The Simple Addition For Tangy Baked Goods

Americans often turn to baked goods when they want to bite into a little boost of happiness. In fact, according to a survey conducted by General Mills, 42% of the nation started eating more cakes, brownies, and pies as a form of self-comfort amid the pandemic. But while you can never go wrong with simple and nostalgic favorites like vanilla cupcakes, mixing up your baked goods' recipes with innovative add-ins can change your baking game for the better.

For example, by adding mascarpone cheese to your brownie batter you'll be able to bake up a perfectly fudgy batch of the decadent dessert. And while using coca cola in your pecan pie may sound like an outlandish cooking tip, following the hack will make the holiday favorite taste sweeter. But if you're hoping to find a way to add an all-new layer of tangy flavor to your baked goods, pastry chef Paola Velez has an easy tip for creating sweets that have a splash of tart taste (via Food and Wine).

A little bit of citric acid goes a long way

According to Food and Wine, Paola Velez gives her baked goods a tangy taste by using a touch of citric acid. As the website notes, citric acid is "a weak organic acid found in citrus fruits." However, like sugar, citric acid is also sold as a powder that can be used as an ingredient in recipes. 

Velez says she adds just enough citric acid to sugary baked goods like Banana Pudding Paletas to give it a pop of unexpected tangy flavor. The chef also noted that placing citric acid in already tart desserts can bring out their sour taste. And many other cooks use this trick for whipping up tangy baked goods.

Sugar Geek Show recommends sprinkling in citric acid even if you're already cooking with lemon to get the best sour-sweet tasting Lemon Shortbread Cookies. And Schee Culina feels citric acid is one of the key ingredients to successfully preparing a copycat of Starbucks' Iced Lemon Loaf. 

Whether you're hoping to add a bit of sour kick to your sugar cookie recipe or want to bring out the tart flavor of a Key Lime Pie, citric acid might just become your new favorite go-to baking ingredient.