Check Your Baking Powder!

check your baking powder


I always thought baking powder was just an innocuous addition to pancakes, muffins etc… I admit, I never really gave it much thought. I always bought it from my local health food store and made sure to buy the aluminum free package. I just thought that was good enough. WRONG! After further inspection here’s what I found:

baking pwder-001

Corn Starch: high probability it’s GMO

Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate: a buffering and chelating agent that may be very hazardous upon skin or eye contact, inhalation or ingestion, causing severe inflammation

Mono Calcium Phosphates: a leavening agent that softens dough and creates fluffiness. Used extensively in the fertilizer industry. No known side effects (huh?).

Calcium Sulphate (aka calcium sulfate): used as a dough conditioner, to extend shelf life,  a preservative

VERDICT: Baking Powder (with questionable ingredients)…meet trash! Adios!


Enter Baking Powder #2

After trashing my first baking powder, I zeroed in on another seemingly cleaner one from my local health food store. Let’s check it out:


 Ingredientsbaking powder-001

Tapioca Starch: the starch extracted from the root of the cassava plant, used as a thickening agent.

Potassium Bitartrate (cream of tartar): a stabilizer and allows for a smooth texture in baking and stiffness in meringues. Forms at the bottom of barrels when making wine and is a naturally occurring substance in grapes and some other tart fruit.

Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda): leavening agent



I have since done my own bit of research and have learned that there’s really no secret to making your own baking powder.

Home Made Baking Powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cream of tartar

Mix and voila! I make only as much as I need each time.


Also shared on Food Renegade, Designs By Gollum, Real Food Whole Health, Tidy Mom, Ann Kroeker, Nourishing Treasures, This Chick Cooks, Intoxicated on Life, Musings of a Housewife, My Sweet and Savory, Natural Living Mamma, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


  • Waking Up

    Wow Libby! You go girl! You investigate basic day to day essentials like a blood hound! Thanks for doing the work for me. I’ll be checking on my own baking powder tonite.

    • eatplaylovemore

      Lol Thanks! Love your name by the way. That’s how I always describe my transition to traditional foods…like ‘I woke up’.

  • zae

    Yikes after reading this article, I checked my own and horrified to find out that yupmit has questionable ingredients. I will be making my own. Just a question Libby are all cream of tarters equal?

    • eatplaylovemore

      Ooh! Good question Zae! Cream of tartar (aka tartaric acid) is naturally obtained as a by product of wine-making. During the fermentation of the grapes, tartar crystallises in the wine casks. Because conventional wine grapes can be contaminated with pesticides I always buy organic to prevent my exposure to chemicals. Hope that helps. :)

      • Lisa

        I have a app on my phone that will tell you if a product is GMO or is made dorm a GMO company and so forth it called Buycott and so far Mc Cormic spices have all been oked

  • Trisha Eldridge Gilkerson

    Great article! I didn’t realize until a few months ago that baking powder had corn in it. UGH! Why must they put corn in everything? THanks for sharing this info on Wellness Wednsday!

    • eatplaylovemore

      It’s so frustrating. When you really start to pay attention you quickly realize that corn (or some version of it) is in many, many things. Yuck!

  • Maya’s Mom

    I want to say that I”m shocked but unfortunately with all the crap and additives in pretty much anything in a package these days I am not surprised. Thank you for bringing this to the forefront because i feel like I’m becoming too trusting of my ‘health food’ store.

  • Terra Goutsos

    Up to now I’ve just been using the arm and hammer baking soda while slowly cleaning up our diet. I didn’t put to much thought into baking soda b/c i use it in such small amounts. I will look into this at some point but I assume A&H has some of these nasty ingredients that you list.

  • Homemade For Elle

    Interesting post! I admit, I have never looked at my baking powder before. I’m sure I will be horrified. I love the recipe for making your own — this is a keeper!

    Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday!

    • Quest

      This is about baking powder not soda 2 different things. And A&H is just baking soda nothing more.

  • Julie

    You keep making my life easier and easier Libby. No more store bought BP for this gal.

  • Maria

    Cream of tartar is more than just a stabilizer! It is the acid that will react with your base, the baking soda. Combining the acid and base in one is what makes baking powder a great leavener, and why you cannot simply replace it with baking soda in a recipe. As for the starch, it is there to add bulk, making measuring easier. While not strictly needed, if you are wanting to make a homemade baking powder that you can sub 1:1 for commercial mixes, you’re going to have to account for the extra bulk. Otherwise, you run the risk of severely over-leavening your baked goods.

    My homemade baking powder comes form the fantastic book BakeWise, by Shirley O. Corriher. (Excellent read, even if you’re grain free!)

    1Tbsp baking soda
    2Tbsp cream of tartar
    1.5 Tbsp starch (any will do)

    • natalie

      Maria – I have a question? which starch would you use as a bulkening agent – why do recipes call for both baking soda and baking powder? and also, what would be the 1ts replacement with only cream of tartar and baking soda

  • Priscilla Wallace

    I buy Rumford Baking Powder, it is aluminum free and made with Non-GMO Cornstarch

  • Brenda (and Charlie)

    cream of tarter is hard to find these days, I read recently…. did you find this to be true?

    • eatplaylovemore

      Hi Brenda,
      No, I have not come across this problem. Is their a particular reason why? -Libby