You haven’t baked in forever. But now, the recipe that you’re working on requires baking powder, so you dove deep inside your pantry to find your long-lost box of baking powder. But to your dismay, it’s already months past the printed date! Does this mean you can no longer use it? Does baking powder expire or go bad?
Baking powder doesn’t spoil but it goes bad in the sense that it loses its freshness over time.
And the good news is there’s a fast and easy way to determine if the baking powder still has its potency.
To know what these tests are, keep on reading!
How Long Does Baking Powder Last?
So if you can use the baking powder past its use-by date, how long can it last? Check out the table below:
|Unopened Baking Powder||Best by Date + 6 months|
|Opened Baking||6 months after opening|
But don’t just take our word for it. The provided shelf life is just an estimate, so it may vary depending on a lot of factors. To ensure that your baking powder is still fresh or potent even months past the best-by date, you should test its potency first before discarding it.
Does Baking Powder Expire or Go Bad?
Technically, baking powder doesn’t expire. However, it can go bad to the point that it will lose its potency and freshness. And that’s what the printed date on the package is about.
Instead of an expiration date, baking powder has either a use-by or best-before date.
Instead of telling you when the product is no longer safe for consumption, such a date is provided to let you know when you can expect the product to retain its freshness and potency.
Beyond this date, you can still use the product without any safety issues, but it may no longer serve its intended purpose.
Is it okay to use expired baking powder?
Bad baking powder won’t make you sick. However, a baking powder that is no longer fresh or potent has already lost its ability to rise. Baking with it will lead to flat and dense baked goods.
How to Tell If Baking Soda Has Gone Bad?
So how can you tell if the baking powder is still effective? Here are two ways to do that:
Method #1: The Hot Water Test
- Step 1. Place 1 tablespoon of baking powder in a small bowl or cup.
- Step 2. Pour ½ cup of hot water into it.
- Step 3. Wait for the results.
If the mixture produces bubbles, it’s still potent. You can proceed on using it in your recipes.
If there’s only mild to no bubbling, don’t use it anymore on your baking adventures because it means that the baking soda has already lost its potency.
Method #2: The Pancake Test
Here’s another good way to test baking powder’s potency—make a pancake!
Reminder: Please keep in mind that this approach is suitable only for pancakes, so don’t go around making an entire cake when you’re not sure if the baking powder is still good because that would be a complete waste of time and money.
- Step 1. Look for a pancake with baking powder in the recipe.
- Step 2. Make the pancake batter according to the recipe and cook one small pancake.
- Step 3. Check the pancake’s texture.
If the pancake turns light and fluffy, it means that the baking powder still works, so you can go ahead and use it in your recipes.
Aside from lost potency, here are other signs that baking powder is no longer good to use:
- Mold growth or discoloration
- Lumps or clumping (it means it has been exposed to moisture)
- Torn box or container
- Presence of bugs and insects (it might affect the taste of your baked goods)
Pro Tip: Even if the baking powder is no longer potent, don’t discard it just yet. We’re going to share with you a few ways how to use non-potent baking powder. You can check out the last section for this information!
How to Store Baking Powder
To ensure that the baking powder will last as long as possible, you need to prioritize proper storage. With that said, here are some tips on how to store baking powder the right way:
Place baking powder in a cool, dark, and dry place.
Two of the biggest enemies of baking powder are moisture and heat. Moisture can significantly affect its texture while heat may trigger oxidation and cause the powder to lose its potency faster than expected.
With that said, make sure to keep the powder in a dark, cool, and dry place, like your kitchen cabinet and pantry. Aside from protecting it from sunlight, you should also store it far away from heat sources like your stove and oven.
Transfer the contents of the opened box to an airtight container.
Once you’ve opened your box of baking powder, it’s at great risk of air exposure which may also cause oxidation.
With that said, you should transfer its contents to an airtight container or a Ziploc bag.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have one, just simply place it in a regular plastic bag and use a plastic sealing clip to secure it.
Don’t store it in the freezer.
Placing baking powder in the freezer will do more harm than good. That’s because there are no studies that prove that colder temperatures can extend its life span.
That’s not all. There are many potential risks involved when you place it in the ref. For one, it’s more susceptible to moisture inside the refrigerator. Additionally, it might absorb the strong flavors and odors of the other food items inside the refrigerator.
Use only clean and dry spoons when scooping baking powder.
The best way to preserve the life of baking powder is to prevent contamination. To do this, never scoop baking soda using dirty or used spoons.
Make sure the spoons are dry to protect the powder from moisture which would lead to clumping and lumping.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to do with baking powder that has gone bad?
As we’ve mentioned, don’t throw your baking powder even if it’s no longer potent or fresh. That’s because you can still use it for non-baking purposes. Here are some amazing ideas:
- Carpet deodorizer- Just sprinkle a bit of baking powder on your carpet then vacuum afterward to get rid of unwanted odors.
- Detergent booster- Add a tablespoon of baking powder to your detergent to remove the off smell in your clothes.
- Ant repellant- Mix equal amounts of salt and baking powder then sprinkle them in places that are usually infested by ants.
- Degreaser- Sprinkle a bit of baking powder on your grease-stained shirt. Leave it on for a few minutes then wash it as normal and the grease will be gone in an instant.
- Pot and Pan soak- If you have residue in your pots and pans that are difficult to clean, just soak the pan in a mixture of hot water and baking powder then scrub the pans as usual.
- Drain unclogger- For a partially clogged drain, pour a mixture of equal parts baking powder and vinegar and let it sit there for a while. Follow it up with hot water and the clog will be gone.
The Bottom Line
Does baking powder expire or go bad? Baking powder doesn’t expire but it will go bad as it will lose potency over time.
This can lead to flat and dense baked goods when used for baking recipes, but you can use it for other purposes like the ones that we’ve mentioned.
If you have more non-baking baking powder uses, please do share them with us in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you!
Does Baking Powder Expire or Go Bad? (FULL ANALYSIS)
- Baking Powder
- Baking Powder
- Baking powder does expire, but it does not necessarily go bad. Its expiration date is typically indicated on the container, and it should be replaced once that date has passed for optimal quality.
- Baking powder typically lasts for 6 to 12 months after its expiration date. If stored properly, it can last up to 18 months. It is best to replace it regularly to ensure optimal quality when baking.
- To tell if baking powder is bad, look for any signs of lumps or clumps. If the baking powder has expired, it will have lost its potency and will not react properly in recipes. To test it, mix a teaspoon of baking powder with ½ cup hot water. If the mixture fizzes, the baking powder is still good!
- Although it's not recommended, you can still use expired baking powder. However, it may not be as effective and may result in baked goods that are not as light and fluffy. If you do choose to use expired baking powder, try to add a bit more of it than the recipe requires to ensure your baked goods still turn out well.
- The best way to store baking powder is in an airtight container or resealable bag in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Make sure the lid or opening is properly sealed so that no moisture can get in and affect the baking powder's efficacy.