Using Expired Cake Mix?

December 11, 2008

Cake batter being whisked in a bowl.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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December 12, 20080 found this helpful

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.

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By L (Guest Post)
December 12, 20081 found this helpful

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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By Sharon (Guest Post)
December 12, 20083 found this helpful

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 If the box is out of date by only a few months, I don't add anything.


If it's out of date by a year, I add the baking powder or soda. Once when I did this to an out-of-date angel food cake mix, it ended up being the highest cake I've ever baked--and it tasted fine.

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December 12, 20081 found this helpful

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.

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By Renee (Guest Post)
December 12, 20080 found this helpful

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.

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December 13, 20081 found this helpful

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.

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December 13, 20082 found this helpful

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.

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December 13, 20082 found this helpful

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.

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By (Guest Post)
December 15, 20082 found this helpful

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.

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December 15, 20081 found this helpful

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!

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December 15, 20085 found this helpful

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!

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By Cathy from Townsville, QLD (Guest Post)
December 28, 20083 found this helpful

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!

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February 2, 20115 found this helpful

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.

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April 7, 20112 found this helpful

(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.

Sarah B.

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September 20, 20173 found this helpful

I remember that - but it was pancake mix and was also a false rumor. If you read it on the internet SOMEWHERE, ANYWHERE - it is most likely a false rumor.

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November 27, 20186 found this helpful

from duncan hines:
Due to consumer inquiries regarding mold developing in expired mixes, we would like to assure you that there is no concern with products manufactured by Pinnacle Foods Inc. We place a BEST BY date on the packaging to ensure product quality in terms of appearance, texture and taste of the finished item. There is no food safety concern in using Duncan Hines cake mixes beyond their BEST BY dates. We do recommend that Duncan Hines® products be kept in a cool, dry place. In general, protecting mixes from moisture will prevent mold growth.

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December 31, 20184 found this helpful

funny answer, because, naturally, I am reading this on the internet...

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February 23, 20191 found this helpful

What that Snopes article concluded concerning a Dr Abby column which appeared in 2006 but she stopped writing the column in 2000 after she was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 1999:

*There is truth in this tale, yet its inherent warning is OVERBLOWN. In a nutshell, stale-dated pancake and other baking mixes pose no danger to you unless:
1)You are [highly] allergic to mold
2)The baking mix was NOT contained in an unbleached wax paper, plastic, or a foil pouch within its outer packaging

The PANCAKE mix that delivered a toxic payload was analyzed and found to contain four rather nasty MOLDS: Penicillium, Fusarium, Mucor, and Aspergillus. The decedent had not been allergic to eggs (which are a component of pancakes), so there was no doubt as to which allergy had killed him. It had been mold, and NOTHING BUT.*

How the mold contaminated the PANCAKE mix, is unknown and the original packaging could have been compromised during storage.

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February 23, 20192 found this helpful

BTW... even NEW pancake and cake mixes which are within the BEST WHEN USED BY dates most likely contain mold spores. I dont normally buy mixes labeled are *complete - just add water* unless Im in a rush and need something simple to create. Mixes containing dried eggs and milk increases the chances for mold spores to be involved and cooking does not alter the spores protein enough through normal cooking processes. The only thing about using boxed mixes is IF YOU OR SOMEONE ELSE HAS A MOLD SENSITIVITY.

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September 13, 20191 found this helpful

Once you get people to open up, you'll find that the average person does a lot of things you do; it's just that no one talks about it because they feel they will be judged. There are stores EVERYWHERE that SELL expired and damaged products. There would be deaths everyday if such products were that harmful. If you ever work at a food pantry, you will easily see that a lot of the items donated are expired, which means that YOU are just an average person, doing the norm.

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January 26, 20200 found this helpful

I make many batches of cookies every Christmas from cake mixes that I purchase on sale all year and have never had any complaints. I don't worry too much about the dates, but do use the oldest boxes first. The recipe is... to one box of cake mix, add one large egg and one stick of softened butter. Mix thoroughly, drop on cookie sheet, bake. You can add things like nuts, coconut, spices, etc. This also works on brownie mixes.

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March 6, 2020

How much baking powder or baking soda can I use to add to an expired box of Duncan Hines cake mix to help with the rising?

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