NDSU Extension - Benson County


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Get the Most from Your Baking Soda and Baking Power

A Taste

For Nutrition

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent

Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science


Get the Most from Your Baking Soda and Baking Power

Baking powder and baking soda are essential to any successful baking adventure, so it is important to know how to keep these ingredients at their best and when it is time to toss them out. 

Both baking powder and baking soda have a “best if used by” date somewhere on the container.  This is usually 18-24 months out from when it was purchased. 

If you are unsure if your baking powered or soda are still fresh enough to be used in your baked goods, test it out.  To test if baking powder is still good, combine 1 teaspoon of baking powder with 1/3 cup of warm water.  If the mixture bubbles, the baking powder is still good and will have adequate rising power.

To test baking soda, place 1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda in a bowl and add one tablespoon of vinegar.  If it fizzes, it is still usable.

If you find yourself with an overabundance of baking powder or baking soda, they can be frozen without the rising qualities being harmed.  However, be conscious of where you store these items.  Storing them near a heat source such as an oven may lead to low quality performance of the product.

Finally, make sure all of your measuring equipment is clean and dry before putting it into the baking powder or baking soda container.  If measuring spoons are not clean, or still have water on them, it could contaminate the product, and give them a shorter shelf life. 

Here is a recipe for cornmeal pancakes.  It is the perfect recipe to use up some of your baking powder or baking soda.  Enjoy!

Cornmeal Pancakes


  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 egg


Directions: Measure, place in a bowl and mix cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Measure fat (butter or margarine), and add to cornmeal mixture. Bring water to a boil. Measure 1 3/4 cups boiling water, and add to cornmeal mixture. Beat until well mixed.  Measure evaporated milk, and pour into a small bowl. Measure vinegar, and stir into evaporated milk. Stir milk and vinegar mixture into cornmeal mixture. Beat to mix well. Beat in egg. Makes batter for 20 medium-size pancakes.  Heat griddle or fry pan. (If electric fry pan is used, preheat it to 380 degrees.) Pan is "hot" when a drop of water "dances." Grease pan lightly.  Pour batter onto griddle or fry pan. Use about 3 Tablespoons batter for each pancake. A 1/4 cup measure is handy to use for pouring. Stir the batter up from the bottom now and then to keep it well mixed. Cook until top is covered with bubbles and the bottom is brown. Loosen edges of each pancake all around. Turn pancakes over and brown other side.



Makes: 20 servings.  Each serving contains 90 calories, 3 grams of fat, 200 mg of sodium, 14 carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein. 



  • MSU Extension: Rising Ingredients: Baking Powder and Baking Soda, 2016
  • USDA Consumer and Marketing Service, Smart Shopper Recipe

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