Make Your Own Baking Powder

Several years ago I noticed the label on my little jar of cream of tartar had some helpful tips on it. There were a couple tips about making angel food cake and making meringue, but it was the final tip that was more interesting to me. It was a simple method to make your own baking powder substitute. I saved that label and decided that little bit of info could come in handy someday if I needed to figure out what I could use if I don’t have baking powder on hand.

Make your own baking powder substitute with simple pantry ingredients

Although my original intent was just to be able to have a substitute in a pinch, I recently looked back at this little recipe and realized it’s also a nice way to be able to have a mixture with more control to the ingredients. Many folks prefer to avoid the aluminum sulfate that’s often added to baking powder, something your homemade mixture won’t have.

Cornstarch is also in baking powder (and in my homemade version too), but some folks have concern with grain allergies or GMO’s when it comes to that ingredient. However in the homemade version you have some flexibility and can substitute arrowroot powder if you wish.

Let’s take a closer look:

How to make homemade baking powder

What Can You Use Instead of Baking Powder?

To make a quick little batch of homemade baking powder you can use these three ingredients: Baking Soda + Cream of Tartar + Cornstarch (or Arrowroot Powder).  You’ll use equal amounts of the baking soda and cornstarch and twice as much cream of tartar.  Here are a couple of examples for measurements:

To make 1 teaspoon of Baking Powder Substitute:
Mix Together:
¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Cream of Tartar
¼ teaspoon Cornstarch (or Arrowroot Powder)

To make 2 teaspoons of Baking Powder Substitute:
Mix Together:
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
½ teaspoon Cornstarch (or Arrowroot Powder)

Or if you would like to make a bigger batch rather than just enough to substitute in on a particular recipe, that’s possible too! Just remember the ratio of 1 part baking soda + 2 parts cream of tartar + 1 part Cornstarch. For instance we could do the following:

To make ¼ cup of Baking Powder Substitute:
Mix Together:
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch (or Arrowroot Powder)

Once these ingredients are mixed together they can be used the same as you would use baking powder in a recipe.

Homemade baking powder substitute

So whether you’re just being resourceful and using what you have on hand, or perhaps you’re more interested in making your own friendlier mixture – either way – this recipe can be a great solution. We can often find the perfect answer when we make our own!

Need another way to use your cream of tartar? I use it in my Homemade Play Dough recipe!

Homemade Baking Powder Substitute

Make your own baking powder substitute by combining three other pantry ingredients. 
Keyword: Homemade Substitute


  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1/4 tsp Cornstarch (or Arrowroot Powder)


  • Mix the three ingredients together.  This will equal one teaspoon of baking powder substitute.


This recipe can also be made in larger batches. Just remember the ratio of 1 part baking soda + 2 parts cream of tartar + 1 part cornstarch (or arrowroot powder).

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    1. Since Cornstarch is a thickener it’s really not the thing to use in a recipe. Especially in Baking. Arrowroot is the proper ingredient for a DIY Baking Powder.

    1. You would need to triple this recipe, so it would be 3/4 tsp baking soda, 1-1/2 tsp cream of tartar, and 3/4 tsp cornstarch. Because most of us don’t have a spoon for measuring 3/4 of a teaspoon, another alternative is to just measure the original recipe out three times.

    1. The homemade baking powder should last for many months. If you need to test it to see if it is still potent, put a teaspoon or so in a bowl and add some very hot or boiling water to see if the baking powder will still fizz.

  1. Thank you for posting this recipe! I just read the label of my baking powder tonight and realized it has corn starch. My husband is allergic to corn (among other things), so this will come in handy for sure.

    1. I think you could substitute tapioca starch because it’s also a thickener like arrowroot or cornstarch. However I have not tried it myself to know for sure if it would work or not. If you want to give it a try, I would keep the measurement the same.

    1. I have had a batch for several months (maybe even a year now) and it is still working fine, so I believe it has a shelf life of at least a year.

    2. Thank you! Just what I was looking for. I haven’t been able to find aluminum free baking powder for weeks now but I had all the other ingredients to make it in my cupboard. I may never buy it again! 🙂

  2. Great recipe. I’ve been paying more to buy Rumsford brand d/t no aluminum. I just ordered organic cornstarch and a pound of cream of tartar (both are cheap). There will be no more overpriced baking powder in my home.

  3. If you want to avoid the problems with regular corn starch, organic corn starch is available, which is what I use. It’s a little cheaper than arrowroot.