What’s A Good Baking Powder Substitute for Pancakes?

image of replace for baking powder in pancakes

You are in the middle of making a big breakfast for your family. But you realize you ran out of baking powder. Now what? 

Before losing your mind, or rushing to the grocery store, look at our list below. There you will find some of the best substitutes for baking powder. These options will give you the same fluffy, light, and delicious pancakes even without the original ingredient.

image of baking powder and eggs

What is Baking Powder?

Baking powder is one of the most commonly used ingredients in baking. It is ideal for lightening a recipe and adding volume to your food. (*)

Baking powder (In scientific terms) is a leveling agent made from sodium bicarbonate and cream of tartar. 

This ingredient has taken over the role of yeast in recent years. This is because of how quickly it goes to work. Where yeast can take upwards of three hours to activate, baking powder is instant.

Baking powder is an important ingredient in pancakes. It is the product that creates a light, fluffy, and airy texture in the batter.

Without baking powder, your pancakes will not rise the way you want them to. In fact, flat pancakes are often the first indication you didn’t add enough of the stuff. 

8 Baking Powder Substitutes You Can Add to Your Pancakes

Most recipes for homemade pancakes will have baking powder as one of the main ingredients. Be that as it may, there are still great options out there when that item isn’t in stock.

Check out this list of great baking powder substitutes. Each one has its own unique benefits and can help you out in a pinch.

1. Molasses is a Sweet Solution

Yes, we know this option seems very far fetched, but it’s not. In reality, molasses offers some of the same great benefits as baking powder, when mixed with baking soda. 

This combination of acid and sugar will provide a similar texture and a sweet bonus flavor. When using molasses, remember to reduce the amount of sugar and liquid you add to the batter.

  • To Substitute: Add 1/3 cup of molasses and ¼ TSP of baking soda for 1 TSP of Baking powder.

2. Vinegar Be a Huge Help

Similar to molasses, when mixing vinegar with baking soda offer’s the same leveling effects as baking powder. This product is great when baking and cooking. And it provides a palatable addition to pancakes when baking powder is not an option.

Vinegar is a neutral flavor and will not ruin the taste of our breakfast food. However, it is a liquid, meaning you should reduce the number of other liquids in the recipe.

  • To substitute: Add ½ TSPS of vinegar and ¼ TSP of baking soda for 1 TSP of baking powder. 

3. Butter Milk and Baking Soda Will Work

You can combine buttermilk and baking soda to replicate baking soda when you run out. That is because this dairy product has the perfect acidity level to create a leveling agent. 

Buttermilk has a slightly sour, tangy taste. And it has a watery texture like yogurt. When using this option, reduce your liquid ingredients slightly. Without doing this, your pancake batter will turn runny.

  • To Substitute: Add ½ cup of buttermilk and 1 TSP of baking soda for 1 TSP of baking powder.

4. Cream of Tartar

Cream of tartar is a familiar small jar on the spice rack. This product has a similar look and texture to baking powder.  And it is often an ingredient when baking to prevent sugar crystals from forming in your food. 

This ingredient is a great stabilizing agent and will not change the taste of your recipe. You can simply double the amount of baking soda your recipe calls for with the same amount of cream of tartar.

  • To Substitute: Use 2 TSP of cream of tartar for one TSP of baking soda.

5. Egg Whites, Yes Egg Whites

Before you skip over this suggestion, give us a chance to explain. When you whip egg whites, little tiny bubbles start to form. These bubbles will add volume and a soft texture to your batter. This will result in fluffy pancakes for breakfast.

To use egg whites in place of baking powder, whip them on low speed. Next, fold the rest of the ingredients in carefully so the bubbles stay put.

  • To substitute: Whip 2-3 egg whites for one TSP of baking powder.

6. A Little Lemon Juice Won’t Hurt

The acid level in lemon juice mixed with baking soda can create the same rising agent as baking powder. This is a quick and simple solution when you are low on pancake ingredients.

