Does Expired Baking Powder Work?

by Charlie
Expired Baking Powder

Baking powder is an additive used in baking recipes to make the batter mixture rise and fluffy. In essence, it acts as an activating agent in a baking mixture or any recipe that has little to no acidic compound. It is the most durable and long-lasting.

Even though baking powder lasts long, its shell life can adversely decrease when contaminated and exposed to moisture, making it ineffective in baking. When a baking powder exceeds its production period and allocated usage time, which is often between six to twelve months, it loses its potency.

It can be damaging when used in baking. An expired baking powder will not work properly as a rising agent, which leaves the baked goods flat and relatively thick.  

Does expired baking powder work? Expired baking powder will not work if it is no longer active. To know if your baking powder is still active, take a ½ teaspoon and put it in a bowl filled with ¼ (60ml) cup of boiling water. When you do this, the mixture would immediately bubble up. The bubbles signify that the baking powder can still make your dough rise. But, if this does not happen, it means that your baking powder has expired and is no longer useful.

Can Expired Baking Powder Make You Sick?

No, expired baking powder is not harmful, nor will it make you sick. This is because the baking additive does not have any toxic substance. Hence, if put in a small quantity, it will be useless to the recipe. However, avoid using expired baking powder because it is bad practice.

How Long Can You Keep Baking Powder After the Expiration Date?

While the baking powder is long-lasting, it does not last forever because they are overly sensitive to moisture and humidity. Hence, they spoil easily when not properly kept or exposed to these elements. They should be kept in a cool, dry place like in a cabinet. The general shelf life of a baking powder is six to twelve months

So, when baking powder surpasses its expiring date, it is best to get rid of it immediately because this additive will not be useful to your baking products. It only keeps them dense and flat. You can still use it for other purposes for an additional three months. But cooking or baking isn’t one of such.

Can You Use Unopened Expired Baking Powder?

The shelf life of an opened baking powder is usually six to twelve months. But when unopened, baking powder can last for about eighteen months before getting spoilt and losing its effectiveness.

This additive will lose its potency even when unopened, as long as it is past its expiration. After the eighteen months window, there will be no much use of it for cooking or baking. Although you may choose to use it still, this is not advisable, though it does not have any damaging effect. Unopened baking powder can also serve various purposes other than baking.

What Can You Do with Expired Baking Powder?

The first thing to note is that baking powder’s major ingredient is baking soda, mixed with some reacting or leavening agents. So, after it passes its expiry date, it can be used for various things apart from cooking and baking.

Baking soda can act as a cleaning agent for removing stains on hard surfaces. You can also use it to get rid of grease on your stove. Additionally, it helps to neutralize and absorb the acidity in animal urine that can damage a carpet or wood coverings.

In spas and even in a hot tub at home, expired baking powder aids in raising the alkaline level of the water. Likewise, it serves as a great odor absorbent in smelly refrigerators.

Should Baking Powder Be Refrigerated?

No, the baking powder should not be refrigerated as it does not do well with moisture. When stored in a refrigerator, the condensation from the freezer can cause moisture to form inside the packaging of your baking powder, causing it to change by losing its power and deteriorating. The best option is to store it in a dry cupboard.

Once unsealed, store your baking powder away from any liquid content in an airtight package to keep it free from moisture.

Final Thoughts

  • When used in baking or cooking, expired baking powder does not work because it has lost its activating power and will not make your pastry rise.
  • To know if your baking powder is still active, take a ½ teaspoon and pour in a bowl filled with ¼ boiling water. If the baking powder is still active, it will bubble up. But, if it isn’t, the mixture remains still.
  • An expired baking powder will not make you sick because it is not toxic and is no longer effective.
  • Keeping your baking powder after it is past its expiration date is not necessary. However, you can still use it for up to three months, not just for cooking or baking.
  • Although an unopened and expired baking powder will not give any additional benefits to your dish, you can still use it in some household chores.
  • Expired baking powder is good for removing stains on hard surfaces, removing grease on the stove and neutralizing acidic animal urine that can damage wood and carpet floorings.
  • This baking additive is also good in a hot bath to increase the alkalinity of the water. It also absorbs odor in refrigerators.
  • To store your baking powder, keep it in a dry and moisture-free cupboard. Because moisture damages its leavening and rising agent, rendering it inactive. 

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