How to Replace Yeast With Baking Soda & Lemon Juice

by Deborah Lundin ; Updated September 28, 2017

Baking soda mixed with lemon juice provides a quick yeast alternative.

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When baking, yeast acts as a leavening agent and contributes to the rising of the dough. As it mixes with the other ingredients, it releases the carbon dioxide that causes the rise. If you are in the middle of baking and you discover you don’t have the yeast your recipe calls for, a common replacement is often right in your kitchen. When baking soda combines with the acid in lemon juice, it releases carbon dioxide and creates the same rising effect. While yeast is often added in the beginning of a recipe, this substitute must be added right before cooking in order to achieve the same results.

Combine the ingredients in your recipe, leaving out the yeast. While many recipes call for adding the yeast early, a baking soda and lemon juice substitute must be added last in order to allow for a proper reaction and release of carbon dioxide.

Cut the amount of yeast your recipe calls for in half. This measurement will be the amount of baking soda and lemon juice you need. For example, if your recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of yeast, you will need 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Combine the lemon juice and baking soda in a bowl and whisk to help add air into the mixture.

Add the baking soda mixture to your other ingredients and stir to combine. Place the dough into your baking pan and bake immediately as directed in your recipe. While your recipe may call for the dough to sit out and rise, this step is not needed with the baking soda and lemon juice mixture.


  • Another option is to combine equal parts of baking soda and buttermilk. The buttermilk acts as the acid in place of the lemon juice. If you do not have either ingredient, double-acting baking powder is another alternative. Baking powder is a combination of baking soda and a powdered acid. Double-acting baking powder contains two acids that allow the baking soda to react when combined with wet ingredients as well as to continue reacting when heated.

    An alternative method is to add all the dry ingredients in one bowl, including the baking soda, and all the wet ingredients, including the lemon juice, in another bowl. Combine the contents of the two bowls and mix well. Bake immediately.

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About the Author

Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.