Because you don’t need much baking powder to make pancakes, you won’t need much lemon juice. That means you don’t have to worry too much about the flavor being too powerful.

  • To substitute: Add ½ TSP of lemon juice and ¼ TSP of baking soda for 1 TSP of baking powder. 

7. Sour Milk (A Good Use for Spoiled Milk)

People would use spoiled milk in recipes so that they don’t waste good food. However, you no longer must wait for your milk to go bad. You can make spoiled or sour milk yourself by mixing 1 cup of milk with 1 TSP of vinegar.

After combing the liquids, you will have sour milk in about 15 minutes. The result of this mix offers an acidic level and leveling effect like baking powder. But first, you will have to mix it in with baking soda.

It might sound kind of gross, but that sour taste won’t taint your delicious pancakes. The other ingredients in your recipe should provide a stronger flavor. 

  • To Substitute: Add 1 Cup of sour milk and ¼ TSP of baking soda for every 1 TSP of baking soda.

8. Club Soda is a Great Option

Club soda has the same properties as baking soda. This means you can use this ingredient in place of baking powder without adding it to anything else.

Club soda is a popular carbonated beverage that won’t add any strong flavors to your recipe. It is a liquid though, which means you will have to cut back on other liquid ingredients.

  • To Substitute: Use club soda in place of the water or milk in your recipe to substitute for baking powder.
  • Substitutes for 1 teaspoon of baking powder
Molasses 1/3 cup of molasses and ¼ TSP of baking soda
Vinegar (white vinegar)½ TSPS of vinegar and ¼ TSP of baking soda
Butter Milk½ cup of buttermilk and 1 TSP of baking soda
Cream of tartar2 Tsp 
Egg White2-3 egg whites whipped
Lemon Juice½ TSP of lemon juice and ¼ TSP of baking soda
Sour Milk1 c. sour milk and ¼ TSP of baking soda
Club sodaReplace milk or water in the recipe

The Best Pancake Mix Recipes to Try

Now that we have provided you with plenty of substitutes for baking powder. You have no reason not to get a batch of pancakes started. But before you jump right in, here is a list of our favorite go-to recipes.

Easy Pancake Recipe: By Cooking Nook

This is an easy to follow pancake recipe that you can make in 10 minutes. You only need seven ingredients. And all the substitutes suggested are perfect options if you don’t have baking powder.


  • 1 and ¼ cups flour
  • 2 TSP of baking powder (Or substitute)
  • ¾ TSP of salt
  • 1 ½ cups of milk
  • 3 TBSP of oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 TBSP of sugar (Optional)


  • Mix all dry ingredients together
  • Add the milk, eggs, and oil
  • Mix thoroughly, removing most of the lumps
  • Heat a pan on medium heat
  • Scoop batter into the frying pan with a large spoon
  • Cook on one side until the top bubbles then flip it over to cook the other side

For the full recipe click here.

Good Ole Fashion Pancakes: By Allrecipes

This old fashion pancake recipe will only take you five minutes to prepare. It will remind you of morning breakfast at your grandparent’s house.


  • Flour 
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Milk and Butter
  • Baking powder (or substitute)
  • Eggs


  • Combine the dry ingredients
  • Create a creator in the center and add wet ingredients
  • Mix well
  • Scoop the mix with a spoon and place it onto a hot griddle
  • 5 Cook until you see bubbles then flip (about 2-3 minutes)

For the full recipe click here.


Why is Baking Powder Used in Pancakes?

Baking powder is a leavening agent. This ingredient will soften your batter providing you with fluffy pancakes.

Can You Use Baking Soda as a baking powder Substitute in Pancakes?

You can not use just baking soda as a baking powder substitute. You can, however, use baking soda mixed with an acid like lemon juice or vinegar.

What is the Best Substitute for Baking Powder in Pancakes?

The best substitute for baking powder in pancakes is cream of tartar or vinegar and baking soda mixed together. With that said, the rest of the alternatives listed above will work just fine. 

Up Next: The Most Common Baking Ingredient Substitutes

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