Are Dough And Batter Interchangeable?

Batters contain eggs, and are usually pretty thin. Dough is thicker, and they do not often contain eggs.

Dough often contain a leavening agent, and they can be easily molded with your hands.

However, are they interchangeable in certain recipes, and verbally?

In the world of baking, there are two main components for the entire recipe; dough, and batter.

This is within the entire scope of baking. From puff pastry, cookie dough, bread doughs, pastry dough, cake batter, enriched dough, and cookie batters, dough and batter is everywhere!

You couldn’t use a batter for a bread, or a dough for a cake, but sometimes the lines blue.

Let’s find out more about the two terms, and whether they can be used interchangeably.

What Is Batter?

Batter and dough have two different meanings.

Batter usually refers to a mix of flour, eggs, and milk, or another liquid. This liquid is anything that can be dropped from a spoon.

This is why pancake and waffle mix is in the form of a batter.

The term batter can also be referencing a coating that may coat something that is about to be deep fried, such as meat or fish.

What Is Dough?

Dough is different to batter, but what is it?

Dough is a mix of flour, and a liquid, and it is thick and stiff enough to be rolled and kneaded. It is not as wet, and the mixture is easily shaped.

How To Mix Batter And Dough

Batter and dough are two commonly used words, but they are mixed differently.


With batter, you can almost always use some kind of electric mixer, hand mixer, or wooden spoon.

This makes it easier to make, use, and pour batter into molds or trays.

The liquid ratio in batter is higher than that of dough, making it easier to mix, even with a wooden spoon.

There are some circumstances where you may not want to use a hand or electric mixer for batter.

This is when you may have chocolate chips, or a lot of butter or egg in the batter. This is because it may over mix, and mess with the fat content and result of the mixture.

If the recipes ask you to stir or mix in chocolate chips or any other ingredient, stir them in instead of mixing.


A dough is supposed to be thick, with a lot less liquid than batter.

This is the main difference between the two, and dough often has two stages.

With batter, you can pop it straight into the oven after mixing, but dough may need to rise.

This is because there is often dry yeast, fresh yeast, and a leavening agent present within the dough, meaning the yeast will have to activate.

Yeast will break down in lukewarm water, releasing carbon dioxide.

Dough also needs to be placed in a warm place to rise, and this is one of the main reasons that there are two stages to it.

If you are baking bread dough or yeast dough, you probably not use an electric mixer because this may ruin the motor of your mixer.

Bread dough or yeast dough is almost always mixed with a spoon, and sometimes by hand.

It is a solid mixture, so it can become quite tough to mix!

Are dough and batter interchangeable (1)

How To Shape Batter And Dough

Batter and dough are totally different in the way that they move, and the way that they bake or cook in the oven.

You cannot shape batter, so when making a baking mixture, you can almost always pour the batter straight into the oven trays or molds.

If you are using a batter designed for shallow frying or deep frying, the batter will probably be slightly thinner, and it cannot be shaped.

There are exceptions where you can coat the food in the batter, and let it freeze for an hour.

This will make the batter harder, and keep it together.

When you fry batter, the mixture bubbles, and fried foods often have a recognizable crunch.

This is because of the coating batters, and it usually contains egg or egg yolks, as this helps the mixture bind together.

You can make this kind of batter with a stand mixer, as well as a hand mixer, because you want it to be well combined and mixed.

Dough is easy to shape, hence why a lot of baked goods such as cakes and breads are perfectly shaped and rounded.

Dough has instant yeast or fresh yeast in it, making some delicious recipes. It needs to rise in order to be shaped properly.

You can also fry dough, but this tends to be more of a lean dough.

Donuts are one of the most common types of fried foods, and they are made with common dough ingredients.

What Types Of Dough Are There?

There are a few different kinds of dough. This includes short dough, unleavened dough, bread dough, pie dough, and biscuit dough.

Short dough and pie dough often have two layers, and they have flaky layers.

There are various recipes for these, and they almost always contain flour, yeast, and butter, egg, or milk.

Dry ingredients are the most important part of a dough.

What Is Drop Batter?

There is something called drop batter, and this is defined as a batter that is thin enough in consistency to be dropped or poured.

This includes coating batter, because coating batter is usually thin.

Pour batters and drop batters are mostly used for dumplings and drop biscuits, and this is a main difference between batter and drop batter.

Drop batters should be thick enough to drop, rather than pour, whereas pour batter should fall off of the spoon.

These are helpful terms to know, especially when baking!

Are Leavening Agents In Dough?

Leavening agents refer to yeast, baking soda, and baking powder. These are all components that help bread or cakes rise.

There is often baking powder or baking soda in a batter, instead of yeast.

You are more likely to find yeast in dough, rather than batter.

Final Thoughts

Batter and dough are often used interchangeably, but you cannot use them in this way, as this will ruin the baking process.

Dough is comparatively a solid mixture than batter, and the word batter implies that it is wetter and thinner.

Do not get the two mixed up, otherwise your bakes and breads will turn out different from expected!

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Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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