Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Ingredient

Baking Powder

Article Image
Save to Recipe Box
Print
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Print
Add Recipe Note

What is it?

Baking powder is a chemical leavener. White and soluble, it produces carbon-dioxide gas when mixed with a liquid; the resulting bubbles cause pancakes, waffles, breads, and cakes to rise. Unlike baking soda, which needs an acidic ingredient added to it in order for it to react, baking powder contains both baking soda and an acid, which means it can be mixed with any type of liquid and create its own bubble-producing reaction.

Double-acting baking powder is the most common baking powder on the market. It contains two types of acid (usually cream of tartar and sodium aluminum sulfate), one that reacts when the batter is first moistened, and one that reacts later in the heat of the oven.

Sodium aluminum sulfate can create a bitter metallic aftertaste, especially when used in high amounts. The downside of using aluminum-free baking powder is that you  need to get your baked goods into the oven quickly, since most of the leavening power is unleashed once the wet ingredients are added. Its shelf life can also be shorter, as it’s more vulnerable to ambient moisture if not sealed properly.

Whether you’re using aluminum-free baking powder or not, its a good idea to test your baking powder for freshness if it’s been stored for a while. To do this, check for caking or lumping, an indication that the powder has absorbed moisture and is past its prime. If no lumping is apparent, mix a teaspoon of the baking powder with hot water; if it bubbles vigorously, then the powder is still active.

Don’t have it?

Per 1 tsp. baking powder, substitute 1/4 tsp. baking soda plus 5/8 tsp. cream of tartar

How to store:

Baking powder will keep for quite a while kept in a cool, dry place. But its leavening powers will less over time, so if it’s been a while, check the expiration date, you may need to open a new can. To test for freshness, combine 1 tsp. baking powder with 1/3 cup hot water; it it bubbles enthusaistically, it’s still got oomph.

Cross Reference

baking soda

    Recipes

  • Recipe

    Rosemary Plum Cobbler

    The piney essence of rosemary adds complexity to this sweet summer plum cobbler, while a little semolina flour in the biscuits gives them a toothsome texture.

  • Recipe

    Nectarine-Raspberry Cobbler

    Proving the adage "what grows together goes together," nectarines and raspberries make a heavenly late-summer pairing in this gorgeous cobbler.

  • Recipe

    Lemony Blueberry Cobbler

    A little fragrant lemon zest is the perfect complement to ripe blueberries in this cobbler. To make mini cobblers, as shown, see the tip below.

  • Recipe

    Peach-Vanilla Cobbler

    The unusual, crumbly topping for this cobbler completely covers the peach-vanilla filling. Though it looks like streusel, it still has a tender biscuit texture.

  • Recipe

    Blackberry Cobbler with Pistachio Biscuit Topping

    The homey drop biscuit topping of this cobbler makes for quicker assembly than the traditional roll-and-cut biscuits, and has a softer texture once baked.

  • Recipe

    Strawberry Balsamic Cobbler

    A splash of balsamic vinegar in the filling and cocoa in the biscuit topping elevates your basic strawberry cobbler to new heights. For individual cobblers, as shown here, see the…

  • Recipe

    Scotch Blondies

    Scotch's vanilla flavors enhance these soft, chewy blondies, while its toasty, smoky nuances make a nice counterpoint to the sweetness. Use a blended Scotch and save your single malt to…

  • Recipe

    Curried Lentil-Scallion Pancakes

    Though you can’t see the lentils in this dish, you can definitely taste their earthy flavor. Make the pancakes big and slice them to portion for serving. Or make silver-dollar-size…

  • Recipe

    Orange and Brown-Sugar-Glazed Cake with Orange-Flecked Whipped Cream

    Surprisingly light and airy, the cake on its own would make a delightful snack or breakfast treat. Brush on the glaze and pile on the whipped cream, though, and you…

  • Recipe

    Winter Stollen Cookies

    These tender slice-and-bake cookies are inspired by the flavors in the classic German Christmas bread of the same name. Studded with dried fruit and candied citrus zest, they're like a…

Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Video

View All

Season 4 Extras

Bonus Scene: Bee Farm in Greenough, Montana

Montana's wall-to-wall grass and wildflowers make it the perfect place to raise bees and harvest honey. In this extended scene from Season 4's Greenough, Montana, episode, we visit beekeeper Sam…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks