Homemade Baking Powder

by Eddy Van Damme on August 23, 2011


All of us have tasted baked products which had a chemical soapy flavor with hints of bitterness, sourness and sulfur. Usually this problem occurs when relative high amounts or a certain type of baking powder is used. In muffins that contain lots of spices or other additions, it is logically harder to detect these undesired flavors. However, with many years of working with students, I have discovered that some people are very sensitive to the residual flavor of chemical leaveners and will even identify them in complex flavored muffins and cakes.  I have found that using homemade baking powder can provide better tasting results, especially in products that contain rather simple and fewer ingredients.  For example in certain scones, American style breakfast biscuits, French Sablé Breton (Breton shortbread) etc…. using a little too much baking powder or the wrong type can result in unsatisfactory results.

Homemade baking powder can be made by combining baking soda* with cream of tartar **. Certainly you may know that bicarbonate of soda is used to treat heartburn or acid indigestion and cream of tartar is a byproduct of wine making. Partly what sets this formula apart is that it does not contain one or both of the following chemicals often found in commercial baking powder:  Sodium aluminum sulfate and monocalcium phosphate.

An important thing to remember is that the recipe below for homemade baking powder is “single acting”. Therefore products need to be baked as soon as they are made, especially in moist batters such as muffins and certain cakes. In my testing, a wait time of 60-90 minutes before products with low moisture (breakfast biscuits, Sablé Breton) were baked, showed no difference in activity and rise compared to  products which were immediately baked.  Purchased double acting baking powder has the advantage that products can be frozen and baked later.

*Also known as:  bicarbonate of soda (Alkali) or sodium bicarbonate.

** Also known as potassium bitartrate or potassium hydrogen tartrate


Homemade Baking Powder| Baking Powder Recipe

Note: This recipe for baking powder performs very well, in your recipes use the same amount as you would if using purchased baking powder or double acting baking powder. You may even consider using slightly less of this blend compared to purchased baking powder.

2 oz Cream of tartar 60 g
1 ¼ oz Baking Soda 37 g


1. Combine the ingredients and sift a few times.



20 comments on “Homemade Baking Powder

  1. I’ve always been glad that I know how to make this – the number of times I’ve delved into my pantry only to find that I’ve run out of baking powder! But I always seem to have cream of tartar and baking soda – Thanks for all the other handy tips. I didn’t know about the single acting deal!

  2. Professor Eddy at your service.

  3. Vanessa on said:

    Can you make this ahead of time and store it in the pantry? If so, what would be the shelf life?

  4. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Homemade baking powder will last many months if wrapped tight.
    All the best,

  5. Savanna Cunningham on said:

    i never knew that these two products can help towards heartburn! and i hate that soapy taste that baking soda has :b so this recipe will help me out a lot!

    your so smart Chef Eddy 😀

  6. If you put this mixture in the freezer will it still last as long.

    Chef Eddy

  7. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    I do not advise to store baking powder in the freezer.

  8. Karen Llorens on said:

    If you cannot store it in the freezer would it be okay to store in the refrigerator or do you suggest keeping it in the pantry instead? I am definitely going to be making some of this very soon since I have only ever used the double acting baking powder!!

  9. Gloria Campos on said:

    Chef Eddy,
    I never knew we could make our own baking powder… Ive always buy a new can of baking powder when baking… Going to start making my own baking powder from now on… Just wondering if we use the store bought baking powder or this homemade one at school?

  10. Mayah Cash on said:

    It is great to be able to make my own baking powder.. Thanks a lot for this recipe.

  11. Crystal Swaim on said:

    Chef I was so thankful to find this in your blogs. My daughter loves corn muffins and I try to make them in large batches and keep in the freezer. She was sick so I couldn’t leave the house to go get baking powder, then I remembered your blog and knew I had cream of tarter so whipped it right up and added it to my recipe! They came out really fluffy!

  12. This is a great tip not only for better taste but flexibility when I run out of the ingredient, thank you for sharing!

  13. I don’t like my foods having the smell of baking powder once they come out of the oven and so I think this is a better alternative, since its homemade! I must definitely try this! Thanks Chef!

  14. Chef Eddy,
    Your article on “Baking Powder”answered the question of the metallic taste I experience when I make biscuits or my family recipe for shortening bread. This past weekend I had guests over for breakfast and made biscuits using the baking soda formula in your article. The biscuits not only turned as usual but the metallic taste was absent, and the flavor of the biscuits was better to me than ever. I don’t think I’ll buy baking powder again. Thanks Chef Eddy

  15. angelica d. on said:

    For this recipe for baking powder, will it let cakes rise the same way? I make a lot of cakes and cupcakes and for a cupcake the elevation at the top has to be exactly like the other cupcakes especially when you are looking for really good presentation. For this recipe, will it change the way they rise? Cream of Tarter is wonderful to use, so this seems like a good way of putting it into use.

  16. Nicholas Pringle on said:

    I use to see my mother use these ingredient when she didn’t have baking powder, who would have known she was making her own home made baking powder.

  17. sandra martinez on said:

    I usually find myself making homemade baking powder. Since I always have baking soda on hand and some sort of acid whether it lemon, vinegar, or cream of tart. It so easy or over powering on my dessert.

  18. Amy Taylor on said:

    I used to never think about how small things like this can totally change the way something tastes. Since the beginning of your course I find myself being able to now call out things like this. Thank you Chef Eddy!

  19. Fatima Biskar on said:

    Wow, this is very useful tip chef, Bravo, I hate the taste of baking powder especially when im making some homecountry cookies that required a lot of B.powder . Now i have only to tray it .Thank you Chef,

  20. Mary Lorraine Matiling on said:

    Thank you for sharing this great tip Chef! It’s going to be very useful especially when I don’t have baking powder in hand.

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