Can I use cornstarch instead of baking powder? You need baking powder in your recipe but all you have in your pantry is cornstarch. I know they look and feel the same, and it’s tempting to just add it in and move on to the next step.
However, even though baking powder contains cornstarch, it cannot be used in place of cornstarch and vice versa.
In this article, I’ll explain what baking powder and cornstarch are, whether they’re the same, and how you might be able to substitute one for the other.
Let’s start baking!
What exactly is Baking Powder?
Baking powder is a dry leavening agent that is commonly used in baking. It’s made with baking soda (also known as sodium bicarbonate), cream of tartar, and cornstarch.
When the base (sodium bicarbonate) and acid (cream of tartar) are combined with water, a chemical reaction occurs that results in the production of carbon dioxide. This reaction aids in the expansion of baked goods in size and volume.
What role does cornstarch play here?
We want the above-mentioned reaction to occur when we want it to. This is where cornstarch comes in handy. Its purpose is to prevent the acid and base from reacting too quickly. It accomplishes this by absorbing any moisture that the mixture may be exposed to.
What exactly is cornstarch?
Cornstarch, also known as corn flour, is a starch powder derived from corn endosperm. Cornstarch, like many other starches, is used to absorb moisture.
Cornstarch is commonly used as a thickening agent in cooking because it thickens sauces and stews when heated.
What Makes Them Unique
The primary distinction between cornstarch and baking powder is that the former is primarily a thickening agent, whereas the latter is a leavening agent. When combined with other ingredients, they serve entirely different functions.
Can I Use Cornstarch instead of Baking Powder?
Can you use corn starch instead of baking powder? Cornstarch cannot be used to replace baking powder, but it can be used to make baking powder. Here’s a simple homemade baking powder recipe I like to use:
- 2 tbsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 4 teaspoons baking powder is produced by this recipe.
Can Baking Powder be used in place of cornstarch?
Because baking powder contains cornstarch, you might think it can be used as a substitute. This, unfortunately, is not the case.
The amount of cornstarch in baking powder is insufficient to produce the same thickening effect as regular cornstarch.
Even if you add it in larger amounts, the taste of your food will be greatly affected because the other ingredients in baking powder give it a bitter, slightly salty, and sour flavor.
What can I use in place of cornstarch?
Depending on the function of cornstarch in your recipe, you may require a different substitute. Cornstarch is commonly used as a thickening agent in baking and cooking, but it can be substituted with potato starch, arrowroot flour, rice flour, and other similar starches.
What can be a substitute for baking powder?
Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product with a sour, slightly tangy flavor similar to plain yogurt.
The byproduct of churning sweet cream into butter is old-fashioned buttermilk. Buttermilk is typically made by adding bacterial cultures to milk and allowing it to ferment, converting sugars into acids. They may also include Trusted Source.
Because of its acidity, buttermilk can produce the same leavening effect as baking powder when combined with baking soda.
To easily substitute 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of baking powder, combine 1/2 cup (122 grams) buttermilk and 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda with the remaining ingredients.
To maintain the desired texture and consistency of your final baked product, reduce the amount of other liquid you add to compensate for the amount of buttermilk added.
If you add 1/2 cup (122 grams) of buttermilk to your recipe, you should reduce the amount of other liquids by the same amount.
For 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of baking powder, substitute 1/2 cup (122 grams) buttermilk and 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda. To maintain the desired consistency, reduce the other liquids in your recipe.
Apart from the fact that they are both powdery and white, cornstarch and baking powder have very little in common. If you’re wondering whether you need both in your pantry, the answer is a resounding YES.
If you have any further questions about this topic, please leave them in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!