How to Test if Baking Powder is Still Good

Different Baking Powders: Clabber Girl, Rumford, Dr. Oetker, Alsa - How to Test if Baking Powder is Fresh | runawayrice.comIs your baking powder still good? Do you know how to test to see if your baking powder is still useable? Unless you’re an avid baker, you use baking powder infrequently. Probably like me, every time you reach for it in the pantry and look at the expiration date, it seems the baking powder is expired or is very close to expiring. Thinking about that fluffy cake recipe, you wonder if you should risk it. The baking powder many no longer be viable and there’s nothing more disappointing than wasting your ingredients and time to make a cake that doesn’t rise.

Good news! There’s a really easy way to test your baking powder to see if it’s still good. This simple test takes just 10 seconds and eliminates all guesswork whether the baking powder is fresh or stale. You won’t need anything fancy for this quick test, just hot water and your baking powder. You’ll know immediately if you should proceed with your recipe or proceed to the grocery store!How to Test Baking Powder for Freshness |

More about Baking Powder

Always store baking powder in a cool and dry area. Keep it out of direct sunlight or any place where it could get moist. I store my baking powder in my pantry where I store my dry spices.

Did you know baking powder settles? Because the individual ingredients in baking powder have different weights, they separate when resting in the can with the heavier ingredient settling to the bottom. Before using, always shake the can for about 10 seconds or use a fork to mix the contents. Keep this in mind when testing the baking powder. The baking powder may actually be good but failing to mix the ingredients together may cause the test to fail.

10 Second Baking Powder Test: 1 tsp baking powder and hot water |

When buying baking powder, I always purchase the smallest quantity possible, unless I am expecting to use a lot of it. Rumford makes a small 4 oz can of baking powder that is perfect for the occasional use. Another great option is sharing. I am a huge fan of sharing ingredients with my family and friends. If all that’s available is a larger container, I split half of it with my sister.

In the video below, I tested baking powder which was 6 months past its expiration date with baking powder still within its freshness date. Notice the difference in the bubbling and fizzing sound when stale baking powder is introduced to the hot water (on the left) versus when fresh baking powder is introduced to the hot water (on the right).

Watch the video for instructions.


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Testing Baking Powder

What You Need

baking powder
1/3 cup hot water


Shake the baking powder in the can for about 10 seconds to remove any settling.

Pour the hot water into a small bowl or measuring cup.

Measure out 1 tsp baking powder. Quickly add the baking powder to the hot water.

If the baking powder is still good or fresh, the mixture should bubble instantly and vigorously. The baking powder should dissolve immediately and the dry powder is no longer visible. This baking powder is still good and you can use it in your recipes.

If the baking powder is expired or stale, the mixture will just have a few bubbles, minimal fizzing and the powder will just float on top of the water.

Test Baking Powder to See If It's Good |

Test Baking Powder to See If It's Good |

Test Baking Powder to See If It's Good |


Check Out These Recipes Using Baking Powder

No Fail Light & Airy Sponge Cake! | recipe from  
Sponge Cake (Banh Bong Lan)

 Orange Chiffon Cake with Sweet Glaze and Raspberries | recipe from
Orange Chiffon Cake

A stack of Pandan Waffles (Banh Kep) ready to enjoy! | recipe from  Pandan Waffles (Banh Kep La Dua)

Puffy, Golden Perfection--these Hollow Donuts are such a treat!  
Hollow Donuts (Banh Tieu)

Steamed Pork Roll also called Vietnamese Ham--The best recipe EVER! | recipe from 
Steamed Pork Roll (Cha Lua/Gio Lua)

Fish cakes made from scratch--all goodness, no fillers or preservatives  
Fish Cakes (Cha Ca)

Seitan (Mi Can)


Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen


4 Responses to How to Test if Baking Powder is Still Good

  1. Missy January 1, 2021 at 12:17 pm #

    Thank you so much for doing this with both fresh AND older baking soda – seeing the difference makes it very clear!

    • Trang June 28, 2021 at 1:21 pm #

      I am glad you enjoyed this post! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Amy May 4, 2017 at 8:01 am #

    Can we use the same method to test single acting baking powder such as alsa. At lot of batch have no expiration date

    • Trang May 4, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

      Definitely! The test works with the Alsa baking powder. 🙂

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