Is There Gluten in Baking Powder?
Baking powder is a common ingredient in many baked goods that contain gluten, from cakes and cookies to pancakes and muffins. But is baking powder gluten free?
It can be confusing to know all the places gluten can be hiding. Read my article, what gluten free means, to better understand. Unfortunately, gluten can sometimes be hiding in baking powder.
What is Baking Powder?
Baking powder is a leavening agent used to give baked goods a light, fluffy texture. It is a combination of baking soda, an acid, and a moisture absorber.
The moisture absorber ingredient is needed for long term storage.
When the baking powder is combined with moisture (eggs, milk, etc.) and heat (oven temperature), a chemical reaction takes place that causes the batter to rise and form air bubbles.
This reaction is what gives the final product its light, airy texture.
Baking Powder Ingredients
We need to always look at the ingredients of a product to find out if it contains gluten. The ingredients used in baking powder can vary depending on the brand.
However, most baking powder contains baking soda, an acid (such as cream of tartar or sodium aluminum sulfate), and a moisture absorber (such as cornstarch).
How is Baking Powder Made?
You can either make baking powder or it’s made in a manufacturing facility. Baking powder is made by combining baking soda, an acid, and a moisture absorber.
Is Baking Powder Gluten Free?
Yes, most baking powder is gluten free as long as it doesn’t contain gluten-based ingredients. It’s best to always double-check the ingredients list to make sure there are no gluten-based ingredients like flour included.
These days, the ingredient used in baking powder to absorb moisture is usually potato starch or cornstarch, both of which are gluten free.
If baking powder has gluten, it is likely from cross-contamination during the manufacturing process.
For those who are allergic to gluten it is best to purchase certified gluten free baking powder to avoid potential cross-contamination that might happen if the product is made in a manufacturing facility that also makes gluten-containing products.
If you ever need safe baking powder in a pinch, I have baking powder substitutes you can use.
Gluten Free Baking Powder Brands
Many bottles of baking powder have a label that says gluten free because their ingredients are naturally gluten free. If you’re looking for a gluten free baking powder that is certified gluten free, below are a few options:
- Bob’s Red Mill Baking Powder (Non-GMO)
- OTTOS NATURALS Grain Free Baking Powder (Non-GMO)
- Goldbaums Baking Powder
Carol Lovett is the founder of Ditch the Wheat and a Globe and Mail bestselling author of the cookbook, Ditch the Wheat. She has been eating gluten free since 2010. She loves all things food, natural living, and spiritual. She’s also a reiki master and crystal healer.