How To Baking Series: Why Use Baking Soda Versus Baking Powder?


I love creating new living healthy baking recipes for my family and for my healthy baking subscribers. It is so much fun experimenting and creating sweet tasting baked treats that spoil my little pumpkins with great taste and great health. However in order to do this, it is important to know some fundamentals about baking ingredients like the difference between baking soda and baking powder.

Healthy Baking How To Series: When Do You Use Baking Powder, Baking Soda, or Both?

Understanding the difference between baking soda and baking powder is very important when creating new healthy baking recipes.

Why would you use baking soda versus baking powder, and when should you use both baking powder and baking soda?

Have you ever thought about why you are putting in baking soda or baking powder in baking recipes?

Living Healthy Mom Baking Recipes That Use Baking Soda and/or Baking Powder

On the Living Healthy Mom healthy recipe section you will notice that some of my healthy cookies like the “Nutty Buddy Peanut Butter Cookie do not include any baking soda or any baking powder.  Why?

Then other cookie recipes like the Chocolate Chip Cookie “Oh So Chewy” include ONLY baking soda. Why?

Why did the peanut butter cookie have no baking soda or baking powder in it, and the chocolate chip cookie included only baking soda?

Or what about living healthy recipes that include BOTH baking soda and baking powder like the Mango Banana Muffin Madness recipe? Why was this done?

The great news it is EASY to understand the difference between baking soda v baking powder.

Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder?

Both baking soda and baking powder have sodium bicarbonate in them.  The only difference between the two is that baking powder has sodium bicarbonate, in addition to an “acid.” Acids are explained further in the post.

Why Do you Use Baking Soda and/or Baking Powder?

Baking soda and baking powder affect both the “spread” of the baked item, and mainly affect the “rise” of them. Though please note that baking soda and baking powder are only one aspect of the rise and the spread, but they are one of many important factors.

When Should You Use Baking Soda?

Baking soda should be used when there is already an “acid” in the recipe. You may be wondering, “what is an acid?”

An acid in baking includes citrus juices, buttermilk, yogurt, many fruit purees, sour cream, cocoa powder, carob powder and chocolate powder.

If any of these acidic ingredients are in your recipe, then you should include baking soda.

When To Use Baking Powder?

If you have NO acid in your recipe such as citrus, chocolate powder, yogurt or sour cream for example, then you have the choice to add baking powder or not. If you desire more of a LIFT to your baked goods, then adding baking powder will help with this.

When To Use BOTH Baking Soda AND Baking Power

If you already have an acid in your baked goods such as yogurt, I previously  explained why it is important to add baking soda. The question remains, why might you also add baking powder in addition to the baking soda? The answer is if you also want more RISE in your healthy muffins or healthy cookies, or any baked treat for that matter, then also add baking powder in addition to the baking soda.

Healthy Baking Using Baking Soda and Baking Powder

When using whole grains, wheat germ, wheat bran and various other healthy goodies, I often will  include both baking soda and baking powder to give muffins and breads some extra lift. This is optional, just something that I have found to be helpful.

  • Please note, there are exceptions to all of the above rules, but this is a general guideline to understanding the difference between baking soda and baking powder.

Hope you enjoyed this first “healthy how to baking” series.

Cheers to living healthy and raising healthy kids!

Be sure to subscribe, and receive healthy baking recipes and tips in your e-mail or your RSS reader.

Plugin by: PHP Freelancer



Do You Like This Post?
Categories : How To Baking


  1. maria says:

    this was helpful, thanks