Craftsy Cakes

For flakier pie crusts, moister cakes, and chewier cookies, apply this one rule. Toss out your leavening agents after six months, even if they’re not expired yet. Ingredients like baking powder, baking soda, and yeast may have long expiry dates on the packaging; however, they have very short shelf lives, meaning they will expire pretty quickly and won’t give your baked goods the lift they deserve. You can also buy them in small quantities, so they don’t sit in your cupboard quietly going rancid, and exchange them for new ones after six months from their production date. To check the freshness of baking soda or baking powder, pour hot water over a small quantity, and if it bubbles, then it’s still fresh. If you see no bubbling, it’s time to get replacements. You can read another post about the difference between baking powder and baking soda if you are curious about that.

Another essential ingredient to keep an eye on is instant yeast. It can be really disappointing to make a bread recipe, wait an hour or two for it to rise, and then nothing happens, no activity. Make sure that the yeast used in the recipe is active and good to go before starting, using a simple method called proofing the yeast. Here’s how: In a small bowl, place 2 ¼ teaspoons of yeast with 1 teaspoon of sugar and ¼ cup of warm water. Stir to dissolve and let it sit for 10 minutes. If it bubbles and gives out a yeast aroma, then the yeast is good to use. You can store opened packages of yeast in the refrigerator for three to four months. If your yeast is older than that, it may still be good, so do the proofing test to check it before using.


The flour you use in baked goods should also be fresh, which means it should smell fresh and feel light, not chalky, so keep an eye on your flour too. The bottom line is that if you want to bake a bread or cake and your leavening agent has been in the fridge or cabinet since 2018, toss it out and buy a new one before baking, and you will get much better results.

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