Substitute for Bicarbonate of Soda in Cake

Bicarbonate of soda, also known as baking soda, is a staple ingredient in many cake recipes. It helps cakes rise and gives them a light and fluffy texture. However, if you’re out of bicarbonate of soda or you’re looking for a healthier or more natural alternative, you’re in luck. In this article, we’ll explore 5 substitutes for bicarbonate of soda in cake and discuss their pros and cons. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a beginner, you’ll find valuable tips and insights to help you create delicious cakes without using bicarbonate of soda.

5 Substitute for Bicarbonate of Soda in Cake

1. Baking Powder

Baking powder is the most common substitute for bicarbonate of soda in cake recipes. It contains bicarbonate of soda, along with cream of tartar, which acts as a raising agent. Baking powder is easy to find in supermarkets and can be used in the same proportion as bicarbonate of soda. However, keep in mind that baking powder may contain additives, such as aluminum, that some people may be sensitive to.

2. Yeast

Yeast is another substitute for bicarbonate of soda in cake recipes. It’s a natural leavening agent that can be used in small quantities to help cakes rise. However, using yeast requires more time and patience than using bicarbonate of soda. You’ll need to activate the yeast in warm water or milk and wait for it to foam before adding it to the cake batter. Yeast can also affect the flavor of the cake, giving it a slightly yeasty taste.

3. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a popular substitute for bicarbonate of soda in cake recipes, especially in Southern cuisine. It’s acidic, which helps to activate the baking powder and create a tender and moist cake. Buttermilk can also add a tangy flavor to the cake, which can be desirable in some recipes. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a quick substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes before using.

4. Vinegar and Baking Powder

If you don’t have any buttermilk or baking powder on hand, you can use a combination of vinegar and baking powder as a substitute for bicarbonate of soda. The acid in the vinegar reacts with the baking powder to create a leavening effect. To use this substitute, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 teaspoon of baking powder and mix well. Use the mixture immediately, as it will lose its effectiveness if left to sit for too long.

5. Club Soda

Club soda is a surprising substitute for bicarbonate of soda in cake recipes. It’s carbonated, which creates bubbles and helps the cake rise. Club soda can also add a subtle flavor to the cake, depending on the brand and type you use. However, keep in mind that club soda contains sodium, so it may not be suitable for people on a low-sodium diet.


What is bicarbonate of soda, and why is it used in cakes?

Bicarbonate of soda, also known as baking soda, is a white crystalline powder that’s used as a leavening agent in cakes. It reacts with acids, such as buttermilk

I'm Jennifer Tirrell, a self-taught baker, and founder of CakeRe. As an experienced baker and recipe publisher, I have spent over a decade working in the kitchen and have tried and tested countless baking tools and products. From classic cakes to creative twists, I've got you covered. So grab your apron and let's get baking!

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