Homemade Baking Powder Substitute: 2 Ingredients

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In the middle of a recipe and just realized that you are all out of baking powder? No worries, that’s where this easy substitution for homemade Baking Powder comes in!

Homemade Baking Powder

Homemade Baking Powder Substitute

As you might already know, I don’t live near a town so running to the nearest store to pick up a missing ingredient at all hours of the day isn’t something that I’m able to do. Substitutions are important to learn if you want to keep a frugal pantry. Not only will it save you a trip to the store (gas & time), it will save you money on the item and on whatever other items you might happen to pick up while you are there!

I recently ran out of Baking Powder while in the middle of my Pantry Challenge month and had to make my own homemade baking powder all month long. I’m happy to report that this recipe works very well in a variety of baked goods and I always had luck with using it in whatever I was making, from pancakes to quick breads.

What Two Ingredients Make Up Baking Powder?

All you need to make your own baking powder is baking soda and cream of tartar. See below for alternative ideas.

Why Doesn’t This Recipe Use Cornstarch?

Recipes that use corn starch, arrowroot powder, flour, or other additives would be known as “single-acting baking powder” and are not typically as effective in your baked goods. This recipe gets straight to the point and is a substitution for double acting baking powder which is what you need in most recipes.

Is It Ok to Bake Without Baking Powder?

Baking without baking powder will leave your baked goods flat and dense. Baking Powder is a necessary agent to provide the light fluffiness you’d expect from a muffin, biscuit, or other baked goods.

Homemade Baking Powder Made with Baking Soda

Why Make Your Own Baking Powder?

Running out of baking powder is just one of the reasons why you might want to make your own!

If you are looking for a paleo baking powder or just a leavening agent without any added starch (most commercial baking powders contain cornstarch), this would be a great substitute recipe for you. This recipe is also aluminum-free.

If you are on a special diet like gluten-free, grain free, or GMO-free, this recipe also might be a good option because you can control everything in your product.

What Can Use Use Instead of Baking Powder?

This recipe is a good substitute for baking powder but if you don’t have the cream of tartar or don’t want to mix up a larger batch of homemade baking powder, you can also substitute baking soda + acid in your recipe.

Baking soda doesn’t work well on its own unless you have some kind of acidic ingredient with it (hence the cream of tartar in this recipe). You could use a splash of lemon juice, vinegar, yogurt, buttermilk, or another liquid acid product to your batter to help activate the soda.

Grab the recipe below and print it for your Recipe Binder to have it on hand when you need it!

Homemade Baking Powder
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Baking Powder Recipe

How to make your own baking powder substitute.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword baking powder substitute
Prep Time 2 minutes
Calories 153 kcal


  • 2 tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 cup Cream of Tartar


  1. Combine ingredients together in a small bowl and mix until well combined.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Baking Powder Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 153
% Daily Value*
Sodium 6597mg287%
Potassium 9759mg279%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 0.1g0%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Make Your Own Baking Powder

How to Use Homemade Baking Powder

Store in a jelly size mason jar until ready to use. You can use this as a 1:1 ratio substitute in any recipe that calls for baking powder. For example: if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of baking powder you can use 1 teaspoon of this blend.

I know that Cream of Tartar isn’t something you might always have on hand, but it’s a good idea to have at least a small amount of it just in case something like this comes up! You can also use it for making Homemade Play dough for your kids! I buy mine in bulk from Azure Standard because I use it fairly often for projects like this.

How Long Does Homemade Baking Powder Last?

Homemade Baking Powder will last for about a month before beginning to lose its effectiveness. It will still work fine after this time, however, you might not see as high of a lift on your baked goods. This is why it’s important to only make what you can use up in a reasonable amount of time.

Baking powder with added starch may last a little longer, but it’s still best to use it fairly soon after you make it. Storing the baking powder in an airtight container like a jar until you are ready to use will help to make it last longer. Any moisture will greatly reduce the shelf life and effectiveness.

Baking Powder in Water

How to Test Baking Powder

To make sure your baking powder is still active (homemade or store-bought), you can preform a simple test. Mix a small amount of baking powder with a small amount of hot water. If the mixture begins to fizz and bubble immediately, your baking powder is still active. If not, it’s time to toss it.

More Homemade Substitutions

You can find a full list of easy recipes substitutions on my Frugal Substitutions post. These types of recipes are always good to have on hand in your kitchen because you never know when you will be in the middle of a recipe and run out of something! Each substitution can save you a trip to the grocery store.

If you are looking for more recipes similar to this, you can find them on my Make Your Own page.

Recipes That Use Baking Powder

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Me and KadyMerissa has been blogging about and living the simple life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to the 100-acre farm and ministry on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.

This Baking Powder Substitute recipe was originally posted on Little House Living in February 2018. It has been updated as of February 2023.

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  1. I’ve been making my own because all store-bought baking powder has cornstarch and we are a grain free family; however, my recipe calls for Arrowroot or tapioca powder. Does it work just as well without those?

  2. Hi Merissa,

    Based on an article I picked up on-line around 10-12 years ago, this is the formulation I use:

    Baking powder

    A leavener containing a combination of baking soda, an acid (such as cream of tartar) and a moisture-absorber (such as cornstarch). When mixed with liquid, baking powder releases carbon dioxide gas bubbles that cause a bread or cake to rise. The most common kind is double-acting, which releases some gas when it becomes wet and the rest when exposed to oven heat. Because it’s perishable, baking powder should be kept in a cool, dry place. Always check the date on the bottom of a baking powder can before purchasing it. To test if a baking powder still packs a punch, combine 1 teaspoon of it with 1/3 cup hot water. If it bubbles enthusiastically, it’s fine.

    Sift together:
    2 tablespoons cream of tartar
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1 tablespoon baking soda


  3. I had no idea making your own baking powder was a thing. There’s nothing worse than getting ready to fix a meal and realizing you are missing something! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I didn’t realize it was so easy to make your homemade baking powder. This will definitely come in handy when I run out of baking powder since I live 40 minutes away from town! Thank you for the post! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Excellent idea! During quarantine, I may just run out of baking powder after making a lot of bread…from whole wheat that I put through a grain grinder. So this recipe has been printed.

  6. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing. I love to learn something new each day. I also live out of town & this definitely will help. Always try to keep well supplied but it happens. 🙂

  7. Is there a reason this is only recommended as a handy substitute for commercial baking powder? Can’t it be used as your ONLY baking powder?