Best Substitute For Baking Soda – 7 Easy Bakers’ Choice

The use of baking soda is common in baking to increase the volume and soften the dough. Sodium bicarbonate is the basic ingredient in it. For health reasons and taste, many of us like to use natural substitutes for baking soda.

Sodium bicarbonate is not agreeable to many individuals as it may produce side effects such as:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Muscle spasm
  • Increased level of body ph
  • High levels of sodium in the blood
  • Seizures
  • Swelling in feet, ankles, and lower legs.

Best Substitutes For Baking Soda

For some reason, you don’t want to use baking soda, or you don’t have any baking soda for baking. There are a few good swaps for baking soda for those who want to avoid sodium bicarbonate for health reasons, taste, or lack of availability.

The most effective substitutes for baking soda are baking powder, potassium bicarbonate, self-rising flour, club soda, and egg whites.

Bear in mind, not all baking soda replacements work for every recipe. In certain cases, a mix of substitutes might be necessary to hit that sweet spot of perfection.

Depending on the recipe you’ve, here are 7 great substitutes to choose from:

1. Baker’s Yeast

Baker’s yeast is a fantastic replacement for baking soda.

It converts the fermentable sugars present in the dough into carbon dioxide and ethanol.

Baker’s yeast is either active dry yeast (where the yeast remains dormant due to a lack of moisture) or compressed fresh yeast (where the yeast is alive and susceptible to perish soon).

Yeast produces different acids that aid in the fermentation of the dough.

Baker’s yeast is available in different forms according to the various levels of moisture content in them.

The various types of baker’s yeast are cream yeast, compressed yeast, active dry yeast, instant yeast, and rapid-rise yeast.

Nutritionists recommend baker’s yeast as a healthy substitute for baking powder. Bread and other baked goods fermented with yeast taste better and do not possess the bitter flavor of baking soda and powder.

According to the needs of the recipe and the rising time, you may use as little as 1 teaspoon or up to 2 1/4 teaspoons (sometimes more) of instant yeast per pound (about 4 cups) of flour.

2. Baking Powder

You can use baking powder as a substitute ingredient in recipes that call for baking soda.

Using baking powder instead of baking soda is advantageous. It contains the proper blend of sodium bicarbonate and acid needed for a strong leavening effect.

Baking powder needs to be used 2-3 times more than baking soda; if your recipe calls for one teaspoon of baking soda, then you have to use three teaspoons of baking powder instead.

Some brands of baking powder also come with added flavors that give baked goods a better taste.

Do not use salt in the dough mixture together with baking powder as it will hinder the leavening effect of the baking powder. If needed, you can add salt while baking the leavened dough.

You may also see the best substitutes for baking powder in another article here.

3. Potassium Bicarbonate and Salt

If you are wondering what to use instead of baking soda, then you can try potassium bicarbonate.

It is also a healthy option for people who have issues with sodium intake or their hearts.

Potassium bicarbonate can be used for low-sodium applications.

You can use the same amount of potassium bicarbonate (1:1) instead of the sodium bicarbonate required for baking.

If you’re using sodium-free baking soda, be sure to add a little extra salt to your recipe to make up for the lack of flavor.

However, potassium bicarbonate does not go well with acidic liquids like sour cream, vinegar, buttermilk, yogurt, or citrus fruit juices. You can use water or plain milk instead of acidic ingredients.

4. Club Soda

Club soda is a carbonated beverage that contains sodium bicarbonate.

You can use club soda in your recipes as a leavening agent instead of baking soda and baking powder.

However, the amount of sodium bicarbonate present in club soda may not be sufficient for preparing some of the recipes.

Bakers usually do not use milk or water in the recipe when using club soda.

Club soda is also beneficial for adding extra volume and lightness to baked goods; suitable for making fluffy and moist pancakes.

5. Self-Rising Flour

If you do not want to take the trouble of mixing baking soda or powder with batter for baking, you can use self-rising flour.

Self-rising flour is specially processed with a required amount of baking powder and added flavor to make your baking process easier.

Instead of using sodium bicarbonate, replace your regular flour with self-rising flour.

6. Egg Whites

Instead of baking soda, whipped egg whites can soften and lift the texture of the recipe. Trapped air bubbles within the beaten egg whites help the baked items to rise.

Beat the egg whites until fluffy, then mix them into your batter. Make sure to adjust the level of liquid in the recipe in proportion to the egg whites added to the batter. If you add ¼ cup of egg whites, omit ¼ cup of water or milk needed in the recipe.

If your recipe calls for eggs, separate the yolk from the whites and stir in the yolks separately.

7. Baker’s Ammonia

Baker’s ammonia, also known as ammonium carbonate, was a commonly used leavening agent before the arrival of baking soda.

Baker’s ammonia gives a crisp, light texture to cookies. However, its stubborn smell can be unpleasant to some, though most of it dissipates after cooking.

