Can I Use Baking Soda Instead of Baking Powder? (Or Vice Versa?)

There are many different types of baking powders on the market. Some people might wonder if they can use baking soda as a substitute for baking powder.

The answer is yes, you can use baking soda as a substitute for baking powder, but there are a few things you need to know. Baking soda is stronger than baking powder, so you need to use less of it.

 Baking soda is just a combination of sodium bicarbonate and water. It’s made by heating a solution of sodium carbonate with water.

As soon as you add the baking soda to a recipe, the baking soda starts to react. The reaction between the baking soda and the liquid ingredients causes the baking soda to release carbon dioxide gas. This causes the leavening agents in the dough to expand, making the baked good rise

What is baking soda?

Baking soda is an alkaline compound that is commonly used in baking as a leavener. When baking soda mixes with something acidic (vinegar, cream of tartar or lemon juice, for example), it will begin to bubble and produce a carbon dioxide gas.

If you have a baking soda reaction when mixing the baking soda with other ingredients, the gas bubbles are trapped inside the batter.

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When the baking soda comes into contact with the flour or other ingredients, it causes the batter to rise and expand.

Baking soda is one of the most important ingredients when baking. It helps a batter or dough to rise and, when heated, to release carbon dioxide gas.

When to Use Baking Soda

In order to make soft batters hold their shape, it is important that your batter be free of air pockets. When you add a pinch of baking soda to a batter, this helps the batter expand to create the right amount of leavening.

Baking soda reacts really quickly when mixed with liquid, and that can cause it to rise fast, which will allow the heat of the oven to set the batter. This works especially well for a stiff batter like pizza dough.

So if you are making a bread dough, you won’t see baking soda in the ingredients list. However, if you are baking a very soft, liquidy batter like banana bread, for example, baking soda will probably be one of the ingredients.

What Is Baking Powder?

What Is Baking Soda? Baking Soda is a blend of sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate. It’s used in baking, as an alternative to cream of tartar or soda ash, and is the main ingredient in most lemon-based baking powders.

You can cause a chemical reaction in baking powder by adding any liquid to it, such as water, milk or buttermilk, which will immediately release carbon dioxide and cause air bubbles which will make doughs and batters rise.

In order to prevent the baking soda from reacting with other ingredients in the dough, the dough should not be mixed at room temperature.

Mixing the dough at too high a temperature will produce little gas and result in a tough, dense, flat baked good.

There are three different kinds of baking soda: double-acting baking soda, instant baking soda, and soda fountain baking powder.

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Double-acting baking soda will release gas the moment it comes in contact with moisture and again when it is exposed to high heat.

This is also the most commonly used type of baking powder. The next kind of baking powder is tartrate which is a single acting baking powder, releasing gas only when it is exposed to heat. The third type of baking powder is phosphate which is a slow acting, single reaction baking powder.

It is hard to find these in stores and, while they may be better for your bread, they are being largely replaced by double-acting baking powder in all recipes.

When to Use Baking Powder

When to Use Baking Soda. Baking soda is used as a leavening agent for foods such as cookies, breads, cakes, and muffins. It helps the baked goods rise and also provides a slightly tangy taste.

You’ll need baking powder in all sorts of cookie dough recipes, cake batters, and other thicker batter dishes.

Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda

When it comes to baking, there are two main ingredients that you need to know: baking powder and baking soda. Baking powder is a leavening agent, while baking soda is a base.

In most cases, you can use either one interchangeably, but there are a few key differences between the two that you should be aware of.

Baking powder is made up of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), an acid, and cornstarch. When you add liquid to baking powder, the acid and baking soda react to create carbon dioxide gas.

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This gas will help your baked goods rise and give them a light and fluffy texture. Baking powder is double-acting, which means that it starts to work as soon as it comes into contact with moisture and continues to work over time.


The main ingredient in baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Since baking soda is only made up of one ingredient it needs something else to help it leaven baked goods. That other thing is baking powder.

A recipe with baking soda will need some kind of acid in it in order to produce the chemical reaction needed. Baking powder, on the other hand, can leaven a batter or dough all on its own.


Baking soda is strong and much more potent than baking powder. If you’re looking to create an aerated cake, you can use a mixture of one part baking soda and three parts water. This is a very strong leavener and will ensure that the cake rises well.

