baking powder go bad

Does Baking Powder Go Bad and Expire?

Surely you have at least a few bags of baking powder in the cupboard that sits there for a long time, and you don’t know if you can use it for something and if it is suitable for baking? We reveal everything you need to know about the durability of this powder.      

If you manage to buy just one bag of baking powder, one you need that day, congratulations. You are probably one of a million people who make it work. Usually, we all buy at least ten bags which then stand in the kitchen cupboard. Depending on how passionate a chef you are, it takes a month to spend it for some. For others, more than a year.  

And it seems like those bags of powder are always either just before the expiration date or have long passed it when you need them for your favorite cake. You open the bag, everything looks ok, and now you wonder if such a product can spoil? In short, it can. We will now explain the details to you. 

How Long Does Baking Powder Last?

When we said that a product could spoil, we might not have guessed the expression precisely enough. It will not go off in a way that it looks bad or causes you indigestion, but it will also not perform well the position for which it is intended – to raise the dough. This means the leavening agent will seem okay, but your dough will stay relatively flattened.    

Unopened baking powder

The best advice we can give you is to follow the instructions written on the cover. More or less, it is a date you need to stick to. The product may be acceptable for some 2 to 3 months after that deadline, but don’t rely on it for sure.       

Opened baking powder

Once you open the package, the air will start to do its thing, and the powder’s stability will weaken. It won’t happen right away, but it won’t last forever either. The estimated duration of the open leavening agent is between three and six months. 

Can Baking Powder Go Bad? 

As we explained, yes and no. It can go bad and not perform its task as it should. And that is enough to ruin your day while trying to prepare your favorite cake. When you put effort into making a biscuit, and it doesn’t rise properly, the fact that the product is safe to eat does not make you too enthusiastic. So how to recognize that the product has expired?   

Sign 1: Moisture got to it 

This is roughly the only visible sign you will have that the product is spoiled when we talk about baking powder. Very simply, like any other powder, with this product too, water does nothing good to its stability. If the packaging was in a damp place and the powder soaked up the moisture, you will notice it on the look. And if this happens, you can be sure that the product is faulty. You don’t have to doubt at all whether to use it for baking or not. Just throw it away.   

Sign 2: Test its potency  

Since there are no visible signs of deterioration, you can use one trick. Put a teaspoon of powder in warm water, about a third of a glass. If the mix starts to rise or create bubbles, it means that you have a good ally for baking in front of you. If the mixture is dull and unresponsive, find fresher packaging. 

Which is the Best Way to Store Baking Powder? 

We also bring you a few tips to help you preserve the stability of your products by storing them properly. It still means sticking to the expiration date written on the package, but at least until that date, you will have stable baking merchandise.   

Tip 1: Avoid damp places 

This is actually the golden tip for storing baking powder. By no means allow moisture to come in contact with it. After that, there is no return. Therefore, always keep the bags in a dry place away from possible humidifiers.     

Tip 2: Keep it well sealed   

Once you open the package, try to close it well with as little air as possible. This will help it stay fresh longer.    

Tip 3: Buy reasonable quantities 

Although this is not proper storage advice, it is certainly valuable guidance. Try not to buy too many packages at once. Even if they have a longer shelf life, keep in mind that the fresher, the better. So the leavening agent will work better closer to the date of production than the expiration date.    

FAQs

What happens if you use expired baking powder?

The dough will not rise as it should, nothing else.

How do you know if baking powder is bad?

The only way to check if the baking powder’s performance will be good is to put a teaspoon of the product in warm water and see if bubbles will appear. If not, throw the powder in the trash. 

Is expired baking powder harmful?

It is not. It will only be damaging to the success of the cake making. It will not be harmful in a way that causes food poisoning.

Should baking powder be refrigerated?

No, not at all. Putting it in the refrigerator can actually create a counter-effect by allowing moisture from the cold to harm the product. So under no circumstances, keep the baking powder in the fridge.

Conclusion

It is hard to imagine baking many sweet cakes, biscuits, or waffles without the use of leavening agents. Unfortunately, we all have a habit of buying ten or twenty bags at once, which then stand in our kitchen cupboard until they expire. So try to buy sensibly and always have new packages when you need them. 

Baking powder, if unopened, can last up to a maximum of two years, although each manufacturer will put its expiration date within which it guarantees that the product is stable. Once you open the package, try to consume it within three months and a maximum of six months, although there is already a higher risk that the rising potency will not be good enough. 

See more: Baking powder replacement

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