Baking cocoa or known as another name “unsweetened cocoa powder” that is made by crushing cocoa beans and removing the fat or cocoa butter. It is considered as a key ingredient in chocolate-based food and drinks like chocolate cake, chocolate frosting or simply to make a hot cup of cocoa.
In fact, recent research has revealed that cocoa powder contains plenty of significant nutrition benefits for our health such as reduced inflammation, control blood pressure, lower cholesterol or even help to prevent cancer.
For the elderly who usually have to face the risk of heart attack or stroke, consuming a certain amount of baking cocoa every day can support a lot in reducing your risk of these diseases.
Based on reality, we think the most common reason to use cocoa powder or anything related to chocolate is because of the stress-relieving effect of cocoa. Whenever people are not in good moods, having a hot cup of cocoa or a piece of chocolate cake can help them calm and less stressful.
However, in any recipe, you rarely consume the entire can of cocoa powder so there must be many questions about how to store the leftover powder and for how long, or when will be the suitable time to toss it away. In this article, you will gain all the necessary knowledge of your concerns.
How long does baking cocoa last?
Actually, you might not need to worry about the shelf life of baking cocoa as it can typically last for a very long time without any special ways of storage.
Unopened cocoa powder if properly stored can be safe within 3 years at room temperature even after the expiration date on the label. The opened can of cocoa powder may last 1 to 2 years as well but the flavor will definitely decline over time.
How to tell if baking cocoa goes bad?
Normally, baking cocoa is unlikely to go bad like being spoiled or moldy. However, it’s rare to see bad cocoa powder doesn’t mean the powder never gets ruined. Your senses will be the reliable instrument to identify if the cocoa powder is spoiled or not.
Taste a bit or give it a sniff to test the flavor of baking cocoa, if it’s rancid that has an unpleasant smell, you should discard it. If somehow, the moisture contacts the powder for a while, mold will appear and it’s also the time to say goodbye to your unsweetened cocoa powder.
How to store baking cocoa?
As mentioned above, baking cocoa has a long shelf-life time and doesn’t call for any special storage method. The only and most important rule is to keep the jar that contains the powder sealed tightly, plus a dark, dry and cool place will be the best home for this powder.
Storing baking cocoa in a fridge or a freezer is actually an unnecessary task since it doesn’t help much to extend the shelf life of the powder compared to regular storage, however, if you are living in very hot climate and humid areas, this may turn out an ideal choice.
Can you freeze baking cocoa?
Yes, you can freeze your cocoa powder in case your surrounding environment is not suitable and not safe to store a jar of baking cocoa in a pantry or kitchen cabinet.
For example, your pantry is too messy and has no space to store cocoa powder or it’s too wet so you can pop the jar of this powder in the freezer instead.
How to freeze baking cocoa?
Now you are going to learn how to freeze baking cocoa in an appropriate way with just some simple steps laid down below.
Tips to freeze baking cocoa
- As the freezer is actually a very humid environment so make sure that your container is completely airtight
- It’s recommended to use a rigid freezer container than a freezer bag because the bag might have chances to let liquid or air pass in that will lead to the bacteria growth
Things you’ll need to freeze baking cocoa
- A freezer-safe container or bag
How to freeze baking cocoa in just 2 steps
- Transfer the leftover cocoa powder into a covered freezer-safe container or bag
- Label the bag with the storage date and stick in the freezer
How to defrost/ thaw baking cocoa?
Since the freezing process will not change the texture of cocoa powder and should not change the taste if the container is sealed carefully so thawing this powder is so simple and quick too.
The only thing you need to do is to remove the freezer container from the freezer to your counter and baking cocoa will thaw quickly due to the low moisture level.
After that, you can use the powder directly to the dish per your own recipe, no need for a reheating process.