Let's say I want to bake a cake specifically on Monday night, so it can be fresh for Tuesday (no, I don't want to do it on Sunday). But I know that on Monday I am going to be extremely busy. So I thought, why don't I measure all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, spices like cinnamon, and baking soda/salt), beforehand, a few days before, and leave them already mixed in a container/tupperware? In this way I already measured, cleaned everything, and I save up that part of the time.

Is it bad for these common cake ingredients to be together for some time? This is in a few days, but let's say you want to prepare for a day you are lazy but fancy baking a nice cake, but quicker. It would be like "homemade instant cake mix" but needing to add butter, eggs and milk, basically.


3 Answers 3


There's no issue with doing this, as you are no doubt aware ready-made cake mixes are sold boxed in stores and they aren't much different than you describe. Boxed mixes will often have anti-caking agents to prevent the dry ingredients from clumping up after a few weeks on the shelf, this won't be a concern for you if the mix will only be made a couple of days in advance.

  • 1
    yes! I did not look recently to the ingredients of mixes, but I was wondering that maybe the reason they hold time is usually due to preservatives. (Also I am not sure if mixing sugar with other dry ingredients, locked down, would do anything but my guess is no!) Thanks!
    – M.K
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 18:45
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    I store homemade pancake mix (just the dry ingredients from a normal pancake recipe) in an airtight container for months at a time without any problems with caking or clumping. If it did get some clumps, it would be easy enough to put through a sifter.
    – csk
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 3:50
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    @csk: Yeah, makes sense. I think granulated sugar would be more likely to pull moisture out of the air and get a bit sticky / clumpy, than anything in a pancake mix. Still fine for home use, though, as you say. Commercial cake mixes are intended for people who rarely cook, and who would probably consider it a "better quality product" if it stays perfectly powdery like a powder "should be". Or that's what the marketing / product research departments probably think. They certainly want to avoid anyone ever having to use extra tools like a sifter. So that doesn't mean home mixes need it. Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 11:18
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    The key point is storing it in an airtight container to prevent moisture from building up and reacting with the ingredients (especially baking powder/soda.)
    – barbecue
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 20:40
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    it seems rather funny to me that anti-caking agents are part of cake mix Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 15:54

There is certainly no problem with doing it in the exact described scenario (mixing for one cake a few days ahead).

I would be wary with mixing in bulk though. Not only is it very difficult to mix the powders perfectly evenly, but there is also a physical effect which makes the mix uneven if the box is moved during storage. So, if you start doing this for multiple cakes, I would suggest bagging each batch separately. It is a bit more work during mixing, but worth it.


No hygiene issues

however, if it's a recipe requiring highly sifted flour or cream-sugar-with-butter or mix-vanilla-paste-with-sugar then quality may be lost.

For a brownie recipe, dry mix can be left in a tupperware with room to add wet ingredients and shake.

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