Can you use expired baking powder?

If you sometimes use baking soda in your recipes, you might be wondering if baking powder is the same thing. Well, that’s not the case, according to Healthline. Baking soda is 100% sodium bicarbonate, a chemical compound that creates carbon dioxide when mixed with an acid. This reaction brings height and fluffiness to baked goods. On the other hand, baking powder is a mixture of baking soda and powdered acid.

Although the products are very similar, both creating the carbon dioxide that makes pasta rise, they are used in different recipes. Baking powder is for recipes that contain little to no acidic ingredients (via Arm & Hammer). Since baking powder is dual-acting, it contains two types of acids. These acids will react at different times, once when you mix your dough and once when it is heated. This process adds bulk to acid-free baked goods, typically cookies or cakes. On the other hand, you should use baking soda in recipes that already have acidic elements in their ingredient lists. In this case, only one chemical compound is needed to help the dough rise. If you’ve seen recipes that include both baking soda and baking powder, it’s because baking soda alone can’t create the desired effect.

It is therefore clear that baking powder is an extremely useful tool for the kitchen. If you happen to let it sit in your pantry, here’s what you need to know about its expiration date.