Substituting Baking Powder and Baking Soda

If you have either baking powder or baking soda, you can substitute ingredients.
If you have either baking powder or baking soda, you can substitute ingredients if you make adjustments to the recipe. JGI/Jamie Grill, Getty Images

Holiday baking can be more of a challenge if you discover all your baking soda got used up for baking soda volcanoes and invisible ink. If you have baking powder, it will save you a trip to the store. If your problem is being out of baking powder, you can make your own using baking soda and cream of tartar. Here's how to make the substitutions:

Using Baking Powder Instead of Baking Soda

  • You need to use 2-3 times more baking powder than baking soda. The extra ingredients in the baking powder will have an effect on the taste of whatever you are making, but this isn't necessarily bad.
  • Ideally, triple the amount of baking soda to equal the amount of baking powder. So, if the recipe called for 1 tsp baking soda, you would use 3 tsp baking powder.
  • What I do is compromise... I use twice the amount of baking powder as baking soda (add 2 tsp of baking powder if the recipe calls for 1 tsp baking soda), plus I omit the salt (which adds flavor but also affects rising in some recipes).

Making Baking Powder

  • You need baking soda and cream of tartar to make baking powder.
  • Mix 2 parts cream of tartar with 1 part baking soda. For example, mix 2 tsp cream of tartar with 1 tsp baking soda.
  • Use the amount of baking powder called for by the recipe. No matter how much homemade baking powder you made, if the recipe calls for 1-1/2 tsp, add exactly 1-1/2 tsp of your mixture.
  • Cream of tartar is used to increase the acidity of a mixture. So, you can't switch baking soda for baking powder. You can switch baking powder for baking soda, just expect the flavor to change a little.

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