Baking Powder, the magic ingredient that turns your batter into a fluffy spongy treat. Well, one of them at least. Baking powder is one of my must-haves in the pantry and an item I can’t be without as a baker!
Not that this is something I would ever willingly do (or is it…?) but I’ve definitely been curious about what baking powder tastes like. If you’re reading this, well you’re obviously wondering the same. Don’t worry, I’m not one to judge :O
As a matter of fact, I’ve done you the favor of trying it so that your poor tongue doesn’t have to suffer.
On its own, baking powder does not taste pleasant. It’s a mix of baking soda, cream of tartar, and sometimes cornstarch and aluminum, which gives it a slightly bitter taste.
I’m Angie, a self-taught baker who’s been baking for over ten years. One thing I’m not afraid to do as a baker is tasting random stuff. It’s exciting to challenge those tastebuds once in a while!
In this article, I will share with you my findings on baking powder taste.
Ready? Now let’s get tasting!
Baking Powder Composition
Baking powder is a chemical leavening agent made of baking soda, cream of tartar, and sometimes cornstarch and aluminum. Let’s take a brief look at what these ingredients do and what they taste like.
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a chemical leavening agent. It has a PH level of 8 which makes it alkaline/basic.
When a base is exposed to acid, carbon dioxide is created. In baked goods, this reaction helps them expand in volume and makes them rise.
When added in the right amount, baking soda tastes neutral and doesn’t affect the taste of your baked goods. On its own, however, aking soda tastes bitter and a little salty.
Because it is also one of the primary ingredients in bath fizzies and soaps, you might find that baking soda tastes a little soapy as well.
Cream of Tartar
The difference between baking soda and baking powder is that baking soda requires the addition of an acidic ingredient to react. Baking powder on the other hand doesn’t, and that’s because it already contains an acid – Cream of tartar.
Cream of tartar is also known as potassium bitartrate. It’s an acid produced by fermenting grapes. Like all acids, cream of tartar tastes sour. It also tastes a little bit metallic.
Cornstarch is a starch powder that’s extracted from the endosperm of corn. It is added to baking powder as a moisture absorber to prevent the base (baking soda) and the acid (cream of tartar) from reacting before they should.
Cornstarch has a very neutral taste – it doesn’t really taste like anything, not even corn.
Aluminum in the form of sodium aluminum phosphate and sodium aluminum sulfate is sometimes added to double-acting baking powder to make it heat sensitive. Aluminum in baking powder is not harmful, but it can leave a slightly metallic taste in your mouth.
What Does Baking Powder Taste Like?
With all of the ingredients considered, you can kind of imagine what baking powder tastes like: It is neutral tasting when added to your baked treats in small amounts, but on its own, it tastes bitter, salty, a little bit acidic, and leaves a slightly metallic aftertaste in your mouth.
The following are some commonly asked questions regarding baking powder! I’ve answered them for you below.
Does baking powder leave an aftertaste?
If you add in a lot more baking powder than your recipe calls for, or if you are taking a spoonful of baking powder straight, then yes, it will leave an unpleasant bitter salty taste in your mouth. In the right amount, however, the taste of baking powder goes unnoticed.
Is it OK to eat baking powder?
When used in small amounts, baking powder is completely harmless to our health. Overdosing on baking powder is possible and can lead to serious complications but it is uncommon.
Is baking powder with aluminum bad for you?
Aluminum exposure has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. However, there has not been enough definitive proof backing up the claim, especially not when it comes to aluminum in the forms found in our diets.
Can I use baking soda instead of baking powder?
You cannot replace baking powder with baking soda. You can, however, create a substitute easily. Follow this guide to learn how.
Still curious and want to find out what baking powder tastes like? Please, knock yourself out. But if you don’t feel the need to be that experimental, I hope that this article has given you an idea of what baking powder tastes like to satisfy your curiosity.
Have you tasted baking powder? What did it taste like to you? Let us know in the comments below!About Angie