Does Cake Mix Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

Does Cake Mix Go Bad How Long Does It Last
Image: Lucky Belly

Would you like to venture into baking cakes? Cake mix is a pre-mixed formulation of the ingredients including flour, baking powder, soda, yeast, sugar, and salt. Further, you may need to add some water or milk for a dry mix. Since you might be wondering whether this might go bad, we’ll clear that uncertainty in this article.

Does Cake Mix Go Bad?

Does Cake Mix Go Bad
Image: Lucky Belly

Yes, cake mix, just like any other baking mix, goes bad after some months. However, how quickly the mix goes bad is influenced by many factors. First, the ingredients used in making the cake mix are a vital consideration. Generally, any dish made from various ingredients lasts only as long as its quickest expiring component.

If, for example, the cake mix has eggs in it, then the mix will stay fresh until the eggs expire. However, technological revolutions have led to more advanced ways of extending quick expiring foodstuffs’ shelf life. Secondly, the storage method of the mix can influence its shelf life.

How Long Does Cake Mix Last?

How Long Does Cake Mix Last
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The shelf life of cake mix is roughly 4-5 months beyond the ‘best before’ date stamped. However, this entirely depends on the type of cake mix. A dry cake mix will last longer, whereas a wet mix may not go beyond a month.

Further, depending on how you store the cake mix, it can last longer. Poor storage methods can shorten the cake mix shelf life significantly. On the other hand, keeping the cake mix under regulated temperatures increases its durability.

However, it is important to note that baking mixes usually have a ‘best before date’ tag rather than the expiration date. With this distinction, you can use a package that has passed its expiration dates since it is safe. However, the period should not exceed seven months, and the cake mix should be stored in a refrigerated environment to keep away bacteria.

The chart below shows the shelf life of cake mix when exposed to various conditions:

Pantry

Fridge

Homemade cake mix

6-7 daysUp to 3 months
Store-bought cake mix4-5 months

Up to 7 months after printed dates

Opened cake mix

3-4 monthsUp to 5 months
Unopened cake mix4-5 months

Up to 7 months after the printed date

3 Tips to Tell if Cake Mix Has Gone Bad

3 Tips to Tell if Cake Mix Has Gone Bad
Image: Lucky Belly

Cake mix rarely gets spoiled, especially when stored under well-refrigerated conditions. However, it doesn’t last forever, so it will expire after some months at the end of the day. There are many ways to tell if the cake mix has gone bad and needs to be disposed of. We will highlight the top three tips that are common among people.

  • Changes in Appearance

When moisture finds its way into the package, the cake mix develops molds and changes its appearance. Also, fungi and bacteria’s entrance into the package leads to visible changes in the cake mix. Whenever you notice unusual changes in the structure of your cake mix, always discard the whole thing. Using a bacteria-invested cake mix to bake cakes might put your health at risk.

  • Sour smell

Just as in any foodstuff, a sour smell is a clear indicator that your cake mix has gone bad. Normally, a fresh cake mix should appear and smell perfectly fine. It is important to note that cake mix is made of a wide array of ingredients. Some of the ingredients like soda and baking powder lose their potent over time.

Hence, using old and sour-smelling cake mix could result in flat cupcakes. Also, the sour cake mix might yield cakes with weird tastes. It is advisable to use a sour-smelling cake mix only when the stakes are low. Besides, using the sour cake mix takes a huge risk, thus discarding the baked cakes won’t be an issue.

  • Color Changes

Cake mix is a dried agent made from wet ingredients. Consequently, the drying makes it unique and different from quick-spoiling products. The final product has a specific color pattern that it exhibits. Storing the cake mix well in a cool and dry environment can make it stay fresh for many months without altering its color.

Also, keeping the cake mix in a refrigerated area boosts its consistency in maintaining the original color. If you notice a color change, it is high time you disposed of the cake mix as it has already gone bad.

4 Tips to Store Cake Mix

Cake mix is a shelf-stable product. It does not necessarily need too much special attention when storing. You can keep it naturally on your kitchen utensil rack in its original packaging. Also, you can store it in your pantry.  However, there are many tips to ensure that it lasts longer than its expected shelf life.

  • Storing in the Original Unopened Container

Most perishable products are tightly sealed and well-kept in their original packages. Cake mix is not an exception; it is packaged in a firm air-sealed package to boost its durability. Whenever you want to store the cake mix for a long time, you should keep it untampered.

