What Are the Side Effects of Adding Too Much Baking Powder?

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A little baking powder goes a long way, and adding too much can have some interesting results. Learn about the side effects of adding too much baking powder with help from a two-time winner of Food Network's Cupcake Wars in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Desserts & Baking Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Arleen, the Owner of Sweet Arleens here in Westlake Village, California. And today, I have with me my Executive Pastry Chef, Julia. "Hi!" We're here to show you the effects of adding too much baking powder to your cupcakes or cakes. We've chosen today to illustrate adding too much baking powder to our lemon cupcake. Now, these lemon cupcakes were made the correct amount of baking powder. The recipe calls for one and a half teaspoons. You can see the approximate size of the sponge in the liner, comes up to about a quarter inch under the top of the liner 'cause we actually fill these with the cream cheese lemon icing. So, we don't want the icing to flow over the liner. So, the height of the cupcake is very important. What's interesting is that as you can see, these were filled, Julia, right, with the same exact, "That's right", size of, of ice cream scoop that we used to measure, "Exactly", the same exact scoop; this is the, this is the lemon cupcake with an additional half teaspoon of baking powder was added to the recipe. Only a half a teaspoon. What are the drawbacks with adding too much baking powder to your recipes is a faster rise and then, what that will result in when you open the cupcake, and we'll demonstrate this for you, because it's risen so quickly, it produces then a more crumbly inside texture. And you can kind of see, this is kind of like falls apart. It, it can even just be a little bit dryer; it will dry out faster than the regular cupcake versus the cupcake bake with the right amount of baking powder. Look at that. Firm as can be, it's a beautiful sponge, Julia it's just wonderful. "Right." "And these, the, the bubbles in there are a lot more even, whereas they're a little more rogue over here." "This is very moist, exactly the texture you want." To me it just looks very elegant. "Hmmm." Don't you think? And this just looks like, kind of like as, what we'd find in the store; you know, kind of a crumbly kind of looking cupcake. "I agree." So, beautiful lemon cupcake made with the right amount of baking powder. Now, quickly, what are the two most common errors why we, why we add too much baking powder? We mix up tablespoons for teaspoons. Remember, a tablespoon is actually three teaspoons. So, be very careful to read accurately, read thoroughly your recipe and only add teaspoons if that's what it's called for. The second reason for adding too much baking powder is confusing what is being added under baking soda and we switch those up. Oftentimes the recipe may call for a more baking soda in proportion than baking powder. So, today, Julia and I, thank you for joining us and showing you the effects of adding too much baking powder to your cupcakes or cakes.


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