Can You Make Cookies Without Baking Soda?

There are times when you have the perfect cookie recipe, and you are set to make it but then suddenly realize that you’re short on bicarbonate aka baking soda. At that moment, you might think to yourself: “Can I bake these cookies without it?”

Baking soda is essential in numerous baking recipes, especially those for cookies. That is why most of us are very familiar with it.

Nevertheless, most of us are also not certain whether it is absolutely required for our baking or if it is simply a nice touch.

While baking is a great hobby, it is also largely based on science, meaning that it is not always open to random and simple substitutions of ingredients.

That is why we will go through what you can do if you do not have any baking soda left for the cookies you are about to make, as well as what a cookie without bicarbonate of soda can look like.

As you might be wondering if you should swap the recipe you have for one that does not include any baking soda in its ingredients list, this article might help you decide!

Baking Soda: How It Works

First of all, let’s discuss baking soda and how it works in a cookie recipe. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is defined as an “alkaline chemical,” which essentially means it requires acidity for activation (acid in baking can be things like vinegar, lemon juice, or even cream of tartar).

Practically speaking, it resembles a thin white powder. It is far more powerful than baking powder, and it also has distinct qualities (and so cannot be simply substituted).

Bicarbonate soda promotes the rising of your cookies (the chemical interactions between the sodium bicarbonate and the acidic ingredient produce bubbles of gas which make your cookies rise), while it also results in a soft, chewy cookie that stretches.

Baking soda is commonly used in freshly baked cookies with chocolate chips (we should note that chocolate and brown sugar are both components that will react with the baking soda) but also in other cookie recipes. Moreover, it can be used in combination with or as a substitute for baking powder.

Can You Bake Cookies If You Don’t Have Baking Soda?

Can you actually bake cookies without using baking soda?

Yes, it is quite easy to prepare your cookie dough without adding any baking soda, as proven by the fact that many cookie recipe ingredients lists do not even include baking soda.

Nonetheless, if you’re attempting to make recipes that call for baking soda and wonder if you can skip it, we can tell you with certainty that you still can. However, you can expect a considerably different feel and density than what you would get if you’d added baking soda.

So, to be honest with you we ought to tell you right away that baking cookies without baking soda won’t get you those dreamy cookies that you are used to, but the result will still be satisfactory! 

How Do Cookies Come Out When Baking Soda Isn’t Used?

If you omit baking soda in recipes that call for it, the cookies are going to come out exceptionally thick since there will not be a chemical reaction in place to lift the cookies. You might also discover that your cookies are considerably flat.

Baking Soda Subs In Cookies

What can you do if you don’t have baking soda yet still want to add things similar to it to your cookie recipe?

Below are a few ideas for baking soda alternatives for cookie recipes to get you started.

The primary and preferred method is to use 3 times the amount of baking powder – sodium bicarbonate is a component of baking powder, but baking powder is considerably less effective, so by doubling, even quadrupling the amount of baking powder, you can replicate the qualities of baking soda.

Other ingredients you can use are regular soda water, baker’s ammonia, and potassium bicarbonate. Egg whites will also work!

Making Cookie Recipes Without Baking Soda

As far as making cookie recipes when there’s no baking soda in your cupboards is concerned, you have a few alternatives.

1. Find Cookie Recipes That Do Not Ask For Baking Soda

There are numerous cookie recipes that do not call for baking soda.

From brownie mix cookies to the mouthwatering sugar and spice cookies, there’s something for all tastes. This is the simplest approach to ensure that you can still bake tasty cookies without baking soda since these recipes have already been created so as to work without it.

2. Use A Baking Soda Replacement

There are indeed several baking soda replacements, the most popular of which is baking powder, and specifically, triple the amount of the baking soda mentioned in the original recipe.

There are several alternative substitution choices, but because baking soda is a chemical substance that requires a chemical reaction to do its work in your cookie recipe, it is not as simple to replace as other baking components.

3. Do Not Use Baking Soda From The Very Beginning

In cookie recipes, which don’t require as much puff as in baking products like cakes, you may skip the baking soda in recipes that call for it and still get a tasty result.

The cookies will most probably come out flatter and thicker than they would if you’d used baking soda, but if you truly want to make those recipes you have in mind, it is more than doable!

The Bottom Line

So there you have it: the tricks to make cookie recipes work without using baking soda. Baking soda is an ingredient that makes cookie recipes perfect as it gives your cookies that desired chewy and stretchy texture.

While you can achieve the puffiness with baking powder or all-purpose flour, getting that chewiness can be attained if you use one of our suggested substitutes, but you should not expect to get that very same result you would have if you used baking soda!

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Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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