If You’re Out of Baking Powder or Baking Soda, Try These Substitutes

What if your recipe uses baking soda but you only have baking powder, or if you have baking soda but not baking powder? It turns out there are options. After all, you can make these quick breads, biscuits, or cookies. You can even do them all, which is always acceptable during these stressful times.

Baking soda

If you don’t have baking soda, you can use three times more baking powder than the recipe says. So if your recipe requires one teaspoon of baking soda, you can use three teaspoons of baking powder. The baking powder also contains some salt, so it is recommended that you halve the salt required by the recipe.

The downside to replacing baking soda with baking powder is that you run the risk of getting bitter baked goods, so it’s important not to use too much.

Baking powder

Replacing baking powder is a little more difficult. If you have baking soda but don’t have baking powder, you’ll need to use baking soda and an acid like tartar. For every teaspoon of baking powder, replace a teaspoon of baking soda with ½ teaspoon of tartar. If you don’t have tartar, you can also substitute one teaspoon of baking powder with a teaspoon of baking soda plus ½ teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice. For liquid acids like vinegar or lemon juice, mix with wet ingredients.

How to tell if baking soda or baking powder is right for you

If you’re looking at a baking powder or baking soda package in the back of your cabinet, it’s easy to test it before you use it to make something.

As a baking powder, pour three tablespoons of warm water into a bowl, then add ½ teaspoon of baking powder. If the mixture fizzes, then it is still good. If it doesn’t, then it has expired and should be discarded.

For baking soda, add three tablespoons of white vinegar to a bowl, then add ½ teaspoon of baking soda. If the mixture starts to bubble, then it is still good. If not, throw it away. And if it turns out that your baking powder is still good but the baking soda is not, or vice versa, you at least know how to substitute one for the other.

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