Does rolled fondant icing expire?

Meghan Budiman

Posted on August 17 2018

We get a lot of questions about rolled fondant icing and the most common question is, does my fondant expire? Or can I use my fondant if it has been unopened after 2 years? The answer to these questions depends a lot on your fondant and the quality of the manufacturing. Going back to my blog about expired food coloring, my opinion is the same about fondant. Again, this is my opinion. Technically, yes, rolled fondant icing does expire and at some point it will go bad. Most fondants have a shelf life of 22 - 24 months. I will always prefer to use my fondant as freshly as possible, within the first 6 months of purchasing. But, sometimes I won’t have a project that requires a specific color I’ve purchased. In this case, I will leave the fondant unopened and in a cool, dry place. If the fondant has passed the expiration date I will do a few things. First, I check the softness of the fondant. If it still feels soft and flexible then I will certainly use it. Second, I check for any sugar beading or spots of mold. If I see these things I’ll usually throw the whole thing away. Third, I’ll smell and taste the fondant. If the fondant is rancid at all I will throw it away. And lastly, I check the color. Most colors will stay the same even after 2 years, however, some are prone to fading such as purples and pinks. If the color looks good to me then I’ll move forward with the project.

How do you store your fondant? This is a crucial step in keeping your fondant as fresh as possible. Fondant should be stored in an airtight container in the original plastic bag. It should be placed in a dark, dry, and cool place to keep it way from UV and fluorescent lights and moisture. UV and fluorescent lights can change the color of your fondant. And storing it in a dry, cool place will lower the chances of developing moisture which will cause mold and stickiness. If you see any mold in your fondant you can choose to cut off that piece if using the fondant for dummy cakes, or if being consumed, throw away the fondant completely.
If I’m making a dummy cake not to be consumed I am all for using expired fondant. If the fondant is fine and unchanged than there is no problem using it if it won’t be eaten. Sometimes after a long time of fondant being unused, it could feel very hard and nearly impossible to knead. Most fondants, even at its hardest, can be broken down and kneaded slowly. A little trick I like to do is put big pieces of it in the microwave at 5 second intervals and knead when the fondant feels slightly warm and softer. This will help warm up the fats and sugar making it easier to knead and bring the fondant back to life. Continue to knead the warmed fondant until it’s all blended and kneaded together. Be careful not to over microwave the fondant.

My final answer to this question is, yes, fondant does expire. Every fondant icing container should come with a “best used by” date. You can abide strictly by this date, or you can be creative and use your expired fondant for dummy cakes. I like to judge the fondant by looks and taste. I hope this answer a few of your questions. Thanks for reading!