The 5 Best Substitutes For Baking Soda In Banana Bread

What can I use instead of baking soda in banana bread? The best replacement for baking soda is

baking powder. However, you’ll need to use triple the amount to match the rising effects of baking soda. Yeast is equally effective if you have time for it to rise. Other effective substitutes are self-rising flour, buttermilk, and potassium bicarbonate.

Baking soda is a key ingredient when making banana bread. It acts as a leavening agent to help the bread double in volume while making it moist and fluffy when you take your first bite. However, skip the dreaded trip to the grocery store if you’ve run out of baking soda and use these substitutes instead. 

The Best Baking Soda In Banana Bread Substitutes

Baking Powder

Baking powder is a popular ingredient used in baked goods. It is the best substitute for baking soda, essentially consisting of a mixture of baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar.

Replace baking soda with baking powder to give your banana bread a desirable taste and texture.

While baking soda needs to be mixed with an acidic component to fluff up your baked goods, baking powder already contains the acidic component – the cream of tartar.

However, it is less potent than baking soda, so you’ll need to triple the recommended amount for the best results.

Substitute 1 teaspoon baking soda with 3 teaspoons baking powder and nix the salt from your banana bread recipe, as baking powder already contains salt.

Self-Rising Flour

Self-rising flour is another convenient replacement for baking soda in banana bread. As the name suggests, self-rising flour rises without a leavening agent.

Self-rising flour is a mixture of regular flour, salt, and baking powder.

So, be cautious not to go overboard when adding acidic ingredients to your banana bread dough if you plan to use self-rising flour. For example, replace buttermilk or plain yogurt with regular milk.

To replace baking soda with self-rising flour, follow the recipe’s instructions as usual and remove the leavening agent.

Although not essential, replace acidic components with a neutral ingredient for a more balanced flavor.

Active Dry Yeast

Active dry yeast is another suitable replacement for baking soda when making banana bread. It is a living organism and a common leaving agent used in the kitchen to make the dough rise.

Active dry yeast can work wonders for your banana bread; however, patience is key. First, you’ll need to dilute dry yeast with water and sugar to activate the bacteria.

Then, leave the yeast to rest for 5 minutes before adding it to your other banana bread components. You will also have to leave the dough to rise for 60 minutes before popping it in the oven.

Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting baking soda with active dry yeast.


Although already a popular ingredient in banana bread, use buttermilk as a replacement if your recipe calls for milk and baking soda.

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product made by culturing milk products.

Buttermilk ensures a light, creamy, and moist banana bread. In addition, the slightly acidic taste will break the sweetness of the banana bread, forcing you to lean in for another bite.

Replace 1 cup whole milk with 1 cup buttermilk and nix the baking soda in your banana bread recipe.

Potassium Bicarbonate

Potassium bicarbonate is a slightly alkaline and salty powder that you can also use it to replace baking soda in banana bread.

Potassium bicarbonate doesn’t contain sodium, making it the perfect replacement for those trying to cut down their salt intake.

However, if you aren’t watching your salt intake, add a pinch of table salt to your banana bread recipe to match the original flavors.

Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting baking soda with potassium bicarbonate.

Though unnecessary, you can add approximately ¼ to ½ teaspoon of table salt for every teaspoon of potassium bicarbonate in your banana bread recipe.