Baking soda, a leavening agent, is a culinary ingredient used to enhance the flavor and texture of baked goods. Chocolate chip, sugar, chocolate, and other cookies without baking soda or baking powder can still taste flavorful and fluffy, as long as appropriate substitutes are used.

In this article, we’ll cover suitable substitutes for baking soda, and also share the three best cookie recipes without baking soda or powder. These recipes are easy to follow, quick, and use staple pantry ingredients.

Why Do Cookies Need Baking Soda or Baking Powder?


Baking soda and baking powder are both leavening agents used to help cookies rise, spread evenly, and develop a golden brown hue and fluffy, chewy texture. While these ingredients share similarities in purpose and appearance, they require different chemical interactions to work.

Baking soda requires both liquid and an acidic ingredient for its properties to activate, while baking powder already contains acid and just needs liquid for a reaction to occur. A typical cookie recipe calls for baking soda, baking powder, or a combination of both, depending on the ingredients and desired texture and taste.

What Happens if I Don’t Use Baking Soda in Cookies?

Making cookies without baking soda is entirely possible, but the cookies won’t properly rise or spread, which can lead to a dense, heavy texture and flat appearance. The cookies will be pale in color and won’t have a crisp crust.

Cookies Without Baking Soda or Powder: Substitutes

The best substitute for baking soda is baking powder. Like baking soda, baking powder is a leavening agent that helps baked goods rise and enhances the food’s texture. Baking powder isn’t as strong as baking soda, so use three times the amount the recipe calls for. You should also lessen the amount of salt and acid elsewhere in the recipe because baking powder already contains these ingredients.

There are several other foods that can replicate baking soda’s qualities, including self-raising flour, whipped egg whites, club soda, potassium bicarbonate, and baker’s ammonia. While these substitutes won’t deliver the same results as baking soda, they help cookies rise and keep their texture soft, chewy, and moist.

When substituting another ingredient for baking soda or baking powder, make sure to adjust the amounts appropriately and consider how the ingredients interact with one another. You may need to decrease or increase liquids, swap out specific ingredients in the recipe, or add new ingredients to prevent significant taste changes.

Cookies without baking soda don’t rise as well as cookies with baking soda. To help cookies without baking soda maintain thickness, roll the cookie dough into walnut-sized balls, rather than flattening the dough on the baking sheet, and chill the cookie dough balls before baking. Use brown sugar instead of white sugar to make softer cookies.

How to Make Cookies Without Baking Soda (or Powder): 3 Best Recipes


There are several recipes that make delicious, chewy cookies without the need for baking soda or powder. Here are the top three recipes:

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients (yields 28 to 35 cookies)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup soft brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate


  1. Cream the unsalted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together in a large bowl
  2. Once the consistency is smooth, add the beaten egg and vanilla extract and mix for another 30 seconds, or until fully combined
  3. Gradually sift the self-raising flour and salt into the bowl while mixing
  4. Add the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. Mix until the chocolate is evenly distributed throughout the batter
  5. Cover the chocolate chip cookies and cool completely in the fridge for at least 1 to 3 hours
  6. Take the chocolate chip cookies out of the fridge once cooled, and preheat the oven to 375°F
  7. Line two trays with baking sheets
  8. Roll the cookie dough into 1- to 2-inch-sized balls and place them on the trays. Ensure the cookies are spaced 2 inches apart
  9. Bake the chocolate chip cookies for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown
  10. Remove the cookies from the oven and place them on a cooling rack to cool. Store the chocolate chip cookies in a sealed container for up to a week, or freeze for up to three months
  11. Reuse the baking sheets for another batch of chocolate chip cookies or discard

Nutritional information (approximate, per chocolate chip cookie)

  • Calories: 130 to 160
  • Carbohydrates: 16 to 18 grams
  • Sugar: 9 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Salt: 0.1 grams
  • Total fat: 7 to 9 grams

Sugar Cookies Recipe

Ingredients (yields 10 to 14 cookies)

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of almond extract (optional)


  1. Mix together the softened butter and white sugar in a bowl until smooth
  2. Add the beaten egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract, stirring while adding
  3. Sift all-purpose flour and salt slowly into the wet ingredients
  4. Cover the cookie dough and store it in the fridge for at least an hour to cool
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F when the dough has cooled and line a baking tray with parchment paper
  6. Sprinkle some flour onto a clean work surface
  7. Roll out the cookie dough until it’s 2 inches thick
  8. Cut out several cookies from the dough using a cookie cutter
  9. Place the sugar cookies on the parchment paper, making sure they’re at least 2 inches apart, and then put the cookies into the refrigerator again to cool
  10. Take the sugar cookies out of the fridge once completely cooled
  11. Bake the cookies in the oven for 8 to 12 minutes
  12. Allow the cookies to cool before serving, and store in an airtight container for up to a week
  13. Reuse the parchment paper for the next batch of cookies or throw away

Nutritional information (approximate, per cookie)

  • Calories: 150 to 160
  • Carbohydrates: 18 grams
  • Sugar: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Salt: 0.1 gram
  • Total fat: 8 to 10 grams

Flourless Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients (yields up to 16 cookies)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or topping of choice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line trays with baking sheets
  2. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt into a mixing bowl, and stir until combined
  3. Whisk the egg whites together in another mixing bowl, forming soft peaks
  4. Add the vanilla extract into the egg whites, then gradually fold in the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt mix
  5. Mix in the chocolate chips, folding until the chocolate chips are evenly distributed
  6. Scoop out the batter and place it on the baking sheets in tablespoon-sized balls. Ensure the chocolate chip cookies are placed 2 inches apart
  7. Bake in the oven for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the chocolate chip cookies’ tops appear slightly cracked
  8. Cool completely before eating and store the double chocolate chip cookies at room temperature for up to three days

Nutritional information (approx per cookie)

  • Calories: 67
  • Carbohydrates: 12 to 13 grams
  • Sugar: 10 to 11 grams
  • Fiber: 1.2 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Salt: 0.1 gram
  • Total fat: 2 to 4 grams

FAQs About Cookies Without Baking Soda


The most frequently asked questions about making chewy chocolate chip cookies without baking soda or powder include:

Can I Eliminate Baking Soda From a Cookie Recipe?

The best chocolate chip cookies are made using baking soda or baking powder. It’s possible to eliminate these ingredients from a cookie recipe, but you won’t achieve the exact same results in terms of texture, appearance, and density.

Can I Make My Own Baking Soda?

Baking soda is typically made at an industrial scale with the use of specialized equipment, so making your own baking soda at home isn’t practical or affordable. However, foods that can mimic baking soda’s properties include baking powder, self-rising flour, and whipped egg whites. Create baking powder with a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar.

Can I Use Vinegar Instead of Baking Soda?

Vinegar can’t be used as a baking soda substitute for cookies, but vinegar does work well as a replacement for baking powder in many cookie recipes. Vinegar and baking soda react together to create a leavening agent effect. Opt for white vinegar instead of traditional vinegar because white vinegar is much milder in flavor than traditional vinegar and won’t overwhelm your dish.

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