Thursday, March 26, 2020

Tips for Making Do #1: How to Make Baking Powder

NOTE:  The stuff in the green jar above there is baking soda.  I have a big bag of baking soda I pull from, so I keep it in a jar.  Sorry if it makes a confusing picture :).

So, I said in my last post that lately I've been getting some worried e-mails from people.  A LOT of these have been revolving around stores not having some things in stock that people need and a lot of worry about what is going to happen on the other side of our "current global situation" (there, that sounds less worrisome doesn't it?) when it comes to prices of goods and how the economies are going to recover and how quickly.

Unfortunately, no one has a crystal ball on what is going to happen or how long things are going to be uncertain and crazy.  But, one thing I DO know how to do is to adapt and make things work. Heck, you are talking to a woman who studies rationing and things and actually really enjoys it.  I'm weird, I know.  But anyway, due to life in general and things I do find that I am decent at adapting when I'm short of something.  That includes when I don't have enough of something to get something done in the kitchen and just adapting to see what might work.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it works with...interesting results...and sometimes it really doesn't work at all. 

This, this tip though.  This one works.

For those who have e-mailed me in a panic asking what to do because their stores are out of baking powder, I have something that I have tried myself and it DOES work (my daughter was diagnosed with an allergy to corn years ago...long story).  Making your own baking powder. 

A couple of things to keep in mind.  This is NOT the cheapest way to get baking powder.  Honestly, if you can find it at your local stores, I'd try and get some there, but if you can't find it at the stores, you have to adapt.  Second, this tip will get you SINGLE acting baking powder, not double acting.  Double acting baking powder has two rises built into it:  One when the liquid hits the dry ingredients and one when heat is applied to the mixture.  So, be sure to add this baking powder right before you introduce your liquid ingredients and are going to, say, throw your cake into the oven.  Third, since this baking powder doesn't have any stabilizers built into it to keep it "fresher longer" I'd only make enough of this to last you a bit at a time (as it will lose potency as it sits).  If you are only making enough to get you through a recipe or two, you can omit the corn starch (you can also use arrowroot or potato starch if you have allergies to corn), but if you are going to store it, don't leave the starch out or the mixture tends to set up into a solid brick pretty fast.

Right, so now that the specifics are out of the way, here's the recipe.  Bright side is that you might not have baking powder at home right now, but odds are you have a lowly bottle of Cream of Tartar sitting in the back of your cabinet that you bought for some reason or the other and it is now begging you to use it ;).  My husband and I have also found that while baking powder is a bit hard to come by at the stores at the moment, you can still find baking soda and cream of tartar, so at least we have that going for us!

So, here is your basic ratio of ingredients:

  • 1 Part Baking Soda
  • 2 Parts Cream of Tartar
  • 1 Part Corn Starch (if you plan to store)

To make 1 TBS of baking powder:

  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp corn starch (if storing left overs)

So, to make a container of it (1/2 cup worth), the recipe (that I use anyway...I do a lot of baking and find that I DO use all of this before it goes bad on me) is...

To make 1/2 cup:

  • 2 TBS Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup Cream of Tartar
  • 2 TBS Corn Starch


1.  Combine baking soda and cream of tartar in a bowl.  To break up any clumps and to make it smoother, I use a whisk for this (be careful as it is powder and will fly!).  Mix in the corn starch (if using).  Store in an airtight container (I use an old baking powder container OR a mason jar, depending on what I have) between uses.  I also mark the date on the container or lid of the mason jar when I make this so I have an idea of when I want to use it by (I usually go for six months, but I have had this stuff last a year before I ran out of it).

Use as you would single acting baking powder.


  1. Erika I love that you are sharing your hard-won knowledge of being a frugalista!

    Thank you!

  2. do you use swagbucks? i am thinking about joining and wondered if a current member gets a referral bonus? barbara