Oops! That was baking soda,
not baking powder

sodaI was making a carrot cake for my brother’s birthday over the weekend and after I added the baking powder into the mix, I realized the recipe called for baking soda.
At this point, it was too late to start over. The party was in a few hours and I didn’t have time to buy new ingredients.
I knew soda and powder were leaveners, but I didn’t know the difference. In a panic, I added the four teaspoons of baking soda listed in the recipe to the two teaspoons of baking powder already in the mix.
I poured the cake mixture into a pan and put it in the oven to cook for an hour. I immediatley started googling the subject to find out what to expect from using too much leavener.
Thanks to Simple RecipesI learned that baking soda is made of sodium bicarbonate and is a base. Baking powder is a baking soda mixed with an acid like cream of tartar. Apparently, I could have used three times the amount of baking powder (twelvet teaspoons) instead of using the baking soda.
As I watched the cake cooking, it looked great until about 10 minutes before it was done. Because there was too much leavener in the cake, it had risen a little too much and the middle collapse about a quarter of an inch.
carrot cakeFortunately, the flavor and texture were still great. The cream cheese frosting hid any of the imperfections and no one ever complains about having too much cream cheese frosting.

Lessons learned:

  • Read recipe closely
  • Baking soda needs acid in the recipe to work
  • Baking soda adds a slight salty flavor to a dish
  • You can replace baking soda with baking power, but you can’t replace packing powder with baking soda
  • When enough cream cheese frosting, almost anything is edible.