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Can Baking Powder Substitute Cornstarch? No! But 5 Close Substitutes

Spencer B. 1 year ago 0 22

Question? can baking powder substitute cornstarch? No, you can not substitute baking powder with cornstarch. Here is why:

Baking powder and cornstarch have distinct roles in baking. Baking powder, a leavening agent which helps baked goods rise, is not interchangeable with cornstarch, which thickens sauces or gravies.

You can’t use baking powder as an equivalent for cornstarch if the recipe specifically calls for it as a thickener; similarly, you cannot substitute a teaspoon of cornstarch to replace one of these substances when requiring elevation from your dishes.

So What Can You Use Instead?

Several other ingredients can be used as a thickening agent in place of cornstarch, depending on the recipe and desired result. Here are 5 of these substitutes:

Flour:

Flour can be used as a substitute for cornstarch as a thickening agent in cooking and baking. To use flour as a thickener, you’ll need about twice as much flour as cornstarch. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, you’ll need 2 tablespoons of flour.

Substituting flour for cornstarch

However, it is essential to note that the texture and flavor of the final dish may be affected, as flour has a distinct taste and texture compared to cornstarch. Flour can also cause cloudiness in clear liquids, whereas cornstarch will not.

To use flour as a substitute for cornstarch, measure out the amount of cornstarch called for in the recipe and replace it with twice the amount of flour. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, use 2 tablespoons of flour.

How to Substitute:

  • Whisk the flour into a small amount of cold liquid, such as water or milk, to make a smooth paste.
  • Gradually stir the paste into the hot liquid in the recipe, making sure to stir constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for a few minutes until it thickens.
  • To use flour as a thickening agent, start by measuring the desired amount.
  • Whisk the flour into a small amount of cold liquid, such as water or milk, to make a smooth paste.
  • Gradually stir the paste into the hot liquid in the recipe, making sure to stir constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for a few minutes until it thickens.

Arrowroot:

Arrowroot is a starch derived from the root of the arrowroot plant. It can be used as a substitute for cornstarch as a thickening agent in cooking. It has a neutral flavor and creates a clear, glossy finish in sauces and gravies.

Arrowroot as a substitute

Arrowroot is also gluten-free, making it a suitable alternative for those with gluten sensitivities. However, it has a lower thickening power than cornstarch, so you may need to use more to achieve the same thickening effect.

How to Substitute

  • Begin by measuring the appropriate amount of arrowroot powder you need for your recipe. Generally, you should use about 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder for every 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
  • Next, mix the arrowroot powder with a small amount of cold liquid (such as water or stock) until it forms a smooth paste. This is called a “slurry.”
  • Slowly pour the slurry into the hot liquid you want to thicken while stirring constantly.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, and continue to stir for about 1-2 minutes or until the liquid has thickened to your desired consistency.
  • Once the desired consistency is reached, remove the mixture from the heat and continue to stir for a few seconds to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Serve or use as desired.

Tapioca:

Tapioca is a starch extracted from the root of the cassava plant. It can be used as a substitute for cornstarch as a thickening agent in recipes. Tapioca has a similar thickening power as cornstarch but can withstand higher cooking temperatures and has a more translucent final product. It also has a slightly sweet taste, which can affect the final flavor of the dish.

It is commonly used in puddings, pies, and other desserts and gluten-free baking. In some cases, Tapioca flour can be used as a substitute for cornstarch in a 1:1 ratio, but it is always best to check the recipe for specific measurements.

Here is how to Substitute:

  • Measure out the desired amount of tapioca flour.
  • Mix the tapioca flour with a small amount of cold liquid from the recipe (such as water or milk) in a separate bowl to create a smooth paste.
  • Slowly add the paste to the recipe while stirring constantly.
  • Cook the mixture over medium heat until it reaches the desired thickness. Be sure to stir frequently to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Once the desired consistency is reached, remove from heat and allow to cool before using or serving.

Potato starch:

Potato starch is an excellent alternative to cornstarch as a thickener in the kitchen. As it’s made from potatoes, this fine white powder can be used in gluten-free and grain-free recipes.

It makes soups, sauces, and gravies thicker with its addition and acts as an agent for creating glossy glazes on fruit pies or other baked goods.

How to Substitute

However, when using potato starch like cornstarch, remember to mix it with cold liquid before stirring it into your hot mixture; otherwise, you may find yourself dealing with unappetizing lumps!

  • Start by measuring the desired amount of potato starch needed for your recipe. Remember that potato starch is more potent than cornstarch as a thickening agent, so you will likely need less.
  • Mix the potato starch with equal cold water to form a slurry. This will help prevent lumps from forming when the starch is added to your recipe.
  • Slowly pour the slurry into your recipe while stirring constantly. This will help distribute the starch evenly and prevent clumping.
  • Bring the recipe to a simmer and continue stirring for 1-2 minutes. This will help activate the starch and thicken the mixture.
  • Reduce the heat and continue stirring for an additional 2-3 minutes. This will ensure that the starch is fully cooked and the mixture has reached the desired consistency.
  • Remove from heat and let cool. If your recipe requires to be chilled after, you can let it cool and refrigerate.
  • Taste your recipe and adjust seasonings as needed. Enjoy your dish!

Guar gum:

Guar gum is a natural thickening agent that can be used as a substitute for cornstarch. It is made from the seeds of the guar plant and is commonly used in foods as a thickener, emulsifier, and stabilizer. Guar gum is a good option for those looking for a gluten-free alternative to cornstarch. It has a similar thickening power as cornstarch but requires less to achieve the desired consistency.

In addition, it can also withstand high temperatures and acidic conditions, making it suitable for use in hot and acidic foods. However, it should be used in smaller quantities than cornstarch, as it can cause digestive problems if consumed excessively.

Here is how to substitute:

  • Measure out the desired amount of guar gum needed for your recipe. A general rule of thumb is to use 1/8 teaspoon of guar gum for every cup of liquid in the recipe.
  • Mix the guar gum with a small amount of cold liquid, such as water or juice, to create a smooth paste.
  • Slowly add the paste to the hot liquid in the recipe, constantly stirring to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer and continue to stir for 1-2 minutes or until the desired thickness is achieved.
  • Remove from heat and use as desired. Keep in mind that the thickening effect of guar gum may take a few minutes to develop fully.
  • Guar gum can also be added to dry ingredients, such as flour, before liquid thickening batter for cakes, cookies, and other baked goods.

So, Can Baking Powder Substitute Cornstarch?

This article discussed several alternatives to cornstarch as a thickening agent in the kitchen. These included arrowroot powder, tapioca starch, potato starch, and guar gum. These can be used as substitutes for cornstarch and have unique properties that make them suitable for specific recipes or dietary restrictions. With careful measurement and preparation, any of these alternatives can help you achieve the desired thickness for your dishes!

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