Don’t Store Cake or Pancake Mixes for Long-Term Storage.

cake or pancake mixesRecently I have been asked questions about the advisability of storing cake or pancake mixes and other similar items.  My advice is not to, for several reasons.  Now first I am talking about the cake or pancake mixes, you purchase at your local grocery store, not the canned products produced by reputable long-term food companies.

One reason is that you have no control of what goes into the mixes.  Many of them contain oils of different types, dairy and who knows what else.  The labels on the packages often don’t give you enough information for you to make an intelligent decision about storing these products. Because it is a mixture, the shelf life is determined by the ingredient with the shortest shelf life.  This in the case of oils it can be as short as a few months.

Even packed in Mylar packs with oxygen absorbers, your shelf live may not be the best. I prefer to store the ingredients to make cake or pancake mixes separately.  If something goes wrong with one of the ingredients, you can still make something from the remaining ingredients.

I have read articles about people getting sick from these products being used well after their expiration date.  Now I have not been able to find any hard fact on this, but suspect it was from improper storage that allowed mold to form.

Another problem that I have read about is people saying that the baking powder loses it strength.  I have not been able to verify this, but have found information that baking powder stored by itself will store for many years.  Here is a link to a post that I did a couple of years ago that reference a study done by BYU on the shelf life of baking powder.  The shelf life may be shorter when it is mixed with other products.

My advice is if you want cakes and pancake store the ingredients separately packaged for long-term storage. Besides homemade baked goods, taste better than the store bought cake or pancake mixes.


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10 Responses to Don’t Store Cake or Pancake Mixes for Long-Term Storage.

  1. Robert says:

    I understand your concern and will head your advice…a little.
    We use both Krusteze pancake mix and Bisquick. We have used Krusteze that were 4+ years old and all we do is store it in one of the large (CHRISTmas)popcorn tins, and it was fine. (but I believe you are addressing long term such as 10 years or more?)
    I am aware of not buying ‘butter’ or cheese flavored potato flakes for long term storage as the dairy ingredients can go rancid, so I will look into your findings and go from there. Just FYI…We do store the separate ingredients also.
    Thanks for all your info.

  2. Jeannette says:

    Thank you, this was helpful.

  3. Ed Harris says:

    Not as “long term” storage, but I have stored Bisquick, pancake mix, all-purpose flour and cornmeal, in its original cardboard or paper bag packaging, vacuum sealed in a plastic bag with an oxygen absorber and placed in the freezer for 4-5 years and it was OK. It is important to date and rotate stock. This was less intended as food storage than taking advantage of sales and keeping a quantity which could be used at the hunting camp or to donate for community food kitchens to feed the needy, though our church, and so far all has been OK using the old stock first.

  4. Howard L. says:

    I actually found some of Emergency Essentials gallons of pancake had started to bulge slightly after about 4-5 years. I opened them and used them and they were ok but I wasn’t very happy about “20 year” cans showing bulging.

    • Noah says:

      We had that happen with Thrive Life pancake mix. I wonder if it might have been the same batch from the same food production plant.

  5. jerry smith says:

    Well crap – I’m still new to prepping and I guess I made a rookie mistake. The 25 pound bag of mix from Sam’s Club, I stored in Mylar in a 5 gallon bucket with 2000 cc O2 absorbers just may have to be donated. It’s only a few months old at this point and I hate to see it go to waist.
    I still have GP flour and I freeze dry my own eggs so I’ll just have to make scratch pancakes.

  6. tony okrongly says:

    Take all storage advice with a grain of salt. Prior to LDS testing of how long different stored foods will last the estimates were very low. LDS actual research proved that many of the assumptions were completely wrong. 95% of “advice” online is people repeating what they have read from other people repeating what they have read repeating…. etc.

    Here is a link to someone who ate 7 year old Krusteaz pancake mix that was in it’s original packaging… no mylar… no oxygen absorbers.
    He said it was perfectly fine.

    Date the food you store and do your own tests. Store smaller amounts in mylar with oxygen absorbers then test them after 3 years or 5 years or 7 years. Not everything lasts 30 years… so what?… I replace my beans after 3-5 years just because… they are cheap. I store krusteaz pancake mix. I store “just add water” cake mixes. I haven’t tested them after 5 years, but I will. They are cheap! $5 for 5 lbs… 5 lbs is 40 servings. So you could store 400 servings of pancakes for $50. If you don’t trust it after 5 years throw it out and store some more….

    My point is, don’t take everything you read as gospel. I, personally, get paid to write “homestead articles” but that doesn’t mean I’m an expert. People sharing their personal opinions online aren’t either. This is a good site, but what do they Personally KNOW from Actual Testing of Krusteaz mix over 10+ years of storage? Nobody giving advice is actually doing long term tests except for the LDS church. Yes, it has soybean oil, dried egg whites and dried buttermilk in it. OK… how long will it be good? Find out for yourself.

    • Noah says:

      Those are all very good points. One caveat I would add to certain mixes that you mention is that if it smells rancid, I wouldn’t eat it just as I wouldn’t consume rancid oil.

  7. Donna VanGorp says:

    Is it normal for pancake mix to come straight from the grocery shelf in a cardboard box and no plastic bag or wax paper bag?

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