Can You Make Cookies Without Baking Soda

Cookies have some basic ingredients. So what happens if you go to your kitchen and pull out the flour, sugar, and eggs and suddenly realize you don’t have any baking soda? Should you rush to get your shoes on and head to the grocery store? You don’t have to.

You can successfully make cookies without any baking soda, although the texture will be much denser, and your cookies will be flat. The better solution is to replace baking soda with another ingredient, such as baking powder or self-rising flour. 

Hey! My name’s Michelle, and I’ve been baking cookies for ages. In fact, I just baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies with my kiddos last night! Throughout my years of baking, I’ve mixed and matched different ingredients to see how they’d turn out. 

Want to make some cookies without using any baking soda? Let’s find out how!

Can You Make a Batch of Cookies Without Any Baking Soda?

Plenty of cookie recipes call for baking soda. Needless to say, it’s a star ingredient in cookie dough. But if you’re all out of this staple ingredient, you don’t need to kiss your cookies goodbye.

You can make a batch of cookies without any baking soda.

You can leave it out entirely if you wish. However, I highly recommend swapping the baking soda for another ingredient (which we’ll discuss later in this article!).

What Happens if You Bake Cookies Without the Baking Soda?

Every recipe comes with a list of ingredients. Why? Because they’re essential to the outcome of your recipe. That said, I don’t highly recommend picking and choosing which ones to add or subtract, especially when it comes to baking.

The same is true for baking soda.

If you bake cookies without the required baking soda, you’ll end up with a dense and flat cookie.

That’s because baking soda is responsible for leavening your cookies – aka, making them rise. If you leave it out entirely, your cookies will go flat and have a heavy texture. The flavor will still be there, though, so if you’re dying for a cookie and have no other option, baking soda-less cookies may satisfy you.

4 Baking Soda Substitutes in Cookies

Flat and dense cookies? Eh. To be honest, I’ll eat them, but I’d much prefer a cookie that’s risen correctly and has a more desirable texture. 

With that in mind, I recommend swapping baking soda for something else. Here are my top three substitutes for baking soda in cookies:

1. Baking Powder

People often confuse baking soda with baking powder. I don’t blame them, either. They look similar and have almost the same name. Yet, they are two different ingredients. Luckily, they can be subbed for one another.

Baking powder is the best substitute. 

Keep in mind that baking powder is less potent than baking soda as it contains the additional ingredients cream of tartar and cornstarch. So, you’ll want to triple the amount called for in the recipe.

2. Self-Rising Flour

Self-rising flour is another excellent substitute in cookie recipes, but it’s a little trickier.

It isn’t too challenging, though. Start by replacing the quantity of regular all-purpose flour with self-rising flour in a 1:1 ratio.

Then, reduce or omit the salt and make adjustments to any acids, such as replacing buttermilk with regular milk.

This is necessary because self-rising flour contains all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. If there is too much acid or salt in your cookies, you won’t enjoy the flavor too much.

3. Active Dry Yeast

If you love to bake bread, you likely have active dry yeast on hand. But it may come as a surprise that you can use active dry yeast to replace baking soda in cookies.

That’s because active dry yeast and baking soda share similar properties. So, swapping one for the other in a 1:1 ratio will leave you with fabulous cookie results.

4. Baking Soda-Less Recipe

Yes, it’s easy to substitute baking soda with baking powder or active dry yeast. You can even use self-rising flour, which may be challenging for new bakers. 

If you’re not in the mood to swap ingredients, you don’t have to. There’s another solution: use a baking soda-less recipe.

There are so many incredible cookie recipes that don’t require baking soda, whether you’re in the mood for peanut butter cookies or lemon thumbprints. 


Cookies benefit from baking soda, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bake a successful batch without it. And hey, if you want to keep learning more about this topic, I’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a few extra interesting, frequently asked questions that might pique your interest!

Do all cookies need baking soda?

Not all cookies need baking soda, although the majority of recipes call for baking soda. If the recipe does not contain baking soda, another leavening agent will be present. You can nix the baking soda if you don’t have any on hand, although I suggest replacing it with baking powder.

Can I replace baking soda with baking powder?

Baking powder is an excellent swap for baking soda, mainly because it’s cheap and most people have it on hand. However, you’ll need to use triple how much baking powder is used, as it is not as potent.

Do you use baking soda or powder for cookies?

Baking soda is more commonly used in cookies than baking powder. That doesn’t mean you can’t use baking powder, though. You can substitute the baking soda for baking powder by using triple the amount of powder.

Ultimately, Cookies Don’t Need Baking Soda!

Although I highly recommend baking soda if your recipe calls for it, you can get by without it. Leave it out entirely if you don’t mind a texture change. Or, substitute the baking soda for baking powder, self-rising flour, or active dry yeast. You can also use a baking sodaless recipe!

Have you ever baked cookies without any baking soda? How did you do it? Share below!

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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