Can soda be replaced with baking powder?

Many Christmas cakes are raised with soda, but what do you do if you can’t find soda in the cupboard?

If you run out of soda, you can easily replace it with baking powder. Instead, baking powder can only be replaced with soda in sour doughs. Adobe Stock/AOP

Baking soda and baking powder both act as leavening agents for baked goods, but what’s the difference between the two?

– Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. It produces carbon dioxide and water vapor in the heat of the oven, which make the baked goods rise, said Meira’s product development manager Tarja Aro For already in 2018.

Baking soda requires acidic conditions to work, so it is used for doughs containing acidic ingredients. Buttermilk, yogurt, cream and fruit juices give sourness to the dough.

Baking powder, on the other hand, is a mixture that contains, in addition to baking soda, an acidic raising agent, usually sodium pyrophosphate and starch. For this reason, baking powder can be used more versatilely, i.e. also in doughs that do not have acidity in themselves.

Baking soda can be mixed with flour or an acidic ingredient, while baking powder should always be mixed with flour to get an even result.

This is how you replace successfully

Baking soda can always be replaced with baking powder. You need double the amount of baking powder compared to soda. So if the recipe has one teaspoon of baking soda, you can replace it with two teaspoons of baking powder.

Baking powder can only be replaced with baking soda if there is an acidic ingredient in the dough. In this case, half as much baking soda is added, i.e. one teaspoon of baking soda replaces two teaspoons of baking powder.

If only the last crumbs of both can be found in the cupboard, you can also mix baking soda and baking powder.


Baking powder is usually used 1 teaspoon/2 dl flour, baking soda 0.5 teaspoon/2 dl flour.