Skip to Content

Substitute For Baking Powder In Muffins

Substitute For Baking Powder In Muffins

No matter what type of muffins you are making, there are a number of substitutes you can use. Learn how to use each baking powder replacement in your recipe.

Muffins are one of my favorite breakfast treats. They are great for when you’re on the go and there are so many great recipes out there to try.

But many of those recipes call for baking powder, so when you don’t have any on hand you need to know what ingredient you can use instead.

After reading this article you will know all your options and how to use them effectively in your particular recipe.

So what are the best substitutes for baking powder when making muffins?

The top baking powder replacements are baking soda with cream of tartar, baking soda with plain yogurt, baking soda with buttermilk, baking soda with vinegar, and lemon juice with baking soda.

Read on to find how to use each of these combinations in your muffin recipe.

Related Recipe: Blueberry muffins using cake mix

Baking Powder Alternatives when making Muffins

top view of chocolate chip muffins on table

Baking powder is used to make all types of muffins and it provides structure and adds to the texture of your muffins.

Baking powder is comprised of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and cream of tartar. When a liquid is added it creates tiny bubbles that produce the light and fluffy texture you want in your muffins.

The replacement ingredients below will provide your recipe with the lift and texture you need. Make sure to read on to learn how to use each of the replacement ingredients.

Related: Butter alternatives in muffins

Cream of Tartar with Baking Soda

view from above of bowl of cream of tartar

As noted above, baking powder is made by combining cream of tartar with baking soda. So our best substitute for baking powder is combining those two ingredients ourselves.

Baking soda paired with cream of tartar will produce a light a fluffy texture and great rise in your muffins. This combo works in any type of muffin as it introduces no new flavors.

Add your cream of tartar and baking soda when your recipe says to add your baking powder and no recipe changes are needed.


1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar and a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda equals 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Plain Yogurt with Baking Soda

top view of bowl of plain yogurt on table

Plain yogurt provides the acidity necessary to produce those tiny bubbles when used with baking soda.

This combination is great because it produces a light and fluffy texture while adding some creaminess that pairs wonderfully with any type of muffin.

Make sure to use unflavored, plain yogurt and combine your baking soda and yogurt at the same time when preparing your recipe.

Related: Yogurt replacement in muffins


1/2 cup of plain yogurt with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda equals 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Buttermilk with Baking Soda

glasses of buttermilk on table

Buttermilk paired with baking soda is another excellent baking powder substitute that works in any muffin recipe.

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product that provides the necessary acidity to promote leavening when paired with baking soda.

I do reduce other liquids by as much buttermilk that is used to avoid incorporating too much moisture. But otherwise, buttermilk is a great all-around baking powder replacement.

It adds more depth of flavor and it works particularly well in sweet muffins.

Related: Dairy free buttermilk alternatives


1/2 cup of buttermilk with a 1/4 cup of baking soda equals 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Vinegar with Baking Soda

glass container of white vinegar

Vinegar is another acid that can be paired with baking soda to create a light and fluffy muffin. The texture is great and can be used in any type of muffin.

White distilled vinegar is the preferred type as it has the least intense flavor. But you can use any type of vinegar you have on hand.

I’ve found the flavor works best in sweeter muffin recipes, but it can be used in any recipe in a pinch.


1/2 teaspoon of vinegar with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda equals 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Lemon Juice with Baking Soda

closeup of sliced lemon on table

Lemon juice is a great leavening agent when paired with baking soda. It is high in acidity and really heightens the other flavors in your muffins.

Go with fresh lemon juice if possible, but bottled is a good option if that’s all you have on hand. Lemon juice paired with baking soda will work in any muffin recipe.

Related: Lemon juice vs lemon zest


1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda equals 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Bottom Line

view from above of batch of blueberry muffins on table

Baking powder is an important ingredient in producing muffins with great structure and texture. But just because you are all out doesn’t mean you can’t make you recipe.

You have a number of great options for making muffins without baking powder. While I would go with cream of tartar if you have it on hand, any of these replacement ingredients will work wonderfully no matter what type of muffins you are baking.