Baking powder is a leavening agent used to help baked goods and quick breads rise. It is used in cakes, puddings, muffins, cookies, pancakes, waffles, and so forth. You can make your own baking powder:
Combine 2 parts cream of tartar with 1 part baking soda and 1 part cornstarch. So for 1 teaspoon of baking powder, combine ½ teaspoon cream of tartar + ¼ teaspoon baking soda + ¼ teaspoon cornstarch. Store baking powder at room temperature in a cool, dry place.
Baking powder can lose its leavening power if it's too old. You can test the activity of your baking powder by pouring 4 to 5 tablespoons of boiling water over 1½ teaspoons of baking powder. If it is still fresh, it will bubble with vigor. If not, you'll only see a few bubbles form.
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