Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How long do ingredients keep?

I either over purchased ingredients to bake goodies at Christmas, or I under baked.  Maybe it was a combination of the two, but whatever the reason is I have a lot of extra ingredients leftover.

To have the best results when baking, it is recommended that ingredients are used within the guidelines listed below. 

Best if used by:

Flour: Opened; 6 to 8 months.  Unopened; 12 months.
Sugar: Doesn't spoil, but may change flavor with age.
Brown sugar: Unopened; 4 months.
Confectioner's sugar: Unopened; 18 months.
Baking Soda: Opened; 6 months.  Unopened; 18 months.
Baking powder: Opened; 3 months.  Unopened; 6 months.
Solid Shortening: Opened; 3 months.  Unopened; 8 months.
Cocoa: Opened; 1 year.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: Best if used before 18 to 24 months after the date of purchase.
On Friday, I will be posting my Slow Cooker
 Sweet n' Sour Chicken recipe.

On February 4th, I will be doing two drawings!  
One from the Followers of my blog, and one from the
Fans of my new Facebook page.
For more details, read my post about the Giveaway.

Winners will receive copies of my cookbook,

Visit my friends blogs!

You will love Bo and his blog,  Bo's Bowl.  Not only does he host great giveaways,  his recipes are incredible!  One visit to his blog and you will see why I faithfully 
follow it.

Also visit my friend Pam's blog, Pam's Midwest Kitchen Korner,  for more great recipes!  Once you read her blog, she will be your friend too!


  1. Thank you Linda for this information. When my family was growiing up, this was NEVER a problem, but now with only 2 of us I have to be careful especially with baking powder and baking soda. I' ve had little disasters with those expired products. I now write the date on the pk when I buy them.

  2. I freeze leftover baking ingredients as much as possible.. especially chocolate and nuts....

  3. Thanks for the helpful list of "use by" dates - I better get baking, I have some flour that is probably on the way out!

  4. Great tips...it's always good to know how long things will last in your pantry!

  5. Thanks for the tips on how long to keep ingredients, I was just wondering about this the other day. I have a few things that are getting a little "long in the tooth" and I'm getting ready to pitch them!

  6. Absolutely nice tips, thanks, gloria

  7. Thanks for the great tips, Linda! I'm off to look at my baking powder!

  8. Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog! Anytime you want to see a pic of the East Coast just let me know!


  9. Thank you for all the tips! Yes, I do have the habit of buying 'in case I need it'!

  10. Awesome tips! I should KIV this. Thks for the heads-up!

  11. I always try to buy the smallest package of everything...otherwise it will just go to waste.

  12. I had no idea about the baking powder and baking soda. Tnx for sharing, I can't wait for that sweet n sour chicken recipe!

  13. Great tips! Just made a Mississippi Mud Cake that had all the usual ingredients but didn't taste quite the same ;( Thinking it may have been old flour??? I don't bake very often.

    I should print these to help remind me. Tks again!

  14. Important tips, Linda. The other day someone asked me how long oats will keep. Since I didn't know for sure, I asked Bob's Red Mill; they said 18 months.

  15. Great list for "use it by" but at our house (with a 22 y/o and 11 y/o) we also have another scale of measurement for "how long do ingredients last".

    For example, a gallon of milk lasts about 2-3 days before it's gone! lol

  16. Thanks of these tips, as always! Have a lovely weekend!