Can I substitute baking soda for baking powder? (Or is it the other way around?)

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You are not alone if you have ever wondered whether you could substitute baking soda for baking powder. This is an excellent question that many people have asked! What, after all, is the difference between baking soda and baking powder?

Is it possible to swap them? What role do they perform in baking? All of these (and more) questions will be addressed right here!

What Is Baking Soda?

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is an alkaline chemical used as a leavener in baking. When baking soda reacts with an acidic substance (such as vinegar, cream of tartar, or lemon juice), it begins to bubble and emits carbon dioxide gas.

If this reaction occurs when baking soda is present in a batter or dough, the gas will get trapped within the batter, causing it to puff up, rise, and expand. As a result, baking soda is often employed as a leavener.

Baking soda, when heated, will also generate a gas. When baking soda is heated above 80 degrees, it emits gas without the help of an acid.

Another reason it is often used to assist batters and doughs rise in baking is because it begins to respond as soon as the meal is placed in a hot oven!

When to Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is often used to leaven soft mixtures such as pancakes, muffins, and cakes. Baking soda is more likely to appear in the list of ingredients when a batter is runnier and does not retain its form.

Since baking soda reacts so rapidly, it may help a loose batter rise swiftly before being put in place by the heat of the oven. A firmer dough does not need a rapid acting leavener since it may keep its form without being promptly leavened and set.

Hence, if you’re making bread dough, you’re unlikely to find baking soda among the ingredients. Baking soda, on the other hand, is likely to be one of the components in a very soft, liquidy batter fast bread, such as banana bread.

What Is Baking Powder?

Baking powder is a combination of acids and alkalis, often consisting of calcium acid phosphate, cream of tartar, or sodium aluminum sulfate, as well as sodium bicarbonate.

To initiate a chemical reaction in baking powder, just add some water or another liquid to the powder. Carbon dioxide is quickly released, creating air bubbles that cause doughs and batters to rise.

Heat will also aid in the reaction of baking powder, producing additional carbon dioxide gas. The pressure from the air bubbles causes the baked item to swiftly rise and then set in the oven.

There are three types of baking powder, each of which is somewhat different. The first is double-acting baking powder, which emits gas when exposed to moisture and then again when exposed to high heat (having two reactions). This is also the most used kind of baking powder.

The next form of baking powder is tartrate, which is a single action baking powder that releases gas only when heated. The third kind is phosphate, which is a single-reaction, slow-acting baking powder.

These two single release versions are rare to obtain in shops, and although they have baking benefits in that you can regulate when the most carbon dioxide is produced, they are increasingly being replaced in all recipes by double acting baking powder.

When to Use Baking Powder

Baking powder is often used in baked products, particularly ones that do not include an acidic element. Since baking powder already includes an acid, there is no need to include one in the recipe to aid in the chemical reaction of the baking powder.

Baking powder may be found in a variety of cookie dough recipes, cake batters, and thicker batters in general.

Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda

Now that you understand the fundamentals of baking powder and baking soda, it’s time to compare the two—the moment you’ve been waiting for!


To begin, baking soda has just one ingredient: sodium bicarbonate. Baking powder is a combination of chemicals, one of which being sodium bicarbonate. Since baking soda is just one component, it requires something else to leaven baked products.

A baking soda recipe must also include some form of acid in order to achieve the necessary chemical reaction. Baking powder, on the other hand, has the ability to leaven a batter or dough on its own.


Another distinction is that baking soda is a much more potent leavener than baking powder. Baking soda is four times more potent than baking powder.

This implies that one teaspoon of baking powder will raise one cup of flour, while just a teaspoon of baking soda would.

This is important to remember when measuring ingredients and evaluating recipes. Another reason to be cautious while reaching for ingredients- you don’t want to accidentally put baking soda in instead of baking powder!


The second distinction between baking soda and baking powder is the timing of the chemical reaction that causes the leavener to emit carbon dioxide.

When baking soda comes into touch with an acid, it begins to react (imagine constructing a volcano at school with baking soda and vinegar- the second the two come together, poof! There are bubbles everywhere).

This natural response, though, might be problematic. You may not want to start making bubbles in your batter straight soon. Many times, a protracted response is required to enable the rise to occur over time. This is when baking powder should be used.

Most baking powder is double-acting, which means it will produce carbon dioxide gas while moist and then have another powerful reaction when heated in the oven. This twofold reaction is caused by two types of acids in baking powder that react to separate elements.

Adding baking powder allows your batter to rise for a longer length of time, resulting in more bubbles while the baked product cooks and fluffier dishes.

Another advantage of the delayed response time is that you may create batters and doughs using baking powder ahead of time, refrigerate or freeze them, and utilize them later.

If you do this with a batter that just includes baking soda as a leavener, the meal will not rise correctly or at all if cooked hours or days after the batter was made.

The major reaction of the baking soda will have already happened, and there will be no liquid available to make the batter rise.

Do Baking Soda and Baking Powder Expire?

