Baking Powder Vs Baking Soda


 Here is a question we all want to know.  You are baking a cake and the recipe calls for baking powder, so you go into your pantry to find out that you are out of baking powder…can you add baking soda instead?…NO, go to the grocery store!  Read on to learn all about the differences…you don’t have to be a chemist!


Baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents, which means they are added to baked goods before cooking to allow them to rise. Baking powder contains baking soda, but the two substances are different and cannot be interchanged.

Baking Powder:

  • Baking powder contains sodium bicarbonate, cream of tartar and cornstarch
  • Baking powder is available as single-acting baking powder and as double-acting baking powder
  • Single-acting powders react with moisture and the product must be baked immediately after mixing
  • Double-acting powders react in two phases and can will activate when product enters the oven and the temperature rises
  • Baking powder is usually in recipes that call for ingredients such as milk (non acidic ingredients)
  • Baking powder is a common ingredient in cakes

Baking Soda:

  • Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate
  • Baking soda is most commonly combined with moisture and an acidic ingredient such as yogurt, chocolate, lemon juice or buttermilk; this causes baked goods to rise.
  • Recipes that call for baking soda need to be mixed and baked immediately or they will fall flat
  • If baking soda is used in a recipe with no acidity, it will cause a bitter taste in the baked goods

 Bottom line…Baking soda needs an acid and baking powder already has an acid!  Thanks for joining me for this weeks Sweet Nugget!




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