Substitute for Baking Soda and Baking Powder in Cookies

Whether you’re an avid baker or not, almost everyone has baking soda and baking powder in their pantry. But on the off chance, you don’t, and you want to make tasty cookies, don’t fret. Things like egg yolks, active dry yeast, plain yogurt, and buttermilk can work as substitutes.

Hello there, cookie lovers! My name is Michelle, and while I like to think I am always prepared, this simply isn’t the case. I have run out of baking soda or powder a few times and have simply forgotten to replace it before wanting cookies. That said, I found great replacements for both!

If you’re in a cookie conundrum and don’t have baking soda or baking powder, you will be happy to know that there are lots of substitutes that can be used. Even better, most of these replacements should be hiding somewhere around your kitchen.

Are you ready to bake? Let’s get to it!

Substitutes for Baking Soda in Cookies

Baking soda is essential for cookie recipes because it does three things – it leavens the cookies or helps them to “puff up”, allows for even baking, and creates that beloved chewy and coarse texture. If you don’t have baking soda, here are a few replacements.

1. Baking Powder

Oddly enough, baking powder can be used as a great replacement for baking soda. That’s because baking powder is essentially baking powder mixed with cream of tartar and cornstarch. It’s not as strong as baking soda, so you will need to use more.

2. Self-Rising Flour

Self-rising flour is another ingredient that utilizes much baking soda, although it’s combined with all-purpose flour and salt. That said, self-rising flour makes a grand replacement, but you will need to use more.

3. Active Dry Yeast

If you love to bake, you likely have active dry yeast in your pantry! Don’t hesitate to use it as a replacement for baking soda. They share similar properties, so you can use them in a 1:1 ratio and have similar results.

4. Egg Whites

When all else fails, look to the eggs! If your refrigerator looks anything like mine, then you 100% have eggs on hand at all times. They’re such a versatile ingredient! To substitute baking soda for egg whites, whip the egg whites with sugar before adding it to the rest of your batter. 

Substitutes for Baking Powder in Cookies

Baking powder is another must for cookies. It is the ingredient that serves to help cookies spread up and out, creating that delicate texture and supreme flavor. Baking powder and baking soda work conjointly for the best cookie results. So what do you do when you’re out of powder?

1. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a great substitute for baking powder, although you will need baking soda for it to work. Half a cup of buttermilk and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda is ideal for replacing one tablespoon of baking powder, and you will need to lessen the number of other liquids, too.

2. Whipped Egg Whites

Unfortunately, a lot of substitutes for baking powder require baking soda to work. What if you’re out of both handy ingredients? You still have options. One of these options is whipped egg whites. Whip until soft and peaks begin to form, then mix into batter. Don’t overmix.

3. Self-Rising Flour

Self-rising flour to the rescue once more? You bet! Since self-rising flour contains baking soda, you won’t need to worry about having it on hand. Just nix the salt from your recipe, as self-rising flour contains enough salt to satisfy.

4. Club Soda

Club soda is essentially just baking soda and water, so you don’t need to use baking soda or baking powder in your cookie recipe. Just replace the liquid (milk or water) with club soda for the best results.


So now you know the substitutes for baking soda or powder in cookies. But you still have questions! Don’t worry; I’ve got answers. Let’s take a look.

Can I skip baking powder in cookies?

Yes, you can actually skip baking powder altogether if you don’t have any on hand and don’t have any replacements, either. However, the texture might change a bit. The cookies are likely to be denser than normal, but the flavor will still be present.

Can baking soda be used in place of baking powder?

Yes, but you need to add some sort of acidic ingredient to activate the baking soda. Some good options include buttermilk, plain yogurt, cream of tartar, or lemon juice.

Can you substitute cornstarch for baking powder?

Yes, but it will need to be mixed with baking soda and an acid such as cream of tartar.

Final Thoughts

You’re not destined for failure when you’re out of baking powder and soda. Instead, opt for substitutes like egg whites, self-rising flour, or club soda to achieve delicious cookies.

What do you use as a substitute for baking soda or powder in cookies?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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