why are my baked goods turning blue?

So you’ve made some fruit scones or peach cupcakes and you notice that the end product is streaked blue and green. Sound familiar? In almost every case, it’s not you, it’s your baking powder. Baking powder with aluminum in it reacts to acidic ingredients, causing this discoloration and what many people find to be a “tinny” or metallic taste. Fortunately, this is as easy to rectify as ditching your baking powder for an aluminum-free brand, such as Rumford (the brand also makes Clabber Girl baking powder, which, oddly, does contain aluminum) or Bob’s Red Mill.

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23 comments on why are my baked goods turning blue?

  1. Sarah P

    Thank you! The blue baked-goods problem has been annoying me for a while. For some reason it tends to happen when I include sunflower seeds in muffins (but not in yeast breads, which makes sense now). I wouldn’t expect the seeds to be acidic, but maybe they are. I love the tips section by the way!

  2. Aimee

    I switched to Aluminum-free recently. It seems to work a lot differently than my old baking powder – I tend to need less of it – like half (mainly noticed this when my go-to pancake recipe came out very different). I wonder if the Al-free product is just fresher or does it actually take less than the Al brands?

  3. mb

    Interesting – i have baked A LOT for A LONG time and have never run into a blue streak . . . . .or anything like it and have always used Clabber Girl or Calumet . . . . .the only time I come up with weird colors is once in a while a blue berry blows up in a muffin and collides with the super yellow batter from yolks from my chickens and turns the cake “green” . . . . . . :)

  4. Marcia

    Just found ARGO aluminum free baking Powder in Fairway. Seems to come from the cornstarch people and is in a nifty squarish container..nice. Seemed to do just fine in Shortcake Biscuits.

  5. Megan

    I’ve had 2 baked good recipes turn blue-green on me now…yet I’m using Rumford AL-free baking powder. Any ideas on what else could be causing the color change? Both recipes had homemade sunbutter in them, so I think it’s something reacting with the sunbutter. One recipe ended up with the bitter/metalic taste and had to be tossed; the 2nd recipe just looked funny but was tasty. I did use pink Himalayan salt in both. Would that cause a strange chemical reaction vs. regular salt? Very puzzled!

    1. Dale

      I just baked an awful loaf of almondmeal bread and am trying to decide what i did wrong to turn it greenish with a pungent odor. Do we have any other ingredients in common?

      I used:
      Baking SODA (recipe called for baking powder, so i reduced from 3 tbsp to just 1 tbsp)
      Almondmeal flour (slightly out of date)
      Stevia powder (for baking)
      Himalayan pink salt (1 pinch)
      Cream of tartar
      Melted butter

      I won’t be eating this bread. Its foul. Would just like to know where I went wrong 😣

      1. Shallom

        I had the same experience as you and I’m wondering if you found a solution. Now I’m so scared of making another almond bread, because I did everything right according to the recipe

    2. Ali

      Just had the “green bread” experience. Then found this on (Diet Doctor)
      “Did your bread turn green when baking it? It has been known to happen with this recipe. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe to eat.
      The green color is the result of a chemical reaction between the leavening agent, in this case baking soda, and chlorophyl or chlorogenic acid. This reaction is most common in recipes using sunflower seeds or meal but has been known to happen with other flours as well.
      To prevent this from happening you can reduce the amount of baking soda by one third and/or add a couple of teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice to the wet ingredients before adding them to the dry ones.”
      Also, I did research on cream of tartar and found that it is a mild acid. Perhaps why it is in baking powder? (Homemade baking powder: 1 unit baking soda, 2 units cream of tartar. Best made immediately before use.) I haven’t tried either of these methods yet, but will with my next baking experiment.

  6. chelsea

    Last night I baked some carrot cake loaves with sunflower seeds in them. The seeds appeared normal last night, but when I cut a slice for breakfast this morning the seeds had turned bright blue. I use aluminum-free baking powder, so I know that’s not the culprit. After a bit of research I’ve learned that if the ph of the batter is too alkaline, nuts and seeds and some other plant foods will turn blue or green. The Sunbutter company recommends cutting the amount of baking soda and powder in your recipe in half to reduce discoloration.

  7. Hello. Thanks for this great thread! I just made a great paleo bread that is mostly a variety of nuts along with a binder. I have been making the bread for a few weeks but this week made a few changes to it.

