The cake is in the oven, it smells tempting. A look at the kitchen table triggers horror. You forgot the baking powder. That should actually be in the cake!
When baking, ingredients are often forgotten, it just happens. Often that’s not a bad thing.
And what about baking powder? Does the cake rise like this? In this article you will learn everything about the topic!
Table of Contents
Forgot baking powder: is that bad?
If baking powder is forgotten, it will not affect the taste. However, some baked goods suffer in texture if they don’t contain other or natural leavening agents. Baking powder makes the dough airier and lighter.
You didn’t forget the baking powder but didn’t have any? Then in the next section you will not only find out when you really need baking powder, but also how you can replace it.
Is baking powder absolutely necessary?
Baking powder is not absolutely necessary. The fine powder with the characteristic taste of its own should make the dough a little lighter. Baking powder ensures that small gas bubbles form everywhere during the baking process. If you forgot the baking powder, the pastry will still be delicious.
Baking powder is not necessary if you have the following ingredients in the dough. Alternatively, you can substitute these for baking powder.
In the past, baking soda was used instead of baking powder. However, baking soda needs acid in the batter to act as a leavening agent. For example, add some lemon juice or vinegar to the dough. In fact, baking powder is nothing more than baking soda with acid and starch, conveniently packed in a bag.
[Soda, acid and starch] react with the wet dough and then begin to loosen it with gas bubbles. The starch prevents the acid from reacting with the baking soda even when it is dry. Baking soda lacks these additional ingredients. That’s why recipes that use baking soda include other acidic ingredients like yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream, and the like.
If you don’t have baking powder on hand, replace it with baking soda (5 grams per 500 grams of flour).
Some people omit baking soda altogether. You replace the liquid specified in the recipe with sparkling mineral water.
Does the recipe contain eggs? Beat the whites separately from the yolks until stiff. If you lift the beaten egg whites under the batter, it will be even lighter and airier than with baking powder.
But if the child has already fallen into the proverbial well, you are probably particularly interested in this question.
What happens if you bake a cake without baking powder?
If you leave out the baking powder when baking, this is usually not a problem. You won’t notice any difference, especially with small baked goods.
Pound cakes and loaf pans will set inside if the baking powder is missing and not replaced.
Bottom line: Your cake will lose some of its consistency – especially if you don’t have any of the alternative leavening agents in the recipe.
Next, let’s see what happens if you didn’t use all the baking soda.
Too little baking powder used – now what?
Enjoy your pastries. Baking powder does not change the taste of the baked goods. Cakes and biscuits will only get a little firmer and more compact if you use less baking powder.
The more baking powder in the dough, the airier the pastry will be. When combined with lactic acid, baking soda releases carbon dioxide. The small gas bubbles make the dough rise and appear fluffy.
So less baking soda just means “less fluff”.
Did you just put your pastries in the oven? Then it’s best to get it out again before you read on.
Can you add baking powder afterwards?
Under certain conditions it is possible to add baking powder afterwards. Most recipes call for mixing the baking powder with the flour.
This usually happens at the beginning or in the middle of the recipe. Then sugar, eggs, milk or buttermilk and so on go into the bowl.
As long as your pastries aren’t in the oven, you can always stir in the baking powder. And you can even do it afterwards: as long as the dough in the mold is still liquid, you can take your pastries out of the oven.
Place the batter in a mixing bowl. Stir in the baking powder. Then the dough can be put back into the baking pan and baked.
Forgot baking powder: The 17 most common cases
So baking powder is not that important for the taste of baked goods. But does this apply to every type of pastry? Does it make a difference which recipe you forget the baking powder in?
Forgot baking powder in the sponge cake
If you forget the baking powder with the sponge cake, in all likelihood nothing will happen. The cake rises in the oven thanks to the eggs it contains. Also, stir the batter thoroughly before baking. There is always some air in the dough.
The air ensures that the cake is not hard, but light and airy. You won’t notice any difference in taste. Forgetting baking powder is not a problem with sponge cakes. In the worst case, the cake will be a little drier or firmer than usual.
Forgot baking powder in the shortcrust pastry
Baking powder does not belong in shortcrust pastry. The dough is kneaded from flour, fat, eggs and sugar and then left to stand in the refrigerator for one to two hours.
