I bought a cake like snack in Costa Rica called Gato Guayaba. I was trying to figure out what was in it, so I read the following ingredients list:

Ingredientes: Margarina, huevos, royal, azùcar, harina y guayaba.

Gato Guayaba label

I know margarine, eggs, sugar, flour, and guava, but what is royal?

  • In spanish it's called Polvos royal. Commented Dec 8, 2012 at 21:57
  • 1
    Royal es una marca, es polvo de hornear :)
    – cayerdis
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 20:35

3 Answers 3


Most probably, it is baking powder of the brand Royal.

  • 5
    Yes. Royal is a very old US baking powder brand. It was introduced in Latin America as part of the economic expansion of the New Deal, it was already known before the start of World War II (as far as my family papers allow me to tell). The name of the brand replaced the name of the product in the people's language. It is the same phenomenon as has happened in US English with Kleenex for disposable tissues or Band-Aid for adhesive bandages.
    – palopezv
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 18:01
  • Just remembered... The phenomenon I am refereing to is called brand dillution into a generic name.
    – palopezv
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 18:08

As Chewie pointed out,

Most probably, it is baking powder of the brand Royal.

The appropriate name is "levadura en polvo" in Spain or "polvos de hornear" in some South American countries.

The use of Royal is a generic name such as using "Scotch tape" instead of "sticky tape".

A box of Royal baking powder

  • 1
    Updated question with picture, should give more context.
    – Brad Koch
    Commented Dec 8, 2012 at 22:44
  • Yes, it's definitely baking powder. Here is an online recipe if you want to cook it at home: saboresenlinea.com/recetas/… - And it's really funny that they are using that in an ingredients list. In Europe the normative of ingredients list is quite stricter.
    – itorres
    Commented Dec 8, 2012 at 23:14
  • 1
    There are plenty of recipes that were originally published by makers of flour, shortening, or baking powder. They would routinely put their own brand name into one of the ingredients. Sometimes, that stuck, even when the recipe was copied elsewhere. Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 23:34
  • @JoulSauron "levadura en polvo" es un hongo, el que se usa para hace pan y cerveza. "Polvos de leudar" son, bueno, polvos de hornear: una combinación de bicabonato de sodio, ácido tartárico y almidón de maíz.
    – palopezv
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 18:26
  • @vorbote Esta respuesta no es mia :S
    – JoulSauron
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 0:13

Another synonym for "Royal" is "Masa Real".

  • No it's not. Royal is an ingredient in the Gato Guayaba, most surely baking powder. Therefore the recipe you posted is not a synonym for that ingredient.
    – spiral
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 20:09

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