Make Baking Powder





Introduction: Make Baking Powder

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That mysterious little ingredient hiding in your pantry, taken out occasionally to help the other, more important, ingredients make a cake. What are you, oh baking powder? You mysterious white powder in a strange container! What are you capable of doing? Why do trustworthy recipes call out for you by name? I mean sure, no one really knows what baking soda is either, but at least it has a bulging arm emblem that immediately recalls strength, and assumingly, a purpose of some sort. But baking powder? No such rapport.

Maybe you already knew that both baking soda and baking powder are used as "levelers" in baked goods which help the dough rise and create a fluffy-ish texture. This is caused by a chemical reaction achieved when moisture is added to the baking powder releasing carbon dioxide, which gets trapped inside tiny air pockets in the dough. (Think sponge cake)

But did you know that you could MAKE baking powder? YUP! And here's another little secret: its made out of baking soda!

Whoa, sit back down. I know its shocking, but just click on, and you'll see the lies unfurl. Baking powder, you have some explaining to do!

Step 1: The Ingredients

Two, sometimes three, ingredients are used to make Baking Powder:

1 part Baking Soda
2 parts Cream of Tartar
(optional) 1 part Corn Starch

Mix it all together in a lie of webs or bowl, if you prefer. Shake it up to make sure it all gets mixed

Step 2: Bake Some Cookies

The bitter taste of truth may not sit well in your mouth, so bake a batch of cookies with your new surplus of baking powder.

Step 3: Storage

Here's another secret: baking powder, whether home-brewed or store bought (hmph. <--contains aluminum, btw. Ever bitten into a tin-tasting muffin? The aluminum additive is where that tin flavor comes from!) can go "bad."

You'll add weeks to the life of your baking powder if you store it, tightly covered, in a cool place. Some experts say its best to store it in the fridge, whereas others say dry pantry is the best bet.

Step 4: Testing

You can test to see if you're baking powder is still potent and fresh by pouring 1/3 cup of boiling water on 1/2 cup of baking powder. It should bubble like crazy if it still has its groove. If the water doesn't move, your baking powder isn't...well, capable of doing the things you previously never knew it could.




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    Baking powder is designed to bubble when combined with certain fluids. A double action baking powder consists of a low-temperature acid salt and a high-temperature acid salt. A common low-temperature acid salt is cream of tartar. Almost all high-temperature acid salts are aluminum based, such as SODIUM ALUMINUM SULFATE (which does not, in fact, impart a tin taste). A double-action baking powder, as opposed to a single-action baking powder, will foam up twice. The first time it foams up is when introduced to certain fluids and the second time is when those fluids are heated. Unless you're a very fast baker, your initial foam from this single-action baking powder will die down and your results will be dense.

    1 reply

    Do you happen to know the ratio of baking soda to cream of tartar to alum needed to make "double acting"? I have all three ingredients in my cupboard but I can't find the ratio anywhere.

    I want to make double action baking powder.How can I do that ?

    I may just be twelve but I can bake a mean cake and my mom ran out of baking powder so I came here for help and my cakes are better than ever

    I was wondering about this 2 days ago after watching a show on the collapse of society. I wondered where I would find things like this after there are no more grocery stores!

    The obvious next question is: What about baking soda? Where does it come from?

    Btw, thanks!

    9 replies

    You may find it labeled as Bicarbonate of Soda, or Sodium Bicarbonate.

    Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate can be found in nature because in its natural form, baking soda is known as nahcolite, which is part of the natural mineral natron. However it can be made chemically by heating calcium carbonate
    so it releases CO2....the CO2 vapors are bubbled through an aqueous
    solution (meaning dissolved in water) of ammonia and sodium chloride
    (table salt..dissolved in water)....Sodium bicarbonate will precipitate
    (come out of solution). However I don't recommend doing this at home seeing as how you need to know the proper proportions, temperature, and have the proper apperatus to perform this process.

    Thank you. Maybe I should have asked a different way...

    If society collapses, and as is predicted, grocery stores are cleaned out in the first week, where could i find and gather some baking soda?

    I have to assume that should society collapse, I won't have access to a lab.


    The powder in regular fire extinguishers is Sodium bicarbonate.

    YUCK! No desire to eat it from there!

    I think your only good option for leavening would be sourdough culture. Yeast too maybe, but I'm not sure how easy it is to safely produce a clean yeast culture.

    Actually its pretty easy! Several years ago I captured wild yeast for a sourdough starter. I'm pretty sure I learned that here, as usual!

    It's seems unlikely that you will just happen to catch something good, and not something horrible, but that was my result. Life, and our world is mysterious!

    Actually it's depending upon your area. Every where will have it's own unique form of bacteria that go with the wild yeast called lacto bacillus. For instance lacto bacillus san francisco is only found in the San Fransisco bay area. That's why that sour dough has a unique taste all it's own. If your expecting the sour dough starter you make any where else to taste like that well then you will be severely disappointed.

    Not sure, although the alternative would be to use yeast as a producer of CO2 if you needed it for baking (plus it can also be used for brewing beer). Probably easier to isolate and culture yeast than to make Bicarb. (The Egyptians did it thousands of years ago, so I've read)

    Quite easy actually as long as you use a sanitized container all you need to do is a i part flour to a 2 parts water. Then all you have to do is keep feeding it flour and water once to twice a day for about 4-6 days and that's about it. Keep it in a warm place as long as you feed it. Once you have a good colony going put it in the fridge for future use. Just remember if your going to make bread that you pull it out either the night before (if your making it in the morning) or in the morning (if your making it for supper) and feed it some more water and flour. That's it (you will need to use about 3-4 times the amount of sourdough starter compared to packaged yeast keep the fact there is water in the starter when making the bread) It's not to hard or lab intensive you just can't forget to feed it during the start and after wards before each use.

    Small pedantic correction... It's a levener. Levelers are the little feet under your washer so that you can level it.

    You'll also find these directions on the inside cover of just about any cookbook (or where ever they have the substitutions section). The cornstarch is just to act as an anti-caking additive. If you're not storing the baking powder, the corn starch is really not necessary. As far as substitution goes, it is 1 to 1 with no corn starch. With the corn starch I'd add ⅓ of a teaspoon for every teaspoon (do the math).

    Baking powder is an acid-base mixture in dry form. When water is added you get CO₂, a salt (not necessarily NaCl), and water. As such, your baking powder can lose its effectiveness over time as it reacts with moisture in the air. So if you do not bake more than one a year, you might just make up what you need when you need it.

    Rumsford Baking Powder is aluminum free so you won't get that aluminum taste. It also never cakes like other baking powder (the real reason I buy it).

    It's always fun coming across an instructable with character, some of these things can read like a technical manual. While that's not always a bad thing we need 'iblers like you to bring some color to the site every now and again.

    I always knew baking powder was an acid/base mixture thus why it reacts in water but I'd never have guessed it was that simple. Cool 'ible.

    I've found that a ratio of 4 parts baking soda to 5 parts cream-of-tarter is more suitable for baking. I've also found that this leavener works best when all ingredients are cooled below room temperature. Since cold fats such as butter do not "cream" nicely with sugar I use the store bought double-acting variety when preparing doughs which require this step.