Baking Powder Substitute

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Create a homemade baking powder substitute with simple pantry ingredients. It works well in any recipe!

baking soda, cornstarch, and cream of tartar

Are you wondering why do I need a baking powder substitute? Why can’t I just use baking soda?

While they are both chemical leaveners, they function differently in recipes and have different compositions.

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, produces carbon dioxide when it comes into contact with an acid and a liquid. It is basic on the pH scale, which is why it reacts with acids.

Meanwhile, powder is different in that it is made of sodium bicarbonate and it comes with a powdered acid. It only needs a liquid to be activated.

For more information on when to use which chemical leavener, check out my guide.

Why this recipe works

  • These simple, common ingredients are readily available in most home pantries.
  • Sodium bicarbonate, a base, is paired with an acid, cream of tartar.

This baking powder replacement is so easy to make with almost no notice!

container of baking powder

What you need

No need to rush to the store. The ingredients are likely already in your kitchen. Let’s discuss just a few of the key ingredients:


  • Cream of tartar: This is the acidic ingredient in the recipe.
  • Baking soda: The recipe calls for this as the leavening agent.
  • Cornstarch: This is an anticaking agent, which prevents the mixture from clumping up.

How to make homemade baking powder

Three simple ingredients combine to make an alternative at home.

measuring spoons filled with baking soda, cream of tartar, and cornstarch
  1. Combine the cream of tartar, baking soda and cornstarch together until well-blended.
  2. Use 1 teaspoon of this blend to replace 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

What else can I use as a baking powder alternative?

  • Yogurt + Baking Soda: According to Good Housekeeping, you can combine ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and ½ cup of plain yogurt. This will replace 1 teaspoon.
  • White Vinegar + Baking Soda: Another GH tip is mixing ½ teaspoon of vinegar and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. This will replace 1 teaspoon.
  • Lemon Juice + Baking Soda: GH also recommends combining ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and ½ teaspoon lemon juice. This will replace 1 teaspoon.
  • Molasses + Baking Soda: Country Living recommends mixing ¼ cup molasses with ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. (You must lower liquids in the recipe by ¼ cup!) This will replace 1 teaspoon.
  • Club Soda: According to a Taste of Home, you can replace the liquid in your recipe with club soda. This works best for recipes that don’t require a lot of rising.

How to store this substitute?

To store: Keep it in an airtight container and store at room temperature. Never store in the refrigerator!

More helpful baking tips

Baking Powder Substitute

5 from 1 vote
When you don't have access to baking powder, you can use this formula to make a fast-acting baking powder – 2 parts cream of tartar, one a part baking soda, one part cornstarch.
Jen Sobjack
Prep Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute
Serving Size 2


  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch


  • Mix the cream of tartar, baking soda, and cornstarch together until very well combined.
  • Use 1 teaspoon of the blend to replace 1 teaspoon of baking powder.


  • The cornstarch is an anticaking agent and prevents the mixture from clumping up.
  • You can make as little or as much as you need. Keep any unused blend in an airtight container and store it at room temperature.


Serving: 1teaspoons | Calories: 6kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Sodium: 274mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 0.01g | Calcium: 0.1mg | Iron: 0.1mg

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

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