Does cake mix go bad? We have a quick and easy guide with tips for using cake mix and how to know if it’s no longer good to use.

Various boxes of cake mix.
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You might have wondered at some point if cake mix actually expires. It is easy to overlook this aspect since it is a dried product. However, it actually does go bad.

Keep reading for a helpful guide with tips on cake mix shelf life before you make your next cake recipe. The next time you reach for a cake mix to bake, use these suggestions before baking. The convenience of a cake mix is so handy, but you want to ensure the food product is safe to eat.

Various boxes of cake mix.

How Long Does Cake Mix Last?

If stored properly, it can last 12 to 18 months. You should find on each box a date indicating the “best if used by” date or expiration date. In reality, the mix actually lasts past this date.

Typically, it is good for 4-5 months passed that date. While most companies do not recommend using it past the “best if used by” date, it is usually just fine.

How you store the mix can impact how long it lasts at peak quality. Make sure it is an unopened cake mix and not expired cake mix.

Various bags of cake mix.

How to Store Cake Mix

  • Store unopened in the pantry or cabinet at room temperature for longevity. Once the bag has been opened, it will not last as long.
  • It should be stored away from heat, humidity, or moisture. Any of these factors can cause mold to grow over time. The integrity of the cake mix will be preserved with proper storage conditions in a dry area.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight so it has a long shelf life without signs of mold.
  • If the mix is open, store it inside an airtight container or bag in the fridge. It should be sealed tightly for best quality during refrigeration.

Can You Freeze Cake Mix?

While technically the answer is yes, I do not suggest it. Ingredients such as baking powder, baking soda and more lose their efficiency once in the freezer.

You risk the cake not baking properly if using one that has been frozen. Any leavening ingredients in the mix will not work as well once frozen.

It is better to bake it and then freeze that instead of the mix.

How Long Does Homemade Cake Mix Last?

Homemade cake mix has a much shorter shelf life. It will keep up to a month. Make sure to store it inside an airtight container.

Store-bought lasts much longer than homemade. You definitely want to keep this in mind when trying to store homemade. It is totally different than storing store-bought.

Make sure to only store dry ingredients without any eggs, butter or other liquid.

Expert Tips

  • The cake does not rise. If you bake a cake and it does not rise, the leavening agent has likely expired. No one wants a flat cake. Toss the cake for food safety texture.
  • Odor. If you smell a strange or foul odor coming from the mix, it is no longer good for consumption.
  • Appearance. If it changes in color or you spot mold, toss the mix and don’t use it. Discoloration indicates it is passed the shelf life of cake mix usability.
  • Always check the mix regardless of date for signs of spoilage. The date is a good standard of measure but always check the mix as well. If not stored properly, it can go bad before it expires or contain pests. Make sure to label properly so you know the use by date on boxed cake.

When in doubt, just toss it. If there is any indication or doubt, I would not use the cake mix to make batter. It’s probably no longer shelf stable and has other fluctuations.

Once it is no longer good, it will not taste the same or rise appropriately. Also, manufacturers don’t suggest adding baking powder to make old mixes work.

At this point, it really is just best to toss the expired mix.

Various boxes of cake mix.

Try Our Homemade Cake Mix Recipe

Homemade Cake Mix
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Homemade Cake Mix

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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