If you need a baking soda substitute, you might be surprised to find there are common household ingredients that work just as well as a replacement.
What Is Baking Soda?
Baking soda is a chemical leavener, and when it interacts with an acid, it causes carbon dioxide to be released, allowing for fluffy and airy baked goods.
How Is Baking Soda Used in Cooking?
In cooking, baking soda is used to lift baked goods and allow them to rise while in the oven. Because baking soda reacts with an acid to produce carbon dioxide bubbles, it is usually listed in the ingredients along with acidic substances like lemon juice or buttermilk in most recipes.
Baking soda will produce a light and fluffy outcome, such as soft cookies, light pancakes, etc.
Why You May Need a Substitute for Baking Soda
- You’ve run out – it’s as simple as forgetting to restock or not finding it available in your local shops.
- Expired baking soda – although you can still use it, expired baking soda will lose its potency.
- You bought the wrong ingredient – confusing baking soda for baking powder is a common mistake. But the good news is, they are interchangeable.
5 Best Baking Soda Substitute Options
1. Baking Powder
Since they are both leavening agents, baking powder is commonly used as a replacement for baking soda. Healthline explains the similarities and differences between the two and suggests using much more baking powder as an alternative since baking soda is generally stronger.
How to Use Baking Powder
Replace the baking soda in your recipe with three times the amount of baking powder.
2. Club Soda
Club soda is carbonated like any other soda. It is made with sodium bicarbonate which is essentially baking soda in a liquid form. So trading club soda for baking soda in a recipe will similarly help your baked goods rise.
You can swap some of your liquid ingredients in your baking with club soda, including your eggs, to get fluffy pancakes, as mentioned by The Kitchn.
How to Use Club Soda
Replace some of your liquid ingredients with club soda, ideally starting with your eggs. It will take some trial and error to find the exact amount for each recipe, but it is a good rule of thumb to start with a 1:1 ratio.
3. Self-Raising Flour
You can simply replace the flour in your baked goods recipe with self-raising flour since it already has the leavening agents added to it. Therefore, there’s no need for you to add baking soda to your recipe.
It might not achieve the exact same results, but Bob’s Red Mill suggests it works when you’re without baking soda as a key ingredient.
How to Use Self-Raising Flour
Replace the flour in your recipe with a 1:1 ratio of self-raising flour, and omit any baking powder or baking soda.
4. Egg Whites
Egg whites are also able to fluff up foods when they are whipped into a foam consistency. The end product will be an airy and puffy texture.
However, Get Cracking explains that unlike the chemical leavening from baking soda, egg whites utilize a physical approach to adding air to your recipe.
How to Use Egg Whites
Remove the same volume of liquid from your recipe as the egg whites you’re adding. For optimal results, be sure to use room-temperature egg whites as the baking soda substitute.
5. Potassium Bicarbonate
You might find this common ingredient hiding in the heartburn medication aisle or even in your own medicine cabinet. Fortunately, it works in the same way as baking soda, except it lacks salt.
So, unless you want to reduce your salt intake, you will need to add some salt back into your recipe. Find out more about the science behind this ingredient at Bakerpedia.
How to Use Potassium Bicarbonate
Use potassium bicarbonate in a 1:1 ratio as you would use baking soda, and adjust your salt to taste.
Is Baking Soda Unhealthy?
Baking soda used in cooking is not unhealthy. Overconsumption of baking soda in other ways, such as drinking it as a health tonic, may hold some health implications.
Can I Skip Baking Soda?
You can skip baking soda, but the outcome may result in dense and sunken-in baked goods.
Can I Use Yeast to Replace Baking Soda?
No, it is not advised to use yeast instead of baking soda. The yeast interacts differently and shouldn’t be used as a replacement for baking soda or vice versa.
Running out of a key ingredient may be frustrating. But if you’re in need of a baking soda substitute, there are some common ingredients in your kitchen that may work just as well.