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 Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder

Learn the differences between Baking Soda and Baking Powder.

How they work and affect your baking. Be a better baker by learning these fundamentals!

What are they?

Baking powder and baking soda are both chemical leaveners that work to create light textures in baked pastries .

Although baking powder actually contains baking soda, the two leaveners are very different. 

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural alkaline ingredient activated by liquid and acid.

Naturally acidic ingredients that will activate baking soda:

Like -Buttermilk, Sour cream,Yogurt,Lemon juice,Honey,Cocoa powder, Brown sugar etc.

There must be some acidic ingredient in the recipe for baking soda to function. Baking soda begins to leaven as soon as it touches liquid so if you wait too long before baking you may notice a decrease in leavening effect. If you use too much baking soda, you may taste an unpleasant metallic flavor in your food. Baking soda also helps by elevating pH levels. Your baking soda must be fresh to work properly, However, baking soda can loose its effectiveness even before the expiration date. So as soon you open it, don't store it for too long.

Test for freshness

Placing 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a bowl and pour 1 teaspoon of  vinegar on top. If the baking soda immediately bubbles , it is fresh. If nothing happens, discard it & buy a new one.

Baking Powder

Baking powder is a combination of baking soda, acid, and cornstarch. Most baking powder available in the market today are double acting & single acting. Unlike baking soda, baking powder doesn’t require an acid to activate, only moisture.

Test for freshness

Scoop 1 teaspoon of baking powder into a 1 cup of very hot water . If it bubbles up, the baking powder is fresh. If nothing happens, discard it.

Their Strength

It’s important to understand that baking soda is four times stronger than baking powder. Dis means 1tsp of baking powder will raise a cup of flour while 1/4tsp of B.S do the same.