How to make your own Grain-free Corn-free Baking Powder

Learning to cook for allergies, intolerances, and celiac is such an endless process, don’t you think? Of course, you can eat simply and clean (or even raw), maybe even without breads and prepared desserts. Then you completely avoid all the cooking and baking that can be so tricky when you’re avoiding foods like gluten, casein, refined sugar, and more. But my family and I love baked goods and desserts. Plus creating recipes is kind of my thing 😉
As you may have noticed, we’ve been eating mostly grain-free lately. There are a couple reasons why we’ve been doing this, and they mostly involve yours truly. 😉 For one, I digest grain-free baked goods more easily, and I think a lot of people do. The second reason is that I have an easier time maintaining my weight when I eat mostly grain-free, and again, I think a lot of people do.

Then last week I was reading The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, when I came across baking powder. Ali mentioned how baking powder contains corn. I don’t know why I never read the ingredients in baking powder before, but I was surprised to learn that. Since I am avoiding grains for optimal health and weight purposes, this revelation doesn’t put me in any danger. For people with an allergy to corn however,
it does.

Corn-free Homemade Baking Powder

1 part baking soda
2 parts cream of tartar
2 parts starch
I used potato starch, but you could use tapioca starch, or arrowroot,
like Ali. Also, check out Ali’s awesome cookbook, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook yourself, if you haven’t already. I’m a huge fan =)
Update: Check out the comments for more great suggestions!


  1. says

    Thanks for the tip! My daughter is allergic to corn and I had been special ordering Bakewell’s starch-free double acting baking powder from the east coast but it’s good to know I can come up with my own in a pinch. Just have to make sure I get it right in the oven since homemade is single acting.

  2. says

    I researched cream of tartar recently because I wanted to make my own baking powder.

    I found out that it could be allergenic to people who have a sulfite allergy (sulfites are commonly found in wine) and to people who have an egg allergy since, believe it or not, egg whites are often used to clarify wine.

    I personally stick to the hypoallergenic combination: 1/4 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tbsp ACV per cup of flour (Sue Gregg suggests double dose but I don’t like tasting leavening agents in my food).

  3. says

    Thanks for the recipe! This is also good to remember come Passover, when corn is off limits for some Jews. By the way, Hain makes a featherweight corn-free baking powder and Gefen makes one too (which is certified kosher for passover).

  4. says

    Hi Kelly… With regard to avoiding grains for the sake of better digestion, have you ever experimented with sprouted grains? I’ve recently been doing a lot of research on the topic (related to malting grains for brewing), and have read some interesting things about how sprouting develops and activates enzymes that alter the proteins and especially carbs in a grain (in a way that makes them easier to digest). Just some food (or grain) for thought. =)

    Cheers, Pete

  5. says

    I’ve made baking powder this way before. I was always told it’s better to make it for each recipe vs a batch ahead of time. I guess you’ve seen no problems though.

    I appreciate the comment idea … like Alchemille’s baking soda and ACV–sounds like a great idea.

    And, isn’t xanthan gum related to corn as well, but tests corn free or something like that? A little foggy on that though.


  6. says

    That is interesting Peter. I was into sprouting years ago, but since stopped. I do think it’s beneficial =)

    Shirley, I believe Now Foods makes a corn-free xanthan gum, but I have switched to guar gum =)

  7. says

    Most commercial baking powders contain phosphates and/or aluminium which are both dangerous chemicals.
    Aluminium is known to be linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s just to name a few.

  8. Anonymous says

    I believe that arrowroot, potato, and tapioca starches are listed on the do not use list for the GAPs diet – so if you are just grainfree this would work, but not if you are on the GAPs diet, which is also considered grainfree.

  9. V.C.Moore says

    Please feel free to disregard if not applicable to your situation. Have you looked into SCD (Specific carbohydrate diet) for autistic children? Arrowroot and any other type of starch (including potatoes) are considered illegal.

    I know you’ve seen great progress w/ your daughter, just thought this maybe of interest.

    Just a quick note given that I saw your post regarding your daughter’s autism.

  10. says

    I make my own baking powder using 1 part baking soda and two parts cream of tartar. That’s all I ever put in mine and it works great every time.

  11. says

    I just stumbled upon your site and I totally understand where you are with the autism thing. I started my son on the gf,cf,df diet..hardly any sugar…at 3 years old. He is 16 now,
    He is in regular classes, funny, plays a mean metal electric guitar and gets almost straight A’s. It wasn’t easy but it’s worth every thing you cook for him. You can’t tell him from any other child. I too am on the same diet. I went from 157 to 125 (which was too skinny)I prefer 127-130…I give myself leeway for holiday goodies.
    What a great mom you are, keep up the great job and I support you.

  12. Anonymous says

    I was so excited to try to make these biscuits. However, they came out flat and gummy no matter how long we cooked them. :( I am not a baker/cook by any stretch of the imagination so experimenting on my own to fix these would not work. I used a gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, sodium free baking powder (Ener G) because my son seems to be allergic to everything. I used regular sugar instead of Stevia. I also realized too late that I put in the tapioca flour and the Namaste all purpose flour that has tapioca flour already in it. My uneducated guess is that it is all the baking powder’s fault…Any advice?

  13. Barb says

    I am glad you could use something besides potato starch. I can’t eat nightshades as well as grains.

    Thanks for this.

  14. says

    I just found out that Cream of Tartar is made from grapes, which I am allergic to. :( Any suggestions? Would it be possible to just use baking soda with tapioca starch? (allergic to corn, too)

  15. Anonymous says

    @ Daniela,
    Cream of tartar is an acid, which reacts with the baking soda to create the gas bubbles. You could use the above suggestion of baking soda and apple cider vinegar (ACV). Make sure you add the baking soda to your dry goods and the vinegar to the wets so that they don’t react and fizzle out before you’ve mixed everything together.

  16. bee says

    Hi Kelly,
    Thanks for the great recipe. I’ve been using it to replace bought baking soda for a while now. I just went to make up another batch, and it struck me that I couldn’t see if the parts are to be measured in cups or grams. (eg. 1/2 cup starch, 1/2 cup cream of tartar, 1/4 cup baking soda, or eg. 100g starch, 100g cream of tartar, 50g baking soda). I can’t remember what I did last time.

  17. says

    Thank you for this! I just found out I need to be more strict about removing corn from my diet. A quick google and here I landed! I’ve been using your baking powder recipe (with arrowroot) and it’s working well. And I just love having a little jar with a homemade label on it. It’s a silly thing, but it makes me happy – like my kitchen is moving more and more towards health.

  18. Elizabeth Hardwick says

    You can use just cream of tartar and baking soda, no need for the starch. If you can’t tolerate sulfites be aware that potato starch contains them.

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