Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder

  • Pin It
  • print
  • email to a friend

Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Baking powder and Baking soda are both chemical leaveners used to make batters rise. Quick breads, cookies, cakes, and biscuits all get their lift from these two basic baking ingredients.

BAKING SODA

Baking soda needs an acidic ingredient to react with to release carbon dioxide, the gas that is released in small bubbles to give the baked goods their lift. Acidic ingredients in baking are yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, molasses, honey, citrus juice, and even vinegar. (This is why you often find white vinegar as an ingredient in red velvet cake). Use baking soda as specified in your recipe. Too much will produce flat baked goods and leave a metallic taste in your cakes or cookies. Baking soda is also known to create browning in baked goods.

BAKING POWDER

Baking powder serves the same purpose as baking soda yet is already mixed with the acidic ingredient needed to produce carbon dioxide when baking. Most baking powders are “double-acting”, which means they produce carbon dioxide when mixed with a liquid and then again, when exposed to heat. Baking powder is used whether or not an acidic ingredient is in the recipe. Be sure to use fresh baking powder in recipes. Old baking powder will produce flat cakes and cookies.

SUBSTITUTIONS

While there is no substitution for baking soda, in a pinch you can replace a teaspoon of baking powder with ½  teaspoon cream of tartar and ¼ teaspoon baking soda.

STORAGE

Store your baking powder and soda in a cool dark place with little humidity. Check the expiration date before using.

Read More From Baking Basics.

You May Also Like These Articles:

You May Also Like These Recipes:

Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:

54321

Thanks for the tip on subsituting cream of tartar and soda, to make baking powder. I can no longer use regular baking powder and was in a panic as how to make do.

By Ida Dohoney on March 25, 2014

My Recipe Box |

Paula's Upcoming Schedule

  • August 1: Deen Family Book Signing

    Join the Deen Family for a Book Signing at The Lady & Sons from 10 am to 12 pm.
    The event is free; 350 wristbands to be distributed starting at 9 am.

  • August 6: Paula Deen Live! San Antonio, TX

    Come see Paula’s live show at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, TX and get a heaping helping of Paula’s recipes, and some good old-fashioned fun and laughter!
    Visit TicketMaster for ticketing information.
    Sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms.

  • August 8: Paula Deen Live! Savannah, GA

    Come see Paula’s live show at the Lucas Theatre in Savannah, GA and get a heaping helping of Paula’s recipes, and some good old-fashioned fun and laughter!
    Visit the the Savannah Box Office or call 912-525-5050 for tickets.
    Sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms.

  • View Paula's Full Schedule