Cornstarch is a fantastic ingredient used to thicken gravies, soups and sauces. Cornstarch is essentially corn flour so can add extra volume to the recipe depending on how much you have added. If you have accidentally added baking powder to your recipe you can still add cornstarch. The recipe will still work out but cakes and cookies will rise more.
For cakes and cookies baking powder will cause them to rise more. For sauces, carbon dioxide will be released, and it won’t affect the end product. The cornstarch won’t react with the baking powder. Adding cornstarch can make the recipe dryer so add a dash more liquid to make sure it doesn’t dry out.
This article will explore what to do if you accidentally use baking powder instead of cornstarch.
What happens if you add baking powder instead of cornstarch
The are the top differences you will notice you add baking powder instead of cornstarch.
1. No affect
Sometimes adding baking powder instead of corns starch will have not affect at all. Adding 2 teaspoons of baking powder will make very little difference to most recipes, particularly if they are sauces, gravies or soups.
If the recipe is heated, the baking powder can react and release carbon dioxide. This can just be cooked off and the recipe will be unchanged in the end.
2. Cakes or cookies will rise more
If you add baking powder instead of cornstarch to cookies or cakes, you will get more rise. Adding cornstarch will thicken the batter while adding baking powder causes them to be lighter.
If you add cornstarch to cookie or cake recipes instead of baking powder, you can just add the baking soda back in. This will give the recipe rise and give the cookies and cake lift and make them lighter.
The cornstarch will make very little difference to the recipe. If you have added more than a tablespoon, you may need to add some extra liquid to stop the recipe from drying out.
If you want to know more about the difference between adding baking powder and baking soda to brownies, check out this article: Baking Soda vs Baking Powder for Brownies | Which One is Better?
3. Brownies will become cakier
Adding baking powder instead of cornstarch to your brownies will give them more lift and make them cakier. Adding more than 1 teaspoon of baking powder will cause the brownies to rise, making them less fudgy.
What to do if you accidentally add baking powder instead of cornstarch
If you accidentally add baking powder to any recipe instead of cornstarch you can correct this. Check out these tips to fix your recipe.
1. Add the baking powder
If the recipe states that it needs baking powder it will be important to put it in. You can still add it to the recipe even if you have added cornstarch.
The baking power will be needed to make the recipe airy and light. This is important in cake and some cookies.
Put the baking powder in and it will be great for the recipe.
2. Add more liquid
Sometimes adding extra baking powder to the recipe can cause it to dry out. If you have added extra baking powder, you may need to add an extra tablespoon or two to of liquid to balance it out.
For cakes and cookies it is easy to add extra milk or even water to get the batter to the right consistency.
Can I use cornstarch instead of baking powder in recipes?
Cornstarch cannot be used instead of baking powder in recipes. Baking powder and cornstarch and are completely different and have different effects. Cornstarch is used to thicken recipes, it is made from ground up corn which is essentially corn flour.
Instead of cornstarch you can use other flours like wheat flour, tapioca, or arrowroot to thicken recipes.
Baking powder is sodium bicarbonate mixed with an acid, usually cream of tartar. It reacts when heated in the recipe to release carbon dioxide and make the recipe lighter. It is a common ingredient in cakes and cookies.
If you don’t have baking powder you can use baking soda as long as the recipe contains an acidic ingredient. This could be cocoa powder, yogurt, lemon juice or cream of tartar so the baking soda has an acid to react to. This will make cakes, cookies or even pancakes lighter and fluffier.
Accidentally Used Baking Powder Instead of Cornstarch | Summary
Baking powder and cornstarch are not interchangeable. Baking powder is used in recipes to add air and make the recipe lighter. It is a common ingredient in cakes to make them light and fluffy. Cornstarch is essentially corn flour which is added to recipes to thicken them.
One tablespoon can thicken sauces, gravies and soups. If you accidentally add baking powder instead of cornstarch, just add in the cornstarch and your recipe will be fine.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.