Is 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!
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.
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).
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Testing Baking Powder
What You Need
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.
Check Out These Recipes Using Baking Powder