Although baking soda and baking powder can never completely go bad, they will gradually lose their leavening powder. Both compounds respond to heat, so if they stay on a shelf for years, exposed to high humidity and dramatic temperature fluctuations, their efficacy will deteriorate.

However, there is a simple technique to check whether the components are still good and will produce the desired chemical reaction when blended into your dough or batter.

3 cup of hot water. If the baking powder has a lot of bubbles, it is fresh and ready to use. To test baking powder, combine one teaspoon of baking powder with one teaspoon of water.

Place a teaspoon of baking soda in a small bowl and add a tiny bit of lemon juice or vinegar to see whether it is still good. It is still safe to use if forceful bubbles appear immediately!

Are Baking Soda and Baking Powder Interchangeable?

Baking soda and baking powder are not interchangeable in their basic form. One requires an acid to trigger a chemical reaction and is more stronger, but the other takes a bigger amount to make a batter rise but has a longer reaction time to produce exceptionally fluffy baked items.

Yet, there are times when baking powder or baking soda may be substituted for one another. All you need to know is what to use!

Using Baking Powder in Place of Baking Soda

It is really rather easy to replace baking soda with baking powder. Since baking powder contains baking soda, you’re almost halfway there!

Just add 3 teaspoons of baking powder for every 1 teaspoon of baking soda called for in a recipe. That may seem to be a lot, but bear in mind that baking powder is weaker than baking soda and will need more to produce the same chemical reaction.

Using Baking Soda in Place of Baking Powder

If you want to use baking soda instead of baking powder, you must add an acid to the recipe to assist the baking soda achieve the necessary chemical reaction. But this is simple!

The most simple method is to make baking powder by combining one part baking soda and two parts cream of tartar. To make one tablespoon of baking powder, mix one teaspoon baking soda and two tablespoons cream of tartar.

You may even construct a baking soda and baking powder mixture to use whenever a recipe asks for baking powder.

As you can see, baking soda and baking powder have many similarities, and they are both necessary for making lovely, fluffy baked products. There are methods to swap one for the other, but it’s not as easy as using the identical measures.

When you need to substitute baking soda for baking powder, or vice versa, prepare a suitable mix, double-check your amounts, and then resume baking! I am certain you will achieve great success!


Can you substitute baking soda for baking powder or vice versa?

Baking soda may be used in place of baking powder in recipes, and vice versa. Therefore, you must use caution when swapping one for the other. Never immediately exchange them in a one-to-one ratio. Baking soda has around three to four times the leavening power of baking powder.

What happens if I use baking soda instead of baking powder?

This is because baking soda is not a replacement for baking powder. If you substitute baking soda for baking powder in your baked products, they will lose their lift and your pancakes will be flatter than, well, pancakes.

Can I use baking soda instead of baking powder the same?

You could be tempted to use baking powder and baking soda interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Although baking powder includes bicarbonate of soda, often known as baking soda or sodium bicarbonate, the two react differently in cooking and cannot be interchanged.

What can I use if I don’t have baking powder?

10 Quick Substitutes for Baking Powder and Buttermilk. Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product with a sour, somewhat acidic flavor that is sometimes likened to plain yogurt. Yogurt, like buttermilk, is made by fermenting milk…. Molasses…. Cream of Tartar…. Sour Milk…. Vinegar…. Lemon Juice…. Club Soda.
More to come…

What if a recipe calls for both baking powder and baking soda?

Baking powder and baking soda are both required in certain recipes. These recipes include acid (yogurt, brown sugar, etc. ), but the carbon dioxide produced by the acid and baking soda is insufficient to leaven the volume of batter in the recipe. That is why baking powder is used—to provide the required lift.

What is a substitute for 1 tablespoon of baking powder?

2 tablespoons baking soda to level out the base. Make use of Baking Soda

Baking soda is three times stronger than baking powder, so if a recipe asks for 1 tbsp baking powder, use 1 tsp baking soda instead. You will also need to add 1 teaspoon of an acid (such as vinegar or lemon juice) for every 1 teaspoon of sugar.

How much baking soda instead of baking powder?

One teaspoon of baking powder is equal to three teaspoons of baking soda. Remember that baking soda has three times the strength of baking powder, so 1 teaspoon

Can you replace baking powder with baking soda in pancakes?

4 teaspoon of cornstarch. 1 teaspoon baking soda, 12 teaspoon cream of tartar The simplest substitution for 1 teaspoon of baking powder in your pancake mix is a mixture of 1 teaspoon

Will something still bake without baking powder?

Cookies and banana bread may be made without baking soda or baking powder. It’s vital to remember that your batter or dough will not rise when cooked in the oven, resulting in thick, dense sweets.

Can I bake a cake without baking powder or baking soda?

Just substitute it for ordinary flour and proceed with the remainder of the recipe as usual. You may also use beaten egg whites instead of baking powder and soda to produce a light and airy texture for your cake. Whipping egg whites produces little air bubbles that contribute to the fluffiness of a cake.

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