If you have a corn allergy, avoid corn for other reasons, or can’t find baking powder in the store, being able to make baking powder at home really comes in handy. Today I’ll show you how to make a corn free baking powder substitute to use in your baking at home. This will work with gluten free baking, corn free baking, top 8 free baking, and everything in between.
Free From: Wheat/Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Tree Nut (including Coconut), Peanut, Fish, Shellfish, Top 8 Allergens, Sesame, Alliums, Apple, Avocado, Banana, Beans & Lentils, Buckwheat, Cane/Refined Sugar, Carrot, Celery, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cooking Oil/Added Fats, Corn, Cruciferous, Garlic, Latex Cross Reactive Foods (H/M), Legume, Lupin, Mushroom, Mustard, Nightshade, Oat, Onion, Pea & Pea Protein, Potato (Nightshade Variety), Poultry, Red Meat, Rice, Seeds, Stone Fruits, Strawberry, Squash & Gourd, Sweet Potato & Yam, Tapioca/Cassava/Yuca/Manioc, Tomato, Yeast
Friendly To: AIP Paleo, Diabetic, EOE, FPIES, Paleo, Vegan
Compatible With: Berry Free, GAPs, SCD
For Berry Free, GAPs, & SCD: This recipe contains cream of tartar, a grape derivative (grapes are classified as berries). See the notes below for cream of tartar alternatives.
First, What Is Baking Powder?
To understand how to make a baking powder substitute, we need to understand what it is. Remember, I have a mind that loves science and if you’re gluten free, egg free, or corn free, you’re going to want to know the why so you have more success in the kitchen. Baking powder is a leavening agent and added volumes to baked goods (and items like pancakes). Baking powder also lightens the texture of your baked goods.
Without baking powder, items such as biscuits, cookies, and some breads would be more dense than you want. With gluten free baking, density is already an issue, so it’s important to get your leavening right to prevent more problems.
Related Article: Gluten Free Flour: Where to Start
How Does Baking Powder Work?
Baking powder works by a combination of four key elements:
- Alkaline Powder (such as baking soda)
- Acid Salt
- Neutral Starch
- Liquid (added to your recipe)
When your baking powder combines with the liquid, carbon dioxide is produced. The gas is then trapped in the dough, which causes it to rise.
Corn Free Baking Powder – What’s The Big Deal?
If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients in baking powder, you most likely saw something like corn starch, monocalcium phosphate, and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). For someone who can’t have corn, they’ll need a baking powder that has either potato starch, arrowroot, or tapioca starch. Whilst there are a couple of brands on the market that can serve the corn free community, as many learned during the pandemic, supplies are limited. It’s important that we all learn from 2020, and strive to be prepared where we can.
If this is new to you, you may enjoy our Hidden Sources of Corn & Corn Derivatives article. It talks about how corn is widely used, and why it’s so hard to avoid.
Related Resource: Corn Free Safe Product List
Cream of Tartar – All The Details
Did you know: if you have a grape allergy you can’t eat cream of tartar? Cream of tartar is a white crystalline acidic compound that’s obtained as a byproduct of wine fermentation. It’s mainly used in baking. As its derived from grapes, for those who can’t have grapes (and sometimes fermented products) cream of tartar is off limits.
Cream of tartar is the common name for potassium bitartrate (potassium hydrogen tartrate, KC4H5O6). For those who are cream of tartar free, you’ll need to use baking soda + an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice in your baking.
How Does Cream of Tartar Work in Baking Powder?
When you combine cream of tartar with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) together they form a leavening agent. They do this by producing carbon dioxide gas.
Other Uses For Cream of Tartar
Cream of tartar can be used in cooking as well. You can add a little to boiling vegetables which will help them retain a fresh and bright color. You can also use it in whipped cream as a stabilizing agent.
Related Recipe: Ultimate Gluten Free, Vegan Fluffy Pancakes (top 8 allergy free)
What Is Baking Soda?
Sodium Bicarbonate, aka baking soda, is commonly used in baking, cooking, cleaning, and toothpaste. It’s a soluble white powder with a chemical formula of NaHCO3. Baking soda is one of the key elements that gives baking powder it’s leavening power. Interestingly, baking powder can be combined with other acids such as vinegar or lemon juice to create rise.
Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda
A lot of people who are new to baking sometimes think baking powder and baking soda are the same thing. In a nut shell, the difference between baking soda and baking powder is that baking soda is a single ingredient that’s an alkaline powder. When combined with other ingredients, it forms a leavening agent.
Baking powder on the other hand is a mix of usually three powdered ingredients (sometimes more) that when combined with a liquid create rise. When baking powder is used, ANY liquid will activate the reaction. If baking soda is used standalone, ONLY an acid can activate the rise.
Related Recipe: Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Cake (Vegan, Top 8 Allergy Free)
Why Does Baking Powder Contain Starch?
The neutral starch in baking powder (usually corn starch or potato starch) is added to help prevent the absorption of moisture in the air. Remember when I said four key elements, and liquid was one of them? If moisture in the air gets into your baking powder, it can cause a reaction and ruin your dry mix.
Other Common Questions About Baking Powder and Baking Soda Answered
Can I use Baking Powder instead of baking soda?
That depends. In cookies, no. In pancakes, yes. If a recipe calls for baking soda + an acid, that’s the lift. In a pinch, you could replace it with baking powder + any liquid. However, if you’re following a blogger for their specialty recipes, I’d suggest sticking to what they use, as that’s the best way to produce identical results.
Does Baking Powder Go Bad?
Yes, baking powder can expire. When you purchase it, there should be a best by, use by, or expiration date on the package. If you purchase the individual component ingredients of baking powder, they may have a longer shelf life.
Amazing Recipe: Gluten Free Double Chocolate Muffins (Vegan, Egg Free, Top 8 Allergy Free)
Is Baking Powder Gluten Free?
Inherently, yes, baking powder is gluten free. However, if it’s produces on shared equipment with wheat (or other gluten containing grains), there may be cross contamination with gluten.
Enjoying This Article? RAISE offers hundreds of gluten free, allergy friendly recipes along with hundreds of resources to help you on your journey. Click here to learn what RAISE is, and about all the support we provide.
Other Baking Powder Replacements
If for some reason you’re unable to use our recipe below, other items can be used in place of baking powder. In many cases, you’ll need to adjust your ratios to make sure it lines up with what the recipe author intended. Baking powder substitutes include:
- Baking Soda + Lemon Juice
- Baking Soda + Vinegar
- Whipped Egg Whites
- Self Rising Flour
- Baking Soda + Molasses
- Club Soda
Corn Free Baking Powder Recipe and Video
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- Storage Jar
- 2 TBSP Cream of Tartar
- 1 TBSP Baking Soda
- 1 TBSP Arrowroot
- Combine your ingredients and store with an air-tight lid.