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Baking Powder Sensitivity

by Mihl
pancakes made with organic baking powder #baking #bakingpowdertest

baking powders

I don’t like to make up conditions. And what I have is not a condition. It’s nothing serious, nothing to see a doctor for etc. It’s just that I have a problem with certain baking powders. I don’t have any allergies, I don’t have any food intolerances and it’s probably a bit exaggerated to call this a sensitivity. I mean, I eat something that contains baking powder and nothing happens. Except for the fact that I get a very unpleasant feeling in my mouth. And I’d love to write about this on my blog to find out if there are people with similar problems. Plus, I did some experiments and I fould a solution to my problem.

I’ve tried to research this online but I am not sure if the Internet and I are talking about the same thing.The internet tells me, it’s the aluminium in baking powder.It can cause a bitter taste. But my problem is not a bitter taste. It’s also not soapy, like others claim. It’s sharp and itchy and my mouth feels kind of squeaky clean, if that doesn’t make any sense. Plus, I never use aluminium based baking powders. German baking powders I typically use aren’t made with aluminium. They are made from disodium pyrophosphate, baking soda, and starch. And the US baking powder I sometimes use, and which results in the same weird taste, is made from sodium acid pyrophosphate (which is the same thing as disodium pyrophosphate), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), cornstarch and monocalcium phosphate. It’s also not the baking soda I have a problem with. If there is too much baking soda in a baked good I can for sure taste it. And in this case the taste is bitter.

I have to admit that I love to use my baking powders because they give me good results. For example, I love fluffy pancakes. And fluffy pancakes are usually made with a lot of baking powder. Which results in a lot of wird taste. But, you know, fluffy pancakes:

pancakes made with US baking powder #bakingpowder #bakingpowdertest

pancakes made with regular baking powder #bakingpowder #bakingpowdertest

Since both of those baking powders contain some kind of sodium phospahte I suspect that this stuff is giving my mouth nightmares. I don’t know about other countries, but in Germany there is a popular alternative to regular baking powder. We call it Weinsteinbackpulver and it’s made from starch, monosodiumtartrate (E335) and baking soda. For a long time I have ignored this alternative leavener because it’s more expensive than regular baking powder. I am also not the kind of person who buys a lot of organic stuff, so it’s not really important where my baking powder comes from. But now it is, because since I started using this tartrate based leavener, the weird taste is gone.

pancakes made with organic baking powder #baking #bakingpowdertest

As you can see these pancakes didn’t come out as fluffy as the ones before. But that’s not necessarily the leavener’s fault. I’ve had other batches made with the same baking powder and they came out perfectly fluffy and not underbaked at all.

pancakes made with organic baking powder #baking #bakingpowdertestAnd this is when you store your baking powder for over a year. That stuff is not doing its job properly anymore!These pancakes were flat. (This was from the jar of US baking powder.)

pancakes made with organic baking powder #baking #bakingpowdertest

Now you probably think that it’s useless to tell you all this because you don’t have any access to organic baking powder with tartrates. (Or maybe you do?). If you don’t, there is a super easy way to make your own and you all probably know it already. You can make your own baking powder from cream of tartar and baking soda and it’s basically the same as my fancy organic Weinsteinbackpulver. Which means that there will be no weird taste left in your mouth, if you use homemade baking powder.


As you can see all of these baking powders do their job, sometimes better than others but I assume that depends on how long you’ve stored the leavener and which additional ingredients your recipe calls for. In Germany it’s really difficult to find cream of tartar, so if I don’t have that on hand to make my own baking powder, I go to the store to buy the organic version that is phosphate free. Do you have problems with baking powder? What kind of baking powder do you use and why? Do you make your own?


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Sable December 22, 2017 - 09:58

I’m so glad ro see I’m not alone in my weirdness. Thanks for providing an answer/solution. I just decided to google it after trying some bakery-purchased pancakes that leave my mouth feeling so awful I can’t eat them! I’ve always had problems with American pancakes but not English orFrench. Now I know why!! Thanks for doing the research :)

Ingrid March 15, 2017 - 04:52

I am hypersensitive to baking powder and to a variety of food additives which I have a list of.
The reaction to everything is NO SLEEP!!! Everything keeps me awake.
An alternative to baking powder which is so widely used in anglo saxon countries is raising agent 450 and 500 which in Italy is mostly used.

Hijab February 26, 2017 - 09:34

My tongue swells if I consume something with too much baking soda or baking powder in it. And well, in case of single-serving foods, I skip baking soda and baking powder altogether. Obviously, the things dont come out fluffy enough, but I guess “salt” helps them fluff up a little bit.
As for the multiple-serving deserts or meals are concerned, I endure the extra-friction feeling & swelling in my tongue. Drinking coffee after such foods helps in making the tongue go back to its normal state.

Kay Aahs January 3, 2017 - 05:44

HELLO!! I came across this while researching my own weird reaction to baking powder.

