make your own baking powder

To make your own baking powder – some say with fewer metallic undertones than the commercial stuff – mix one part baking soda to one part cornstarch and two parts cream of tartar.

For example: 1/4 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar + 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch = 1 teaspoon homemade baking powder.

[Updated 9/2/10 with this equation for clarity]

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17 comments on make your own baking powder

  1. What is the role of the corn starch here? I’ve always just done one part baking soda to two parts cream of tartar (I never buy baking powder). I might try it with corn starch next time–I hadn’t ever heard this.

  2. Wow, thanks for the tip! So easy. No reason to buy the pre-fab stuff. I just learned about the aluminum in baking powder recently.

  3. @Elizabeth

    The addition of starch is to help keep the mixture dry, and therefore prevent the chemical reaction from taking place prematurely (Only really matters if you are making a larger batch to store for later use). It also adds some extra bulk to the mixture making it easier to get the correct quantities.

  4. Is there a USE BY recommendation for homemade baking powder? (6 months?) Is there a way to test if the baking powder you have is still functioning?

    I’ve heard that it is important to use baking powder without aluminum for making your own crackers…I will have to give this a go, as unfortunately I had just bought a container of the usual baking powder, and alas, it has aluminum in it…

  5. Worse than the presence of aluminum, all the aluminum-free baking powder I have ever purchased has a really off taste. This does not. Thanks for a new substitute!

  6. oh this is wonderful to know! I live in France and get my family to send a jar of baking powder once in a while, but it would be nice to be able to make my own. Now to find some cream of tartar…

  7. Thank you, Deb, SO much for sharing these “Make Your Own” recipes. Nice to know that commonly purchased ‘I know I need this but I don’t know why’ mixtures are made from proportions of simple kitchen shelf ingredients. Going rogue…like the sound of that!

  8. I’m getting dizzy. I just received a recipe for make your own toothpaste! So now I have to try this, as well. Then, some people may be brushing their teeth with baking power as suggested by the Arm & Hammer box, “many other uses for baking soda” note. OK. I am done.

  9. Also note: kidney patients particularly dialysis patients need to reduce phosphorus in their diet so this substitute is a great way to do that in your baking!!

  10. 1) Cream of tartar is available at most grocers. McCormicks makes it!
    2) Testing baking powder: Mix a little with water. If it foams, it’s good. You need to keep it as dry as possible.