Read This Before Using Expired Cake Mix

Cake mix is one of those products that seemingly everyone has in their homes. However, most people are not regularly baking cakes. This means the packaged mix hardly gets used unless there is a special occasion, and until that moment comes, it just sits on the pantry shelf for months without being touched.

It can be hard to part with an expired item that you never had the chance to use. It feels like a waste of money and food, and you might be tempted to whip up a sweet treat anyway, despite that the powder is past its best-by date. The truth is, there is both good news and bad news about consuming cake mix that has seen better days. While eating the packaged stuff won't necessarily send you to the hospital, it's important to understand what happens once it expires — and whether it is safe to use.

Expired cake mix loses its flavor and could grow mold

The Daily Meal reports three major reasons to avoid baking a packaged cake that is past its prime: change in flavor, change in texture, and possible mold. When a cake mix is made, it's given an expiration date because that is the length of time it will retain its original flavor and texture, according to Cleveland Clinic. Once that date passes, the product starts to break down, affecting how it looks, feels, and tastes. While it's not harmful to consume expired cake mix, it might not turn out exactly how you pictured if it's past its prime.

Another issue to keep in mind is that expired cake mix can grow mold in moist or humid conditions. Though the mold isn't likely to cause major harm to anyone, those with allergies could experience adverse effects from consuming the cake, as per Snopes. So it's best to throw the expired mix in the garbage. However, if you prefer not to get rid of the cake mix for whatever reason, check it for mold before use. If it appears clean, it's likely safe to eat.