Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Aluminum-free baking powder

My kitchen tip this week is about baking powder! Did you know that a lot of commercial baking powders sold in grocery stores contain aluminum?

Since there are possible health issues associated with ingesting aluminum, I use aluminum-free baking powder in my kitchen. Aluminum-free baking powder can be purchased at a health food store, in the "health" section of a larger grocery store, or -- my favorite -- at a bulk foods store. I get mine at a bulk food store and don't pay any more for it than I did for off-brand baking powder with aluminum.

I also have a recipe for making aluminum-free baking powder, which works just fine and is acceptable if you have a good, cheap source for cream of tartar. (I've found that buying my aluminum-free baking powder at a bulk food store is cheaper than mixing up this recipe after figuring in the cost of cream of tartar -- but you can do the math for yourself.) :)

Aluminum-Free Baking Powder

1 tablespoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Mix ingredients together and store in a tightly-sealed container. (Moisture reduces the effectiveness of baking powder!)

This page has some fascinating info about baking powder and some substitutes. Have any of you used baking powder substitutes, or tried making your own? I'd love to hear about it in the comments! :)

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Kitchen Tip Tuesdays Participants
1. Womanly Pursuits (Three reasons to reduce gluten in the diet and enjoy it too!
2. Nichole (Results of Freezing Potatoes Q!)
3. Noah (Allergen Free Products)
4. Our Red House (Cleaning out your plastic container drawer)
5. Debbie J (The timer)
6. Erika (Pans)
7. Amy @ Hope Is the Word (kitchen organization follow-up)
8. Miranda (cheese slicing)
9. JB @ Titus2Journey (Dirty dish towels)
10. Mrs. Mordecai (bread bowls)
11. Sonshine(freezing meals)
12. Feminine Pursuits (Restaurant style pizza)
13. Amanda (Stinky sponge solution)
14. Bethany Sue @CFO Moms ( Brown Bagging it Tip)
15. Sharon (Freezer cooking pans)
16. Stephanie (Secret to Moist Corn Bread)
17. Mrs Pear (Freezing Cookies)
18. Passionate Homemaking (organizing your kitchen)
19. Tanya (storing oil bottle)
20. Jamie (Getting Kids to Eat Veggies)
21. Crystal @ Biblical Womanhood (healthy banana bread)
22. Michigan Momma (dry beans/baked beans)
23. Me :) (make-shift double boiler)
24. Kirstin (costco)
25. Beth (disinfect sponge)


I am so glad that you brought up the topic of aluminum in baking soda. I was realizing that some people who use it in bath products and such may not know about that!

I never knew that you could make your own baking powder! Great tip!

Most baking powder also contains corn as an anti-caking agent. I only know this because my neice is allergic to corn! But I totally agree that aluminum free is the way to go. And I find that it's really not much more expensive than the aluminum filled stuff, especially if I find it on sale!

how do you know if it is or not? :) Like, is arm and hammer? How about their washing soda?

Mrs. Taft

Ohhh. Baking SODA does not contain aluminum. Baking POWDER may. Whoops! I was wondering how "sodium bicarbonate" had any form of "aluminum" in it. LOL!

~ a sheepish Mrs. T

I have been concerned about the aluminum in my baking powder. Thanks for the ideas!

I did not know this about baking powder. Thank you for informing us!

I wonder if anyone knows if there is any laundry additive that will get set in stains out of white towels and washcloths? they are still in good shape, I dont want to discard them, and they are clean, just stained from being used alot. Thanks for any help.

Oxi-Clean powder (sold in a big tub) works WONDERS and is much healthier/safer than bleach. Follow the directions on the back for soaking. I usually soak for the full six hours. I was amazed at stains that were removed - ones that wouldn't even come out with bleach!!

you can add lemon juice to your wash of whites to help get the stains out or add 1/2 c of baking soda to your wash cycle.

is Walmart! Yes, I have actually seen it there before. I'm not sure if every Walmart would carry it but I've bought it at a few different ones. The brand is Rumford and it comes in a red can with black/white lettering. I've never noticed a difference in its function compared to aluminum baking powders.

Some bulk food stores carry it as well.


I buy stuff that is aluminum free from an Amish store. we used to make our own, but things sometimes do not turn out as well as it is not double acting, so if you wait to bake it I think it is is, they do not turn out? Know anything about that?

Yes... there are two different "active" ingredients in double-acting baking powder... one ingredient that reacts when mixed with moisture, and one that reacts when heated in the oven.

If the baking powder isn't double-acting, you're supposed to mix the wet and dry ingredients together JUST until moistened and then immediately put the batter into a pan and bake it. :)

I get aluminum free baking powder at the regular grocery's not even in the health section. The name is "Rumford" and it comes in a red container.

So will the label say there is aluminum in it? Because I've never seen a baking powder label with anything that sounded like aluminum on it. But I'm in Australia so could be one of those things that isn't widespread like in the USA. (Like un-naturally coloured cheese!) I guess I can hope anyway!


Yes, the label should list the ingredients in the baking powder. Maybe it is a U.S. thing! :)

I make my own baking powder but I do not mix it up ahead and I don't add cornstarch. In a recipe calling for 1 teaspoon baking powder I use 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar. It is really not that much harder to add one extra step and I just write it on my recipe. I have done this for years and I have never been unhappy with my baking results. I buy bulk cream of tartar in bulk.

Wow I didn't know this! Yikes...I will have to look into buying some without aluminum next time I need a new container! Thank you!

I didn't realize or had forgotten (probably the later one) about aluminum in baking powder. So I went and checked mine and it is aluminum free. At least is doesn't say so in the list of ingredients. I use Magic Baking Powder. Anyway, it was interesting reading. :) I didn't even know you could make your own. ~Tanya

We, too, get our baking powder from a bulk food store. I'm always thrilled when I can get something that is better for us at a decent price. ;o)

Thank you for your comment. Our "news" was a little disappointing, at first, but I would much rather have my beloved return in God's perfect will and timing. I am thankful that He gives His grace, strength, and peace. We do still look forward to seeing him soon. ;o)
Praying for you as you await the arrival of your new precious one!

~ Christina

I have occasionally mixed up some homemade baking powder when I run out unexpectedly. (Pancakes don't wait well!)

I'm in California and can get Rumford baking powder at Safeway...

The Occasional Cook, A Cook for all Occasions
I also make single-acting baking powder which I use to make homemade Southern Biscuits. Here is the recipe for it:
To make single-acting baking powder,
mix 1/4 cup cream of tartar,
2 tablespoons baking soda and
3 tablespoons cornstarch in a small bowl.
Stored in a glass jar with a lid, it will keep a month or more.
Makes about 1/2 cup

You can use lemon juice to whiten your whites naturally. You can add lemon juice to your wash as a way to brighten your laundry (whites only, lemon juice does have the ability to lighten your colors). For tougher stains, you can rub a cut lemon directly on the stain.

You can also had some baking soda to your wash of colors as a natural way to brighten your clothes.

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