Today we are going to reveal to you what is the difference between baking soda and powder. The short answer to this question is acid. But this can make a great difference for baked products, so this is the explanation.

Baking soda contains only one ingredient which is sodium bicarbonate. This is a base that has a reaction when it has a contact with acids, such as vinegar, buttermilk or yogurt. This process produces carbon dioxide in the shape of bubbles, similar to liquid foam.

When you make baked goods, this process is known as “chemical leavening,” since the trapped carbon dioxide makes the batter or dough rise. However when baking soda is in contact with acid, it reacts pretty much immediately. And this is a problem. For numerous baking goods, you need a longer reaction, so that this rising doesn’t happen at once.

All types of baking powder contain sodium bicarbonate. However, baking powder contains two acids. One of them is monocalcium phosphate. This acid doesn’t get into a reaction with the sodium bicarbonate when it is dry.

What is Baking soda?

When a recipe lists baking soda as an ingredients, it usually means that it needs some kind of acid. Like brown sugar, buttermilk, yogurt, vinegar, lemon juice, cream of tartar, applesauce, molasses, honey or a natural cocoa powder.

You need such acid in order to react with the baking soda, which then creates carbon dioxide and allows the baked goods to rise. Baking soda is powerful. Actually, it is 3 to 4 times more powerful than the baking powder. Needing more baking soda for a recipe doesn’t mean greater lift. A lot of baking soda and not enough acid quantities means that there will be leftover baking soda in your recipe.

What is Baking Powder?

Baking soda is contained in baking powder. Baking powder is a mix of baking soda and the cream of tartar, and it can sometimes contain cornstarch. Nowadays, most baking powders are double acting. Thus, the first leavening happens when the baking powder becomes wet– when you mix the wet and the dry ingredients. The second one happens when you heat the baking powder. Because baking powder contains acid to neutralize the baking soda, it’s usually used when the recipe does not need an additional acid ingredient.

Also You Can Use Both of Them in:

So this means that in some cases one agent is just not enough to rise your baked product, so you need to use them both. You can use the baking soda to rise the batter of your cake and give it some brown color, and then use the baking powder to rise it while the cake is heating in the oven.