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You’re just about to put together your favorite cookie recipe, only to realize that you have no baking powder!
Is it important to use baking powder in cookies?
Is it even possible to make cookies without baking powder?
What will happen – a baking disaster, or an accidental success?
Baking powder is one of the essential ingredients in many cookie recipes, so in this guide we’re talking all about what to do if you don’t have baking powder for your cookies and what to do instead.
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Can you make cookies without baking powder?
So let’s start off with the basics: is it even possible to make cookies without baking powder?
Will they turn out at all like a cookie?
The answer is yes, you can make cookies without baking powder, but your cookie may end up extremely dense and not like the texture that you planned.
You will end up with something that looks like a cookie, but whether it was worth making is an experiment you’ll have to try!
Baking Powder’s Impact on Cookies
So what does baking powder actually do in a cookie, and what even is baking powder?
Baking powder is basically a chemical agent used in baking that puts together something called an acid and an “alkali” (it’s fine if you’re not scientific, that’s all you need to know).
Because of this combo, a gas of carbon dioxide is given off which basically adds inflation and puffiness to your cookies (aka, the rise).
This is what makes your cookies fluffy and not hard like hockey pucks.
I always remember that “p” for “powder” is for “puff.”
So this explains why leaving baking powder out of cookies will not necessarily make them inedible, but will make sure that they are dense and do not have any rise or puff because there is no reaction within the dough to do that.
What to Use Instead of Baking Powder in Cookies
There are a few substitutions you can make in cookies if you don’t have baking powder!
One option is to use a mixture of baking soda and cream of tartar, as this will actually give you that alkali + acid mix that ends up being homemade baking powder.
You can also add in baking soda with your dry ingredients and then buttermilk (an acid) with your wet ingredients.
Other people use a mixture of baking soda, cornstarch, and cream of tartar.
Or if you’re really feeling daring, try using baking soda in your dry ingredients and then add some yogurt into your wet ingredients.
Making Cookies if You Don’t Have Baking Powder
No baking powder, no problem. Here’s what to do.
1. Just Don’t Use it at All
If you don’t want to deal with substitutions and just want to know if your cookies will turn out okay, go ahead and make your cookies anyway and accept that they will be flatter than you expect, but should still taste okay and good enough to eat.
2. Use a Recipe that Already Doesn’t Have Baking Powder
Lots of cookie recipes don’t have baking powder as an ingredient.
Some use baking soda instead, or they leave out rising agents altogether because of the type of cookies they are (shortbread, for example).
This will make sure that you get a great cookie without any substitutions and you know the recipe is specifically formulated to make sure baking powder is not required.
3. Substitute something else
There are a couple of mixes that you can put together to create baking powder at home, including mixing baking soda with cream of tartar.
Try one of the substitutions listed above to use instead of baking powder in your cookies.
You’ll get pretty close to the impact that baking powder gives your cookies, and might learn a new baking hack!
Hey! Want more expert cookie baking hacks? Check these out!
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