Is cornstarch equivalent to baking powder?

Is cornstarch equivalent to baking powder?

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Do you need baking powder in a recipe but only have cornstarch in your pantry? I know they look and feel the same, and it’s tempting to simply put it in and go on to the next stage.

Nevertheless, even though baking powder includes cornstarch, it cannot be used in lieu of cornstarch and vice versa.

My name is Angie, and I’ve been baking since I was a teenager. Certain baking items are difficult to get by where I came from, so I had to learn to adapt. I’d be delighted to share some of my insider knowledge with you.

In this post, I’ll explain what baking powder and cornstarch are, if they’re the same, and how you may be able to get away with substituting one for the other.

Let’s start baking!

What is Baking Powder?

Baking powder is a dry leavening ingredient that is often used in baking. It’s made from baking soda (also known as sodium bicarbonate), cream of tartar, and cornstarch.

When the base (sodium bicarbonate) and acid (cream of tartar) are mixed 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 response to occur when we want it to. Here is where cornstarch comes into play. Its purpose is to prevent the acid and base from interacting too quickly. It does this by absorbing any moisture that the combination may be exposed to.

What is Cornstarch?

Cornstarch, often known as corn flour, is a starch powder derived from maize endosperm. Cornstarch, like many other starches, is used to absorb moisture.

Cornstarch is often used as a thickening ingredient in cooking since it thickens sauces and stews when heated.

How They Differ

The primary distinction between cornstarch and baking powder is that the former is mainly a thickening agent, whilst the latter is a leavening agent. When combined with other components, they fulfill fundamentally distinct functions.

Can you Replace Baking Powder with Cornstarch?

Cornstarch cannot be used to replace baking powder, but it may be used to create baking powder. Here’s a simple homemade baking powder recipe that I like to use:

  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

4 tablespoons baking powder is produced by this recipe.

Can you Replace Cornstarch with Baking Powder?

Since baking powder contains cornstarch, you may believe it can be used as a substitute. Sadly, this is not the case.

The quantity of cornstarch in baking powder is insufficient to have the same thickening effect as normal cornstarch.

Even if you add it in bigger amounts, the taste of your dish will be much impacted since the other chemicals in baking powder give it a bitter, somewhat salty, and sour flavor.


Here are some other questions you may have concerning cornstarch and baking powder.

What can I use as a substitute for cornstarch?

Depending on the function of cornstarch in your recipe, you may need a different alternative. Cornstarch is often used as a thickening ingredient in baking and cooking, although it may be substituted with potato starch, arrowroot flour, rice flour, and other comparable starches.

What can be used in place of baking powder?

Baking powder acts as a leavening agent in baked goods. You may use another leavening agent, such as baking soda, to get the same result. You may also manufacture your own baking powder using this simple method.

Final Thoughts

Except from the fact that they are both powdered and white, cornstarch and baking powder have very little in common. If you’re wondering if you need both in your pantry, the answer is a resounding YES.

If you have any more questions on this issue, please leave them in the comments section and I will respond as soon as possible!

Angie’s Bio


Can cornstarch be a substitute for baking powder?

1 teaspoon baking powder should be replaced with a combination of 12 teaspoon baking soda, 14 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 14 teaspoon cornstarch. You may scale as required, but you will not need to change any of the remaining components.

What can be used instead of cornstarch?

6 Cornstarch Substitutes for Everyday Cooking and Baking
Starch from potatoes. Kendra Vaculin, assistant food editor, prefers potato starch as a cornstarch replacement. . Rice Flour. All-Purpose Flour. Tapioca Flour. Arrowroot Powder. Xanthan Gum.
Jun 13, 2022

Can you substitute cornstarch for baking soda or baking powder?

Can I use baking powder or baking soda for cornstarch? It is not suggested to use baking powder or baking soda for cornstarch. Baking soda gives a distinct flavor, and both have distinct chemical capabilities that allow them to function as leavening agents.

What can I use to replace baking powder?

2 teaspoon vinegar. 12 teaspoon (2.5 grams) vinegar and 4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda. Summary: Each teaspoon (5 grams) of baking powder may be substituted with 14 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda and 1 teaspoon (1 gram) baking powder. 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder in place of each teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder in the recipe

What is a substitute for 1 teaspoon of baking powder?

2 teaspoon lemon juice. 14 teaspoon baking soda or 2 teaspoon white vinegar 1 1 teaspoon baking powder may be substituted as follows: 1 combine

What is a substitute for 1 tablespoon of baking powder?

To make 1 tablespoon baking powder, combine 2 teaspoons cream of tartar and 1 teaspoon baking soda (if preparing a large amount, add 1 teaspoon cornstarch to avoid caking, although it’s not essential).

Can I just use flour instead of cornstarch?

While it will not provide the same glossy sheen as cornstarch, it will suffice in a hurry. All-purpose flour has about half the thickening ability of cornstarch, so for every tablespoon of cornstarch needed, use two teaspoons of all-purpose flour.

Why not use cornstarch?

Cornstarch is not the ideal meal for persons trying to control or reduce their blood sugar or cholesterol levels. Cornstarch may also be unsuitable for persons on a diet or attempting to lower their risk of obesity. This is because it contains a lot of calories and carbohydrates.

What does cornstarch do in baking?

The starch molecules act to absorb water and thicken the liquid when cornstarch is added to a recipe. As those molecules are heated, they enlarge and devour even more of the liquid in the recipe. The starch in the mixture will have enlarged six to ten times its original size after completely cooking.

Is cornstarch basically baking soda?

Baking soda is a form of salt used as a leavener. When baking soda is added to food, it has an alkaline ph and tastes highly salty. A corn kernel is used to make cornstarch. It is mostly used in food as a thickening agent.

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