Cake mix expiration dates - time sensitive

sands99November 3, 2007

I am having my parents over tomorrow night for dinner. We had a lovely shared family bday luncheon party for Dad and niece Meigan today but I want Dad to have a dinner and cake all his own.

Small problem: I wanted to make a very embellished banana cake mix cake [I have the mix] with fresh 'nanas, walnuts, butter creme icing, and cocoa dusted coconut. Here's the rub: the banana sumpreme cake mix has an expiration date that I can't read although it looks like Dec 06??? Should I chuck it? make my own? hit Shop Rite at dawn? This conundrum cracks me up because my dad eats yogurt that's a year past it's expiration and salad dressing from the 20th century unless my Mom catches him.

When do you really believe an expiration date applies [to pantry items] or is it just another CYA from the packaging company??

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Once....only once, I made a cake with an expired mix....
It was awful! The fats in the mix get rancid and the whole thing tastes bitter and beyond nasty.
Do it from scratch or buy another mix! Aint' worth your time nor the eggs!
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 10:16PM
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i've done it with no problems. as a matter of fact, a few weeks ago i found a carrot cake mix that when i went to cut out the coupon on the inside of the box, i had to laugh at the date. i made the cake and it was fine.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 10:35PM
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Open it, smell it and maybe add a dab to your finger and taste..
I think you'll be fine!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 11:15PM
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Smell won't tell....but taste will. Expired by 3 or 4 months likely won't be too bad....but I sure wouldn't take a chance for a special cake. Why waste the eggs and frosting? must have been very very lucky...or not sensitive to rancid tastes.
Sorry....I sure wouldn't chance a year out of date....won't make you sick....but for sure won't be a good cake.
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 11:22PM
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I have used cake mixes older than that with no problem. It wasn't rancid, didn't taste bitter in the least. It tasted and looked fine. I say to use it and not toss it!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 12:00AM
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Out dated by a year??? Really??
I've only done it twice, once because I thought it wouldn't matter and another time because it was there and I needed some cupcakes quickly and didn't notice how old it was. Both times it was inedible...blech...kaak...nasty!
But I so seldom use a cake mix, they can sit for a year and I scarcely am aware of it.
You are very lucky you didn't serve a rancid tasting cake to a guest.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 12:34AM
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I'd go buy another package for today and hold on to the 'old' stuff until I had a chance to call the manufacture and double check the expiration date... That 6 just might be an 8 and sometimes they can tell you the date by the code on the package...

The only time I used an outdated cake mix I just added some fresh baking powder and it was just fine...


    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 3:22AM
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Nancy zone 6

I think it probably depends on the cake mix & the conditions it was stored. I've used very outdated cake mix, sometimes I can tell, sometimes I can't, but never been inedible. Still, I would hesitate with something important. If you have the ingredients, a banana cake is really pretty much banana bread. Or look up hummingbird cake, that is a banana cake & pretty easy if you have the ingredients on hand.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 8:06AM
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Carol Schmertzler Siegel

I've heard that before, too, Rita. Someone told me that you just have to add fresh baking powder and the cake would be fine!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 8:38AM
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Well, given it's a split decision I think I'll err on the side of caution and ditch the mix. Nothin' says Happy Birthday like food-poisoning ;-)

I went with a yellow cake - one layer with walnuts the other with Ghir Choc Chips, whipped cream frosting and bananas in between with a orange sprinkles 'pumpkin' surrounded by green 'grass' coconut on top. I think he'll like it :)

Thanks for all the input - never heard of the baking powder trick!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 9:46AM
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It's the rancid oils that would make it taste bad. Refreshing the baking powder would not help with that. If it's a mix where you add your own oil or butter and it's not already in the mix (not "complete", in other words) that would be better. I made brownies once with expired mix and the smell/taste of the spoiled oii was ghastly. Like the other I would not do this for a special occasion.

I hear you about your Dad and the expired food. I used to have to go through his refrigerator and pantry and throw out things. My husband used to joke that his longevity (he got all the way to 97) was due to his constantly challenged immune system. I'd admit to eating slightly overdate yogurt myself: it gets stronger and I like it that way!
Hope the party is great!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 1:21PM
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