If you’re a fan of baking, you may have noticed that many recipes call for baking powder. But why? And what is its purpose?
Further, is it OK to include baking powder when you’re trying to follow the ketogenic lifestyle, or will consuming it throw you out of ketosis?
Let’s explore what baking powder is and whether or not it’s something that you should be adding to your keto diet.
What is Baking Powder?
Baking powder is a mixture of a carbonate or bicarbonate with a weak acid, and serves as a dry leavening agent that helps batter to rise when baked.
Any bubbles that are present in the batter will enlarge with the addition of baking powder. Basically, baking powder is included in batter to increase the volume of the end result and lighten its texture.
The release of carbon dioxide by yeast is what causes baked goods to rise. However, many recipes don’t use yeast, and instead rely on baking powder to create the fluffy and light texture that’s often desired.
Some people may confuse baking powder with baking soda because they’re both leavening agents and cause baked goods to rise.
However, they are used under different conditions. While baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, baking powder contains sodium bicarbonate as well as other components, including an acidifying agent (cream of tartar) and a drying agent.
While some recipes call for baking powder, others call for baking soda. The one that is required will depend on the other ingredients called for in the recipe.
At the end of the day, the goal is to create a light and fluffy texture with a delicious taste.
Nutritional Makeup of Baking Powder
One teaspoon of baking powder has the following nutritional makeup:
Foods That Contain Baking Powder
You’ll often find baking powder in any one of the following baked goods:
Is Baking Powder Keto-Friendly?
The majority of baked goods recipes call for no more than about one teaspoon of baking powder.
Considering the fact that there are just 1.3g of carbs in a teaspoon, it would appear that the addition of this amount of baking powder wouldn’t make much of a dent in your recipes.
If anything, other ingredients that are typically used to bake cookies, cakes, and muffins have a much higher carb count than baking powder.
What some keto dieters may be especially intuitive about is the fact that baking powder has corn starch. One teaspoon of cornstarch has 2.4g of carbs, though you won’t get that amount when it’s incorporated in baking powder.
As such, you shouldn’t be too concerned about the inclusion of baking powder when baking things like cookies, muffins, and biscuits.
That said, if you’re really trying to minimize your consumption of carbs, you can make yourself a more keto-friendly version by combining one part baking soda and two parts cream of tartar.
Keto-Friendly Recipes With Baking Powder
1. Keto Mug Cake
- 6 tbsp almond flour
- 1 tbsp + 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tbsps erythritol
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Handful of sugar-free chocolate chips (optional)
Mix all ingredients in a ramekin or mug and bake in the microwave for about 60 to 70 seconds.
Allow it to cool for a few minutes before eating.
2. Keto Blueberry Muffins
- 2 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup erythritol
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a muffin pan.
In a large bowl, mix the almond flour, baking powder, erythritol, and salt together.
In another bowl, combine the eggs, coconut oil, almond milk, and vanilla extract.
Add the dry batter to the wet batter, then fold in the blueberries.
Add the batter to the muffin cups and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Low-Carb Chocolate Cookies
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup erythritol
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 oz sugar-free chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 370°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, add the sugar-free chocolate chips and coconut oil and melt in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs, then add the erythritol, vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt.
Add the melted chocolate mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.
Add the almond flour and cocoa powder and mix.
Spoon out the batter using a tablespoon onto the cookie sheet, making sure to keep them spaced apart to allow for spreading when baking.
Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, then allow to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer onto a cooling rack for another 10 minutes before eating.
4. Keto Brownies
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup erythritol
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 10 tbsp butter
- 2 oz dark chocolate
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and erythritol.
Melt the butter and chocolate for 30 seconds.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract, then add the dry ingredients.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20 to 22 minutes.
Cool for about an hour before eating.
While there could be some improvements to baking powder as far as the keto diet is concerned, the small amount of carbs that it has won’t do much for your daily carb limit, especially when considering how little is needed for baked goods recipes.
That said you can always make your own to cut down on your carb intake even more. Just be sure that the recipes you’re enjoying include keto-friendly ingredients, including substitutes for traditional sugar and flour.