Why do caramel recipes often call for baking soda?

Caramel Layer Cakeenlarge

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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When you add baking soda to cooking caramel, it foams up rather dramatically. That foam is creating tiny air bubbles, which aerate the caramel and prevent it from becoming too dense.

Recipe: Caramel Layer Cake

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