Baking Powder Substitute: How To Make Baking Powder At Home

Heather Dessinger

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baking powder substitute

Whether it’s a batch of banana walnut muffins or a short stack of buttermilk pancakes, sometimes you just need to grab a whisk, some eggs, and . . . ruh roh, you’re out of baking powder.

Or are you? [awkward stare]

Although it may seem like magical fairy dust made from a carefully guarded proprietary recipe, it’s actually super easy to make a baking powder substitute using just a few ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

And by baking powder substitute, I mean a substitute for the store-bought stuff. This is actual baking powder, just formulated in your kitchen instead of a huge manufacturing facility.

The Difference Between Baking Powder & Baking Soda (And Why It Matters)

If you’ve ever wondered why some recipes call for baking soda and others call for baking powder, here’s the deal:

Baking powder and baking soda are both leavening agents, which cause baked goods to rise. They do this via a chemical reaction that releases carbon dioxide bubbles. As the dough (or batter) cooks, the bubbles create air pockets that yield a light, fluffy texture.

So what causes this chemical reaction? Remember the volcano-making science experiment from school, when we learned that mixing acids with bases causes the release of carbon dioxide gas? This is the same thing, only we need to make delicate little air bubbles in our homemade goodies instead of a big mess.

Baking soda is a base, so when you mix it with something acidic it becomes activated and – voila – fluffy deliciousness. Some recipes include acidic ingredients like honey, sour cream or lemon juice, and therefore don’t need anything extra to activate the baking soda.

Some don’t, though, and if you try to get them to rise with just baking soda you’ll end up with a dense, brick-like finished product. That’s where baking powder comes in – it’s baking soda mixed with an acid (cream of tartar) that will activate when the ingredients are mixed with a liquid.

Manufacturers also usually include cornstarch or something similar to keep the mixture from caking, so I’ve factored that into the recipe below as well. If you leave it out, you end up with baking powder that is more concentrated than what is sold in stores and can therefore cause too much of a rise.

Also, Stale Baking Soda & Baking Powder Can Cause Recipes To Flop . . .

Here’s a quick test you can do to check if yours is still fresh.

baking powder substitute
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4.72 from 7 votes

How To Make Baking Powder Substitute (Homemade Baking Powder)

Calories 210kcal
Author Mommypotamus

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Thoroughly mix ingredients together. Store in a tightly sealed container.
  • If you prefer you can make more or less than this recipe calls for – just mix 1 part baking soda, 1 part arrowroot powder/cornstarch, and 2 parts cream of tartar.

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6597mg | Potassium: 9755mg | Fiber: 1g | Iron: 2.2mg
baking powder substitute recipe

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About HEATHER

Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding Mommypotamus.com in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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14 thoughts on “Baking Powder Substitute: How To Make Baking Powder At Home”

  1. Hi Heather,

    I use 2 parts Cream of Tartar to 1 part Baking Soda and omit the Arrowroot Powder. I don’t make up a huge batch though so it doesn’t have to last a long time and I bake often. I find that it’s just as easy to make it each time or 2 as it is to make a bigger batch and it saves my arrowroot powder. I have had nothing but good results with it. Just another option.

    Reply
    • 5 stars
      Yes agree, I do the same with no cornstarch and it’s fine. The reason that the cornstarch is in there is just to stop it clumping together while sitting on the store shelf. At home no need for that.

      Reply
  2. The original recipe seems to say 1/4 cup plus 4 Tablespoons of Cream of Tartar. That does not agree with the smaller batch amounts. Should it be 1/4 cup OR 4 Tablespoons?

    Reply
  3. Many baking powders are double-acting, responding (if I remember right!) to heat in the oven in addition to liquid. Would you say this recipe works like that, or does it only activate with liquid?

    Reply
  4. Thank you so much for this recipe! It has been impossible for me to find baking powder without cornstarch or aluminum in it (I have a big sensitivity to anything with any type of corn product). Is the nutritional fact info for the whole 8 Tablespoons the recipe makes? If not, what is the serving size please?

    Reply
  5. I can’t have corn or corn products and guess what the first ingredient in baking powder is…….corn starch. Your recipe is fantastic and allows me to continue baking my favorite things.

    Reply
  6. I hardly ever have cream of tartar, but I have in a pinch used baking soda and lemon juice for the rise. It worked.

    Reply