August 24


Baking Soda VS Baking Powder

By bakedemy

August 24, 2023

Baking, Baking Classes, Baking Courses, Baking Courses Online, Cake Decoration, Cake Tutorial, Chefs, Home Bakers, Online Baking, Online Baking Classes

If you've ever stepped into the world of baking, you've probably come across the terms "baking soda" and "baking powder." These two common ingredients play vital roles in creating delicious baked goods. But what exactly are they, and how do they differ? In this blog, we'll break down the basics of baking soda and baking powder, explaining their differences and when to use each.

Baking Soda:

Baking soda is called sodium bicarbonate and looks like a powdery crystal. You might notice a bit of saltiness when you taste it. It is like a magic ingredient because it helps make your baked treats fluffy and light.

Imagine you're making a cake batter, and you add some baking soda to it. The baking soda gets excited if your batter has things like yoghurt, vinegar, or lemon juice, which are a bit sour or tangy. It starts to release something called carbon dioxide gas, like the bubbles in soda.

These gas bubbles are teeny-tiny, and they get trapped in the batter. As your cake bakes, these little bubbles expand and make your cake rise. That's why your cake becomes soft and airy, not dense like a rock.

So, remember, baking soda is like the bubble maker. Mixing it with sour stuff works its magic and makes your baked goodies rise and taste amazing!

Advantages of Baking Soda:
  • Quick Leavening: Baking soda works quickly, so it's ideal for recipes that need rapid rising, like pancakes and muffins.
  • Deep Browning: Baking soda aids in browning, giving cookies and bread crusts a rich, golden colour.
  • Tangy Flavors: Baking soda's reaction with acids can contribute a tangy flavour to baked goods, enhancing taste profiles.
Essential Points to Note:
  • Acidic Ingredients: Baking soda requires an acidic ingredient to activate its leavening properties.
  • Use in Moderation: Too much baking soda can produce a metallic or bitter taste in your baked goods.

Baking Powder:

Baking powder is another essential leavening agent in baking. It consists of baking soda, an acid (usually cream of tartar), and a starch. There are two types of baking powder: single-acting and double-acting. The most common type is double-acting, which releases carbon dioxide gas in two stages—once when mixed with wet ingredients and again when exposed to heat during baking.

Advantages of Baking Powder:
  • Controlled Rise: Baking powder provides a more controlled rise, making it suitable for recipes with a predictable texture, like cakes and biscuits.

  • Versatility: Unlike baking soda, baking powder doesn't require an additional acid in the recipe to work, making it more versatile in various baked goods.

Essential Points to Note:
  • Check Expiration: Baking powder has a limited shelf life. Expired baking powder won't yield the desired rise, so always check the expiration date.

  • Type Matters: Pay attention to the type of baking powder your recipe calls for (single-acting or double-acting) to achieve the intended result.

When to Use Which:

Baking Soda: Use baking soda in recipes with acidic ingredients, such as buttermilk, yoghurt, or citrus juices. It's great for recipes that need quick leavening and browning.

Baking Powder: Choose baking powder when there aren't enough acidic ingredients in your recipe or when you want a more controlled rise. It's suitable for a wide range of baked goods.


It is crucial to understanding the difference between baking soda and baking powder for successful baking. Knowing when and how to use these leavening agents will help you achieve the perfect texture and flavour in your baked treats, whether you're whipping up pancakes, cookies, or cakes. So, next time you're in the kitchen, you'll be ready to create mouthwatering baked delights that rise to perfection!

About the author 


Bakedemy is an online baking academy with a mission to empower millions of baking enthusiasts, students, working professionals or homemakers with professional skills of baking at home for self-consumption or starting their baking business.

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