The baking powder: a teaspoon of a sweet story

The first time I had to look for the baking powder I was really confused by the USA system about these things, that’s why I decided to write this article to help you guys. I don’t know where you are from, but, as I said in the past episodes of my story, I am from Italy.

For an italian as me, who loves to cook and who comes from the most amazing place for the food in the world, the first issue to front in a foreign Country is how to get her usual food!

I love baking and making cakes, and cookies, but here in the USA everything is different and new for me. Even finding the ingredients I needed it was difficult at first. Especially… the baking powder!

Baking powder is the most common name for that chemical compound that anybody uses to make the cakes raise in volume.

In Italy we have various types of baking powder, but most of the markets has a baking powder packaged in small, very useful, packings (around 10 gr each), whose contain the exact amount of baking powder you need for a normal rounded cake (around 20 cm diameter). Its name was to me very confusing when I started looking for that in the grocery stores in the USA. Indeed, the italian baking powder is called “lievito”, which in english is translated as yeast (because in italian we have only one word to say both baking powder and yeast). As you know, the yeast is of course another kind of tool used to raise the doughs, but it is different from the baking powder and it also works differently, since it is used for things as bread and pizza. 20160419_201510

In the USA they have various types of baking powder as well. Those are: the baking powder and the baking soda. Their chemical composition is different, since the baking powder is usually a combination of baking soda and other chemicals compounds, while the baking soda only contains sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). You can find them in most of the grocery stores, in the same place of flour, cake mixes, sugar, and general baking things, and the package is usually a tin can (around 100 ml in volume) containing, of course, the baking powder.

After finding that, I had to front the second issue: how much baking powder I need for my cake?!?

It was the first time to me using the baking powder (and I had to bring my first cake at my work

20160419_205809place!) and I got informed by surfing on the web. It was difficult to figure out how much baking powder I needed, that’s why I decided to write this article for you guys. The reason why it was difficult it was because in any article I have been reading I was always finding the “teaspoon” as a units of measure for the ingredients. I was used to the grams and kilograms, more precise ways to measure the ingredients, so my question was: how much is a teaspoon? For a cake, sometimes a gram more or less can make a big difference, and I didn’t want to make any error, because my teaspoon could have been different from the one of the person who was writing that article on the web. Surprisingly, at the end I found that the teaspoon is a real measure (not just a random teaspoon!) that you can buy and fill until the border (so, not too much full!). That one is a teaspoon, and 1 teaspoon is around 5 gr of baking powder!

At the end of my day I ended up using 3 teaspoons for my 5 eggs, normal, rounded, 20 cm diameter, chocolate cake, and….it was very very good!


Nancy for OnesAbroad

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