Does Baking Powder Go Bad?

Does baking powder go bad? Baking powder is used as a leavening agent while preparing many baking goods. Even though it’s powder, one might wonder whether it goes bad or if it loses its potency with time. As a matter of fact, baking powder doesn’t go bad in the meaning of going rancid, unless any moisture gets into the powder. It can, however, lose its potency. What does it mean? Baking powder will lose its ability to leaven the cookies, cake or other baking goods you’re preparing. Unfortunately, your baking will be ruined. There are a few things regarding storing baking powder that you should be aware of.

Storing Baking Powder

As you probably know, proper storage extends shelf life of many products. The same thing applies to baking powder. Storing this product properly is crucial but it’s also very easy and probably most of us store it the right way. Baking powder should be stored in a cool and dry place, preferably in the pantry. A cupboard in the kitchen is also a vital choice. Once the package with baking powder is opened, bear in mind to store it closed tightly, especially if you plan to use it after a couple of months. Keeping the powder away from any moisture is the most important thing you should remember about.


(credit: Mel B. )


Shelf Life Of Baking Powder

Every package of baking powder has a “sell-by”, “use-by” or “expiration” date. As you probably know this date is just a rough estimate. Baking powder, as long as the package is closed, should be fine for about 1.5 years. Once it’s opened, it’s best to use it within 6 months. I can recommend that you can use baking powder as long as it’s fine, even if that’s 2 or 3 months after the expiration date. Let’s discuss how to tell if your baking powder will still work as a leavening agent.

How To Tell If Baking Powder Has Lost Its Potency Or Is Bad

As I’ve mentioned earlier, baking powder doesn’t go bad in a way most foods do, unless some water or other substances will reach it. That isn’t necessarily a good thing. Because of that, there aren’t any visible signs that tell us that we should discard the powder. Fortunately enough there is a way to check if our baking powder will do its work in baking. Take a third full cup of hot water and add one teaspoon of baking powder to the water. If the prepared mixture bubbles, baking powder is good enough to be used in baking. If you’ve got only a teaspoon of baking powder left and you store it for a long time, it safer to discard it. Baking powder is pretty cheap and it’s definitely cheaper to buy a new package of baking powder than to discard a ruined cake.

As you can see, baking powder doesn’t go bad in a way of going rancid. It does, however, lose its potency with time. Because of that, if you’ve got baking powder that has been stored for an extended period of time, you should check if it still has potency before using it in baking.