The Difference Between Baking Powder And Baking Soda, In One Simple Chart

06/01/2015 07:00 am ET | Updated Oct 28, 2015

The difference between baking powder and baking soda is an enigma that has plagued the home baker since the dawn of time -- or at least since the introduction of these two chemical leaveners. They both make things rise without the need for persnickety yeast. They show up in a lot of recipes -- sometimes together, sometimes not. But what exactly is the difference? And what does each do?

That mystery is going to be solved right here, right now. With cookies. Tessa from Handle The Heat not only put together a whole post and video explaining in great detail the difference between the two leaveners, but she also shows us the difference in cookies. (Clearly, she speaks our language.) Here it is:

baking powder

The cookies made with just baking powder were cake-y and puffed. The cookies made with baking soda were like a typical cookie. But the ones made with both produced the best results, according to Tessa. They were crisp at the edges, soft in the middle, with a good amount of spread. If that's not scientific enough for you, check out her video below. Or, take a look at this graphic to truly understand the nitty gritty.

Credit: Clabber Girl

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