Baking Powder Substitutes To Use When You Run Out

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Baking is not always as easy as one expects. You can make it easy by always using the right ingredients as per the recipe so there is never a need to substitute baking ingredients. However, this only happens when you live in an ideal world where ingredient shortages never happen and replenishing an ingredient is as easy as dialing the phone.   

Baking powder is one of those baking ingredients that always seem to run out. The good news is that it's a common ingredient and is usually available when you need it. However, for those days when you need it and cannot source it easily, you have options.       

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1 Baking soda + cream of tartar

We believe you have baking soda in your kitchen (It has many uses in the kitchen apart from in recipes). We also believe that not a lot of people will have cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate) on hand. Cream of tartar is just not an essential ingredient in many recipes! However, for those who do have cream of tartar, you're in luck if ever you run out of baking powder because you can make baking powder using these two ingredients.

Here is the formula:

1 teaspoon baking powder = 1/4 teaspoon baking soda + 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar


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If you're really in a bind and do not have cream of tartar on hand to activate the baking soda, you can skip it and instead add an acidic ingredient to the liquid ingredients in the batter. You can either use 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon vinegar for every 1/4 teaspoon baking soda you use.    


However, it should be noted that despite this easy substitute, it will not replace commercial baking powder. That's because commercial baking powder is more than just these ingredients. However, for a quick fix, this may well be one of your best bets on making sure that cake rises without the aid of baking powder. 

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2 Whipped egg whites

Another ingredient that you can use if you run out of baking powder is egg whites. Before the chemical leaveners became popular, there was the egg. It's the air that's trapped in the egg whites that will make your cake rise.  

Here's why air trapped in the egg whites is effective as a leavener: Air expands when heated and constricts when cold. That's why it's so important to fold egg whites into your batter, so you do not release the trapped air. It's also important to immediately use the whipped egg whites and not let the batter stand. The egg whites can hold the trapped air but not for long. 

If you immediately place your cake batter in the oven, the heat will do its job and heat up the air pockets, making your cake rise to its fullest height. It will also make your cake fall a little as the air pockets will constrict and become smaller as it cools. That's why meringue for brazo de Mercedes and chiffon and sponge cakes fall despite all your efforts to stop it.   



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