I’ve known for years now that products with baking powder give me a metallic taste, a squeaky clean feel and then my tongue and cheeks begin to swell.

We purchased a really nice ceramic waffle maker for Christmas this year and the waffle recipe called for baking powder.

Because of my multiple food allergies we use Feather light which is potato starch.

The first day was fine, then the next morning I had a waffle for breakfast and that apparently was the tipping point. Tongue and face swelling, benadryl, panic attack the whole nine yards.

Turns out, that a whole lot of baking powder is made with Cream of tartar, (you will see various names used) and cream of tartar is a by product of the wine making industry.

I have a really hefty allergy to sodium metabisulfites and cream of tartar has a lot of that in it.

I’m still searching for answers but for now, I will continue to completely avoid anything with baking powder.

Strange should be my middle name.

Stephanie October 16, 2016 - 10:34

I have exactly the same thing! Whenever I eat aything containing baking powder I get a horrible squeeky feeling on my tongue…It’s almost a dryness and really puts me off eating pancakes etc. I have never found anyone else who experiences the same feeling, so this is very reassuring to read!! I would love to know what causes this strange reaction!

Carla May 7, 2016 - 16:49

I’m so glad you’re back! We moved and my recipes and books are stacked and scattered everywhere but I wanted Flammkuchen so came here to get the recipe and was so happy to see new things to try. I will be catching up tomorrow afternoon but just wanted to say Welcome Back.

Mihl May 7, 2016 - 18:20

Thank you, Carla! And thank you so much for dropping by.

Jennifer May 6, 2016 - 15:50

This was really interesting to read. I personally don’t have this issue, but it I had no clue baking powder is made from baking soda! Which is weird since I have a few recipes that call for both baking soda and powder. I also get told that the powder rises up and the soda expands horizontally, which is why some recipes call for both…. is that true? Or just lazy American bakers? XD

Mihl May 7, 2016 - 18:23

I have no clue, I never heard that before. The baking soda in baking powders is the actual rising agent. The other stuff provides the acid so that baking soda can rise. Using baking soda and baking powder in the same recipe is something I learned when I made my first US recipes. We don’t do that here. I think maybe there’s a better rise?

Jennifer May 8, 2016 - 16:00

Hmm… I think I should tweak some of the recipes that call for both. I know American cuisine is a lot more experimental than European or other countries, which can result is really awesome and unique recipes. Or it can result in a poorly designed recipe that aren’t as well designed as it could be. That’s probably why American baking isn’t world famous. XD

Mihl May 8, 2016 - 16:34

I finally found an answer to your question and I don’t think tweaking is necessary.

Jens May 4, 2016 - 07:33

My girlfriend reports a similar weird feeling from cow’s milk, and has practically turned vegan because of it.

masala girl May 4, 2016 - 03:47

that so interesting that you have a weird reaction to it! but i know baking powder is = baking soda + an acid, like cream of tarter, so it can be “made” at home. i wonder f there are others who experience that. so i hope your sub works!!

Mihl May 4, 2016 - 09:20

It does, thanks! I am using it all the time now.

heike May 3, 2016 - 20:56

Als könntest du Gedanken lesen. Leider hab ich mir nie die Zeit genommen, auf die Suche nach Alternativen zu gehen. Aber auch ich mag kein Backpulver und konnte nie so recht definieren, was die Ursache dafür war. Geschmacklich, irgendwie doch metallisch, stumpfzahnig, auch dieses Aufstoßen … auch ich hab, wenn überhaupt, nur wenig genommen: vom Dottore.

Mihl May 3, 2016 - 21:08

Stumpfzahnig! Das trifft es genau. Ich hasse dieses Gefühl. Gut zu wissen, dass ich nicht die einzige bin.

Anne May 3, 2016 - 20:25

O I have the same with Dr Oetker baking powder. Especially when a pancake recipes calls for a tablespoon, it is… well, to be honest, disgusting. I thought it was aluminium. I then discovered wijnsteenbakpoeder (that’s Weinsteinbackpulver in Dutch) and I never have this problem!

Mihl May 3, 2016 - 21:10

Oh, Dutch Dr. Oetker has aluminium? The German doesn’t. But wijnsteenbakpoeder is better anyway.

Celine May 3, 2016 - 17:10

PS I wonder if there’s any product named NEIN! to counteract that JA!. I’d buy it, just to be a big contrarian.

Mihl May 3, 2016 - 17:12

Very cool business idea. I can tell you brand names in this country suck.

Celine May 3, 2016 - 17:09

I’d never heard of this issue! I think I have more of a possibly similar, weird squeaky clean feeling when using baking soda alone, but not with baking powder.
When I come to Europe next, I’d love to send you cream of tartar if you’d like. Or we could finally meet up (me with tins of cream of tartar in tow, say that ten times fast), which sounds even better to me.

Mihl May 3, 2016 - 17:12

I’ve stocked so much cream of tartar, I think I need a separate room for it. But thank you so much for offering! We should probably do another care package swap anyway!

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