How to Check the Freshness of Baking Powder

One Methods:Hot water method

If you haven't used your baking powder in a while and you're unsure about its freshness, try this method to check it. If the baking powder isn't fresh, it won't do its work in helping your baked goods to rise properly.


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    Place a teaspoon of the baking powder into a jug.
  2. Image titled CheckBakingPowderFreshness 2
    Pour in a quarter of a litre (8.4 fl oz) of water.
  3. Image titled CheckBakingPowderFreshness 3
    Watch for the reaction.
    • If the baking powder effervesces well, it is still fresh.
    • If it does not, the powder is stale and you will need to purchase new baking powder.

Hot water method

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    Mix 2 tablespoons of baking powder in one cup of hot water from the tap.
  2. Image titled CheckBakingPowderFreshnessHot 2
    Assess the reaction:
    • If the water fizzes and foams immediately, then it is fresh.
    • If the reaction is delayed or it's weak, the baking powder is stale and needs to be disposed of.


  • Baking powder should be stored in a dry, cool place. Moisture will cause it to clump and heat will reduce its effectiveness.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking powder
  • Teaspoon
  • Jug
  • 1/4 litre (8.4 fl oz) of water

Sources and Citations

  • Cook's Illustrated Magazine, 365 Quick Tips, p. 26, (2000), ISBN 0-936184-50-7 – research source

Article Info

Categories: Baking