What Happens If You Forget Baking Soda In Cookies

What Happens If You Forget Baking Soda In Cookies? Resolved

Last Updated on June 22, 2024 by Lori Walker

Baking cookies feels like an adventure. Picture this: excitedly mixing up cookie dough, feeling like a master chef, then boom—a big oops—*no baking soda*.

It’s a small ingredient but plays a significant role in creating cookies with the right texture.

So what really happens if you forget baking soda in cookies? Let’s find out.

What Will Happen If You Forget Baking Soda In Cookies? 

Box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda

Forgetting to include baking soda in your cookie recipe can lead to noticeable changes in the final product’s texture and taste.

Baking soda is not just an ordinary ingredient; it’s a key player in creating the perfect cookie experience. 

“I think baking cookies is equal to Queen Victoria running an empire. There’s no difference in how seriously you take the job, how seriously you approach your whole life.”

– Martha Stewart, TV Personality

Its absence can result in denser, flatter cookies that lack the usual softness and lightness.

The flavor profile might also be less well-balanced, as baking soda contributes to the chemistry that enhances flavors during baking. 

What Changes In Texture Can You Expect?

Leaving out baking soda [1] from your cookie recipe can lead to noticeable changes in the texture of the cookies. Baking soda is crucial in creating air pockets within the dough as it bakes. 

These air pockets are responsible for the soft, light, and slightly fluffy texture we associate with well-made cookies.

Without baking soda, the cookies may lack this desired texture, resulting in cookies that are denser and flatter than intended. 

Find out if using cornstarch instead of baking soda is okay here.

How Does The Flavor Get Affected?

Baking soda participates in chemical reactions during baking that contribute to the development and enhancement of flavors. 

“Leaving out the baking soda in cookies is like forgetting the crescendo in a symphony – the result might be sweet, but it lacks that magical rise.”

– Leonelli Bakery

The cookies might lack a certain depth and complexity in taste without their presence. Baking soda’s role goes beyond leavening; it’s a silent collaborator in creating a well-rounded and satisfying flavor profile. 

So, forgetting it could mean your cookies might not be as flavorful as expected. But can Fridge N’ Freezer baking soda be used for baking?

Will The Appearance Of The Cookies Change?

Chocolate Chip Cookies on a Plate

Yes. The omission of baking soda from your cookie recipe can result in noticeable changes in the appearance of the cookies. 

Baking soda contributes to the rise and spread of the dough during baking, giving cookies their characteristic shape and texture. 

With it, cookies may spread more effectively, leading to a thicker and potentially less visually appealing appearance. 

Instead of the golden-brown and slightly crispy exterior, you’re used to, the cookies might appear paler and have a different overall look. 

Find out what cake flour does to cookies here.

Some Quick Fixes

  1. Baking Powder: Baking powder contains both an acid and a base, similar to baking soda, and can help provide some leavening. However, remember that baking powder also contains additional ingredients, so it might not exactly replicate the effects of baking soda. You may need to adjust the quantity accordingly.
  2. Cream of Tartar: If you have the cream of tartar [2] on hand, you can combine it with baking soda to create a DIY baking powder substitute. Mix 1 part baking soda with 2 parts cream of tartar and use the mixture as a replacement for baking soda.
  3. Whipped Egg Whites: If you’re looking for a natural way to add some lift to your cookies, you can whip egg whites until they’re frothy and gently fold them into the cookie dough. This can introduce some air into the mixture and help with leavening.
  4. Change in Technique: Sometimes, a slight change in technique can make a difference. For instance, slightly flattening the cookie dough before baking can help compensate for the lack of baking soda’s spreading effect.
  5. Temperature Adjustment: Experiment with baking temperature. Sometimes, slightly higher temperatures can encourage cookies to spread more and increase.

Related Post: How Do You Make Sugar Cookies Without Baking Powder?


Can I skip baking powder and baking soda?

Skipping baking powder and baking soda can lead to cookies that lack proper leavening and rise.

Baking powder and baking soda are essential leavening agents that create the desired texture and structure of baked goods.

Without them, your cookies might turn out dense, flat, and lacking the characteristic lightness.

Why are my cookies crunchy?

Cookies can become crunchy when baked for a more extended period at a higher temperature, causing moisture to evaporate and the sugars to caramelize, resulting in a crisp texture.

Find out the purpose of flour in cookies here.

Final Thoughts

Not including baking soda in your cookie recipe can lead to noticeable changes in the final product. The absence of this leavening agent affects not only the texture but also the taste and appearance of the cookies. 

Without baking soda, cookies may turn out denser, flatter, less flavorful, and visually different from what you intended. 

While there are alternatives and quick fixes available, it’s essential to recognize the vital role that baking soda plays in creating the perfect balance of qualities that make a cookie genuinely delightful.


Lori Walker

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