What can I use instead of baking powder in waffles? You can make waffles without baking powder or a leavening agent. Alternatively, combine baking soda and an acid liquid like buttermilk, yogurt, lemon juice, vinegar, molasses, or sour milk. Other options include cream of tartar, self-rising flour, sparkling water, and whipped egg whites.
A common misconception about baking waffles is that baking powder is an essential ingredient. While baking powder ensures crispy on the outside and moist and fluffy on the inside waffles, you can go without it or use other leavening agents for similar effects. The next time your baking powder stock runs out, use the following replacement ingredients instead of putting your waffle iron away.
The Best Baking Powder in Waffles Alternatives
Buttermilk & Baking Soda
Buttermilk is an underappreciated dairy product found in almost every supermarket. It will take your waffles from “good” to “extraordinary” and add a heap of flavor and moist texture to waffles and other baked goods.
Buttermilk is derived from carefully fermenting milk with active bacteria.
Buttermilk is an excellent substitute for baking powder when making rich and fluffy waffles. The acidic tang of buttermilk stems from the lactic acid produced during fermentation.
When you mix baking soda with buttermilk, the lactic acid reacts with the baking soda, creating a gas that allows the waffle batter to rise.
Substitute 1 teaspoon baking powder with ½ cup buttermilk and ¼ teaspoon baking soda.
Use less liquid (approximately ½ a cup) in your recipe when using buttermilk and baking soda to replace baking powder to compensate for the added liquid.
Plain Yogurt & Baking Soda
Like buttermilk, plain yogurt or Greek yogurt is made by fermenting or culturing milk. Fermentation breaks down the sugars and increases the lactic acid concentration.
Plain yogurt is acidic, making it an ideal replacement for baking powder when combined with baking soda.
Use plain or Greek yogurt to keep the flavor profile the same. However, you can also use vanilla yogurt if vanilla essence is an ingredient in your recipe.
Substitute 1 teaspoon baking powder with ½ cup plain or Greek yogurt and ¼ teaspoon baking soda.
Use less liquid (approximately ½ a cup) in your recipe when using yogurt and baking soda to replace baking powder to compensate for the added liquid.
Lemon Juice & Baking Soda
Lemon juice is packed with citric acid. Therefore, lemon juice is an adequate substitute for baking powder when paired with baking soda.
Lemon juice has an intense flavor. So, only use it in waffle recipes that require a tiny amount of baking powder to mask the citrus flavors.
Otherwise, add a pinch more sugar and pair your waffles with a sweet berry compote to match the notes of lemon.
Substitute 1 teaspoon baking powder with ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon baking soda.
Add the lemon juice to the wet ingredients and baking soda to the dry ingredients.
Vinegar & Baking Soda
Vinegar is commonly used in baked goods despite its intense and distinct flavor. In addition, vinegar will have a leavening effect when your pair it with baking soda.
Replace baking powder with vinegar and baking powder in your recipe to create fluffy and airy waffles.
Although most types of vinegar work well, we recommend using white vinegar as it has the most neutral flavor.
Substitute 1 teaspoon of baking powder with ½ teaspoon of white vinegar and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda.
Molasses & Baking Soda
Molasses is a sweetening by-product of sugar production, often used as a refined sugar replacement.
Molasses is acidic and can cause an acid-based reaction when you pair it with baking soda. You can combine this sweet, viscous liquid and baking soda to replace baking powder.
Molasses will add a whole lot more sweetness to your waffles. So, enjoy these ultra-sweet waffles as a dessert option or reduce the amount of sugar in your recipe.
A disadvantage of adding molasses is that the dark syrup will infuse a darker color into your waffles.
Substitute 1 teaspoon of baking powder with ¼ cup of molasses and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda.
Use less liquid (approximately ¼ cup) in your recipe when using molasses and baking soda to replace baking powder to compensate for the added liquid.
Sour Milk & Baking Soda
After leaving the milk in the fridge for too few days, it will start to undergo a fermentation process.
So, if you have sour milk – that hasn’t curdled yet – you can use it as a lactic acid product to activate baking soda when replacing baking powder.
Sour milk and baking soda create a similar leaving effect as baking powder. Add it to your recipe to ensure light and fluffy waffles with crisp edges.
Substitute 1 teaspoon baking powder with ½ cup sour milk combined with ¼ teaspoon baking soda.
Use less liquid (approximately ½ a cup) in your recipe when using sour milk and baking soda to replace baking powder to compensate for the added liquid.
You can also add a tablespoon of white vinegar to milk to a cup of milk, leave it for 15 to 20 minutes, and it’s ready to use.
Cream of Tartar (Potassium Acid Tartrate) & Baking Soda
Cream of tartar, potassium acid tartrate, is an acidic by-product of winemaking. Tartaric acid is the primary ingredient in the cream of tartar.
You can use cream of tartar to replace baking powder in recipes; however, it doesn’t work as efficiently.
Cream of tartar is a stabilizing product, whereas baking powder is a leavening agent essential.
Therefore, add baking soda to the cream of tartar. The mixture adds acts as a leaving agent to help your waffles rise.
Substitute 1 teaspoon baking powder with ¼ teaspoon baking soda combined with ½ teaspoon cream of tartar.
Self-rising flour consists of a mixture of all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. So, you can use it in flour-based recipes like waffles if you haven’t had time to restock on baking powder.
Self-raising is the perfect way to achieve fluffy waffles without the additional time and effort of mixing a substitute for baking powder.
When using self-rising flour as a substitute, swap out the recipe’s all-purpose flour with self-rising flour, and drop the salt.
Tip: Consider adding ¼ teaspoon baking soda to 2 cups flour if your self-rising flour has been sitting on your pantry shelf for a long time.
Sparkling Water (Club Soda)
The sparking water or club soda adds tiny carbon dioxide bubbles to the batter, which expand when heated, resulting in light and fluffy waffles.
The baking soda or sodium bicarbonate in club soda is minimal, so only use this substitute when you are in a pinch.
Replace the milk or water in your waffle recipe with sparkling water. It is also best to use refrigerated sparkling water as it will contain more bubbles than at room temperature.
Whipped Egg Whites
Whipped egg whites are another suitable replacement for baking powder mixing your waffle batter.
The egg whites will add air bubbles instead of carbon dioxide to your batter, which increases the volume and produces a fluffy texture.
You can use whipped egg white to create light and fluffy waffles. However, you can also use egg whites in recipes like pancakes, souffle, and merengues.
Substitute 1 teaspoon of baking powder with the whites of two eggs. Beat the egg whites to form soft peaks and gently fold them into your waffle batter.
Be careful not to overmix, as you will lose air bubbles.