Baking powder substitutes you need to get your hands on!

Baking powder substitutes must be a big part of your baking recipes as excessive use of baking powder can lead to various health issues.
baking powder is used in a variety of recipes
Too much baking powder can lead to serious health problems. Image courtesy: Freepik
Anjuri Nayar Singh Published: 22 Nov 2023, 14:30 pm IST
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All traditional recipes of cakes require you to use baking powder. But while we love our baked goodies and that delicious smell that comes when we are baking them, it is also essential to note that excessive use of baking powder is not good. However, if you are a home baker, and are panicking at this point, worry not! Here are some amazing baking powder substitutes that you must try and bake with.

What is baking powder?

Well, before you look for baking powder substitutes, it is essential to understand what baking powder exactly is. Dietitian Archana S tells Health Shots, “Baking powder is made from baking soda and starch. This combination also has a slightly acidic compound, such as cream of tartar, a powdered acid. This acts as a leavening agent in baking by releasing carbon dioxide when mixed with any liquid like milk or water.”

Well, this how it helps the cakes to rise to the yummy level for us to relish it!

Why is baking powder unhealthy?

How much is too much? While we all know that no bake cakes and cookies are a good option, using small amounts of baking powder used for cooking or baking is also okay. However, it should not be over used. Talking about the two kinds of baking powder, dietitian Garima Goyal tells Health Shots, “There are two types of baking powder; single-acting and double-acting. Single-acting baking powder releases carbon dioxide gas upon moisture exposure and requires immediate baking. In contrast, double-acting baking powder releases gas in two stages—first upon mixing and the second during the application of heat, offering more flexibility in baking times.” She explains the most common problems that can arise from too much baking powder.

1. Sodium content

Baking powder often contains sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as a component. Too much of sodium can lead to health concerns such as high blood pressure. This is very important for people who follow a low-sodium diet. You may want to monitor your intake.

2. Aluminium concerns

Some baking powders contain aluminium-based acid, such as sodium aluminium sulphate. While the aluminium content in baking powder is relatively low, excessive aluminium intake has been linked to health issues, particularly for individuals with kidney problems. Choosing aluminium-free baking powder is a must.

Woman using oven as a kitchen gadget for healthy cooking
Baking powder can lead to kidney issues, if used excessively. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Digestive sensitivity

Baking powder contains chemicals that release carbon dioxide gas when exposed to moisture and heat. For some individuals, particularly those with digestive sensitivities, the gas produced during baking may lead to discomfort, bloating, or flatulence.

4. Gluten-free considerations

Some commercial baking powders may contain additives or starches that include gluten.

Also Read: Love to bake? Switch to healthier baking with these tips

10 baking powder substitutes you must try

While you may feel your baked goodies just cannot rise without baking powder, Archana S tells us 10 baking powder substitutes that work very well

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1. Yogurt

Yogurt is a great baking powder substitute as its acidity can contribute to leavening in recipes.

2. Buttermilk

Buttermilk can also be useful as it adds acidity and moisture to baked goods.

3. Sour Milk

Combine milk with an acid like lemon juice or vinegar, and you are good to go!

4. Molasses

Molasses is great for baked desserts as it provides sweetness and contributes to leavening.

5. Whipped Egg Whites

Beat egg whites until stiff for a fluffy texture. These work very well, do try!

A tray of eggs
Whipped eggs are great baking powder substitute. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

6. Club Soda

Club soda is a great baking powder substitute as it adds carbonation, contributing to leavening.

7. Self-Rising Flour

Self-rising flour is another great baking powder alternative as it contains baking powder and salt.

8. Lemon juice

5 g Baking powder can be replaced with 1 g baking soda with 2.5 g lemon juice. This will have the same effect.

9. Cooking Powder

Cooking powder is a combination of baking soda and a powdered acid, similar to baking powder.

10. Vinegar

Vinegar has a leavening effect when paired with baking soda, and works as a good baking powder alternative.

These substitutes can be incorporated into recipes based on the specific leavening requirements, providing alternatives for various dietary preferences or restrictions.

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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