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Difference Between Baking Powder and Baking Soda

Baking powder and baking soda are both leavening agents. Both these two products are used in dough to make it rise. While both the products look similar, but there are some differences between baking powder and baking soda.

What is Baking Powder? 

Baking powder is a powdered chemical leavening agent that includes sodium bicarbonate and a weak acid(a dry acid like cream of tartar or cornstarch). Since baking powder already contains an acid, it only needs a liquid to become activated. Baking powder is used in dough to increase its volume and lightening the texture of baked items.

Recipe that includes Baking powder : Carrot Cake

What is Baking Soda? 

Baking soda is widely used in baking as a leavening agent as it causes dough to rise. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda which is a base. Therefore baking soda requires an acid and a liquid to become activated. Therefore recipes that includes baking soda also includes an acidic ingredient such as lemon juice or vinegar.

Recipe that includes Baking soda : Dhokla Recipe

Difference between Baking powder and Baking soda :

  1. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, while baking powder includes baking soda and an acid. 
  2. Baking soda is base, while baking powder includes an acid. 
  3. Baking soda is 3-4 times stronger than baking powder. 
  4. Baking soda requires an acid and a liquid to become activated. Whereas, baking powder requires only a liquid to become activated  

Can we use Baking powder instead of Baking soda or vice versa :

  • We can substitute baking soda with baking powder but we need to lessen the amount of baking soda by 3 times. But we must increase the amount of acidic ingredient. 
  • We can substitute baking soda with baking powder by increasing the amount of baking powder by 3-4 times as baking soda is stronger than baking powder. 


  1. We often get confused on baking soda and baking powder ! Very useful post Rumi ba ..


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