Do you know the difference between baking powder and baking soda? Picture: Pexels/Nicole Michalou
Do you know the difference between baking powder and baking soda? Picture: Pexels/Nicole Michalou

Is baking soda the same as baking powder? We tell it all

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Jan 1, 2022

Share this article:

Do you know the difference between baking powder and baking soda?

I am asking because as I was scrolling through Twitter this week, I found out that one of the most confusing things among people is finding the difference between baking soda and baking powder, so let’s get on to it.

According to research, these are the differences between baking soda and baking powder.

Baking soda

Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda, is a chemical compound made of tiny white crystals.

When it comes into contact with acids like those in vinegar, lemon juice, yoghurt, or buttermilk, it immediately starts foaming, creating carbon dioxide bubbles. Those bubbles help give a lift to baked goods.

Baking soda is not great for recipes with no acidic ingredients. It is stronger than baking powder.

More baking soda in a recipe does not necessarily mean more lift.

You should use just enough to react with the amount of acid in the recipe.

Too much baking soda and not enough acid means there will be leftover baking soda in the recipe which will create a metallic, bitter taste in your baked goods.

Baking powder

Baking powder contains baking soda. It is a mixture of baking soda, cream of tartar (a dry acid), and sometimes corn-starch.

These days, most baking powder sold is double-acting.

This means that the first leavening occurs when baking powder gets wet – like when you combine the dry and wet ingredients in the recipe.

This is why you cannot prepare some batters ahead of time to bake later because the baking powder has already been activated.

The second leavening occurs when the baking powder is heated. Since baking powder already contains an acid to neutralise its baking soda, it is most often used when a recipe does not call for an additional acidic ingredient.

However, this is not always the case. You can still use baking powder as the leavening agent in recipes calling for an acidic ingredient.

Buttermilk (acid) can be used instead of regular milk for added moisture and also you may substitute a little brown sugar (acid) for granulated sugar; again, for added moisture.

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of the difference between baking soda and baking powder.

Although baking is a science, you don’t have to be a scientist to understand the chemical reactions caused by each ingredient.

Baking is fun, and the more you know, the better baker you will be.

Share this article: