Why You Should Add Baking Soda And Baking Powder To Your Pancake Batter

If you're someone who loves nothing more than to wake up and make a big, leisurely breakfast on the weekends, then there's a decent chance pancakes make an appearance from time to time. There's something so wonderfully decadent about diving into a stack of pancakes topped with everything you like. Then there are specialty pancakes like blueberry, banana, or even pumpkin that level up the breakfast item's game. But however you like your pancakes best, you probably need to be adding both baking soda and baking powder to get them to be light and fluffy.

Some people are firm believers in separating the eggs that are added to the pancake batter. They whip the egg whites into stiff peaks to make the pancakes rise high. This works wonderfully if you have heavy mix-ins like bananas or another specialty topping in the batter. However, there are reasons why baking powder and baking soda are worth adding instead of going to the trouble of whipping egg whites for normal pancakes (via Food and Wine).

Why you need both to make the best pancakes

Baking powder and baking soda are both leavens, and they're what create the bubbles you see in pancake batter. Both ingredients work to make pancakes light, fluffy, and perfectly brown. Most of the rise comes from baking powder, which is double-acting. Instead of one rise, you get two from the single ingredient. The first happens when the baking powder is mixed in with the liquid batter. The second rise happens when the baking powder hits the heat (via Bon Appetit).

Baking soda helps the pancakes brown perfectly thanks to its alkalinity, according to Food and Wine. So even though the baking soda doesn't necessarily help the pancakes rise a ton, it will help you make perfect pancakes. So, the next time you make a large — or small — stack for breakfast, just keep in mind that you should use both baking soda and baking powder in your batter.