular baking powder has about 1,500 mg sodium per tablespoon. If you're trying to cut your sodium intake there are low-sodium or sodium-free baking powder substitutes that have about 0 to 15 mg sodium per tablespoon.

  • For 1 teaspoon baking powder, substitute 1 teaspoon sodium-free or low-sodium baking powder.

When stocking your pantry with all the necessary baking tools and ingredients, don't forget to regularly check the labels for expiration dates. Once opened, baking powder will start losing its potency, so you'll want to replace them within 6 to 12 months to make sure your recipes always turned out as expected.

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