Baking Powder vs Baking Soda
Baking powder is made of sodium bicarbonate, AKA baking soda, cream of tartar, and sometimes cornstarch. Yes, baking soda is an ingredient in baking powder. There are two common types of baking powder, single-acting and double-acting. Single-acting baking powder requires only moisture to activate it or trigger it to release the gasses that cause baked goods to rise. Double-acting baking powder, the most common type, releases a little gas when it’s mixed with a liquid and more when it’s heated, giving you two shots to leaven your baked good.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) requires a liquid and an acid in order to activate its leavening (rising) powers. The acid can be buttermilk, citrus juice, sour cream, honey or molasses. Once baking soda is mixed with a liquid and acid, it will start producing carbon dioxide gas so it should be baked immediately before the gas escapes from your batter or dough, leaving your baked goods flat.
Some recipes call for both baking soda and baking powder when the leavening action from one isn’t enough.
Test your leaveners with one of these delicious recipes:
The tools section may contain affiliate links to products we know and love.