We are here to find some of the best Baking Soda and Powder brands. We will share with you the exact criteria we use to find the best, healthiest leavening agents for baking projects. Read this in-depth, unbiased baking powder brands review before buying
Sugar. Spice. And everything nice…
The best Baking Soda and Powder brands, are the ingredients chosen to spin a bunch of decent bakes. But there’s a chemical X that’ll help you cover the difference between decent and delightful bakes—and that difference can be insanely huge; your choice of leavening ingredients.
We found our community members have wondered this for a stretch.
So, which is the best baking soda brand for baking? Often, though, the million-dollar question usually is:
Which is the best baking powder for cakes?
And then a couple more…
We figured we’d dig in and pin up the details to make your search for the best baking ingredients spot on and a ton easier. What’s with all the baking ingredients promising great baking results but few actually deliver?
Whether you are a professional baker (cranking out scrumptious bakes for a diverse customer base) or home baking makes you tick, we are about to reveal to you our top picks for best baking powder brands, top baking soda brands, and then some more.
If you are in a rush, you might skip a few frames and jump right into our best baking powder reviews by clicking here.
However, if you’ve almost passed out super angry at those flat-as-mat muffins, hard-as-knuckles cookies, and infuriatingly messy cakes before, you might want to stick to the script and discover how best to choose baking ingredients (leaveners).
We did the homework, so you would not have to.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing your best baking powder or soda brand, and which we’ll detail below:
As we’ve covered before, while baking soda and baking powder help you accomplish the same purpose in baking, each lifts batter or dough differently.
While baking soda is almost always a pure powder, prepared baking powders contain a slew of leavening ingredients you’ll want to know about. These baking powder ingredients are the very components that make all the difference.
Expert Tip: The angel (or devil) is in the details; be sure to check out the acidulants
These refer to the powdered baking ingredients that boost your batter or dough’s acidity, reacting with the alkaline baking soda to produce the carbon dioxide gas bubbles that raise your baked goods.
You’ll find in-store baking powder brands that contain only one type of acid are equally stingy when it’s time to lifting your goods in the oven. But, as America’s Test Kitchen confirmed, you’ll seize more lift if you opted for a baking powder formula comprising of two acid powders.
If you opt for just one acid, the most popular and easy to use is cream of tartar.
Discovered a stunning 170 years ago, this byproduct of winemaking turned out great for baking but proved expensive in the long haul.
Watch Out for that Monocalcium Phosphate (MCP)
A few decades later a cheaper alternative hit the market; monocalcium phosphate (MCP). Your favorite baking powder might still contain MCP to this day.
Here’s the deal with MCP, though:
It starts to react with baking soda from when you mix them up together. MCP is an excellent example of a single acting baking powder. While it is great for lifting, you’d need to pop your MCP-infused batter or dough into the oven pretty fast.
Otherwise, you stand to lose the air bubbles that start to pop and fizz out immediately you add the MCP based baking powder to your batter or dough.
At My Delicious Homemade we find MCP powders serve best when you want to work with quick-bread doughs that you can bake immediately; waffles, scorns, pancakes, and more.
A couple of members also cited using MCP powders helps increase their calcium intake.
On the other hand, if you are planning to use harder doughs for bread or chewy cookies or denser cakes, you might not get the satisfactory lift you want with MCP based baking powders. An awful lot of times you’ll lose up to 70% of those vital carbonation bubbles before you ever got it to cook.
Then necessity led to using sodium for baking:
Sodium Aluminum Sulfate (SAS) and Sodium Aluminum Phosphate (SALP) in Baking Powder
When yeast and MCP based baking powders could no longer keep up with the pacing baking industry, sodium compounds came bouncing along and took over leavening batters for cakes, muffins, biscuits, and other quick-rising dough goods.
By applying SAS or SALP, both professional and home bakers could reap more carbon bubbles to help raise their baked goods in the oven. SAS and SALP based baking powders are referred to as double acting baking powders and work in two phases:
Bench Rise (Cold Rise):
React with baking soda when you add moisture to the mix while preparing the dough or batter at room temperature. Unlike MCP based baking powders, the reaction does not boast to waste a lot of carbon bubbles.
That happens in the next phase.
Oven Rise (Heated Rise):
The set up reacts further when exposed to the heat in the oven—at about 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
As the heat builds up inside the bread dough or cake batter, carbon gas bubbles stumble over themselves to flee the heat, expanding in the process. The not too little scramble for fire exits sees to it that the whole dough blows up in size and spreads the crumb within to crank out fluffier, lighter and darn toothsome bakes.
The more SAS or SALP you use the taller, more even, fluffier and lighter your baked goods come out the oven. Sometimes you get better browning too.
But even a tad extra SAS will sure-as-day leave a bad taste in your mouth.