Use baker’s ammonia in a 1:1 ratio to replace baking soda or powder.

Related Article: 7 Effective Substitutes For Baking Powder

How To Choose The Best Baking Soda Substitutes?

Most baking soda substitutes will alter the taste and color of the baked goods.

When choosing an alternative to baking soda, you must pay attention to the flavor of the baked cakes or other goods.

For example, using molasses can make baked goods sugary, and thus it cannot be used for savory bread. But it can go well with sweet desserts and pancakes.

Using vinegar can give baked goods a sour taste. It is not suitable for use in sweetened cakes. White vinegar may go well with the baking mixture, which requires a very small amount of baking powder.

You also have to pay attention to other ingredients used in the recipe when choosing an alternative to baking soda. Make sure that the ingredients in the recipe are bendable with the baking powder substitute you are using.

It is important to adjust the fluid balance of the dough if you use a liquid ingredient to substitute baking powder.

More Ways to Enhance Leavening

Each bite of your baked cookies and crackers is more enjoyable when you did a proper leavening of the dough.

Don’t worry if you’re out of baking soda. There are several other functional ingredients that do the same thing.

You can further boost the rising capacity of your baking mixture with a few simple tweaks.

Adding one or two whipped egg whites to your recipe enhances leavening. It also makes the final output crispy, soft, and tasty.

Use cream of tartar to stabilize whipped egg whites and prevent sugar crystallization. Baking powder already contains cream of tartar, which works as an activating ingredient.

Use an electric mixer or whisk to whip air into the cream before adding it to the batter. By whipping the cream, your baked items become extra fluffy.

Lastly, do not over-mix your batter, for it may diminish the rise of the final product.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I substitute for baking soda in banana bread?

Swap baking soda with baking powder in banana bread recipe, using three times the amount for dough to rise. Self-rising flour is a handy substitute as it's got baking powder and salt in it - just lessen the salt in your recipe by 1/4 tsp. Yeast is a good puff-up agent but alters flavor. Cream of tartar helps in rising but won't mimic baking soda's texture.

Can baking soda be substituted for baking powder in pancakes?

No, you can't replace baking powder with baking soda in pancakes. Both leaven but work differently. Baking soda reacts with acid to form CO2 for rising, while baking powder bubbles when wet and heated. It's vital for fluffy pancakes. Without it? You could use sour milk, buttermilk, or self-rising flour but the flavor will differ.

Can baking soda substitute for cornstarch?

Baking soda can't replace cornstarch. It leavens, cornstarch thickens - not interchangeable. Subbing leads to acidic reaction, bitterness, and overflow. Instead cornstarch, use potato starch, rice flour, tapioca flour, or arrowroot powder.

Can cream of tartar substitute for baking soda?

You can't replace baking soda with cream of tartar. They leaven differently. Baking soda reacts with acids for CO2 gas creation. Cream of tartar is an acid, but its leavening power isn't the same. Swapping them could lead to flat, bitter baked goods.

Can you substitute baking soda for baking powder in muffins?

Nope, you can't replace baking powder with baking soda in muffins - they won't be light and airy. Instead, use sour milk, buttermilk, or self-rising flour as alternatives.

How much baking powder substitute for baking soda?

Typically, swap baking soda with triple the amount of baking powder. Meaning, 1 tsp of baking soda becomes 3 tsp of baking powder. But keep in mind, recipes can change, so if you're on the fence, consult a trusted baking book or website!

Is baking soda a substitute for borax?

Baking soda isn't a stand-in for borax. They play different roles - baking soda helps dough rise, borax cleans. Sub borax with washing soda, oxalic acid, or hydrogen peroxide.

What happens if you forget baking soda?

Forgot baking soda? Your goodies will be dense, not fluffy, as it's the stuff making bakes rise. Adding a bit of baking powder or sour elements like yogurt might help, but they may not rise as expected.

Can I make muffins without baking soda or powder?

Indeed, muffins without baking soda or powder are doable, but expect less rise. Use whipped egg whites or sour milk as rising aids, opt for high-protein flour and avoid overmixing. Bake at 400°F for 20-25 mins.

What if accidentally used baking powder instead of cornstarch?

Swapping baking powder for cornstarch by mistake might leave your baked goods dry and crumbly. Baking powder aids rising, while cornstarch thickens. You could salvage this by adding more liquid for moisture and sugar to counter the baking powder's acidity. But, the outcome might not be perfect. Always double-check your ingredients before baking.

Final Thoughts

Baking soda is a necessary ingredient commonly used by bakers for leavening.

In place of baking soda, there are a few chemical or organic substitutes you can use.

However, using substitutes for sodium bicarbonate or acidic substances may change the taste and color of the final products.

When using any of the alternatives to baking soda, you may have to make a few reductions or additions to the recipes.

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