A Blog by the Employees of Pacific Cookie Company
Alternatives to Baking Powder

Alternatives to Baking Powder

Baking powder helps foods to expand in the oven, giving you your perfectly-puffed pastries and cookies. But sometimes, you don’t have baking powder, or you’re looking for a twist. Luckily, there are ingredients you can use in place of baking powder! Read on to learn.

First: What’s Baking Powder, Exactly?

Baking powder is a leavening agent. Made of sodium bicarbonate and an acid (such as cream of tartar), a chemical reaction occurs when it mixes with water. This releases carbon dioxide and makes bubbles, which then increase volume.

Alternatives to Baking Powder

Before you start, stock up on baking soda. It doesn’t contain an acid, so it must mix with one to have a reaction. These suggestions are acidic and will help start the chemical reaction.

1. Molasses

Molasses is usually used as a replacement for your usual sugar. But despite its sweet taste, it’s fairly acidic. Therefore, when it mixes with baking soda, the chemical reaction is set off. For substitution, use a quarter cup of molasses and quarter teaspoon of baking soda for one teaspoon of baking powder. Because it’s so sweet, lessen the amount of sugar you’re using.

2. Buttermilk

Old-fashioned buttermilk is made by churning sweet cream into butter, while commercial buttermilk is made my adding bacterial culture to milk, therefore causing fermentation. This fermentation then breaks down sugar into acid, therefore causing a chemical reaction when its acidic properties are mixed with baking soda. Substitute half a cup of buttermilk and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda for one teaspoon of baking powder. Because it’s liquid, lessen the amount of liquid ingredients to avoid a watery result.

3. Milk That’s Gone Sour

You don’t have to throw out your expired milk just because you can’t eat cereal with it. Sour milk goes through a process, acidification, which leads to a drop in pH levels, making it acidic. Combine it with baking soda, and you’ll have the ideal leavening agent. Substitute half a cup of milk and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda for one teaspoon of baking powder. And don’t forget to lessen your liquid ingredients!

4. Lemon Juice

Warning: you’ll taste the lemon if you need to substitute for a lot of baking powder, so save this for recipes that have lemon or only use a little bit of baking powder. For example: lemon cookies and lemon cakes will taste fantastic with the added citrus. Substitute half a teaspoon of lemon juice and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda for one teaspoon of baking soda.

Did you know you can use these as substitutes? Which will you be using? Let us know!

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