The smell of fresh pancakes frying on the flattop in the morning is sublime. The aromatic notes float through the house like an invitation to come to the table. Mind you, and not everyone makes pancakes from scratch. A lot of folks reach for a commercially prepared, dry pancake package mix. We found that the average pancake mix package is 32oz. So, will you use it up? Does pancake mix go bad?
It is not unusual to use part of a box and tuck the rest into a lazy susan, pantry, or cupboard. And actually, location wise those are spot-on.
The words cool and dry are key here when you want properly stored bags or boxes. Because it’s a powder mix, it is fairly shelf-stable, meaning it can be stored at room temperature for a long time under the right conditions. (*).
Properly handling your dry mixed product makes all the difference.
What to Expect:
Here you will find ideas for storing your pancake mix to preserve flavor and fluffiness. We also discuss potential problems with expired pancake mix powder and signs of spoilage.
What’s in Pancake Mix?
The main ingredient is enriched flour.
There’s also partially hydrogenated oil (soybean or cottonseed), a leavening agent (baking powder or baking soda), dextrose, and salt. (*)
The Leavening agent is especially important to the quality of your pancakes, so they are perfectly fluffy.
How Long Does Pancake Mix Last?
The last thing anyone wants to do is waste food. Pre-made mix makes your life so much easier, but they’re also easy to forget about.
The shelf life of pancake blends
Additionally, in reviewing the mix, it’s important to consider the longevity of the resulting pancake batter too!
Thankfully, there really isn’t a lot in a basic pancake mix that can turn rancid even past its expiration date.
Got an airtight container handy? You’re good to go!
It is very happy at an average room temperature of 50 degrees to 70 degrees F (*).
How long does pancake mix powder last when properly stored? It depends on how you store it.
Based on room temperature, here’s our guideline for the shelf life of pancakes:
- Closed container of pancake mix: 12 months
- Open package of pancake mix, free from moisture: 3-6 months
- Pancake batter at room temperature: 1-3 hours
- Pancake batter refrigerated: 3-7 days
- Frozen batter in airtight, using a freezer bag: 3 months
This guideline offers you the best quality when you’re making your pancakes.
- Expert Tip: If you’ve had a box of cake mix around for a while, add a little baking powder into it. It will take your pancakes from flat to fluffy.
Is it Safe to Use Expired Pancake Mix?
If you want to make pancake mix last, you might want to use some past its expiration date. Search the package and look for any dates stamped on it.
But is it safe? Yes and no.
On the face of it, you’d think the answer is simple, but it’s not.
While we know that it stays good on the shelf for a long time, that is only in prime conditions.
- If you don’t seal the product tightly, mites could get in.
- If it’s damp outside, the box can begin growing mold.
Where there are signs of spoilage in the mix, throw out the package.
Will Expired Pancake Mixes Make Me Sick?
If you have an allergic reaction to mold or the powder was contaminated somehow, old pancake mix won’t make you sick. (*)
Should you get a stomachache after eating pancakes that came from a box mix, you may have some type of food intolerance.
- Hint: As tempting as it may be, avoid eating raw batter. Once mixed, the main ingredient causing a potential problem is the raw eggs. (*)
A Trial Run
If you’ve got expired pancake mix, There is an easy way to check if your mix needs a facelift. We suggest making a very small batch.
Two pancakes will reveal all you need to know.
Ask yourself: Are the flavor and the height of the pancakes both lacking depth? If so:
- Add more leavening
- Add more flavor (like vanilla), or
- Invest in a new box of mix.
How to Store a Package of Pancake Mix
The way you store your package directly impacts the taste and quality of your pancakes, as well as whether or not the pancake mix spoils more quickly than expected.
Commercial package is an ideal candidate for your kitchen pantry. The flour component itself has a 6-8 month shelf life in a sealed container. (*)
If you’re getting to the end of a box’s expiration date, consider making up what’s left and put it in your freezer.
Just make sure the powder has a tight seal. Dampness and pancake mix before you intend to make it can become the culprit for mold buildup.
In batter form, your pancake mix can last up to 3 months in the freezer (32 degrees F). (*)
How To Tell Pancake Mix Is Bad?
In some ways, a pancake mix package is like cake mixes or bags of flour. There’s a tendency to think they will remain good nearly indefinitely.
Worse, dry components are sneaky. It’s not always easy to spot problems.
If you’re wondering if the mix is safe to eat, here are some signs for which to watch:
- Obvious mold
- Mites (these aren’t easy to see, so look close!)
- Oxidized, stale taste. The powder isn’t necessarily bad, but it isn’t pleasant either.
- A weird odor you’ve never encountered before
- Wet clumps
As always, when in doubt, throw it out. (*)
The long life of pancake mix doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Over time, quality absolutely decreases even when stored and sealed carefully.
When the shelf life of pancake mix passes, the main thing that suffers is the leavening (baking powder or baking soda), and who really wants “flat” pancakes?
From a manufacturer’s point of view, the best by date has to do with quality. Most dry products like pancake mix can easily outlast those dates by half a year. (*)
So, in our opinion, the best-by date is not a solid measure of whether or not your pancake mix is bad. In fact, the package may retain its quality and flavor for months when properly stored.
- Does pancake mix go bad? Pancake mix can go bad, but it’s not a common problem. The typical lifespan of pancake mix is about one year, provided it’s stored in a cool, dry place. If you do notice that your pancake mix has gone bad, it will usually have a sour smell or taste. If this is the case, you should discard the mix and make a new batch.
- How long does pancake mix last? Pancake mix typically has a shelf life of about one year. However, it’s best to check the expiration date on the package to be sure.
Always try to store your pancake mix in a cool, dry pantry or cupboard or another suitable storage area. Just take a moment to check for signs of spoiling before use.
Up Next: Does bisquick go bad?