It’s important to consider the measurements of ingredients when using them in recipes. It’s also a good idea to be careful when measuring ingredients because it’s easy to accidentally use baking soda rather than baking powder.


Timing. The next difference between baking soda and baking powder is when the chemical reaction that causes the leavener to release carbon dioxide occurs.

Baking soda will start reacting the moment that it comes into contact with an acid, while baking power starts working as soon as it comes in contact with moisture, allowing you to get a baked good in the oven quicker.

Bubbles everywhere. However, this automatic reaction can be a problem. You might not want to create bubbles within your batter right away. You might need an extended reaction, allowing the rising to take place over time.

Baking powder has its advantages and disadvantages, which makes it worth knowing what each kind of baking powder does. Most baking powder is double acting so it will create carbon dioxide gas when it first gets wet and then have another strong reaction again when it heats up in the oven.

This double reaction is thanks to the two kinds of acids in the baking powder that respond to different elements.

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Using baking powder will help your batter rise and bubble for a longer period of time. That means your baked goods will cook and rise more.

Another benefit is that you can make your batter and doughs ahead of time, store them in the refrigerator or freezer, and use them later.

When you make a sponge cake, you’re basically making a big version of cupcake batter. The difference is that the batter is mixed with a small amount of milk instead of oil or butter and a small amount of baking soda to produce a “leavener” that keeps the batter from getting soggy.

Do Baking Soda and Baking Powder Expire?

Baking soda and baking powder go bad after years of exposure to heat and extreme weather conditions. They will also lose their potency over time if exposed to extreme humidity and temperature fluctuations.

There’s an easy way to tell if the ingredients in your bread dough and batter are good. To test baking powder, mix one teaspoon of baking powder into 1/3 cup of hot water.

To test the freshness of baking powder, place ¼ teaspoon of baking powder in a small bowl. Add a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar to the baking soda. The solution should bubble if baking powder is fresh and not expired.

If vigorous bubbles occur instantaneously, it is still fine to use.

Are Baking Soda and Baking Powder Interchangeable?

Do Baking Soda and Baking Powder Have Similar Uses? While the two products are not exactly interchangeable, they can be used interchangeably for certain types of recipes, but one is much more powerful than the other.

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There are ways to use baking powder or baking soda in place of each other when baking, just remember to know which one to use when you’re in the process of baking.

Using Baking Powder in Place of Baking Soda

Using Baking Powder in Place of Baking Soda. While baking soda is not hard to replace with baking powder, it is fairly simple to do so.

Since baking powder has baking soda in it already, it is nearly complete as far as baking soda replacement goes.

For every 1 teaspoon of baking soda a recipe calls for, just use three teaspoons of baking powder. Baking powder is not as strong as baking soda so you’ll need to use more in order to get the same chemical reaction going.

Using Baking Soda in Place of Baking Powder

This book is full of easy recipes, tips, and tricks for preparing delicious baked goods and desserts that are both healthy and nutritious.

It’s easy, though! The most basic way to make baking powder is to use one part baking soda and two parts cream of tartar. So, if you need one tablespoon of baking powder, combine one teaspoon baking soda with two teaspoons of cream of tartar.

Both baking soda and baking powder are essential for making perfect baked goods, and while they are both similar, they’re not the same at all. Baking soda can be used in any recipe calling for baking powder and vice versa.

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It’s always possible to replace baking soda for baking powder, but it isn’t as simple as using the same measurements. You’ll need to make a proper mix, check your measurements and then be sure to bake!

If you’re thinking about baking some cookies or baking a cake for a special occasion, the best way to go is with baking soda, instead of using baking powder.

The Chemistry of Baking Soda

How to Make Baking Soda. Baking soda works best in recipes that include acidic components like buttermilk, sour cream, lemon juice, and yogurt. The combination of baking soda and vinegar turns into carbon dioxide. As a result, these ingredients work together to help recipes release their own flavors while also creating a smooth texture.

Honey and molasses are also both acidic, and—believe it or not—so is baking soda. If you make a mistake and replace baking powder for baking soda in a recipe without an acid, there will be no reaction and the dough won’t rise.

The Chemistry of Baking Powder

Baking powder isn’t anything more than baking soda with an acid added to it. Different brands of baking powder use different acids, the most common being cream of tartar (or potassium bitartrate), which is the acid-salt byproduct of winemaking.

