Baking Ingredients Shelf Life Guide

Baking Ingredients Shelf Life Guide

When you are baking, you want to use the freshest ingredients possible. The key to freshness is storing them correctly and knowing when to toss them out. Baking ingredients should be stored in either glass jars, Tupperware containers or tins to extend their shelf life. If you stocked up on baking ingredients for the holidays, but now find you have a lot left over. This Baking Ingredients Shelf Life Guide will fill you in on how long you can expect your supply to last. While the temperature of your home, where you store them (i.e. a dark cabinet vs. an open shelf) and other variables can all play a role, these are some general ideas and estimates to rely on to give you some rough guidelines.

Baking Ingredients Shelf Life Guide

Cooking Oil Shelf Life– Cooking oil will last about a year if it has not been opened and 1-3 months if it has been opened.

Shortening Shelf Life– Shortening lasts longer than oils do as far as their shelf life. Unopened shortening will stay good for about 2 years while opened shortening will last about a year.

Peanut Butter Shelf Life– Peanut butter has a shelf life of 6-9 months.

Brown Sugar Shelf Life– Brown sugar can be stored up to 6 months from the date you open it as long as it is stored in an airtight container. If you end up with hardened brown sugar, you can rescue it with this simple tip to save hardened brown sugar.

Molasses Shelf Life– Molasses will stay good for 2 years if not opened and 6 months if opened.

Corn Syrup Shelf Life– Corn syrup is an ingredient that can last indefinitely whether unopened or opened.

Granulated Sugar Shelf Life– While granulated sugar may harden into clumps if not stored in an airtight container, it will remain good indefinitely whether unopened or opened. The same holds true for sugar cubes, raw sugar and powdered sugar.

Premade Mixes Shelf Life– You can store pie crust mixes for 6 months, frosting mixes for 8 months, cake mixes for 6-9 months and biscuit, muffin and brownie mixes for 9 months.

Baking Soda and Baking Powder Shelf Life– Baking soda and baking powder will last indefinitely whether unopened or opened and 6 months if opened.

Honey Shelf Life– Honey has a shelf life of 2 years if not opened and 6-8 months if opened. If you find your honey has crystalized, use these tips for dealing with honey crystals.

Non-fat Dry Milk Shelf Life– Non-fat dry milk can last 6 months if unopened and 3 months if opened.

Flour Shelf Life– White and whole wheat flour will stay good for 6-8 months whether unopened or opened as long as it is kept in an airtight container.' About Chrysa

Chrysa is the founder and owner of, a site dedicated to living a fabulous life on a frugal budget. Her approach is that by spending less on the boring everyday stuff, you can have more money to splurge on the things you REALLY want, whether it’s travel, fashion, electronics – you name it! Chrysa is married, has a 8-year old nephew she dotes on, as well as three lovable cats and a big sweetie of a German Shepherd.


  1. This is great information. I always wondered about the shelf life of flour and sugar. I think I will write a date on the packages when I open them now so I remember how long they are good for!

  2. I keep buying expensive flour and then forgetting to use it all. It usually ends up going to waste…

  3. Another nice thing about storing in glass or Tupperware is that it helps prevent and keep little bugs out of there. I will never forget the first time I saw a weevil in a bag of food – ew.

    •' Ellen Coleman says:

      freeze all flour products at least overnight t, It will prevent any “eggs” of weevils hatching

    •' Diane Reiner says:

      I learned this many years ago and it has not ever failed yet. I had a Terminix man tell me this. Whenever you buy flour, cereals, pastas, cake mixes, or any grains, etc. if you will bring them home and put them in the freezer for at least 24 hrs. you will never have bugs in any of them. This man explained it to me this way, nearly all of the things I’ve just listed already HAS the weevil eggs in it. But if you will freeze them, the weevils will never hatch, and as icky as it sounds, the eggs aren’t harmful at all. I know Ellen Coleman has mentioned to freeze the products, but I just wanted to explain why. Thanks, and I hope this helps as well.

  4. I am horrible at this! I had no idea that some of these items even expired! I keep sugar and flour in our fridge so it lasts longer.

  5. I know I have quite a few over the expiration date spices and the like. I should use this time to get rid of half of them, and get new .

  6. This is such a helpful post. Especially as once flour, sugar is decanted into storage containers it is tricky to know what the use by date is. Even frequent bakers will benefit from this advice. Thank you for sharing. Sammie.

  7. Thank you, Chrysa, this is very helpful! Happy New Year to you and yours!

  8.' Brenda Beckwith says:

    Honey will last forever! Honey was found in a Pyramid and it was still good. Baking Powder will loose it’s effectiveness. Toss after 1 year

  9. I’ve always wondered if the shelf life they give is accurate or if you can go well beyond their suggested life,

  10.' Sheila Ritter says:

    I honestly have to say that I have never even really thought about the shelf life of baking ingredients. This is some good information to have. Thank you.

  11.' Lisa Coomer Queen says:

    This was great! A lot of good information here. Thank you for sharing.

  12.' Michelle Richardson says:

    Great tips! I so need to go through my baking cupboard before the holidays begin!

  13. thank you for this I never know when something needs to be tossed

  14. this is really cool!

  15.' Amanda Bruenger says:

    I’ve always wondered if the shelf life of some of these, great information!

  16. This is a wonderful guide, I’m going to have to book mark it so that I can come back to it for reference!

  17.' Michelle Richardson says:

    Great tips! Thank you! I need to revamp my baking storage!

  18.' Melanie Huttner says:

    very helpful tips, thank you!!

  19. Baking powder and brown sugar are the worst for me – I always seem to end up with them going bad. Thanks for this reminder! I really should to a better job of ‘dating’ my supplies!

  20.' Debra Allotta says:

    I put all my pastas in Plastic Containers. I cut off the name of pasta, and drop in the container on top of the pasta. I do the same with rice. I have different rices, and they are made differently, I cut the name of rice and also the directions. Directions I tape to bottom of cover, the name I drop right on top. I have been doing this for years. I also do the farina, the cornmeal, barley, I try to keep things in plastic containers. You can see whats in the container, how much you have left, and you can also can see if there are any bugs! Never have I see one yet. I hope this helps many of you.

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