Chemical Reaction Between Vinegar & Baking Powder Making Cakes Fluffy

Did you know there exists chemistry behind delicious fluffy cakes?

Fluffy cakes

A delicious fluffy cake just doesn’t happen by chance. It takes a harmless chemical reaction to make a cake fluffy and light.

Baking powder is mixed with an acid to produce carbon dioxide.

This gas is harmless when eaten. As it becomes hot in the oven the gas expands and makes bubbles in the cake mixture. This makes the cake rise.

When a carbonate (Bi-Carb Soda) is mixed with an acid (vinegar) carbon dioxide gas is produced

Reaction mechanism

NaHCO3 + H+ → Na+ + H2O + CO2


Baking Powder

Did anyone think about what are the chemicals added to batter and dough to cause them to rise and delicious taste?

How will cake get the delicious taste?

The yummy and delicious taste won’t come by chance but by some chemicals and their reactions. One such chemical is the Baking powder (Sodium bicarbonate).

Baking powder is mixed with Vinegar (main ingredient- acetic acid) which causes a cake to rise by producing bubbles of carbon dioxide as well as the byproducts of water and sodium carbonate.

Baking powder is a type of carbonate. When baking powder is heated it decomposes to produce a harmless salt and carbon dioxide gas. The type of acid used in the baking powder affects the rate of CO2 production, which in turn affects the product.


Other than vinegar (acid source) the following acids are also used

  1. Potassium hydrogen tartrate
  2. Tartaric acid
  3. Sodium acid pyrophosphate
  4. Acid calcium phosphate


Olive Oil

Olive oil has long been recognized for its unusual fat content. Olive oil is one of the few widely used culinary oils that contain about 75 percent of its fat in the form of oleic acid (a monounsaturated, omega-9 fatty acid).

It imparts moistness to the cake, chemical leaven like baking soda.

The changes occurred in cakes due to chemical reactions are

  1. The release of gas (CO2)
  2. Color change
  3. Change in mass of a cake



Vinegar is a surprisingly common ingredient in baked goods, considering that it has such a sharp flavor.

But as an acid, vinegar is often included in cake batters to react with baking soda and start the chemical reaction needed to produce carbon dioxide and give those batters a lift as they bake.

The following chemicals also used in the preparation of cake which is used as

Chemical Purpose
Calcium or Sodium Propionate Preservative
Sorbic Acid Preservative
Calcium sodium sorbate Preservative
Sorbitol Sweetener



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