Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Baking powder vs. baking soda – What's the difference?
A. Baking soda is pure bicarbonate of soda also known as sodium bicarbonate it is an alkaline ingredient, and when mixed with acidic ingredients, it reacts and releases bubbles of carbon dioxide. It also has household uses.
Baking powders are leaveners used for cooking. They are made up of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda); an acid salt which reacts with moisture or heat, or both – such as tartaric acid, mono-calcium or combination of acid salts; and cornstarch (an inert filler used to keep ingredients separated).
Q. What is the difference between Baking Powders?
A. Baking Powders differ in their reaction to moisture and heat depending on their formulation. Rumford Baking Powder's reaction is approximately 70% with moisture (or in the bowl) and the rest when heat is applied. Clabber Girl's reaction is approximately 40% with moisture and the rest when heat is applied. Some people prefer the Rumford brand because it does not contain the acid ingredient sodium aluminum sulfate.
Clabber Girl, Davis, KC, Royal and Hearth Club brands are regional favorites and all have similar formulations. They can all be used interchangeably in recipes.
Q. What is double acting baking powder?
A. The double action in baking powder means that the baking powder reacts twice, once in the bowl when moisture is applied and again when heat is applied. Almost all baking powders have been double acting for at least 100 years, so you can be confident that all consumer recipes that require baking powder call for double acting baking powder.
Q. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
A. Clabber Girl Baking Powder is a product designed to produce leavening in baked goods by the reaction of baking soda and acid ingredients. This reaction produced carbon dioxide (CO2) bubbles that provide lift, and tenderness, making foods more palatable.
It is composed of cornstarch (to keep active ingredients separated), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda, an alkaline), and acid ingredients sodium aluminum sulphate (reacts with soda when heated) and monocalcium phosphate (reacts with soda when combined with moisture).
Q. Reaction of Rumford Baking Powder (not single-acting but double-acting)
A. Rumford Baking Powder contains only monocalcium phosphate as a leavening acid. Due to the nature of how this acid releases carbon dioxide gas with sodium bicarbonate in the presence of moisture, two-thirds of the available gas is released within approximately two minutes.
It then becomes dormant at room temperature due to the generation of an intermediate form of dicalcium phosphate* during the initial mixing. This stage of the reaction contains only one hydrogen ion and requires the catalyst of heat above 140 degrees F. in the batter.
Q. How do I store my baking powder, baking soda or corn starch? Can I refrigerate or freeze?
A. Baking powder, soda or cornstarch should be stored in a dry cupboard away from heat and excess moisture. You should only measure with a dry utensil and replace the lid promptly after each use. Storage in a refrigerator or freezer is not recommended, as the condensation that can accumulate will make the powder react in the can, rendering it useless.
Q. What is the shelf Life of Baking Powder
A. For optimum performance, the shelf life of properly stored baking powder can be 6 months to a year after it has been opened. The best-if-used-by date on the bottom of the can is the useful date of an unopened can of baking powder. Once the can is opened, moisture in the air will cause the baking powder to react slowly, releasing some of its leavening ability over a period of time. Many people prefer to change their baking powder every 3 months to ensure freshness.
Q. How can I tell if my baking powder is still good?
A. There is no easy test for determining the acceptance of baking powder beyond the use-by date on the bottom of the can. For uses that require optimum performance we recommend purchasing a new can
Q. Where can I find your products?
A. Clabber Girl and Rumford brands baking powder are available nationwide. If the brand is not avaialble in your local grocery store, ask the store manager if he/she can get it for you. Davis brand baking powder is located in Northeastern states and KC Baking Powder is popular in the Southwest. For our other products you may wish to send an email requesting specific location. All of our products are available at our online store.
Q. What does the code mean on the bottom of your can?
A. There should be an expiration date with month and year; additionally, the four or five digit code is the production date. For example, code #11046 would translate as the year 2011, the 46th day of the year.
Q. Are your products gluten-free?
A. Here is a list of our gluten-free products:
- Clabber Girl Baking Powder*
- Rumford Baking Powder
- Davis Baking Powder
- KC Baking Powder
- Hearth Club Baking Powder
- Hearth Club Corn Starch
- Clabber Girl Corn Starch
- Royal Baking Powder
*22 oz. size Clabber Girl Baking Powder has been produced on a shared line; check the label for allergen statement.
Q: What ppm of gluten do you test for in the Baking powders?
A: All of our baking powders are below 20 ppm for presence of gluten.
Q. What is your Allergen Statement?
A. Any and all baking powders produced by the Clabber Girl Corporation do not contain any spices, flavors or colorings. They do not contain any of the following commonly recognized sources of allergenic responses: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean, mollusks, tree nuts, wheat, barley, rye, peanuts, and soybeans.
Examples of the food products most commonly known to cause allergic reactions as stated above, are not present in any of the ingredients which are in any of the baking powder formulas produced by the Clabber Girl Corporation, corn starch, bicarbonate of soda, sodium aluminum sulfate, acid phosphate of calcium.
Q. Are your products Kosher Certified?
A. Download a Kosher Certificate that lists all of our Kosher Certified Products.
Q. What products are Non-GMO?
A. Rumford Baking powder and cornstarch are made with non-gmo cornstarch.
Q. VEGAN - Free of Animal Products -
All baking powder manufactured by Clabber Girl Corporation contains no animal products. Additionally, all of the ingredients used to produce baking powder are free of animal products and are not derived from material of animal origins. (May send a copy of Statement, if necessary)
Q. How did Clabber Girl get the name?
A. In 1879 Hulman and Company in Terre Haute, Indiana began producing baking powder. This product was so new that manufacturers had to find a way to let people know what it was for. Many different brand names were used, including MILK brand, but in 1899 the name Clabber Baking Powder was used; it was a hit. The original picture on the can depicted a woman churning butter.
The name stayed the same until 1923, when it was changed to Clabber Girl Baking Powder. The picture in the foreground changed from a woman churning butter to a girl holding a plate of biscuits.
Q. What does “Clabber” mean?
A. Prior to the invention of baking powder in 1854, bakers used many different things to leaven their baked goods. Whipped eggs and yeast were both used to make leavening, but cooks also would mix combinations of saleratus, pearlash (refined pot ash), baking soda, cream of tartar, and sour milk. Milk was clabbered, or soured for several days so it could be used for leavening. Many kitchens even had a "clabber" pitcher they used for this purpose. The clabber pitcher would also contain buttermilk, the remains left over from the butter-making process.
After the introduction of baking powder in 1854, manufacturers had a difficult time letting people know that this new product was used to make a leavening reaction in their biscuits and other baked goods. When Hulman & Company began the manufacture of baking powder in 1879, several different brand names were tried, including “Hulman”, and “Milk” brands, but in 1899 we used the name Clabber Baking Powder to infer that it took the place of clabbered milk. Consumer response to this brand name was overwhelming. To reinforce the “clabber” idea, the original picture on the can depicted a woman churning butter, as the buttermilk left over after the butter making process was used in the clabber pitcher.