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Baking Ingredients Shelf Life Charts

Updated on December 10, 2012
Baking is indeed an art form!
Baking is indeed an art form! | Source

A Home Bakers Everyday Pantry

What Should I Always Have on Hand?

The ingredients a home baker should always have in their pantry depends entirely on how ambitiously you bake. Some home bakers are fine with making simple baked goods like Scottish shortbread (all of four ingredients—butter, sugar, flour, and salt). Then there are those who prefer baking up a loaf of homemade basil garlic bread (requiring flour, yeast, basil and garlic) on a rainy afternoon without having to march off to the grocery store. How you stock your pantry and refrigerator depends greatly on your personal baking needs. The following list includes baking ingredients that can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week, as well as ingredients stored at room temperature for much longer.


This list allows for the baking of items such as brownies, scones and biscuits, butter cookies, or pound cake. By having these basic ingredients on hand you will have the items needed for a few of the more common and simple baking recipes. With this list, even the basic baker has a ready to go pantry available at the drop of a hat.

In The Pantry

  • all-purpose flour
  • granulated sugar
  • dark brown sugar
  • light brown sugar
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • vanilla extract
  • unsweetened chocolate
  • semisweet chocolate chips

In The Refrigerator

In The Freezer

  • pecans or walnuts
  • unsalted butter

What does a home-Baker need in the pantry?
What does a home-Baker need in the pantry? | Source


By adding this list of baking ingredients to your pantry you expand your repertoire to include fruit pies (be sure to have some fresh or frozen fruit around though), peanut butter or oatmeal cookies, a number of quick breads, and of course corn muffins.

In The Pantry

  • cornstarch
  • rolled oats (not the quick cooking type)
  • cornmeal
  • confectioners sugar
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • raisins
  • vegetable shortening
  • vegetable oil
  • ground ginger
  • ground cinnamon
  • and finally, the baker's buddy, nutmeg

In The Refrigerator

  • cream cheese or goat cheese
  • natural peanut butter
  • fruit preserves
  • coconut

In The Freezer

  • almonds whole and slivered

What's your Baking Favorite?

Of all of the baking goods listed here, which do you use the most?

See results
Having the right ingredients in the pantry makes for great Baking results!
Having the right ingredients in the pantry makes for great Baking results! | Source

In The Refrigerator

  • yogurt
  • buttermilk

In The Freezer

  • hazelnuts
  • pine nuts
  • active dry yeast


Now we bump-up your flavor creating possibilities by allowing for those baking ingredients that make tender cakes, pastries, and even yeast-risen breads. For this veteran baker's kitchen be sure to keep the following baker's ingredients on hand at all times.

In The Pantry

  • whole-wheat flour
  • light and dark corn syrup
  • cake flour
  • dark (not black-strap) molasses
  • local honey
  • dried figs
  • dried pineapple
  • dried dates
  • dried apricots
  • dried cranberries (great substitute for raisins)
  • instant espresso powder
  • almond extract
  • mace
  • allspice
  • ground cloves

Freshness and Your Baking Success

How fresh is fresh?

Fresh ingredients are essential for great-tasting baked goods. Knowing how to store them properly and when to discard them is the first step to successful baking. Provided here you will find "charts for storage and shelf life of baking pantry ingredients." When packaging or storing your pantry ingredients, be sure to use an indelible pen or marker to write on the bags, boxes, and jars of the more seldom used items. Also, make certain to include the purchased date so you know exactly when you bought them. Always store baking pantry ingredients in airtight containers for added freshness.

The following guide will help you to keep your baking pantry ingredients in optimum baking condition.

Storing Baking Pantry Ingredients

copyright IndiaDee 2011
copyright IndiaDee 2011


baking powder 
3 months
baking soda 
6 months 
butter, unsalted 
middle of refrigerator
up to 3 months
butter, unsalted
up to 6 months
chocolate, unsweetened, semisweet, and bittersweet
1 year 
cocoa powder 
1 year 
6 months
refrigerator or freezer
12 months
18 months
corn syrup
dried fruit
6 months
in carton in middle of refrigerator
3 to 5 weeks
espresso powder
1 year
flour, white
8 months
flour, white
1 year
flour, whole-wheat
2 months
flour, whole-wheat
6 months
1 year
6 months
6 months to 1 year
6 months
refrigerator or freezer
1 year
peanut butter (natural)
3 months
3 months
1 year
sugar, brown
4 months
sugar, confectioners'
18 months
sugar, granulated
2 years
vanilla and other extracts
4 to 5 years
vegetable oil
4 to 6 months
yeast, dry
6 months
yeast, dry
1 year
3 weeks

Comments for "Baking Supplies, Food Shelf life Charts"

Submit a Comment
  • Robin profile image

    Robin Edmondson 

    7 years ago from San Francisco

    Thanks for providing the pantry shelf life items. I know I have baking powder and soda that is way too old! Time to clean that out! Quick question, why do you keep honey for only a year? If it's properly sealed it can last forever!

  • celeste inscribed profile image

    Celeste Wilson 

    8 years ago

    Very good list to have on hand, thank you. I don't like shopping so knowing how long I can store something helps me plan ahead. Voted interesting

  • Simone Smith profile image

    Simone Haruko Smith 

    10 years ago from San Francisco

    Oh boy, this is SO useful! Voted up and bookmarked for frequent future reference!

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 

    10 years ago from Washington

    Totally cool hub~!

  • Steph Harris profile image

    Steph Harris 

    10 years ago from Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

    A very useful and informative hub, thank you. This comment is from someone who is forever deciding to bake bread or a cake and after looking in the food cupboards, has to run out to the shops to buy one or more of the ingredients that I have run out of. It's one of the things I do that drives me mad with frustration.


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