If you have ever crunched cake and tasted a slight but unflinching metallic flavor, we’ll skip the introductions and assume you already met both aluminum compounds’ other hands. An incredible bunch of SAS and SALP based baking powders get a bad rep for leaving you stuck with that much aluminum aftertaste.
However, while the discerning palate will still call them out, a couple of sodium aluminum-based baking powders we have used before manage to stick this little nug to a minimum.
That is something you’ll want to watch out for—especially when you have your discerning aunties coming over for the Christmas festivities. Else, you might want to fetch the best baking powder without aluminum.
Then there’s sodium…
A 1/8 teaspoon of pure baking soda contains 150 mg of sodium.
Now picture this:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the human body needs a daily intake of between 180-500 mg. The best baking powder should pocket that much sodium or less.
If you have kidney disease and heart health concerns, your doctor may have already recommended you stick with a low-sodium diet. Low-sodium baking powder brands are your best bet if you want to have your cake and eat it—literally.
And Potassium Bicarbonate…
Alternatively, you might want to add this to your baking ingredients shopping list. Quit looking for it in the stores and grab a bag (more or less) at the pharmacy.
Because potassium bicarbonate is fantastic for treating acid refluxes, it has a special place at the heart of many pharmacies.
Potassium bicarbonate based baking powders are not as conspicuous as their sodium rivals, and might not substitute much in a recipe calling for sodium. But if you are sensitive to sodium, this might help.
Check more on substituting baking soda for potassium bicarbonate here.
Modern baking powder uses cornstarch as a stabilizer. Cornstarch wicks moisture, helping keep the peace and curb baking soda from reacting with acid powder. A staggering number of double acting baking powder products in the market today apply this.
For variety’s sake, some baking powder manufacturers use potato or arrowroot starch instead.
Ultimately, the smartest thing is to read up on what’s contained in the container on the product label.
If you are looking for an organic baking powder for a vegan diet, there are a couple of choices in this baking brands review that come gluten-free and aluminum and sulfate-free, while getting the lift job done.
With the above baking products buying guide we can all stamp ahead and choose the best leavener brands for baking cakes, cookies, and more.
How about we start with a review of the best baking soda products?
Best Baking Soda Reviews: 2 Top Baking Soda Products for Fluffier, Even Bakes
Arm & Hammer Baking Soda: Our Top Pick for Overall Baking Soda Uses
It makes sense that Arm & Hammer went out and packed their multipurpose baking soda in this large, resealable and easy to store plastic bag. You get 100% soda that’s quite strong for whatever purpose you aim at.
In fact, to substitute this brand of baking soda for baking powder you’ll need to triple (even quadruple) your choice of the latter—Aha! That strong.
With 13.5 lb, you can never have too much scoop to bake, clean and pretty much anything you’d use with pure baking soda. It’s such an economical bag of soda, and you can get a smaller, value size too.
Big thumbs up too, for the waterproof packaging as it allows you to safely store the baking soda in healthy condition even in moist areas.
Whether the label says it or not, all pure baking soda brands are aluminum-free. It’s the amount of sodium you’ll want to keep a keen eye out for.
You can also use their product with a wide array of flavors and baking spices such as Milliard Citric Acid without messing up your recipe. While you might not catch it at your local grocery store or supermarket aisle, you can easily get it online.
So, what is in Arm & Hammer Baking Soda?
Nothing but 100% sodium bicarbonate.
Check out these Arm & Hammer ingredients here:
Arm & Hammer baking soda is aluminum-free. But if you have kidney disease or heart health concerns, you may want to avoid it all together—it’s pretty much standard sodium bicarbonate—and choose to buy low-sodium baking powder instead.
Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda: Best Baking Soda Brand for Cooking
If you just coming out from the latest baking soda health scandal, you notice a whole lot of bakers applaud Bob’s Red Mill Baking soda for its aluminum-free label.
It’s an excellent substitute for Arm & Hammer’s box of soda with one caveat; settle for fewer uses in and around the home.
Here’s the BIG deal, though:
Unlike Arm & Hammer baking soda, Bob’s Red Mill baking soda is derived from naturally occurring sodium bicarbonate. They mine their natural baking soda in Colorado, straight from the ground as naturally as it can ever get. This is also the case for Frontier baking soda or Sodium Bicarbonate natural baking soda brands.
Arm & Hammer, on the other hand, use a chemical reaction to turn trona ore into soda ash, which is then carbonated to convert it to prepared baking soda.
While they do get it right, edible and safe for consumption, we kind of prefer using Bob’s Red Mill baking soda for cooking, especially so for our catering clients—and Arm & Hammer for sparkling our walls, dishes and laundry.
Best baking soda for cooking, for real.
Also, it’s a great choice for use in a kidney disease diet or drinking in soda water to treat acid reflux.
