Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder

It’s one of those things, where quite a number of people don’t know the difference between baking soda and baking powder.

I think we all are a little confused as to when to use each ingredient, and when to use them both.

These questions may seem complicated due to chemistry involve in both products, but we’re going to explain the difference as simple as we can. First, have a quick look at the below picture. 

I think you can already tell from this that baking powder is a little thicker than baking soda.


What is baking soda?

Baking soda is a rising ingredient. It is mainly used for rising both bread and its dough. Usually, it is activated when mixed with natural ingredients including but not limited to butter, curd, lemon or even vinegar.

You cannot do without baking soda if you want your dough to rise nicely. 

This is why baking soda is used for many different types of recipes such as home-bread, baguettes, Naan, pancakes or bhatura (Indian old type of bread).

One thing you really need to know is that, If you put more baking soda in your dough than necessary, you’ll end up with a product that will have a bitter taste.

So the key to using this type of soda powder is to ensure that you read the recipe carefully and use make sure you use the recommended amount of baking soda.

The equation is simple:

  • Too much baking soda and you get your bread bitter.
  • Using the right amount and you’ll get a nice piece of bread with no bitterness.
  • Too little of this powder and your bread will not rise.

So, stick to the recipe, though you can still experience a little bit if you feel like being a rebel :).

What is baking powder?

Baking powder is a powder that we are all used to use in our kitchen without even knowing what it really is.

Simply put, baking powder is a dry chemical leavening agent. In other words, it is a powder mixture that consists of a carbonate or bicarbonate and a weak type of acid.

As per the baking soda, it is used to increase the volume and lighten the texture of baked goods.

The main difference lies in the fact that baking powder is mainly used for cakes. 

In essence, it is a double-acting rising agent. It does activate itself when in contact with the batter or dough, but it does better activate when it is heated.

It is best to use baking powder for recipes that don’t contain acidic ingredients. For instance, it’s best to use baking powder when we do not use lemon, vinegar or curd.

When to use both powders?

This is where it gets interesting. One would think that we can only use one powder or the other.

Well, this is not always the case. Sometimes you may be faced with a situation where one single powder is not enough to support the rise of your batter and/or dough.

In these special cases, you are welcome to use both powders. Obviously, you need to use these in the right proportions as per your recipes. But you’ll find that only a few recipes need both powders.

Note that baking soda is often used to give your dough a brown color. When this is the case, baking powder will be used to raise the dough. As such, you’ll use both powders to their strength. One to provide you with the brown color and the other one to ensure a nice rise occurs when heated up.

Et voila!


You know much more than most people about these two powders. Now you just need to start baking cakes and bread so that you can experience both powders and how they make your bread rise so nice and crunchy.

One last piece of advice, do not use too much of the rising powers, just enough to get the rising chemistry to work and not too much to get a bitter taste. 

Back to you

Enjoy your baking sessions and do not forget to get your children involved and teach them about baking soda and baking powder. 

I am sure you’ll enjoy teaching them the difference while baking. And the good news is that you’ll be able to eat your own bread and cake while having fun.

Take care and speak soon on omigy.com.


error: Content is protected !!