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Baking Soda Vs Baking Powder: Cakes 101

We’re not scientists at Fate Cakes, but we surely know a heck a lot about baking cake! And to put is in logical terms – baking=science; science=cool reactions; which must deduce to baking=cool!

Most recipes you make at home equally call for either baking soda and baking powder and sometimes it may seem as easy to just substitute one for the other when in a bind, but like most things in life – only if it was that simple. They may seem like such similar ingredients that there can’t be much difference between the two, but you friend, are wrong! Here’s the simple and to-the-point run down on both Baking Soda and Baking Powder:

Baking Powder
This white powder is sometimes stiff in texture if not sealed in an air-tight container, but it’s scientific makeup doesn’t change. Sodium Bicarbonate, by day, this ingredient really packs a punch! When mixed with heat and an acidic pair, it creates Carbon Dioxide which in laymens terms means it gives that cake all the lil’ air bubbles needed to rise, baby rise!

You may thing Baking Soda will be that key ingredient to help your recipes make full and tall show stoppers, but don’t forget, Baking Soda creates a strong metallic taste after creating all those gas bubbles and doing all that scientific stuff while in the oven. If it’s not matched with the correct acidic pairing while baking, it will leave your cake with a not-so-appetizing cake.

Baking Powder
This key ingredient, much like it’s sister, Baking Soda, activates almost immediately after adding it to your batter or dough. It’s important to note, most recipes must be placed in the oven pretty much instantly after preparing it.

Powder is most predominately used in most cake and biscuit recipes and it might be surprising to learn the powder contains it’s other-half, baking soda. Powder also comes in two forms (as if this wasn’t already enough science to understand), there is a ‘single-acting’ and ‘double-acting’ option, where the ‘double-acting’ means: once it’s combined with other ingredients it will produce a small amount of Carbon Dioxide at first, but the majority of the gas will be caused by the heat from your oven.

This ingredient has a less metallic taste to it after baked because it already has the acidic ingredient added, which means you won’t have to worry about a not so tasty treat.

Substituting
The rule of thumb here is if you have to substitute – powder can be used for soda because it already uses soda as an ingredient, but because soda lacks the acidity it will not work the same. To use powder in place of soda you will need more powder in the recipe and to make your own baking powder you can simply combine soda and cream of tartar.

Science can be a confusing and overwhelming subject to master. We may not be experts in chemistry (Yea, pretty sure all our bakers fell asleep during science class), but we are experienced bakers. Leave the creativity and the tastiness to Fate Cakes for your next party and let us worry about all that science stuff!

Click here to learn more about our Cupcake Services and Cake Services or just give us a ring to discuss any questions about our catering options and pricing. (614) 219.9429