Does Baking Powder Go Bad and How Long Does it Last

Most people (myself included) buy a container of baking powder and never think twice about replacing it until it’s empty. But is that really the way we should be doing things? Does baking powder go bad? Yup, it sure does, and it tends to go bad within six to 12 months.

Hi! My name is Michelle, and I love love, love baking! Whether it’s a muffin, a cake, some kind of bread, or a cupcake, you will always find me baking a treat in my kitchen. Over the years, I have learned how long ingredients really last so that my baked goods always come out perfect.

If you’re looking at your container of baking powder that has been sitting in your kitchen cabinet for what seems like forever, you’re likely wondering if it needs to be replaced. Well, this article is going to teach you everything you need to know about baking powder longevity.

Who’s ready to bake?

Does Baking Powder Go Bad, and How Long Does it Last?

Baking powder is one of those ingredients that seem like they last forever. After all, unless you’re baking up a storm in your kitchen, your container of baking powder will likely be almost full for years. But just because you still have plenty of baking powder doesn’t mean it’s “good.”

Baking powder goes bad within six to 12 months. How long it lasts typically has to do with how it is stored. That said, proper storage will easily give your baking powder a 1-year lifespan with a few extra months to spare. 

How to Store Baking Powder to Increase Longevity

Baking powder is incredibly sensitive to moisture and humidity, so storing it in a place where it will not come into contact with these things is imperative for longevity. With that in mind, here are a few tips for storing baking powder.

  • Store baking powder in its original container or bag – If something damages the original storage option, place the baking powder in an airtight container or freezable plastic bag.
  • Place baking powder in a cool, dry place – The best option is in the back of a kitchen cabinet or the pantry. Do not store in the refrigerator or freezer as it can ruin the baking powder quickly. 
  • Keep baking powder away from humidity and moisture – Basically, you don’t want baking powder to be near liquid items that could spill and seep into the container. You also don’t want it near heat sources or areas of high humidity.

What About Unopened Containers of Baking Powder?

If you haven’t opened your baking powder container yet, you don’t have to worry about lifespan. Since baking powder only goes bad when it comes into contact with humidity and moisture, a sealed container can last for years in a cool, dark area. 

How to Tell if Baking Powder Has Gone Bad

Baking powder certainly doesn’t have an indefinite shelf life. So what happens when you’re about to make a baked good but want to make sure it comes out the way it’s supposed to? If the recipe calls for baking powder, you need to use it. 

Not sure if your baking powder is still good? Don’t worry – there are two easy ways to tell whether or not your baking powder is ready to go, and all you need is a cup of boiling water. Let’s take a closer look.

Method 1: Hot Water

As long as you have access to hot water, you can easily test your baking powder to see if it is still in good standing. All you need is a cup of boiling water and a teaspoon of baking powder. Drop the teaspoon of baking powder into the boiling water and wait for bubbles to form. 

After a few seconds, if you don’t see any bubbles starting to form, then it is a clear indicator that your baking powder has lost its properties and won’t be able to work as a leavener for your baked goods. Discard and buy a brand new container ASAP.

Method 2: Expiration Date

A lot of commercial baking powders will have an expiration date on the container. It’s easiest to follow along with the date that is listed on the container.

That doesn’t mean that it is always 100% accurate. For example, a container of baking powder might say it’s only good for the next six months. But if it is stored properly, then it can easily extend to a year. If it is not opened at all, it can last for several years. 

If you want to double-check to make sure that the baking powder is still working, revert to method #1. If you don’t want to take the time out of your day to check it, simply buy more baking powder. After all, baking powder is super cheap. Why not go for a fresh batch?

FAQs

Now we know that baking powder certainly doesn’t last forever, although we tend to believe so. Most of the time, baking powder lasts around one year when properly stored. Still have some prying questions? Then keep reading to find more interesting questions and answers.

Can I use out-of-date baking powder?

You might think that you can get by with using out-of-date baking powder in your baked goods; don’t try it. With old baking powder, your baked treat is destined to be flat, dense, and crumbly. Does that sound like something you want to sink your teeth into? Definitely not. Only use fresh.

How long can you keep baking powder after opening?

With proper storage, baking powder will last up to one year plus a few extra months. Proper storage means the original container or airtight container/freezable storage bag. Place in a cool, dry place where there is no access to humidity or moisture.

Does baking powder lose potency?

Yes. When we are discussing “old” baking powder, we’re more so talking about the potency. Technically, consuming old baking powder won’t harm you. But it won’t help your baked goods rise and become fluffy and delicious. That said, yes, baking powder loses potency.

How do you tell the difference between baking soda and baking powder?

Baking powder contains an acid, while baking soda requires an acidic ingredient to create a leavening reaction. That is why baking soda recipes will typically have ingredients like buttermilk or vinegar. Baking powder is suitable for other recipes like pancakes and biscuits.

Should you keep baking powder in the fridge?

Never store the baking powder in the refrigerator. There is a chance that the baking powder could come into contact with moisture, which would cause a reaction and ruin the baking powder. A cool, dry location like the back of your pantry is the best option for baking powder.

Final Thoughts

Baking powder does not last forever. In most cases, it will last for around one year with proper storage. Without proper storage, it will only last for six months. You can always try to drop a teaspoon of baking powder into boiling water to see if it is still good. 

Did you know that baking powder goes bad? Do you check to make sure it’s still good before using it? Share with us below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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