Transferring the content to a different packaging or container may expose it to contaminations leading to its spoilage. Further, it is cool to keep the package unopened. Once opened, there is a high chance of attracting moisture; hence fungi and bacteria developing. Also, an opened package attracts mold, spoiling the cake mix.

  • Storing in a Dry Pantry

Another simple way of extending the shelf life of cake mix is by storing it in a dry pantry. The pantry should be cool and maintained at a standard constant temperature. At this condition, the cake mix does not attract moisture which leads to its damage. Further, the pantry should be away from direct heat sources.

Pantries that are too close to heat sources or directly exposed to sun heat do not maintain optimal temperatures. Too much heat might cause the cake mix to lose its potency, yielding flat and tasteless cakes. Also, excessive temperature fastens the souring of the cake mix, lowering its life expectancy.

  • Storing Away From High Altitudes and Humid Environments

Cake mix is well known for its short expiration when placed on high altitudes. The heat from roofs lessens the potency of the cake mix. Consequently, the lessening makes it more prone to damage. So, to ensure your cake mix lasts longer, it is essential to ensure that you place it at a low altitude.

Also, humid environments encourage the breeding and growth of molds, fungi, and bacteria. Therefore you should be keen on choosing the storage place to ensure it has standard humidity. Such places would be pantries, kitchen cupboards, and low utensil racks mounted in the kitchen.

  • Refrigeration and Keeping Away from Ready-to-eat Food

Once opened, the cake mix can’t be stored in the pantry or kitchen cupboard anymore. There are times when you only need to use a small portion of the package. Consequently, this forces you to have leftovers in the original package.

In this case, you have to refrigerate the leftover cake mix to prevent molding. Alternatively, you can keep the cake mix in a sealed container to allow airtight protection. Also, for maximum protection, place the leftover cake mix in a plastic freezer bag, which shuts airtight.

Nonetheless, it is vital to keep the cake mix separately and away from ready-to-eat food. It aims at preventing cross-contamination. Microbes from the cake mix meant to be killed during the baking process may end up in your food.

The Risk of Consuming an Expired Cake Mix

The Risk of Consuming an Expired Cake Mix
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According to a study done in 2001, two pathologists in Charleston in South Carolina established that expired cake mix has negative impacts. Hence, it is possible for someone who eats cakes made from an old cake mix to suffer an anaphylactic condition.

The condition is more prone to people allergic to mold and fungi. Also, the condition may develop if the cake mix was not originally contained in an unbleached wax package or foil within its external storage. It is good to note that the shelf-age of the cake mix does not necessarily denote its validity.

A cake mix well within its usage dates might contain bacteria and fungi spores. It proves fatal to people with fungal and bacterial allergies. On the other hand, cake mix that has gone two years beyond its usage date without mold spores is safe for usage. Nevertheless, always scrutinize cake mix for the presence of molds before using it to avoid the risk of killer infections.

Anaphylaxis is an immunologic reaction that occurs when people with allergies come into contact with the substances they are allergic to. The reaction kills by triggering fatal respiratory and cardiac arrests. Molds can are nasty and kill quickly. It is important to discard molded cake mixes, even if you are not allergic to molding. It will help keep you on the safe side.

Can You Freeze Cake Mix?

The straightforward answer to this question is yes; you can freeze cake mix. However, you need to master a few tricks here and there, alongside the steps you need to follow. But before that, it is also essential to note that freezing cake mix lessens the potency of baking powder and soda. Subsequently, the potency loss results in the cake running flat on taste and losing its proper rising ability.

You should also know that the cake mix starts losing potency in freezing after it has passed its ‘best before’ date. Hence, to get the best from a frozen mix, always ensure you use it completely before the expiration dates. Whether the cake mix is boxed or stored in a sachet, you should easily get it ready for freezing.

All you need to do is to carefully remove the pouch of the cake mix from the package. Once removed, you should place it in a freezer Ziploc bag and place a label on it to not confuse it when using. Further, you should remove as much air as possible from around the pouches before placing the cake mix in the freezer. Remember to keep the box with instructions tucked away safely if you need a reference in the future.

Summary

If you love baking cakes, we are certain that this article will be helpful. We have answered the common question of whether cake mix goes bad. Additionally, we have deeply highlighted and analyzed the storage tips to ensuring your cake mix lasts long. The tips include freezing, keeping in pantries, and storing away from direct heat sources. With this information, you should be able to extend your cake mix shelf life conveniently.

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