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How to Store Common Baking Ingredients

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Part 1 of my Baking Basics series: The best ways to store commonly used baking ingredients in the pantry, fridge and freezer to keep them as fresh as possible for the best baking results.

California Closets White pantry corner with white stool

An important part of successful baking is proper storage of your ingredients. The last thing you want to do is get ready to make a buttercream frosting for the gorgeous three layer cake you just made only to find that your heavy cream is rancid. If you want to make me cry… that’s how you make me cry.

Below are a collection of charts with my most commonly used ingredients and their particular storage methods for reference so you too can avoid a spoiled ingredient disaster.

A few baking ingredient storage tips

  • Generally speaking, the key to most things is to store ingredients in a cool, dark place away from temperature fluctuations and moisture.
  • When in doubt, store refrigerated items in the body of the fridge and not the door.
  • If you’re not sure how long you’ve had something, and/or there’s no date on the package, it’s time to toss it for a new one.
  • If you can’t read the expiration date on a package because it’s worn off… that’s a good sign it’s time to replace it.

My favorite storage containers

Drawer full of spice jars

Dry pantry staples

IngredientMethod of storage
Baking powderSealed in original packaging in a cool, dark, dry place.
Baking sodaSealed in original packaging in a cool, dark, dry place, and away from spices or other foods with strong scents (as it absorbs odors).
Candy meltsSealed in a cool, dark, dry place.
Chocolate baking barsSealed in a cool, dark, dry place.
Chocolate chipsSealed in a cool, dark, dry place.
Cocoa powderAirtight container in a cool, dark, dry place.
CornstarchSealed in original packaging in a cool, dark, dry place.
Cream of tartarSealed in original packaging in a cool, dark, dry place.
Espresso powderAirtight container in a cool, dark, dry place.
FloursAirtight container in a cool, dry place.
MarshmallowsSealed container in a cool, dry place.
Marshmallow FluffSealed container in a cool, dry place.
Salt, no additivesCovered container in a dry place, but not metal container as the salt would leach the metal.
Salt, sea or fleur de selCovered container in a dry place, but not metal container as the salt would leach the metal.
SpicesAirtight containers in a dark, dry place away from direct sunlight or moisture.
SprinklesCovered container in a dry place.
Sugar, coconutAirtight container in a cool, dry place.
Sugar, granulated Airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Sugar, light or dark brown Airtight container in a cool, dry place – store with a moist brown sugar bear to keep it soft!
Sugar, powderedAirtight container in a cool, dry place.
YeastUnopened: Sealed container in a cool, dry place.
Opened: Sealed container in the fridge or freezer.

Liquid pantry staples

IngredientMethod of storage
Broths (chicken, beef, vegetable)Sealed container in the fridge.
Coconut milk Unopened container: Cool, dark place or in the fridge.
Opened: Sealed container in fridge.
Extracts (almond, mint, imitation vanilla, etc.)Sealed container in cool, dark place.
HoneySealed container in a cool place, and do not store in metal container as it will oxidize.
Maple syrup, realUnopened container: Cool, dark place or in the fridge.
Opened: Sealed container in fridge.
Milk, shelf stableUnopened container: Cool, dark place or in the fridge.
Opened: Sealed container in fridge.
Milk, sweetened condensedUnopened container: Cool, dark place or in the fridge.
Opened: Airtight container in fridge.
Molasses Sealed in a cool, dark, dry place.
Oil, coconutSealed container. Will be liquid at warmer temperature and be solid at cooler temperature – neither is bad, just a matter of circumstance.
Oil, vegetable or canolaSealed bottle (preferably made of tinted glass or stainless steel to keep light out) in a dark, cool place.
Oil, extra virgin oliveSealed bottle (preferably made of tinted glass or stainless steel to keep light out) in a dark, cool place.
Oil, non-stick spraySealed in a cool, dry place.
Vanilla, pure extract Sealed bottle in a cool, dark place.

Condiments

ProductMethod of storage
DressingsUnopened: Sealed bottle in a cool, dark place.
Opened: Sealed bottle in the fridge.
Hot sauceSealed container at room temperature.
JamsUnopened: Sealed container in a cool, dark place.
Opened: Sealed container in the fridge.
JelliesUnopened: Sealed container in a cool, dark place.
Opened: Sealed container in the fridge.
MayonnaiseUnopened: Sealed container in a cool, dark place.
Opened: Sealed container in the fridge.
Mustard, yellow or groundUnopened: Sealed container in a cool, dark place.
Opened: Sealed container in the fridge.
Peanut butterSealed container in a cool, dark place or in the fridge.
Sesame oilSealed container in a cool, dark place.
Soy sauceSealed container in the fridge.
Vinegar, any kindSealed container in a cool, dark place.
Worcestershire sauceSealed container in the fridge.

Dried goods

ProductMethod of storage
BreadcrumbsSealed container in a cool, dry place.
Chia seedsSealed container in a cool, dark, dry place.
Fruit (cranberries, figs, raisins, etc.)Sealed in a dry place. Moisture can cause them to clump together and/or become limp or soft.
NutsAirtight container in a cool, dark place.
OatsSealed container in a cool, dry place.
Pasta, dried and boxedCovered container in a dry place.
Rice, brownCovered container in a dry place.
Rice, jasmineCovered container in a dry place.
Rice, whiteCovered container in a dry place.
Rice, wildCovered container in a dry place.
Refrigerated items in a fridge door
The above photo is for the sake of showing a collection of products – most are not actually stored in the fridge door.

Refrigerated

Like I mentioned at the top of the page, when it doubt, store items in the body of the fridge and not the door.

What’s safe for the fridge door, then? Condiments, soda, sports drinks, and other foods and beverages that can hold up to temperature fluctuations.

ProductMethod of storage
BaconUnopened: Vacuum-sealed bag in the fridge.
Opened: Sealed bag in fridge.
ButterWrapped tightly in the fridge.
ButtermilkSealed container in the back of the fridge.
Cheese, hardWrapped tightly in the fridge.
Cheese, softWrapped tightly in the fridge.
Cream cheeseWrapped tightly in the fridge.
EggsIn carton in fridge.
Heavy creamSealed container in the fridge.
Mascarpone cheeseSealed container in the fridge.
Milk, dairySealed container in the back of the fridge.
Milk, non-dairy (refrigerated)Sealed container in the fridge.
Milk, non-dairy (not refrigerated)Sealed container in a cool dark place.
Sour creamSealed container in the fridge.
Drawer of freezer full of various foods

Frozen

ProductMethod of storage
BaconUnopened: Vacuum-sealed bag in the freezer.
Opened: Sealed bag in freezer.
Cool WhipSealed container in the freezer, and can be thawed in the fridge for use.
FruitsSealed container/bag in the freezer.
Ice creamAirtight container in the back of the freezer. Ideally, also wrapped in plastic wrap for extra protection from freezer burn.
Phyllo doughTightly wrapped in the freezer, and can be thawed in the fridge, then brought to room temperature for use.
Pie crustTightly wrapped and in a plastic bag in the fridge. Thaw in the fridge, then brought to room temperature for use.
Frozen vegetablesSealed container/bag in the freezer.

I hope this helps! Are there any questions about storing ingredients that I didn’t answer? Let me know in the comments below!

Other content in the Baking Basics series:

Introducing the Baking Basics Series
← Previous
Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
Next →
Let us know what you think!