Have you ever found a pancake mix in the cupboard and wondered whether it’s still O.K to use? Does pancake mix go bad or not? And how can you tell if the pancake mix actually has gone bad or whether it’s safe for you to use it and make your pancakes?
I’ve done the research for you and have the answers right here! Plus lots of tips on how to store and use your pancake mix based on my own experience.
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Does pancake mix go bad? The quick answer
Yes, pancake mix can become mouldy, bitter and spoiled if not stored correctly. When stored well, it can last a minimum of 12 months or longer.
Pancake mix is made out of fairly long shelf ingredients – flour, sugar, salt and raising agent (usually baking powder and (or) baking soda). Because of that, pancake mix does last a fair amount of time (up to 12 months).
Depending on what pancake mix brand you use, some manufacturers also add dry milk powder, fat and preservatives, which help to keep the pancake mix for a long time.
If you store your pancake mix correctly, it will last a minimum of 12 months or to the date on the package. On top of that, you can safely use the pancake flour mix beyond the expiry date (easily 2-4 months or longer) providing that it still taste fine and hasn’t been spoiled.
Saying that, if you store your pancake mix incorrectly it might not even last to it’s best before date, so it’s important to know how to tell if your pancake mix has gone bad.
How long does pancake mix last?
Depending on the brand you normally buy, you will have at least 12 months to the use by date. Check the back of the package for a precise day.
Beyond the use by date (or best before date) you can still use the pancake mix for 2-6 months (or even longer), but I would always check for any visible spoilage or taste gone bad.
It’s difficult to give an exact answer to this question, because if you store your pancake mix incorrectly, it can go bad a lot before the use by date, so the key is storing the pancake mix in optimal environment and always checking if it’s still edible before you intend to use it.
How to tell if your pancake mix has gone bad
Regardless whether your pancake mix is in a date or not, it can go off. This is either because the flour got infested with flour moths, the flour mix developed mould or the flour in the pancake mix has gone off itself.
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How to recognise mould in pancake mix
Mould in the pancake flour mix is caused by constant moisture or dampness, for example if you leave the pancake mix package open and leave it in a cold, damp kitchen or pantry cupboard.
Here is what to look for:
Visible mould spores (blue, grey or white patches)
Damp clumps that look grey
Mouldy or damp smell when you open the package
What to do if your pancake flour mix is mouldy
If the flour mix looks or smells mouldy I would recommend not to use it. In a theory you could still make the pancakes, but even if you remove the visible mould, the pancakes will taste funny and the mould spores will get into your digestive system. Depending on how delicate your digestive system is, you might be fine eating few pancakes with some mould spores, but I probably wouldn’t risk it.
Pancake mix is such a low purchase, that I would just dispose of the package and make my own pancakes from scratch.
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How to spot flour moths in your pancake mix
Another spoilage that can occur in your pancake flour mix is a flour moth. It thrives in dry flour and can easily come from other flours or dry goods, such as rice, pasta, oats or cereals.
Here is what to look for:
Hairline on the side of the package (as you pour the mix into a bowl)
Visible white or light brown larva or larva cocoons
Outside of your cupboard (in the kitchen or pantry) you might see the flour moths flying already.
What to do if you find flour moths in your pancake mix
If you are not totally desperate, I’d through the pancake mix and buy a new one or make your own pancakes from just a few simple ingredients. You also want to check for other dry goods in your cupboard close to where you stored your pancake mix, because they might be infected too.
If you want to be super frugal, you can actually salvage the pancake flour mix, by putting it through a very fine sieve and getting rid of any webbing, larve or clumps of flour.
Make sure that sieve the pancake mix at least twice. After that your pancake mix is fine to be used, providing that it doesn’t taste bitter (see my next notes).
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How to tell if the flour in the pancake mix has gone off
Whist the pancake mix might be in date and there is no visible spoilage in the package, the flour itself might have gone off.
The only way to tell is to taste the flour mix raw. Add a tiny amount of the pancake mix on the spoon and taste it on the tip of your tongue.
There will be some bitterness from the baking soda or baking powder, but overall it shouldn’t taste unpleasant. If it does the flour in the pancake mix has gone bad and I wouldn’t recommend to use it.
In theory you could make the pancakes and your digestive system might be absolutely fine, but I know from experience, that no amount of sugar, toppings or flavourings is going to cover that bitter taste of spoiled flour.
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How to store pancake mix correctly
Your pancake mix is best kept
- Dry & cold cupboard, where the temperature is not changing too much
- Original package if not opened yet
- Original package in an airtight plastic or glass container (if you have problems with humidity in your house or you don’t intend to use the flour mix straightaway)
The pancake flour mix can also be stored in the fridge (or even frozen) if you know you have problems with flour moths. For example, you buy fresh pancake mix, whilst you are trying to get rid of an existing moth infestation. Your pancake mix will be fine for few days in the fridge or freezer.