Baking Powder vs Baking Soda – Things to Know
Baking powder and baking soda are some of the most used leavening agents in baking. Both make baked goods rise and have a lot in common but are often confused. But, have you thought about replacing the baking powder with baking soda or baking soda with baking powder? If you have, you probably found that your recipe didn’t turn out the way you expected. You can’t substitute one for the other.
Baking powder is a dry leavening agent the same as baking soda with an added mixture of carbonate, which is a mildly acidic compound. Different brands of baking powder use different additives. The most common one is cream of tartar. Some brands use cornstarch or potato starch. For the baking powder to react, you must add moisture. If you substitute baking soda for baking powder, the dough will not rise. If you are using “Double-Acting Baking Powder” in addition to moisture, the heat will give you greater power of the leaving agent. Baking powder is often used in muffin recipes, cakes and gluten-free biscuit recipes because it creates a soft light texture.
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, needs an acid, not moisture, to be activated. So when you add lemon juice for example, it produces carbon dioxide causing the dough to rise. Baking soda is excellent for recipes that use buttermilk, lemon juice, yogurt, fruit juices, brown sugar, maple syrup and cocoa powder. Even honey contains many kinds of acids, however different types and their amounts vary depending on the type of honey. Any ingredient that has the presence of acid will create a chemical reaction activating the leaving agent. Baking Soda is often used in cookies, keeping them crunchy and textured. Also, Baking Soda has many other uses. Please check out the many uses and health benefits of Baking Soda here .
Is Baking Powder and Baking Soda Gluten-Free?
Baking powder, in the past, manufacturers added wheat starch, which would add gluten to the baking powder. Today most manufacturers add starches such as corn or potato, both of which are naturally gluten-free. So it is essential to check the label for additives or allergens. Also, some brands add aluminum to baking powder. Be sure to look for baking powder labelled aluminum-free and gluten-free. Some studies show that people exposed to high levels of aluminum may develop Alzheimers’ disease. Pure baking soda has only one ingredient making it naturally gluten-free. Also, there is no aluminum in baking soda, as there may be in some brands of baking powder. To be sure that there is absolutely no gluten exposure, buy a brand of Baking Soda that is produced in a 100% gluten-free facility.
Substitute Baking Powder for Baking Soda and Vice-Versa
If you don’t have baking powder on hand, you can make your own. Combine one teaspoon of baking soda with two teaspoons of cream of tartar. Use it immediately because storing it will activate the reaction prematurely. To replace baking soda in recipes, use triple the amount of baking powder. So, for every teaspoon of baking soda, use three teaspoons of baking powder. However, the results will not be ideal. The dough may rise too fast and then fall before baking is completed. It is best to use baking powder and baking soda as per recipes for the best results!
Storing and Shelf Life
Store them in a cool, dry place in sealed containers. I recommend replacing them between 6 – 9 months because they will lose their potency.
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