A baking powder that contains both a base and an acid reacts only once when moistened. It doesn’t get activated when heated in an oven or griddle. “Double-acting” baking powder gives more leavening power when it comes into contact with liquid, like in a baking recipe.

Subbing Baking Powder for Baking Soda

If you want a more dramatic rise, just skip the baking soda altogether and instead use 1 teaspoon of baking powder for every 1 cup of flour.

Since baking powder is a combination of baking soda and other ingredients, you will be using only one-third of the amount of baking soda in a recipe.

Therefore, you’ll need to triple the amount of baking powder you use in order to achieve full leavening. However, the additional ingredients in the baking powder will cause the batter to rise quickly, and then fall before the aeration has a chance to bake in.

Both ways don’t result in an ideal outcome.

Related FAQ

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

When it comes to leavening agents in baking, there are a few options: baking soda, baking powder, and yeast. Each one has a specific purpose and outcome.

Baking soda is a base that reacts with an acid, such as sour cream, chocolate, or fruit, to produce carbon dioxide gas bubbles. These bubbles help the batter rise and produce a light and airy texture.

Baking powder is made up of baking soda and an acidifying agent like cream of tartar. The two combine to create carbon dioxide gas bubbles when mixed with wet ingredients.

Yeast is a living organism that feeds on sugar and produces carbon dioxide gas as it grows. This gas forms thousands of small bubbles that cause breads and cakes to rise.

What can I use if I dont have baking powder?

In a pinch, you can use baking soda as a leavening agent in place of baking powder. For every teaspoon of baking powder called for in a recipe, replace with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar.

Baking soda is also effective in recipes that call for self-rising flour; just omit the salt from the recipe.

Can I use baking soda instead of baking powder for banana bread?

When it comes to baking, there are a lot of questions about the difference between baking soda and baking powder. Can you use one instead of the other? And if so, which one should you use? Here’s a look at the difference between these two ingredients, and when you should use each.

Baking soda is made up of sodium bicarbonate and an acid, such as cream of tartar. When it’s combined with wet ingredients in a recipe, it starts to react and release carbon dioxide.

This is what causes batters and doughs to rise. Baking powder is also made up of sodium bicarbonate, but it also includes an acidic food like cream of tartar, as well as a starch. This helps to keep the baking soda stable so it doesn’t react until it hits hot liquid in a recipe.

Can I use baking soda instead of baking powder to make pancakes?

There is a lot of debate over whether you can use baking soda in place of baking powder to make pancakes. Some say it works just fine, while others maintain that the end result won’t be as fluffy.

The general consensus seems to be that, if you don’t have any baking powder on hand, you can try using baking soda as a substitute, but it might not work as well. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to give it a try.

Can you use baking soda instead of baking powder for chicken wings?

Baking powder and baking soda are both leaveners, but they work differently. Baking powder is a combination of baking soda, Cream of Tartar (an acid), and cornstarch.

When you add wet ingredients to baking powder, the baking soda starts to release carbon dioxide gas. The gas gets trapped in the dough, and causes it to rise.

Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate. When you add wet ingredients to it, the baking soda starts to release carbon dioxide gas.

This gas will also get trapped in the dough and cause it to rise. So, can you use baking soda instead of baking powder for chicken wings?

Yes, you can! The end result might not be as fluffy as if you had used baking powder, but the chicken wings will still be delicious!

Can I use baking soda instead of baking powder for brownies?

As with most baking recipes, there are a variety of ways to make brownies. One of the most common questions is whether or not you can use baking soda in place of baking powder.

The answer is yes, you can use baking soda instead of baking powder for brownies. However, keep in mind that your results may vary depending on the recipe you are using.

In general, using baking soda in place of baking powder will make your brownies a little denser and more moist.

Additionally, if you are using a recipe that calls for baking powder, it is important to note that you will need to use less baking soda than what is called for in the recipe.

For example, if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of baking powder, you would only need ¼ teaspoon of baking soda.

What is 1 teaspoon of baking soda to baking powder?

Baking soda and baking powder are both leavening agents that make baked goods rise. It is made of sodium bicarbonate, while baking powder is a combination of baking soda, cream of tartar, and cornstarch.

It already contains some baking soda, so you only need to use 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder for each teaspoon of baking soda called for in a recipe.

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