Does Baking Powder Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on July 28th, 2022

Unless you’re a serious baker, an unsealed canister of baking powder will likely stay in your kitchen cupboard for a long time. However, if you use this leavening agent occasionally, that duration can be months or even years. So the issue “does baking powder go bad?” arises sometimes.

Because this baking ingredient is merely powder, you would imagine it will last eternally. What horrible can happen if water doesn’t get to it?

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Unfortunately, it isn’t exactly correct. While the powder is safe to use indefinitely, it will no longer function as a leavening agent. In other words, if you add it to your baked products at any time, they will not rise properly. Or even at all. When this occurs, it indicates that your baking powder has lost its efficacy.

Continue reading to discover more about baking powder storage, shelf life, spoiling, and potency.

What is the difference between baking powder and baking soda?

Baking powder and baking soda are leavening chemicals used in baking. However, owing to their names and features, many people frequently mix them up. Therefore, understanding the distinctions between them is critical since substituting one for the other can wreak havoc on your baking efforts.

Baking soda is a naturally alkaline white crystalline powder. Carbon dioxide is released when baking soda combines with an acidic substance or a liquid, making baked goods fluffy and light.

Baking soda recipes will also use acidic components such as buttermilk or lemon juice.

Instead of baking soda, baking powder is a full leavening ingredient, containing both the base and acid required for baked goods to rise.

When the powder is mixed with a liquid at room temperature, the acid combines with sodium bicarbonate and emits carbon dioxide; when the combination is heated, the acid reacts with sodium bicarbonate again and emits carbon dioxide. Therefore, baking powder is used in recipes where an acidic component is not required.

How Long Does Baking Powder Last?

Most baking powder packets and containers have a “best-by” date. That date tells you how long the product will, at the very least, keep its quality. It’s only a preliminary estimate for baking powder. So you may safely assume that an unopened bag of baking powder will continue to function normally after that date.

How long will it take? It’s tough to say for sure. If you open a package of baking powder more than three months over its best-by date, I recommend that you test its efficacy before using it. In this manner, you’ll know whether or not the powder is still effective.

Most sources recommend you utilize the product within six months of opening it. In summary, once air enters the container, the powder loses its efficacy more quickly, therefore the 6-month advice.

If you’ve had your baking powder for more than six months, always check its strength before using it in a baking job.

Baking powder (unopened)Best by + 6 months
Baking powder (opened)3 – 6 months

Please keep in mind that the times shown above are only estimations. Check the strength of baking powder before using it if it has been stored for an extended period.

How long may baking powder be stored after it has been opened?

Baking powder may be stored properly for up to a year and a few months. Proper storage entails storing the item in its original container or an airtight container/freezable storage bag. Place in a cool, dry location away from humidity and moisture.

Is it necessary to keep the baking powder in the refrigerator?

Baking powder should never be kept in the refrigerator. There is a possibility that the baking powder will come into touch with moisture, causing a reaction that will destroy the baking powder. Instead, the baking powder should be stored in a cold, dry place like the back of your cupboard.

How Long Does Baking Powder Last in the Outdoors?

Baking powder should be stored away from the refrigerator. Any section of your kitchen that does not get wet or contain liquids is ideal.

Pantry/Cabinet: Keeping a pantry or cabinet dry and cold will improve shelf life. It is fine to keep the Baking Powder in its original package. You may also place it in a sealed plastic container to keep moisture away from it.

Keeping it on the counter is OK if you don’t have a pantry or cupboard space. Baking Powder can also be kept on the counter in a plastic-sealed jar. Keeping it in a plastic container will keep it fresh and dry until the next time you need it.

How Long Can Baking Powder Be Stored in the Fridge?

Baking powder does not keep well in the refrigerator. Refrigerators contain condensation or moisture, which helps to preserve the food within. However, moisture might induce a reaction, rendering your baking powder ineffective when needed.

Plastic bags or containers will not keep condensation away from the goods. Baking Powder should not be kept in the refrigerator.

This approach is never recommended for storing baking powder since baking powders must be dry.

How Long Can Baking Powder Be Stored in the Freezer?

Baking powder should not be kept in the freezer either. The freezer produces significantly more condensation than the refrigerator. A Freezer will undoubtedly render your goods ineffective. The freezer is not recommended for keeping Baking Powder.

Baking powder will not keep in the freezer for very long. Likewise, plastic bags or containers will not keep condensation away from the goods.

