Baking powder and yeast both introduce bubbles into your bakes - the essential ingredient for lightness and a good rise - but each has unique characteristics and applications.
Is baking soda the same as baking powder?
Baking powder is a leavening agent that consists of a combination of acid (usually cream of tartar) and bicarbonate of soda. Most novice bakers have googled: “is baking soda the same as baking powder?” at some point. The difference is cream of tartar. Confused? You won’t be!
- Baking soda is exactly the same as bicarbonate of soda, just with a different name.
- Baking powder is bicarbonate of soda plus cream of tartar.
Baking powder reacts to liquid and heat to produce carbon dioxide, creating the much coveted bubbles that make cakes rise. Baking powder is essential in recipes where a rapid and even rise is needed, like sponge cakes, muffins, and American-style pancakes.
Yeast is a living microorganism that ferments sugars and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol and is responsible for the rise, texture, and complex flavour of breads and other yeasted doughs. Yeast requires time to ferment, so yeasted doughs usually involve longer rising or proving times, so the yeast can work its magic.