cake mix

Cake Mix Shelf Life: Can It Go Bad?

If you just start baking, a pack of cake mix might be perfect to start with. Likewise, if you enjoy baking from time to time, cake mixes can’t be skipped in your grocery list. Cake mixes come handy and make baking a lot simpler and easier.

Name the cakes or flavors, it is likely that you will find the cake mixes. No wonder, you might end up buying some packs at once. When life gets you so busy and you have no time in the kitchen, you might start wondering about the stock of cake mixes in the pantry: does cake mix go bad? How to tell if a cake mix is bad?

If you have a similar situation, we got you covered! In this article, we talk about cake mix shelf life and address the most common questions around it. Let’s read on!

How to Store Cake Mix

Cake mix is a shelf-stable product and relatively simple to handle. Just like other similar products, cake mix can be kept in a cool, dry environment, away from sources of heat and direct sunlight. Your kitchen pantry or cupboard will do the job.

For double protection, you can also store cake mixes and other similar products into one big sealed container. During storage, avoid exposure to heat and moisture as these two will degrade your cake mix and give molds a chance to grow.

If you happen to have leftover cake mix, for example when you decide to make half of the recipe, you can keep the remaining product in the original package or transfer it into a sealed airtight container.

Tips: It is also advised to keep flour and cake mixes separate from ready-to-eat food to avoid cross-contamination. Flour and cake mix may contain bacteria that will be killed during the baking or cooking process. But, you don’t want these microbes to end up into your ready-to-eat food and make you sick. (*)

How Long Does Cake Mix Last?

Cake mix is a dry good and shelf-stable product. Each package is accompanied by a “best before” date. Always observe this date as guidance for your consumption.

This is a date to assure that the quality of the product will remain at peak quality before this date. Without proper storage, cake mixes can have a shorter shelf life, for example, if the packaging is damaged.

It is no secret that people still use old flour and the cooking turns okay. However, cake mix also contains a lot of other ingredients such as baking powder, yeast, sugar, etc. that makes it less durable than just plain flour.

The good news, it is still possible to consume cake mix after 3 – 4 months after passing this date. However, it is important to check for signs of spoilage before deciding to use it.

Tips: if you plan to serve the cake for a special occasion, such as a birthday party or a celebration, don’t take the gamble by using expired cake mix. Instead, use it for your baking practice or a Sunday baking to anticipate if the cake doesn’t turn out great as expected.

How to Tell if Cake Mix is Bad

In certain cases, it can be difficult to tell if the cake mix has gone bad until you mix it with other wet ingredients, such as eggs, butter, or water.

Cake mix contains a leavening agent, for example, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), baking powder, or yeast. This food additive helps to raise the dough. If your dough doesn’t rise, the cake mix has likely gone bad. It is better to discard it since your cake won’t turn nice anyway.

If your cake mix smells unpleasant, grows mold, is infested with insects, change in color, these are obvious signs that cake mix has gone bad. Don’t risk your health and quickly toss it.

If the package is damaged or when in doubt, it is better to discard it for safety reasons.


Can you use an expired cake mix?

Yes, it is possible, provided that the product is stored properly. However, if the package is damaged, or any signs of spoilage are observed, it is better to stay on the safe side and discard it.

It is also not advised to consume a product that has passed the expiry date for too long. Aside from safety reasons, the cake may not be as delicious as you expected.

Can you get sick from eating raw cake mix/ dough?

Yes, it is not suggested to eat raw flour or dough. It might be tempting to taste a raw dough before it’s baked, just for a quick taste check or just for fun, but it can be problematic especially for children or if you have health issues.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly advises people not to taste raw flour or dough. Although it doesn’t seem dangerous, flour can still be contaminated by pathogenic bacteria that can make you sick, such as Salmonella and E. coli. These bacteria will be killed with high temperatures during baking or cooking.

Unless you have an edible cookie dough mix that can be eaten raw, don’t risk your health eating raw cake mix or dough.

Is cake mix gluten-free?

Cake mixes can be produced to satisfy different dietary preferences, such as gluten-free, kosher, etc. Check the label or consult the producer’s website or customer service for further information.


Cake mix is a must-have item if you enjoy baking but don’t want to get your kitchen too messy. Although cake mix is a dry good, it will go bad eventually.

If the dough doesn’t rise when other wet ingredients are incorporated, it signals the cake mix has lost its quality and function. Likewise, if you see signs of molds, off smell, insect infestation, or discoloration, it is also time to discard it.

Practice proper storage to maximize the shelf life of cake mix and turn it into a delicious cake before it loses its quality!

Cake Mix Shelf Life

*Featured Photo by urban_light/depositphotos

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