What Is a Substitute for Potassium Bicarbonate?

by Kate Barber

It is important to know the various substitutes for common baking ingredients so that you may make proper substitutions when baking for people who are on restrictive diets due to food allergies or other health concerns.

Potassium Bicarbonate

Potassium bicarbonate is an odorless, colorless, water-soluble, base substance that is commonly available in a granular, white powder form. The substance is used in baking as a source of carbon dioxide.


Potassium bicarbonate is utilized in baking as a leavening agent. When it is added to a baking mixture or dough, potassium bicarbonate releases bubbles of carbon dioxide. This creates a frothy mixture that results in a softer and lighter finished baked good.


Although potassium bicarbonate is preferred by those on sodium-restricted diets, as it is a naturally low sodium substance, an alternative for use when baking is sodium bicarbonate. This substance shares many of the same properties as potassium bicarbonate and is a source of carbon dioxide.

Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate, also commonly known as baking soda, performs the same function as potassium bicarbonate. When added to a baking mixture or dough, sodium bicarbonate releases carbon dioxide bubbles to create a lighter finished baking product.


Sodium bicarbonate is substituted for potassium bicarbonate in equal measure. There is no need for measurement conversion.

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About the Author

Kate Barber has been working as a freelance writer for over five years and currently lives in Santa Barbara, California. She worked as a writer for "Humanus," a journal on human rights, and is a graduate of New York University with a Master of Arts degree in economics.