Science of Adapted Recipes

Science of Adapted Brownie Recipe – Cakier Brownie

     In this recipe, we decided to play with the textures of the brownies. In this adaptation, we tried to produce a brownie with a more cake-like texture. In order to make cakier brownies we added baking powder. It is important to use baking powder as opposed to baking soda because baking powder is made up of sodium bicarbonate and one or more acidic salts. This chemical makeup means that baking powder can release CO2 when it comes in contact with water because it already has acid in it, so the addition of an acidic ingredient is unnecessary. However, because the cocoa powder used in the recipe is acidic it will interact with the baking powder and also contribute to the leavening of the brownies. Whereas baking soda releases CO2 when it comes in contact with an acidic liquid or acidic powder like cream of tartar. The CO2 bubbles produced by the reaction caused the batter to expand and rise, creating a cakier texture. 

     Since baking powder has to come in contact with water in order to create a reaction, we added less sugar. Sugar absorbs water in baked goods, so adding less sugar means less water is absorbed. This means there was more water left over to react with the baking powder and create those air pockets that are crucial for a cakier brownie.

     In addition to the baking powder, we decided to add more flour and less oil to the recipe in order to produce a more cake-like texture. Flour provides a structure to the baked goods and makes them more firm and less moist. Oil adds moisture and richness to brownies, so decreasing the amount we used created a cakier product.

Click here for the original recipe.

Click here for the alterations needed to make fudgey brownies.



Brunning, Andy. (2022). Periodic Graphics: Baking soda versus baking powder. C & EN Global Enterprise, 100(14), 18–18.

Lofshult, D. (2007). Baking soda or baking powder? Idea Fitness Journal, 4(9), 77–.

Petran, Meredith. (2000). Baking soda & powder. Restaurant Business, 99(11), 83–.

Photo Citation: Hardin, Becky. “Cakey Brownies Recipe.” Easy Dessert Recipes, 16 Mar. 2023,

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