How to Test Baking Powder and Baking Soda for Freshness

Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes. Diana Rattray

Baking powder and baking soda lose their effectiveness over time, which can ruin your baking. Here's how to test baking powder and baking soda to make sure they are still good.

How To Test Baking Powder

Baking powder is activated by a combination of heat and moisture. Test baking powder by mixing 1 teaspoon of baking powder with 1/3 cup hot water. If the baking powder is fresh, the mixture should produce lots of bubbles. Be sure to use warm or hot water; cold water will not work for this test.

How To Test Baking Soda

Baking soda is meant to produce bubbles when mixed with an acidic ingredient. Check baking soda by dripping a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice onto a small amount (1/4 teaspoon) of baking soda. The baking soda should bubble vigorously. If you don't see a lot of bubbles, it's time to replace your baking soda.

Baking Powder & Baking Soda Shelf Life

Depending on the humidity and how well the container is sealed, you can expect an opened box of baking powder or baking soda to retain its activity for a year to 18 months. Both products last longest if they are stored in cool, dry locations. High humidity can lessen the effectiveness of these leavening agents much more quickly. It's a good idea to test baking powder and soda before using them, just to be sure they are still good. The test is quick and simple and can save your recipe!

Baking Powder & Baking Soda Info