How to bake without baking soda or baking powder, plus Gluten free Apple Cinnamon Coconut Muffins

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Muffins

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Muffins

I have always used baking soda and baking powder in baking.  After I suspected corn was bothering me, I started making my own baking powder with arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch.  Here is the recipe I was using:

Corn and gluten free Baking powder:

1 part baking soda

2 parts cream of tartar

1 part arrowroot powder

Mix well and store in an airtight container

However I never really thought that the actual baking soda may also be a problem for me until I came to the GAPS diet.  According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, baking soda shouldn’t be eaten by people following GAPS because most people with digestive issues have low stomach acid.  Baking soda is very alkaline, and therefore decreases one’s stomach acid even further.

I have been a little slow to accept this fact completely but do follow it most of the time.  I did use baking soda in the cake I made for the birthday party.  But for the most part have tried to find other ways to create leavening in my baked goods.

While I was creating the Just Desserts for Limited Diets recipe book, I created most of the cakes free of baking soda or baking powder by using egg whites as leavening.  This worked extremely well and I am continuing to use this method to create moist and springy baked goods without baking soda.

It is very simple but it does take more time and equipment.  But the results are worth the extra step I assure you.

How to bake free of baking soda or baking powder:

With any recipe for muffins, cakes or cookies that call for baking soda or baking powder, delete the soda or powder.  To make it simple, find recipes that call for eggs.

Separate the eggs using an egg separator.  I have also done it without an egg separator by using the egg shells to keep the yolk from coming out with the egg white.

Place the egg yolks in the mixing bowl with the rest of the wet ingredients in the recipe.  Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl.  Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff – I go for a very stiff meringue-like egg white substance.

After combining all the other ingredients together in the other mixing bowl, add the egg whites and stir them in until well mixed.  Do not over mix; just stir until combined.

Follow the rest of the recipe as is and bake according to directions.  The baking time may vary; just keep an eye on the baked good and bake for longer if needed.

As far as baking egg-free without baking soda or powder, this is a lot more tricky.  I have done it but the results are not as good as with the egg whites.  I am hoping to find a way to leaven even egg-free, gluten free and baking soda free baked goods.  Let me know if you have ideas!

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Muffins (grain, gluten, dairy, nut and soy free)

I made these yummy muffins with my son who said “apple” when I asked what kind of muffins we should make.  I added the cinnamon and they turned out almost too yummy.  (I can’t stop eating them)

3 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup honey, or less (they are a tad sweet for me)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sifted coconut flour
1 apple, diced
1 tsp cinnamon


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 12 muffin tins with coconut oil or 24 mini ones. Set aside.

2.  Separate the eggs and place the egg whites in an electric mixing bowl (or use a hand held mixer and a mixing bowl).  In another mixing bowl combine the egg yolks, coconut oil, honey and salt together. Add the coconut flour and cinnamon and whisk into batter until smooth.  Add the apples and stir until well combined.

3.  Beat the egg whites in the mixer until they become stiff and form soft peaks.  Add the egg whites to the rest of the muffin batter and stir just until combined.  Fill prepared muffin cups half-way with batter.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes for mini muffins and probably 20 or more minutes for full size muffins.


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  1. Thanks for all the great info. I appreciate your openness and approach to food. Thanks for all the inspiration. Best to you in 2010.

  2. looks yummy!

  3. Hi that looks great. So you don’t need to add more eggs? You can just separate the eggs already called for in any recipe? Thx!

  4. You need to take another look at the pH of the Human body. Baking soda helps to bring our pH into balance, most all of the foods you eat are acidic, not alkaline. Sugar, flour, municipal water, those muffins, soda, wine, alcohol, find out what foods are acidic and you will wonder how your still alive. Lemons and limes are NOT acid in the body…. What we think we know is not how it is. Baking soda is good for you.
    Here is a video to help you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nOqnQ5fyAw&feature=related

  5. Hi Ginnee,
    I wrote this recipe specifically for people who are on the GAPS diet, which does not allow baking soda. But thanks for your information.

  6. Hulda Clark Found known metal toxin Aluminum in all baking powders, and known deadly solvent Benzene, In all baking soda and baking powder sources she tested- EXCEPT chemically pure baking soda (for chemists, must special order). Don’t buy into the scam of either of these baking products! Thanks for posting this add, my boyfriend and I have been using your egg separating technique ever since first reading this with GREAT/delicious results =)

  7. kat olson says:

    I just found your site for the biscuits without baking soda. I am vegetarian. Do you have any section that covers both of those restrictions?

    Thank you

  8. HI Kat,
    Most of the baked goods I make can be made without baking soda. I have vegan and vegetarian recipes on the membership site. I have about a month’s worth of vegan menus. Let me know if you’d like more information. thanks,

  9. Ginnee said’ “baking soda is good for you” but that’s not always true. It’s not good for people who must restrict their sodium. Some people cut their salt but forget that baking soda is also sodium.

    As Ginnee herself also said, “What we think we know is not how it is.”

  10. Francie Huber says:

    What is the GAPS diet? I have a friend who cannot have baking soda, but coconut flour??? I cannot find it. Can regular flour be substituted? Thank you so much.

  11. Hi Francie,
    Coconut flour can’t really be substituted part for part because it is quite different. Most health food stores will carry it in the gluten free area or you can order it. Bob’s Red Mill makes one and it is really good. If you want to find out about the GAPS diet, I would go to http://www.gapsdiet.com Good luck to you!

  12. Just took these out of the oven
    They are delicious!

  13. Please note: Honey should not be heated. It becomes toxic. Try to find another sweetner.

  14. Honey does not become toxic when heated, if so tea drinkers all over would be dead.

  15. Great recipe and tips! However, your recipe is not nut free. Coconut is actually a nut (tree nut) regardless of how you use it and if someone has nut allergies, they might have an allergic reaction to it. Nut free should be nut free from all nuts, including tree nuts.

  16. HI Shannon,
    My understanding is that coconut is not a tree nut but rather a seed. But I just read that the FDA is now labeling it as a tree nut making the issue very confusing. However, some people may be allergic to coconut as well. This is from http://www.foodallergy.org/page/tree-nut-allergy:

    “Should coconut be avoided by someone with a tree nut allergy?
    Discuss this with your doctor. Coconut, the seed of a drupaceous fruit, has typically not been restricted in the diets of people with tree nut allergy. However, in October of 2006, the FDA began identifying coconut as a tree nut. The available medical literature contains documentation of a small number of allergic reactions to coconut; most occurred in people who were not allergic to other tree nuts. Ask your doctor if you need to avoid coconut.”

  17. According to Dr. Gerson, who has been healing people from all known deseases for the last 50 years, including cancer, salt of any kind, including baking soda is toxic because all humans retain water when an excess of salt is in the diet. And in retaining water, the toxins are also retained. And according to Dr Gerson, most people get all the salt they need from eating fruits and veges….

  18. have you tried or heard of using Aquafaba instead of eggs? it whips up the same way as egg whites. You can even make meringue with it.

  19. Hi Ginette,
    I had not heard of this yet! This looks really promising for those people who can have chickpeas and who are vegan. I have been using gelatin as an egg replacer for some time but it isn’t vegan. The meringues look amazing! Thanks so much,


  1. […] If you’re on GAPS or don’t want to use baking soda, I have found that separating the eggs and then beating the egg whites until stiff helps the bread to rise without baking soda.  You can read more about this here. […]

  2. […] Interestingly, it appears that muffins CAN be made without baking soda and baking powder. […]

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