    Two changes, among others, was that I ground the nuts to a flour, and also added baking SODA (not powder). Prior to this loaf, there was no discoloration but this time…lots of green/blue!

    So after reading this post my questions are: is it the nuts? is it the baking SODA? It’s Trader Joe’s baking soda but doesn’t say non-aluminum. Confused. Any answers? Maybe since it’s soda instead of powder, I can assume its the nuts that are discoloring it?

  8. Zoe

    As Jonathan above I am having the same issue. We use baking soda and salt and vinegar equal measures should we use less of one?? Can anyone recommend anything to stop the blue tinge at the bottom of the cake?

  9. Jen

    I had the exact problem and the only thing that was different was that we use trade joe baking soda and the oatmeal cookies have a weird greenish tint

  10. Rici

    I just switched my baking powder from Clabber Girl to Rumford Aluminum-Free (in a gluten-free muffin recipe). It worked perfectly, but the baking powder flavor was very pronounced. Aimee mentions that she needs only have as much aluminum-free in her recipes. I’ll try that next time, might help.

  11. Autumn

    Thank you. We got some yellow cake last nite from a restaurant and this morning its tinged like a green/blue. It was freaking me out. But now I know its OK to eat. :)

  12. Anna Zettle

    I used baking SODA in a coconut bread recipe; I also used coconut oil. And Himalayan pink salt. My bread has a greenish tinge. I know it is ok to eat, but what of those 3 could have caused it to “go green”? My baking soda is Arm and Hammer brand. I was going to make this particular recipe to sell……..perhaps market it as “Christmas Bread” because it is greenish??? LOL

  13. Marian

    I had some apple pieces turn blue/Green in a raw apple cake this past weekend. I wondered about the cause and had assumed it was from the aluminum baking pans. (Foil ones and a regular mirro aluminum baking pan had some greening of the apples. I served the entire contents of the nonstick coated aluminum pan first so I don’t know if the nonstick coating protected the apples.) The recipe used soda and no acid other than what occurs in the 3 cups of chopped apples. I did leave some bits of the peeling on the apples (grown without pesticide, i was getting tired of peeling and chopping the 12 cups of chopped apples. Guess
    I should try a batch in a glass cake pan this weekend and see what happens. Plenty of apples on the tree to use up,😁. Any other suggestions on a solution to what is evidently a frequent issue?

  14. Marie

    I just made a loaf of Keto bread, eggs, coconut oil, almond flour, apple cider vinegar, salt and baking soda. The bottom came out a bluish gray, and I had this happen with my last Keto recipe. I’m thinking it could be a reaction between the high egg content and metal loaf pan. I work in the catering industry and know our chefs cannot put scrambled eggs in an unlined metal pan as they will turn gray.

  15. Jerry

    Cream of tartar is an acid and if you are using an aluminum bake pan, it is probably why you are having aluminum oxide develop in your bread. It is very toxic, so do not eat it. You don’t really need the cream of tartar, it just makes the egg whites react faster. I make meringue and never use cream of tartar. If you feel you want to, DO NOT USE AN ALUMINUM BAKING DISH, or line it with wax paper so the acid doesn’t react with the aluminum.

  16. Ellen

    I made a special trip to the grocery store for Rumsford baking powder but still ended up with blue raspberry scones. Could it have been the buttermilk?

  17. Lisa

    Hi Deb!

    I’m a cook & not a baker by any means (science and I do not mix). With that said, I’ve been trying to bake a purple potato chocolate chip cookie but my dough continues to be speckled with blue/green or it was a pretty reddish-purple but that was more of a cake batter than a cookie dough. I’ve attempted adding milk with vinegar to the dough before adding the purple potato. Milk with vinegar to the purple potato before adding the dough. Sourdough starter with the dough before adding the purple potato. And yogurt with the dough before adding the purple potato. These are the acidic things I have on hand in my kitchen that I thought could work. What am I doing wrong?? Should I just nix the baking soda?? Or the baking powder??

    I have this vision of a beautifully vibrant purple … but everything comes out a monstrosity. Help!

  18. Nigel Tanner

    Thanks for providing the answer to a question on the Diet Doctor Facebook page. (Now I’ve read the other comments, I realise that the answer is not so straightforward! Good to have the warnings about aluminium/Alzheimer’s hazard, [British/Australian spelling!] however.)