Can baking powder be added to freshen a cake mix past it's expiration date? During my late husband's bout with cancer, a lot of food items didn't get used since he didn't have an appetite.
Renee from Shreveport, LA
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(submitted via email)
I received an email that has been sent to a long list of people saying that an expired cake mix or pancake mix will almost kill you. I am glad to read on your website that this is not true. If this would happen, the manufacturer would have to state such on the labels.
Please don't take the chance. I used to think it was safe to use after the expiration date also; but, then I read a news article about a lady who poisoned her family using a cake mix that was past the expiration date. The flour itself had gone bad (but, it didn't have an odor and it was not discolored). Her entire family became very ill and her teenage son (who ate the most) almost died and did have permanent kidney damage. I forget exactly what they said it was (bacteria, fungus, virus, etc); but, it is something that is normally found in flour in very small amounts and is killed by baking. However, over time the concentration increases and the byproducts of this "thing" are toxic and not destroyed by baking.
Ever since then, I always check the expiration date on anything that contains flour and if it is past the date, I get rid of it. It is not worth the risk.
By Cathy from Townsville, QLD (Guest Post)12/28/2008
A lot of products have a 'best before' date, which is basically a suggestion, not an order to discard it the day after. I've used lots of things that have been past the recommended 'use by' date, and never been ill. If it smells fine, it should be okay. Happy baking!
I just baked a box of fudge brownies with an expiration date of November 2007 (over 3 years past). I added 1/4 tspoon baking soda for a bit of leavening. They taste and seem fine.
How old is it? I have used them past the date before and they were fine. It is all dry ingredents so that is in your favor. I would probably try to use as it is.
By Sharon (Guest Post)12/12/2008
I've been guilty of letting cake mixes stay in my pantry too long and have always had good results by adding a little baking powder or baking soda, depending on which ingredient is listed on the box. If the box is out of date by only a few months, I don't add anything. If it's out of date by a year, I add the baking powder or soda. Once when I did this to an out-of-date angel food cake mix, it ended up being the highest cake I've ever baked--and it tasted fine.
By Renee (Guest Post)12/12/2008
Thanks, it has been hard, he was only 51. I called the manufacturer and they said it might not rise, so I thought maybe add baking powder? They said there was no danger in eating them, but they don't recommend using them past the expiration date. This one is 18 mos. past expiration. I have thrown them out before, but everything has gone up and I'm trying to make my dollars stretch.
I really think that if it was fatal to use expired cake mixes they would have a warning; "don't use past expiration date". Expiration dates are relatively "new".
We didn't have them when I was growing up. My mother had so many cake mixes around none of us ever got ill.
Just don't eat LEMON PLEDGE. Read the warning label!
I would try it also with just the cake, and so sorry to hear about your husband. I lost mine nearly 2 yrs ago with cancer also, and lots of food left but it won't hurt to try it alone. If it doesn't work then you know. Also you could call the cake manufacturer.
This is a website that proved the pancake mix being bad and making someone sick, TRUE! So, I would throw it out! You probably only paid a couple of bucks for it but it's not worth getting family sick!
By (Guest Post)12/15/2008
I just baked a cake mix that was expired by almost two years. I tried it to see what it would do and it raised prefectly fine and tasted great. Of course, I should mention, I do keep them in my extra fridge, not on the shelf. Also, the article about the lady and the cake mix and poisioning her family, was pancake mix. But as one other poster said, it was a rumor. Can't always believe everything you read. But doesn't hurt to be cautious if there are any concerns.
I have used them to past the expiration date with no problem. There was a rumor circulating on the internet about pancake mix awhile back but it turned out to be false. I have used expired bread mixes too but replaced the yeast packet.
I have never had any problem using out of date mixes. A little baking powder will not hurt. I am glad it's not only me that does this.
By L (Guest Post)12/12/2008
So sorry to hear about your husband. I hope you are doing all right. Check to see if the mix has any type of milk product or a product that can spoil. If it does, then throw it out. It's not risk getting sick since certain foods can become rancid. Best to you and be well.
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