Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder


     Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder is a very discussed subject in the baking topic. There are many questions out there such as: '' What is the difference between baking soda and baking powder?'' ''Can I substitute one for the other?'' ; '' Are they the same?''. I am writing this post in order to answer these questions and help you out. The most important thing you have to remember is that Baking Soda and Baking Powder are not the same things!

   

   First, let's see what baking soda and baking powder really are, and what are their role in baking.

   Baking Soda
   Baking soda is a salty, alkaline chemical compound, and it's the common name used for sodium bicarbonate. In fact, baking soda's only ingredient is sodium bicarbonate. Baking soda is usually used in recipes that have acid ingredients that it can react to, such as citrus juice, yogurt, vinegar, cream of tartar. You will find it in many cookie recipes and quick bread.
   Baking soda can leaven a delicious baked good when it's exposed to heat. But don't forget that it has to be neutralized with an acid! Otherwise, your baked good will have a metallic aftertaste. 
   Baking soda is not a leaving agent as per say. It's mostly a chemical compound which reacts to some liquids it comes into contact with (acid liquids).

   Baking powder
   Baking powder consists of three ingredients:
Baking Powder


  • an acid (most common is cream of tartar)
  • a base (baking soda)
  • a filler (usually cornstarch)
   Baking powder is a leavening agent used to soften the texture of our baked goods, and also make them more voluminous.
   You can find baking powder in most cake recipes, in muffins, pastries, and pies. 


    Can you substitute baking soda with baking powder?
   Substituting in a recipe baking soda with baking powder can be tricky, and I wouldn't recommend it. 
   Baking soda is very strong. It's about 3x stronger than baking powder. If you put more baking soda in a recipe, that doesn't mean that your baked good will be perfect. You can try and add more acid to the recipe, but it takes lots of experience and lots of failures until you find the perfect combination.
   You can risk having leftover baking soda in your baked good. A metallic and soapy taste is not what one can desire.

   Can you substitute baking powder with baking soda?
Baking Soda
   This can also be tricky, and I don't recommend it. Baking powder can be used instead of baking soda. But it all depends on the other ingredients, and it takes lots of failures until you can find the perfect combination. 

   I can really recommend just simply following the recipe. You really have to be careful using baking soda and baking powder. Why is that? Because if you use the wrong amount, or choose to alter the recipe by substituting one with another, you can significantly alter your baked good.

   Don't forget that both baking soda and baking powder have an expiration date. No matter what you will use, make sure that it's not expired, and that it was properly stored!

   I really hope I was able to help you with this Baking Soda vs Baking Powder topic. You need to remember that they're completely different things and that they are used in different recipes, with different ingredients. 
   If you are a beginner in the baking area, remember that baking requires practice and willingness to learn. And also some failures from time to time. Happy baking everyone! 😃




   

19 comments :

  1. Baking is all about chemistry. If you can understand basic chemistry, you will be a great baker. I think baking is so good for kids to learn for this exact reason.

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  2. It seems like I should have known the difference in compounds, but I didn't. I did however know you shouldn't substitute one for the other.

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  3. Baking is a science and one has to use the right items or it will fail. I have started a recipe before and have not had baking powder so I had to run to the store.

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  4. Good to know! I really didn't understand the difference. I know I have both of them in the house!

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  5. This is a great post on the differences, to be honest while I knew there was a difference I wasn't really up on what those were! Thank you.

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  6. This is great!! I’ve never actually thought about the difference - and now I know

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  7. Really informative post about baking powder and baking soda! Thank you for sharing this.

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  8. I remember wondering years ago. It's nice that people have the internet now to find these answers out quickly. I bet you get a lot of hits on this post.

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  9. I was always confused between baking powder and baking soda. Baking soda seems more stronger to me and now you cleared my concept.

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  10. I actually know a little about cooking and I must say I am learning. Good thing I was able to stumble now at your site, I learned new today. I didn't know this before. Now, I know their difference already.

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  11. I use both in baking although baking power more often! I use baking soda for cleaning as well! So useful!

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  12. This is a great explanation. I've never known what the difference between the two was.

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  13. OOH, I'm glad I read this! I was curious about the differences and substitutions!

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  14. Definitely two baking essentials in the kitchen! I never tried substituting them but it's good to know it's best not to.

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  15. I always got confused between these two. Thanks for sharing and clearing my doubts.

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  16. I hadn't known the difference between baking soda and baking powder except the fact that baking soda is stronger.

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  17. OMG- Thank you for listing the difference between baking powder and soda. Love it. Thanks!

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  18. Thanks for clearly explaining the difference between baking soda and baking powder.I learnt a lot from this post.

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