Outside on a counter, cupboard, or cabinet is the ideal location to keep baking powder. Place it inside a tightly sealed plastic container to keep it dry.

How to Determine Whether Baking Powder Is Good (test)

What You Require

  • Baking soda or baking powder
  • Hot tap water in a measuring cup
  • a quarter teaspoon measuring spoon
  • White vinegar or apple cider vinegar (if testing baking soda)


  1. Measure the water: Take 1/2 cup of hot tap water.
  2. Pour in the vinegar: Baking soda requires an acid to react, so if you’re testing baking soda, add 1/4 teaspoon of a basic vinegar, such as white or apple cider vinegar, to the water. There is no need to use vinegar while testing baking powder.
  3. Baking soda or baking powder should be added: Mix with 1/4 teaspoon baking soda or baking powder.
  4. Watch for fizzing! Look for immediate popping or fizzing after adding the baking soda or powder. If this occurs, your baking soda or powder is still safe to use! If there is no bubbling, it is time to replace the batteries.

Is it possible for baking powder to lose its potency?

Yes. We refer to its strength when we talk of “ancient” baking powder. Consuming outdated baking powder will not hurt you in any way. However, it will not aid in the rise and fluffiness of your baked products. That being said, baking powder does lose its efficacy over time.

How to Tell if Baking Powder Is Bad or Has Lost Its Potency

As I previously stated, baking powder does not spoil, so it is harmful to eat until it comes into contact with water or other chemicals. Unfortunately, there is no visual evidence that the powder is still active. Fortunately, there is a technique to see if our baking powder is up to the task.

Add one teaspoon baking powder to a third of a cup of boiling water. Baking powder is safe to use if the prepared mixture bubbles. This is how it should look:

If no bubbles exist, it has lost efficacy and should be discarded.

If you have a teaspoon of baking powder left and it’s been lying in your pantry for a long time, it’s best to toss it. Baking powder is inexpensive, and buying a new bag of baking powder is less expensive than throwing out a destroyed cake.

Of course, if something is wrong with the powder, such as mold or other growth in the packaging, you should throw it away. However, that most likely suggests moisture got into the container.

Can I use expired baking powder?

If you believe you can get away with using out-of-date baking powder in your baked products, don’t. Your baked product will be flat, thick, and crumbly if you use outdated baking powder. Is it something you’d like to get your teeth into? Certainly not. Use only fresh ingredients.

Effects of Expired Baking Powder

According to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, expiry dates indicate the final day to eat a product before its quality deteriorates. While using outdated baking powder after the expiry date is safe, it may be less effective.

According to Michigan State University Extension, the baking powder should be used before its expiration date. After its use-by date, which is normally 18 to 24 months after manufacturing, expired baking powder loses its efficacy. The sole risk of using outdated baking soda or baking powder is that it will not rise correctly, resulting in flat and dense baked items.

How to Store Baking Powder to Extend Its Shelf Life

Baking powder is extremely sensitive to moisture and humidity; therefore, keeping it in a location where it will not come into touch with these things is critical for its durability. With that in mind, here are some storage suggestions for baking powder.

Store baking powder in its original container or bag — If the original container or bag is damaged, store the baking powder in an airtight container or freezable plastic bag.

Place baking powder in a cold, dry location — the ideal option is in the back of a kitchen cabinet or pantry. Avoid storing baking powder in the refrigerator or freezer since it will soon deteriorate.

Keep baking powder away from humidity and moisture — Generally, you don’t want baking powder near liquids that might spill and leak into the container. It should also not be placed near heat sources or locations with significant humidity.

What About Unopened Baking Powder Containers?

You don’t need to be concerned about the shelf life of baking powder if you haven’t opened it yet. Baking powder only goes bad when it comes into touch with humidity and moisture, so a sealed container in a cold, dark place can survive for years.

Can Baking Powder Be Freeze? How?

If you try to freeze Baking Powder, it will not be good. Baking powder does not keep in the freezer. So instead, you’ll have worthless Baking Powder.

Baking Powder cannot be stored in the freezer. Even plastic bags or containers will not prevent moisture from accumulating inside. Therefore, it is not suggested that this product be frozen.

How Should Baking Powder Be Thawed?

Baking Powder appears to be a powder. Unless moisture is added, the powder does not freeze. Baking powder will activate if it comes into contact with moisture and will not aid the baking process.

Baking Powder should not be frozen; thus, thawing the product is unnecessary.


Editorial Staff

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