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MYO: Double Acting Baking Powder

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If you like to bake you’re probably already aware that baking powder is a key ingredient for many recipes, particularly cakes, breads, cookies and more. What you might not know is that most commercial baking powders contain aluminum.

If you have a sensitivity to aluminum or if you just happen to have run out of baking powder and don’t want to run to the store, it’s very simple, here’s how to MYO double acting baking powder replacement!

Switching to aluminum-free baking powder will immediately improve the taste of your cakes, cookies, quick breads and muffins and reduce your risk of disease associated with aluminum exposure (such as Alzheimer’s!).



Baking Powder vs Double Acting Baking Powder

Baking powder, unlike baking soda, is a complete leavening agent. Essentially that means that it contains the acid and the alkaline needed to create lift all in one handy little mixture. Single-acting baking powders use acids that are primarily heat-activated, not those released after being mixed with a liquid.

Double Acting Baking powder, on the other hand, reacts and creates gas bubbles twice, once when added to a liquid and again, when exposed to heat. The alkaline within the baking soda will always react with liquid, creating the initial lift in the batter.

Baking Powder Biscuits-

The function of the Ingredients

Baking powder contains a base, an acid, and moisture control. In our recipe for homemade baking powder, the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is the base while the cream of tartar is the acid and the cornstarch is added to prevent premature activity and absorb the moisture.

In commercial products, monocalcium phosphate is added instead of cream of tartar because it’s cheaper in mass production than cream of tartar. They also use Sodium aluminum sulfate, which is a white, free-flowing powdered material that occurs as colorless crystals. It only reacts with the baking soda once it reaches 140 oF or higher.


Homemade Substitutes for Double Acting Baking Soda

Regardless of which baking powder you choose, all recipes made with baking powder are meant to be baked immediately, within 5 minutes of mixing.

To Substitute 1 Tsp of Double Acting Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch


1 1/2 teaspoons single-action baking powder


1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk, sour milk or yogurt to replace 1/2 cup (120 ml) non-acidic liquid

Bulk Homemade Baking Powder Recipe

To Make a 1/2 Cup of Homemade Baking Powder to keep on hand.

You’ll Need:
2 Tbs. Baking Soda
4 Tbs Cream of Tartar
2 Tbs Corn Starch

Mix thoroughly and store in a well-sealed jar (not a plastic bag).

These baking powder replacements work like a dream in most recipes that are cooked or baked right away.

Helpful Tips

Do not omit the corn starch if you intend to store the mixture as this helps absorb any moisture and prevents the baking powder from reacting until it’s added to the recipe it’s needed in.

Plastic bags have a tendency to “sweat” which can have undesirable consequences on your homemade baking powder. For longer storage, opt for a clean, dry glass jar.

Always blend the leavening agent with the flour and other dry ingredients to ensure it’s evenly distributed throughout the dough or batter.

Aluminum-Free Baking Powder

There are several commercially available double-acting aluminum-free baking powder brands, such as Rumford. The Ingredients in Rumford baking powder are MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SODIUM BICARBONATE, CORN STARCH.

Aluminum free baking powder

Baking Powder Freshness Test

If you’re getting ready to do a little baking and you aren’t sure whether or not your baking powder is still good, here’s a quick test you can do (on both commercial & homemade powders) to see if it’s still viable:

Pour 1/2 teaspoon of the baking powder in question into half a cup of hot water. If it bubbles heavily, the baking powder is still good. If it doesn’t, it’s time to make a new batch (or buy another can!)

Homemade Double Acting Baking Powder vs Commercial Baking Powder

Homemade double-acting baking powder works similarly to commercial baking powder but may have slight differences in performance. Here’s how they compare:

Composition: Both homemade and commercial baking powder contain a combination of an acid (such as cream of tartar) and a base (such as baking soda). The difference lies in the proportions and the presence of additional ingredients like cornstarch in commercial brands.

Activation: Double-acting baking powder, whether homemade or commercial, releases gas bubbles twice during baking. The first release occurs upon contact with moisture, and the second release happens when exposed to heat. This helps provide a more consistent rise in baked goods.

Leavening Power: Commercial baking powder is precisely formulated to provide consistent leavening power in a wide range of recipes. Homemade baking powder may have varying leavening strength, depending on the proportions of its components. Adjustments to the amount used may be necessary for optimal results.

Shelf Life: Commercial baking powder often includes ingredients like cornstarch, which helps to prevent moisture absorption and extend shelf life. Homemade baking powder lacks these moisture control agents and may have a shorter shelf life.

While homemade double-acting baking powder can work well in many recipes, it may require some experimentation and adjustment in quantities compared to commercial varieties.

Other MYO Homemade Pantry Staples you can make at home

Here are 5 commonly used pantry items that you can make at home for just pennies and control the ingredients too!

If you’d like to see additional recipes, here’s an entire section of several hundred recipes to make your own commonly purchased food items.
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