I attempted to make pancakes this morning, only to discover that I was out of baking soda. I tried substituting baking powder, but it didn't work at all. The pancakes didn't bubble on the griddle, and they were far too doughy. If this happens again, do I need to go out to the store for baking soda?

8 Answers 8


You need to use 2-3 times more baking powder than baking soda. Be aware that your flavors will be affected. Make sure it's double-acting baking powder and you must replace the acidic liquid in recipe with non-acidic liquid. You could also use some heartburn medicine that contained potassium bicarbonate :-)

  • +1 for the heartburn- as long as you don't mind the pancakes tasting like fruit. :) Commented Oct 4, 2010 at 15:51

Unfortunately there is no substitute. While it is possible to substitute for baking powder, the reverse just doesn't work the same. Tripling the quantity of baking powder to baking soda will give an equivalent reaction, but your pancakes will taste like metal.

  • 5
    I wouldn't recommend replacing the soda in the same recipe but there are plenty of pancake recipes that call for powder instead of soda. Commented Oct 4, 2010 at 16:20
  • @Sobachatina - powder is the secret ingredient in the recipe I use.
    – justkt
    Commented Oct 4, 2010 at 16:34
  • @Soba: I didn't say baking powder isn't used. Your comment seems to imply that I did. My pancakes use baking powder too. I was just referring to tripling the quantity of baking soda for a baking powder substitution.
    – hobodave
    Commented Oct 4, 2010 at 16:43
  • I did misunderstand. Thanks for the clarification. Commented Oct 4, 2010 at 16:51
  • Using a baking powder that does not contain aluminum compounds might help alleviate that.
    – snekse
    Commented Oct 5, 2010 at 20:06

You can use baking powder to leaven the batter but you can't replace baking soda with it 1 for 1.

Baking powder is soda with some acid to balance the ph. Pancake recipes that use only powder will not have extra acid, such as buttermilk, added to them.

I love buttermilk. If I were making the pancakes I would go buy soda rather than having an under-flavored breakfast. Baking soda keeps indefinitely and is useful for a lot of things. Buy enough that you never run out again.


When no baking powder is handy, you can make pancakes using yeast*.

It takes longer, having to let the yeast rise for 30 minutes and all, but I've done it, and the result is really really tasty pancakes!

*No endorsement of this recipe is implied, it's merely the first one I ran across.


Use 2 times the amount of baking powder and a higher temp. As for acid I'm not sure. I sub it in cake recipes (and never cared about the acid). In fact I use extra lemon juice for softness and it never interfered.


It is possible to make pancakes with non of both.

In Germany I have yet to meet someone who adds it. I guess the pancakes are thinner but they are tasty non the less.

Or you can carefully add whipped egg-white to the batter just before baking. That's how the very fluffy Kaiserschmarrn is made. The air contained in the stiff egg-white does more or less the same as the CO2 produced by Soda or baking powder.

For yet another option add some sparkling water to the batter.


Someone posted this on a different site. I am going to try it.

The only trouble I had was remembering the amounts. So, I wrote the following down and taped it to the inside of my baking cabinet.

to equal the leavening of:

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder . . . use 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder . . . use 1/2 teaspoon baking soda plus 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder. . . use 3/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • The question is about replacing baking soda with baking powder, not the reverse. Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 18:15

Yes, there is a substitution. It is a combination of cream of tartar and salt!

  • I responded to your post in error.
    – ethalfrida
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 0:02

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