Baking powder is a common household ingredient great for baking. But is it gluten-free? Learn about gluten-free options and how to ensure your ingredients are safe for a gluten-free diet.
Is baking powder gluten-free? The answer is, most of the time.
Baking powder is a dry chemical leavening agent that is used to help baked goods rise.
It is a mixture of baking soda, an acidic ingredient (usually cream of tartar), and sometimes a neutral filler, such as corn starch or tapioca starch.
When baking powder is combined with a liquid and heat, it releases carbon dioxide gas, which causes the batter or dough to rise. This process is called "leavening."
Commonly used in recipes for cakes, muffins, biscuits, and other baked goods that require a rise. It is important to note that baking powder should not be confused with baking soda, which is another common leavening agent that is used in baking.
While they both produce carbon dioxide gas, baking soda requires an acidic ingredient to activate, whereas baking powder already contains an acidic component.
Single-acting powder - This type contains only one acid, usually cream of tartar, and it reacts with moisture as soon as it is mixed into the batter or dough.
Single-acting must be baked immediately after mixing, as its leavening power will diminish over time.
Double-acting powder - This type contains two types of acids. One that reacts with moisture when it is mixed into the batter or dough, and another that reacts with heat during the baking process.
This two-stage reaction means that double-acting baking powder releases gas and causes the batter or dough to rise both when it is mixed and the second time when it is baked in the oven.
This type is more commonly used in a baking recipe because it provides a more consistent rise and can be stored for longer periods without losing its leavening power.
Can you have baking powder with Celiac disease?
Most baking powder is naturally gluten-free, but it is important for those with Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or gluten intolerance to read the ingredient label carefully to ensure that it does not have any gluten-containing products or was processed in a facility that also processes gluten-containing grains.
While the common ingredients in it (baking soda and cream of tartar) are gluten-free, some brands may use wheat starch or another wheat-based ingredient.
If you are following a gluten-free diet, choose a brand that is labeled as gluten-free or certified gluten-free. This can help you avoid the risk of unintentional gluten exposure and ensure that your baked goods are safe for you to consume.
Which baking powder is gluten-free?
While baking powder is inherently gluten-free, some brands may be certified gluten-free. This means the product has been independently tested and confirmed to contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.
The following are labeled certified gluten-free:
- Clabber Girl Gluten-Free - This is made with monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and cornstarch.
- Rumford Gluten-Free - Made with monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and cornstarch.
- Otto's Grain-Free - This is made with cassava starch, sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate
- Bob's Red Mill - This has monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and cornstarch.
The following are not certified gluten-free but are not processed in the same facility as wheat, barley, or rye.
It is important to always check the allergen statements and ingredient list to make sure nothing else has been added.
- Hain Pure Foods Featherweight - made with monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and potato starch.
- Legit Bread Company Paleo AIP - This paleo-certified corn-free baking powder is made with baking soda, cream of tartar, arrowroot
- Good & Gather - Contains corn starch, sodium bicarbonate, sodium aluminum sulfate, monocalcium phosphate
What's the difference between baking powder and baking soda?
Both ingredients are leavening agents used in baking. Here are the main differences between the two:
1. Baking soda (also known as bicarbonate of soda) is a pure chemical compound while baking powder is a mixture of baking soda and one or more acidic ingredients, such as cream of tartar and/or sodium aluminum sulfate.
2. Baking soda reacts with acidic ingredients, such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Baking powder contains baking soda and an acid, so it can be used in recipes that do not contain acidic ingredients.
3. Baking soda has a long shelf life compared to baking powder. This is because it does not contain any acidic ingredients that can break down over time. Baking powder can lose its effectiveness if it is stored for too long or is exposed to moisture.
- The brand information in this article comes from the brand websites at the time this article was written. Going direct to the brand website is the fastest way to get the most up-to-date allergen information on a specific product.
- If cross-contamination is a concern, make sure you check the product label for information regarding its gluten-free designation. If it is not clear, always contact the brand directly.
- Remember, just because a product does not use gluten-containing ingredients, does not necessarily mean it wasn't processed in a facility that produces foods with gluten ingredients.