What Does Baking Soda Do in Cookies?

Baking soda is a key ingredient in cookies that allows them to rise and become light and fluffy.

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Baking soda is a common ingredient in many types of cookies, including chocolate chip, drop, and snickerdoodle. It’s used as a leavening agent, which means it helps doughs and batters to rise by producing carbon dioxide gas. Baking soda is also a mild alkali, which gives cookies a subtle sweetness and helps to neutralize the acidity of other ingredients, like chocolate.

In addition to its leavening properties, baking soda also tenderizes cookie doughs and prevents them from spreading too much during baking. This is because baking soda causes the gluten in flour to relax, making the dough more pliable and less likely to spread Thin, crisp cookies are usually made with more baking soda than thick, soft cookies.

When adding baking soda to your cookie recipe, be sure to use the correct amount. Too much baking soda can make cookies taste soapy or bitter. Not enough will result in flat, dense cookies. For most recipes, one teaspoon of baking soda is all you need.

What is Baking Soda?

Baking soda is a white, powdery substance that is used as a leavening agent in baking. When it comes to cookies, baking soda helps the cookies to spread evenly and to become light and fluffy. It also helps to prevent the formation of large, misshapen cookies.

How Does Baking Soda Work in Cookies?

Baking soda is a leavening agent that helps cookies to rise. When baking soda is mixed with an acidic ingredient, such as yogurt or vinegar, it releases carbon dioxide gas. This gas gets trapped in the cookie dough, causing the cookies to rise and become fluffy.

The Baking Process

Baking soda is a leavening agent and is used in baking to produce light, fluffy cookies. When used correctly, it helps to produce cookies that are evenly baked and have a uniform texture. When baking soda comes into contact with an acidic ingredient, such as buttermilk or yogurt, it begins to react and produces carbon dioxide gas. This gas gets trapped in the batter and causes the cookies to rise.

The Maillard Reaction

Baking soda is an alkaline compound that, when combined with an acidic ingredient like yogurt, buttermilk, or chocolate, will react and create carbon dioxide gas. This is the same gas that makes soda fizzy and is also responsible for the leavening action in cakes and quick breads. When baked, this gas escapes and leaves behind countless tiny bubbles, which tenderizes the cookie by making the proteins in the flour unravel or coagulate. The more baking soda you add to a recipe, the more tender your cookies will be.


After testing what baking soda does in cookies, we’ve concluded that it:

1. Makes cookies spread more while baking
2. Gives cookies a crispier texture
3. Makes cookies brown more while baking
4. Can make cookies taste more “soda-ly”
5. Helps leaven and lift the cookie dough

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