Baking powder reacts rather quickly with the moisture in the dough. With a well-chilled shortcrust pastry it is completely pointless. By the time the dough goes into the oven, the baking powder can no longer create air in the dough.
That being said, shortcrust pastry should be firm under a heavy cake (e.g., a vegetable cake or a cheesecake).
Forgot baking powder in the apple pie
Many apple pie recipes do not require baking powder. It doesn’t matter if the baking powder is missing in the dough. The cake will still rise a little and not become too firm. Apple pie without baking powder tastes like apple pie with baking powder.
Forgot baking soda in brownies
Brownies turn out just as delicious without baking powder as they do with baking powder. Since the dough contains eggs, it will rise in the oven anyway. You can save yourself the baking powder in the brownies in the future.
Forgot baking soda in cookies
Cookies are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. You don’t need baking powder for this. Nevertheless, it is an important ingredient in many recipes. You can forget the baking powder with the cookies, they will still succeed.
Baking powder combined with liquid ensures that small gas bubbles form in the dough. The pastries become airy and fluffy in the oven.
Forgot the baking powder in the Gugelhupf
The Gugelhupf is baked with a batter. A tiny amount of baking powder will make batter a little fluffy. But you can also do without baking powder. If there are eggs in the dough, the Gugelhupf will rise in the oven as desired.
If you hide pieces of fruit in the dough, the Bundt cake will be a little firmer in these areas. Because the dough doesn’t have as much strength without the baking powder. The dough stays a little firmer under the heavy pieces of fruit (usually apples, pears or cherries). The Gugelhupf still tastes delicious.
Forgot baking powder in the gingerbread
Lebkuchen recipes are traditionally baked with deer horn salt or baking soda. These are also leavening agents. However, the exact chemical compound is slightly different than that of baking soda.
Gingerbread is delicious even without baking powder. The leavening agent is not necessary.
Forgot baking powder in the muffin batter
If you forgot baking powder in the muffin batter, your muffins will be a bit firmer and more compact than usual. They still taste delicious.
Forgot baking soda in the marble cake
Marble cake is a batter. If you stir the dough very thoroughly, you will automatically beat in some air. That’s why the marble cake rises in the oven without baking powder.
The air in the dough expands when it gets hot. At the same time, the protein in the dough denatures and hardens. The expanded air bubbles are trapped and cannot escape.
The result is a fluffy, soft dough. You can always do this with baking powder, without baking powder only with a lot of stirring.
Forgot baking soda in cookies
Most cookie recipes do not require baking powder. No baking powder is required for the flat biscuits, the dough rises easily in the oven. Even light and fluffy macaroons are baked without baking powder. Here egg white provides the air in the dough.
Forgot baking powder in the sponge cake
You forgot the baking powder in the biscuit dough? It doesn’t matter. Sponge cake becomes fluffy and airy because you fold egg whites into the dough. You don’t need baking powder for the biscuit.
Forgot baking powder in the quark-oil dough
Quark-oil dough is the sure-fire variant of yeast dough. However, it does not require any rising time and is therefore prepared more quickly.
If you forgot the baking powder, the dough will be a bit heavier and more compact.
However, quark-oil dough can also be prepared without baking powder. Then yeast is used as a leavening agent.
Forgot baking powder in the stollen
If you forgot to add baking powder to the stollen, the stollen will be firmer. You can still eat it.
Forgot baking powder in the shortbread
Shortbread cookies can be baked with or without baking powder. You don’t even need the leavening agent for most recipes. Baking powder does not change the taste of the baked goods. Shortbread cookies are delicious even without baking powder.
Forgot baking powder in the waffle batter
Waffle batters usually contain egg, buttermilk, or yogurt. They rise easily in the waffle iron even without baking powder. Don’t worry if you forgot the baking powder.
Forgot baking powder in the pound cake
Puff cake works very well even without baking powder. However, the bottom will be a bit firmer and more compact than usual. The cake still tastes good.
Forgot baking soda in lemon cake
Lemon cake is a batter. If you stir vigorously, air gets into the dough. Then the cake will rise during baking, even if you forgot the baking powder.
Conclusion: forget the baking powder
For most cakes and cookies, if you forget the baking powder, it’s no big deal. The pastries are still tasty. Most of the time, it will be fluffy and airy even without baking powder.