Baking 101: Check If Your Baking Powder Is Still Active Before Use

What happens when you use inactive baking powder while making a cake? It hardly rises leaving the finished product flat and not particularly aesthetic. Before pointing fingers at the recipe owner, check to make sure your baking powder is active first. Read ahead for a simple guide on how to do so.

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By Cookist

Baking powder is an important ingredient when it comes to baking. When it comes to cakes, it supports the rising of the batter, and this is why it is easily noticed if it was not added.

Truly sometimes people forget to add baking powder, but many would find that their cake still comes out flat despite adding sufficient baking powder. Well, that's because the powder is dead. So, it's essential to check if your baking powder still works before you use it.

How to check if your baking powder is active: 


Not a lot of people know, but it does not matter if you checked the expiry date and it was still valid. This is because baking powder is one of those ingredients that can be dead even before it passes the due date.

This is especially true for people who don't bake often. The powder is usually left on the shelf for months, even after the seal is broken, because the owner rarely bakes.

Baking powder starts losing its rising power as soon as the seals are broken, which means the longer it spends on a shelf, the lower its potency. How quickly it loses potency is dependent on various factors, including temperature and humidity.

To check if your baking powder would work effectively:

  • Place 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder in a small bowl.
  • Pour over 1/4 cup (65ml) of boiling water.
  • It can be considered active if it bubbles energetically as the water is added. The bubbles will quickly subside once the pouring stops.
  • It should be considered dead if there is no foaming, and we recommend getting another to be stored in better conditions and used frequently until it runs out.

Good luck!

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