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What is the difference between baking powder, baking soda and cream of tartar

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So what is the difference between baking powder, baking soda and cream of tartar? Can I exchange them 1:1? I will get to the bottom of these questions in this article. Thus, in the future there should be no more ambiguity regarding these little wonder weapons of the domestic kitchens.

Once again, I recently stumbled across a question and the subsequent discussion on a very popular social medium, the content of which would also fit well here. If only because there was no solution there. The question was very simple

What is the difference between baking powder and baking soda? Is there a common alternative?

I have not commented there, because almost every second any keyword, without any context and reasoning, were posted (actually I would like to say shot into a vacuum) and a somewhat more detailed answer would have gone down there.

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen Backpulver, Natron und Weinstein


Soda (chemical name sodium hydrogen carbonate – in food quality it has the abbreviation E500ii) is basically nothing more than a natural salt which occurs in carbonic acid. It is commonly known under various names such as Keine Produkte gefunden. – etc.

It is not only a baking soda, but also requires an acidic ingredient (yogurt, citric acid, or the like) + heat so that this process can take place – otherwise it becomes NIX, but it is also used in sherbet powder, in medical products (e.g. against heartburn) or as components of dental care.


Baking powder is a mixture of sodium bicarbonate, something acidic (e.g. citric acid, but mostly diphosphates are used) and a separating agent (flour, starch,…). By means of added liquid and heat (baking in the oven), a chemical process is set in motion to produce carbon dioxide (carbonic acid; not really true, but let’s leave it at the popular name).


The difference is that sodium bicarbonate alone does not work. So you always need another “acidic” ingredient (as mentioned above) to trigger the chemical process to produce bubbles.


… also! I dare to say that >90% of the Keine Produkte gefunden. on the market are gluten-free, because nowadays (for price reasons) nobody uses flour as a separating agent. In today’s time is increasingly on corn starch (the pun is certainly no one noticed, so here the reference) and other edible dust, for example, from rice – tapioca – etc, just with the point of view that a gluten intolerance (celiac disease) is becoming more common and you would be so his product hardly sellable.

A look at the back of the bags brings there fast clarity.

Thus, this apparent plus point is invalid and does not speak for an explicit priority use of baking soda over baking powder.


Basically, it works 1:1, while the reverse is not so, since baking soda still needs an acidic ingredient. So I won’t squeeze a lemon or similar into a cake if it has no place there in terms of taste. Maybe that explains the teaspoon or tablespoon full of lemon juice in the recipe, which you wouldn’t even guess in terms of taste. But it does explain why in American baking recipes acidic foods, such as yogurt or buttermilk, always migrate to their BakingSoda.

If you absolutely want to keep it the other way around, then the rule of thumb is: five grams of baking soda and six tablespoons of acidic ingredient (vinegar, citric acid,…) to 500 grams of flour.


Here I would like to point out 2 representatives of this type

Deer horn salt

WTF? What is this again? In a nutshell, tartar comes from wine/grape juice production and staghorn salt comes from the antlers of the forest horse with horns on the pear, called stag for short.

Both are baking sodas/salts that are not exactly vegan. Tartar baking powder, however, is also available in an animal-free version that can be identified by the labeling provided for it.

Because of its ammonia content, tartaric salt cannot actually be consumed; it only escapes during the baking process. For this reason, it is hardly ever used, if at all. Also, as with pure sodium bicarbonate E500ii, the acid component is missing here.

So that now tartar becomes the leavening agent tartar baking powder in the kitchen it still needs sodium bicarbonate (without which it hardly seems to work) and a separating agent (eg starch). The exact ratio would be 2:1:1 … So tartar is the acid substitute here.

Tartar itself has other great properties in the kitchen: it stabilizes whipped cream, prevents fading of vegetables during cooking and, as a final example, it prevents recrystallization of sugar syrup.


One packet / sachet

Baking soda = 14 grams
Baking powder = 16 grams
tartar baking powder = 21 grams

is enough for 500 grams of flour.


I, with my common palate, do not taste any difference and if I do, it is more subjective than objective. With tartar, for example, a cake does not strike me as “fluffy” as with conventional baking powder. But again, this is just my subjective perception and is already not shared by next of kin.

Finally, I hope that I could once again contribute something to the general confusion and bring you a little closer to the facts!?

Before I forget it…. now the shot of mineral water in some recipes should have been explained to you!? Small tip… Carbonic acid 😉

If you still want to bring additions / corrections or a personal experience on the subject of whether it tastes different, so I would be very happy about your comment under this post on my food blog


Bis jetzt 3 Antworten

  1. Monikaluise Ouda says:

    Danke für deine super Erklärung. Ich wusste es nie welcher Unterschied zwischen den 4 Treibmitteln.
    Liebe Grüße
    Monika us Österreich Linz

    • Basma Gerhartinger says:

      Wawww Vielen dank für deine Tolle Erklärung ich habe noch nie was gehört von diesem Backpulver Weinstein … Alles Liebe Lg Basma G.

  2. Susanne Pernauer says:

    Die Erklärungen sind optmal, danke dafür.
    Ich verwende schon seit Jahren das Weinsteinbackpulver, da das “normale” Backpulver in meinem Mund ein unangenehmes Gefühl und auch einen unangenehmen Geschmack hinterlässt (das habe ich auch wenn ich Leberkäse esse).

    Mit freundlichen Grüssen
    Susanne Pernauer