How to counteract too much baking powder in a recipe?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How to counteract too much baking powder in a recipe?”. We will elaborate on different tricks that will help you counteract too much baking powder in your recipe. 

How to counteract too much baking powder in a recipe?

If you have accidentally added too much baking powder to your recipe and are searching for ideas to solve the problem, no need to fret, here we have made a list of different approaches which you can work to fix too much baking powder in your recipe. 

  • Spoon out unstirred ingredients
  • Add more extra of the other ingredients
  • Add an acidic ingredient 
  • Use it to make something new

Different ways to counteract too much baking powder

Baking powder is a composite of baking soda, potassium bitartrate, and cornstarch. It is normally used as a leavening agent while baking. It expands the bubbles which are already existing in the batter produced due to the creaming of ingredients and helps the batter to rise when baked.

Baking powder produces gas from the reaction that takes place when a carbon dioxide source and an acid are mixed together and come into contact with water. The gas forms bubbles that are trapped in the batter or dough and then expand during baking to form the holes that are retained in the finished product. The timing of the release of CO2 is critical in establishing uniform cell structure. Upon heating, the CO2 will release and expand, resulting in the increased volume and desirable texture characteristic of good tasting, high quality baked goods (1).

If you have added a larger amount of baking powder than required, it can badly ruin your recipe, as it will make the batter expand quickly and then cause it to drop. Also, it will make the batter bitter and metallic in taste. The high amount of baking powder in the receipt causes darkening of the crumb due to increase in the pH value of the batter (1).

This will cause the cakes to have a rough, brittle crumb and a collapsed center. Very little baking powder, on the other hand, makes a hard cake that has inadequate volume with a thick crumb.

Spoon out unstirred ingredients

As soon as you realize that you have added too much baking powder to your recipe before you start mixing your batter, you may be able to directly spoon out all of the baking powder and proceed from the beginning. 

Though this way you will waste pretty much of your baking powder, at least you would be able to save all the other ingredients.

If you think you have wasted a portion of other ingredients while removing baking powder out of your dish, you can start your measurements over and add a touch of the required ingredients. 

But, if you have already stirred all the ingredients together, and can not go for this strategy, take a break and read on to know more ideas to counteract too much baking powder in your recipe. 

Add more extra of the other ingredients

If the recipe required you to add one-half tsp of baking powder, and you added one tsp instead, you can directly fix it by multiplying all the other ingredients. 

This trick will bring the recipe into an actual proportion, but you may end up with an extra quantity of the dish than needed. Apply this trick only when you are sure of the exact measure of extra baking powder that you have used.

This is not a perfect fix as it will give you an additional quantity than you were supposed to prepare, demand some more of the additional ingredients, and may necessitate an additional pan or cookie sheet, but it is surely better than discarding all of the recipes. The great news is that some baked cakes and most cookie batter can be fully refrigerated.

Add an acidic ingredient

Baking powder provides a complete leavening system in a single product. It is composed of sodium bicarbonate, one or more leavening acids, and a diluent, typically starch or calcium carbonate. Salt and acid react with each other in the liquid phase of dough once they come into contact. They are kept separated by the inert component (e.g. dry starch) to avoid a spontaneous reaction. Acids such as sodium aluminum phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate and sodium aluminum sulfate become soluble during the baking process and react with baking soda at high temperatures (3).

Baking powder is actually sodium aluminum sulfate added to sodium bicarbonate, which has a buffering action (2)n alkaline nature. It is important to counterbalance its extremely bitter taste otherwise it overpowers your recipe. 

Use a sprinkle of acidic flavors such as lemon juice or vinegar to balance the bitter and metallic taste of the baking powder. If your recipe involves chocolate, add one-half tsp of cocoa powder straight to it. Buttermilk can also be used to offset the bitter taste of the baking powder.

Use it to make something new 

Many times, we only get to know that baking powder has been added in excess once the recipe is ready and prepared. If you have a cake or a cookie that is very bitter to be consumed, use it to make anything new. 

For instance, a sour cake can be crushed and mixed with cream and then chilled for tasty cake-flavored ice cream. You can even break the cake into bits and use it as a base for other layered cakes like cheesecake.

How to determine if baking powder is expired?

To check the expiry of baking powder, add 3 tbsps of warm water to a small container. Then add one-half tsp of baking powder. Stir it slightly. You should hear a moderate fizz if the baking powder is good to use. If you do not see any reaction, waste the baking powder and get a new batch.

When baking powder is stored properly, that is, in a cool, dark place and free from moisture, it can be active for many years. A study examined the action of baking powders that were stored for 30 years in cool (15-25 °C) and dry conditions. The results showed that biscuits produced using these powders had good sensorial acceptance, thus they significantly increased the volume of the dough during baking (3).

Other FAQs about Baking powder that you may be interested in.

Can I use baking powder instead of cornstarch?

Can I use baking powder to clean?

Does baking powder go bad?

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “How to counteract too much baking powder in a recipe?”. We have also elaborated on different tricks that will help you counteract too much baking powder in your recipe. 

References 

  1. Pop, Gabriela. Researches regarding the chemical leavening agents’ role in quality of bakery products. J Agroalim Proc Technol, 2007, 13, 105-112.
  2. Otero-Guzmán, Niza Cristina, Eduardo Rodríguez-Sandoval, and Jorge Alexander Tabares-Londoño. Influence of different types of baking powder on quality properties of muffins. Dyna, 2020, 87, 9-16.
  3. Lloyd, Michelle A., et al. Effect of long-term storage on baking powder functionality. 2004. Faculty Publications. 33.