Have you ever been getting prepared for something, tried to get all things necessary, then when you start whatever you want to do, you realize something important was left out?? That’s exactly what happened to me today. I was baking a cake, I had mixed all the ingredients to the point where I was to add baking powder and I discovered the baking powder was finished. It was disappointing. I was a bit confused because I was sure I left some baking powder the last time I made a cake. Thoughts started flying through my head. What was I going to do? OK, don’t think I went out to buy because my street is nothing to write about when it comes to shopping. It clicked on my memory that we had a service at church so I started calling my church members to see who could get for me. Those who could get were already in church, those who had said it had finished and well, some didn’t pick. Decided to give my street the benefit of doubt and went in search of baking powder, Nothing! I covered up my already mixed dough and went to church feeling bad, begging God for a miracle. My people, I didn’t see no miracle o. I later resolved to searching the net, which I would have normally done but my panic didn’t let me.
Baking soda is actually a leavening agent often used to bake. It’s composed of sodium bicarbonate which is a base, paired with an acid. When it is combined with water, a reaction occurs, leading to the release of carbon dioxide, which in turn leads to the formation of bubbles, causing the mixture to expand, thereby increasing the volume of your cake. I read about a good number of substitutes for baking powder and I’ll give a few here:
Buttermilk is fermented. It has a sour taste that could be compared to yogurt. Because of the acidity, you can mix it with baking soda (baking soda is different from baking powder. It isn’t paired with an acid like baking powder, so when using, it must be combined with an acid to have the same leavening effect as baking powder).
- Egg whites
Egg white is another great substitute for baking powder. Remove the raw egg white from the shell carefully and whisk thoroughly using a whisk or a blender. Whisking the eggs helps to form tiny air bubbles that increase the volume and fluffiness of your cake.
Vinegar is naturally acidic, so can be substituted for baking powder. Any type of vinegar could work, but it’s advisable to use the white vinegar, so that it wouldn’t change the flavour and colour of your cake. Mixing vinegar and baking soda will do the great job of baking powder.
- Plain yogurt
Yogurt can be manufactured by the fermentation of milk. I’m sure that gives you an idea about it’s acidity (The sugars get broken down, which increases the release of lactic acid). Combining plain yogurt with baking soda will give good results. It’s advisable to use plain yogurt, as flavoured yoghurt may lower the acidity of the yogurt.
- Lemon juice
Lemons are strong in taste because of their citric acid content, hence, their acidity. Lemon juice can be used with baking soda to give the acid-base reaction needed for the rising of the cake. It is best to use it as a substitute in recipes that require little amount of baking powder, so as not to alter the flavour
- Sour milk
Milk that is sour is a good substitute for baking powder(yes, I said that). This is because the milk has gone through a process of acidification. You would get the same rising effect as you would with baking powder. Just don’t forget to reduce the liquids in the recipe( you’d have to do this for every liquid substitute you use), to maintain the desired texture of your cake.
I didn’t have baking soda to mix with any of the acidic substitutes, so I just tried out using egg whites with vinegar. Trust me, it’s awesome. Phew! I almost lost that cake. I’m just trying to imagine if we didn’t have the internet. So, while you’re still trying to digest all these substitutes for baking powder, I would like you to know one thing; “Things don’t get bad until we’ve accepted they’ve gotten bad”. Refuse to give up this week. You might be just a step from your breakthrough..