Can I Use Baking Soda In Place Of Baking Powder?

Many a time you started cooking and the recipe says the addition of baking powder but you do not have it.

Baking soda present at the kitchen shelf makes you think if it’s a good substitute for your recipe or you will end up messing the whole thing.

Here we will solve the mystery that if you can use baking soda in place of baking powder

What Is Baking Soda?

Baking Soda is the commercial name of Sodium Bicarbonate. It acts to react with acidic components of food like milk, yoghurt, lemon etc. to carry out the reaction. This reaction releases carbon dioxide which rises the intended food like cake, muffins, bread, cookies etc.

Baking soda works on the same mechanism to rise food mass. So, what is the basic difference between baking soda and baking powder which makes the baking powder more commonly used than baking soda?

Difference between Baking Powder And Baking Soda

Baking Soda Is a whole alkali:

Baking Soda is an alkali or in other words a base. It requires an acid to react with. Remember the reaction of acetic acid with sodium bicarbonate we all did in school. A bubbling was observed which light outs the candle….carbon dioxide inhibits combustion.

Baking Soda Needs Acidic Components to Act:

So, if you have an acidic component in your food enough to balance the alkaline nature of baking soda, it can work well as a substitute for baking powder. Otherwise, it will produce a strong metallic flavour ruining the whole flavour of your food.

Baking Soda Can Function When Gets Heat:

Baking soda can also have a leavening effect when heated. A famous hack is opening clogged basin is to pour baking soda in the hole and add boiling water on the top. A frothing reaction is observed with bubbles popping up.

Therefore, we suggest using either enough acidic component or heat to make the reaction proceed.

Baking Powder Has A Good Proportion Of Baking Soda:

In the case of baking powder, they offer a cream of tartar, corn starch, and baking soda. Cream of tartar works as a dry acid component to make the reaction faster despite the unavailability of enough acidic components in the food. Thus, no change of flavour is observed even in you use baking powder a bit more than required or use it in a portion of food containing little to no acidic component.

Baking Powder Offers Double Action:

Baking powder offers a benefit over the baking soda in a sense it offers a double action. Half of the leavening action is performed at the time of addition and mixing of powder in the batter. The other half of the action is started when the baking process is initiated and the heat is provided. Therefore, you need not worry even if you have to keep the batter for even a day.

However, with the baking soda, you are advised to cook or bake the material right away in less than an hour.

So, here the question lies.

Can I Substitute Baking Soda With Baking Powder?

As mentioned before, baking soda needs an acidic environment to function its best. Therefore, you need enough amount of acidic component in your food to make it sufficient enough for the quantity of baking soda.

Amount Of Baking Soda Amount Of Acidic Component
One Teaspoon Of Baking Soda One Cup Of Buttermilk One Cup Of Yoghurt One Teaspoon Of Lemon Juice One Teaspoon Of Vinegar

How Much Baking Soda You Need To Take In Place Of Baking Powder?

Baking soda is four times more potent than baking powder. So, you need to take a quarter teaspoon of baking soda instead of a full teaspoon baking powder.

If you end up using the same amount of baking soda as that of baking powder in your recipe you will end up having a strong metallic or bitter flavour in your food.

It is because baking powder is the combination of baking soda with other elements which decreases its overall potency. However, in case of baking powder, you will be using an overall pure active ingredient that can also affect the flavour if used in excess.

Make Your Baking Powder At Home:

If you have run out of the baking powder, you can also make your own instantly from the common ingredients available in your kitchen. Moreover, making the baking powder at home is always a good choice if you do not bake often or if you live in a humid environment.


Cream of Tartar (dry powdered acid)… 2 tablespoon

Baking soda (active ingredient)… 1 tablespoon

Corn starch (storing agent, prevents clumping)… 1 tablespoon

You can adjust the ratio according to your requirement but mind to use it in the same ratio as the cream of tartar: baking soda: corn starch= 2:1:1


  • Take a dry well-cleaned container.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar and 1 tablespoon of baking soda in it.
  • Add a tablespoon of corn starch in the above mixture.
  • Use immediately or store in a cool and dry place.


  1. If you do not want to store the baking powder, you do not need to add corn starch. A 2:1 combination of cream of tartar and baking soda will do good.
  2. However, follow the complete recipe if you want to store the product.
  3. Store in a cool and dry place in an airtight container away from sunlight, heat, and moisture.

Key Takeaways:

  1. You can substitute baking soda with baking powder.
  2. You need to have enough acidic component in food if you intend to use baking soda instead of baking powder.
  3. Baking soda should be used in 1/4th quantity as that of baking powder as it is more potent.
  4. You can also make your the baking powder at home easily by mixing corn starch, baking powder, and cream of tartar in the ratio 1:1:2.