Bob’s Red Mill soda is both R5-ELISA tested gluten-free and double acting. You can comfortably add it to your vegan diet (or favorite all-purpose baking flour) and easily substitute baking powder for it with little to no loss in flavor. It tastes better, but you’ll have to shell out more for it too.
Also note that they add Kosher salt to it, so you might want to consider how much more salt you can take.
My Delicious Homemade Top Pick for Best Baking Soda Substitute Brand
This will work like a charm for you if you are on a low-sodium diet plan or want to restrict the amount of salt you add to your cooking, so no aluminum and no sodium here either.
However, if you miss the instructions on the label you might not think it works as advertised. You have to scoop out double the amount of soda called for in your recipe.
Otherwise, and you’d miss out on much of Ener-G baking soda raising, browning, spreading and evening benefits.
This might also be the low-sodium baking answer you were looking for if you want to tone down or pretty much eliminate that all-too-familiar mineral aftertaste for yummier, flavorsome baked goods.
Best Baking Powder Reviews: Top 4 Best Baking Powder Brands to Grab Today
Now, here’s where “aluminum-free” really matters. Most baking powder brands use aluminum compounds and additives to their products.
And while we are impressed they are okay health-wise, we are not big fans of metallic aftertaste, so you’ll want to keep that in check.
Hain’s baking powder is special in that it eliminates sodium and soda for potassium bicarbonate as the core leavening agent. That means if you have sodium intolerance you can substitute with this.
It is also gluten-free and perfect for a vegan diet; it uses potato starch for stabilizing—and yeeh! Potatoes are gluten-free. But do note that it is an MCP based baking powder, so it is less double acting than others on this review.
If you are into baking quick breads such as scorns and waffles, this may well be one of the best aluminum-free, corn-free baking powder brands out there. But, Harn does not tell us whether their product is non-GMO.
Second on our top baking powder brands review, is this tasty and aluminum-free Rumford offering. This is a heluva healthy baking powder.
You get a completely organic and gluten-free baking powder here too. Despite using cornstarch to absorb moisture and maintain leavening, you may be happy to know it is all non-GMO cornstarch.
Still, you can use it to raise both quick breads as a single acting powder or harder bread doughs in the oven as a double acting baking powder—this we love. Furthermore, you can freely toss it into your baking shelf to extend its shelf life and only have to freeze it one in a stretch unlike others here.
Of course, it’s not sodium-free but it packs only 55 g of it, which is a real deal considering it does work as a leavener and spread booster.
It is also unique in that it is one of a rare kind that adds calcium to it’s baking powder formula—up to 2% of the whole thing. That’s a good thing if you want a natural baking powder brand that adds to your calcium intake as well.
Like Harn Pure Food’s product before it, Bob’s Red Mill baking powder is both aluminum and gluten-free (R5-ELISA Tested).
But it does use cornstarch (from organic corn, though) and MCP. The presence of both acidulants means you are likely to get taller, fluffier and chewy bakes in home baking.
And it also packs in a hearty 590 mg of sodium—about 29% of the ingredients. They also explicitly reveal their plant also manufactures soy and tree nuts. This is clearly labeled on the tin or box, so you know what you are getting right out the aisle.
So should you ditch it?
Not if you want a double acting baking powder for comparatively low-sodium baking. It affords you the convenience and ease to use it for multiple baking recipes too— both as single acting and double acting baking powder and from quick breads to denser and harder-dough baked goods.
Can you substitute baking soda for Bob’s Red Mill baking powder? Yes, you can. Also, you can swap it at a 1:1 ratio for recipes that call for regular baking powder.
You’ll want to keep it refrigerated too.
This one’s a fabulous product right from the packaging (call it stay-fresh with a screw top, everyone), which we love.
It comes in a resealable plastic container, meaning (psst! Unlike Bob’s packaging) it’ll help preserve your baking powder in fresh condition for longer and with no spills and not much need for refrigeration.
While it comes packing the same baking powder ingredients as Bob’s offering, Argo sprinkled almost 5X less sodium into the mix. That way, you can use it for your home baking or professional baking purposes for people who are not too sensitive to sodium.
However, they specifically state the cornstarch they use is “partially produced with generic engineering” if you want to keep it all organic. And, you’ll want to use it with non-bland baked goods as it’d hard to miss the chalky aftertaste (although it is aluminum-free).
That was a long post!
Hopefully, at the end, you are more empowered to get a box of leavener that you truly deserve. All the baking soda and baking powders reviewed here are aluminum-free, so you can whip those mineral aftertastes goodbye and make lip-smacking good cakes, pancakes, biscuits cookies, and then some more.
While there other great leaveners out there, the ones we hand-picked give us the best baking results time and again. They are largely natural, healthy and you can you can use them to crank out your daily dose of baked goods.
Over to you, now. What others ways do you use to sift the crème de la crème of lifting agents for either home baking or professional use?
Think we missed to discuss your favorite raising agent and want the community to hear you out? Take it away in the comments.