Why do we use baking soda in baking but not baking powder in the same way?

69 viewsChemistryOther

I know that baking soda and baking powder are both used in baking, but they don’t seem to be interchangeable. Why do recipes specifically call for one and not the other? What’s the difference between the two, and how do they affect the outcome of what we’re baking?

In: Chemistry

2 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Baking soda is a pure ingredient; and it relies on other ingredients (acids) in the recipe to activate

Baking powder has been mixed with other ingredients and only requires moisture to complete its reaction

You can see the difference by trying to make volcanos with baking soda or baking powder…..one works with water and one doesn’t; whereas they both work with vinegar or orange juice

Anonymous 0 Comments

Baking Soda is a single substance. It is also known as Sodium Bicarbonate, which is a basic substance (not basic as in plain, but basic as in the opposite of acidic). When other ingredients are naturally acidic, like lemon juice or buttermilk, baking soda is used to balance the acidity, creating gas bubbles in its reaction.

Baking Powder is a mix of Baking Soda and Cream of Tartar (or sometimes other similar chemical). Cream of Tartar is an acidic chemical, which allows the baking soda in the powder to react and create those air bubbles. Importantly though, because both Baking Soda and Cream of Tartar are dry ingredients, they do not react until they get wet, so you can keep them in the same container until it’s time to mix it up.