What Happens To Baking Powder When It Expires?

How long has your baking powder been in your cupboard? Chances are, a pretty long time unless you bake regularly. According to Healthline, baking powder is used to help your baked goods rise. A cake without baking powder is a flat cake. It hasn't always been around, and before the invention of baking powder, making a cake was very difficult.

Be careful not to confuse baking powder with baking soda. Baking soda is just sodium bicarbonate, according to Livestrong, while baking powder is sodium bicarbonate with two more acids (monocalcium phosphate and sodium acid pyrophosphate or sodium aluminum sulfate). The extra acids allow the dough or batter to not rise until it heats in the oven. Baking soda, on the other hand, causes an immediate reaction. So, what if your baking powder has expired or you've had it for so long, you aren't sure if it has? Will your baked goods fall flat?

Test your baking powder

It's easy to tell if you've used too much baking powder in a recipe because whatever you've made might rise too quickly and you're left with a crumbly mess. The rise means it is a good baking powder; however, the quick rise that goes too far means there is an overabundance of it. But how do you know if you've used baking powder that's no longer any good? If your baking soda is expired, your yummy treat won't rise and will likely be too dense. Things like cakes, cookies, and cupcakes need the chemical reaction that takes place with the baking powder so they can fluff up. Your food is edible, but it won't look good or have the right texture.

The best thing to do if you're unsure is to test it out before adding the powder to the recipe. David Lebovitz explains that to test your baking powder before using it, put ½ teaspoon of it in a bowl and then pour ¼ cup boiling water on top of it. If your baking powder is still active, it will bubble like crazy. If it doesn't, dump it out and buy new baking powder. On average, the shelf life of baking powder is only six months. It should be kept in a cool, dry place; if it isn't, it might need to be replaced sooner.