Whether you are deciding whether to eat that piece of week old cake or wanting to make fondant in advance, knowing how long it will last is important. The last thing you want to do is have you or someone else consume stale or even unsafe food. So, to help everyone out, I decided to write this article on the shelf life of fondant.
Unused and properly stored homemade fondant will last up to 2 months. Store-bought fondant may last as long as 2 years due to added preservatives. However, once applied to a dessert, the shelf life of any fondant is only about 3-4 days.
The rest of the article will give you additional details on how long fondant will keep, how to store it properly, and how to tell if it has gone bad.
How Far in Advance Can You Make Fondant?
Depending on your timeframe, fondant can be made up to 2 months in advance. In fact, it is recommended you make your fondant well-ahead of your expected cake or pastry consumption. At a minimum, fondant should be made at least 24 to 48 hours ahead of schedule to account for those unplanned errors we face while taking on a baking project.
To make your life easier, purchase premade fondant. Although more convenient, it will of course come at a higher price along with the possibility of not having the desired colors you need for your creation.
Should I Refrigerate Fondant?
If your goal is to maintain the shape, style, and overall look of your finished product, it is highly suggested to store the fondant at room temperature. Preferably, inside a glass-domed cake stand, like this one found on Amazon.
Otherwise, the aesthetics of the shell will become compromised due to the drastic change in temperature from being stored in the fridge and then submitting to thawing. The inevitable “sweating” from the condensation will cause your work of art to start sagging and lose its tight structure.
How Long Does Fondant Last out of the Fridge?
Fondant, like my recommend brand found on Amazon, usually comes in a protective tub-like container. Within this container, it is stored with an airtight plastic wrapping that keeps the fondant fresh and free of moisture. If stored in this original packaging, the fondant will last for up to 2-years.
After applying the fondant to your pastry or cake, you have approximately 3-4 days of freshness before your creation will expire. Keep in mind that some cakes do require the cooler temperatures of a refrigerator. Always be mindful of other ingredients to avoid spoilage.
Additionally, ensure you give the fondant proper time to harden. Do not serve until you get the desired consistency!
How Long Will Fondant Last in the Fridge?
Some cakes and pastries require refrigeration based on the ingredients used. For example, if there is fresh fruit within the dish, it is important to keep that product in a cooler environment rather than at room temperature.
With this in mind, if keeping at room temperature is not an option, you may store your fondant-covered dessert in the fridge for up to 3 days. Beware, however, as moisture is virtually impossible to block from your dish. Do your best to cover not only with plastic wrapping but also store within a corrugated cardboard container.
Corrugated cardboard containers work better than regular cardboard containers because of their 3-layer thick lining and hygienic properties. For additional sealing, tape your plastic wrapping to the container as tightly as possible.
How Long Does Fondant Last in the Freezer?
Unlike most perishable items, fondant does not fall into the category of needing to be frozen because of its high sugar content. Most items in our pantry require us to either consume immediately or freeze for later use. Freezing slows down the build of bacteria and is why our items gain additional time prior to expiration.
Store-bought fondant, however, can last for 1-2 years. Even homemade fondant can last up to 2-months without the need to be frozen. Not to mention the damage the moisture will afflict on the fondant when thawed. Thawing will create condensation which is a natural enemy to fondant as it will not retain its ability to be shaped.
Save that precious space in your already crammed freezer and keep your fondant at room temperature!
How Do You Store Fondant?
For the best results, simply wrap your fondant tightly within plastic wrapping and place it into an airtight container. Additionally, be mindful of where the container is placed. The heat from an oven, stovetop, or even direct sunlight can cause condensation allowing your fondant to be exposed to moisture.
With this storage combination, your unused fondant will last longer.
How Can I Increase the Shelf Life of Fondant?
With a typical shelf-life of around 1-2 years (if stored properly), fondant’s expiration can’t really be altered. However, with a few precautions, you can ensure to you receive as much of that timeframe as possible:
- Maintain in sealed original plastic bagging (if pre-purchased)
- If homemade, store in a sealable quality plastic bag
- Store in a dark airtight container
- Keep container from direct sunlight
- Pick a spot with dry but cool properties
Although not guaranteed, following these tips will help you sustain the freshest fondant possible.
Does Fondant Go Bad?
Like all good things, fondant does not last forever. If moisture or heat penetrated your seal, more than likely, unless utilized immediately, your fondant will go bad. This, regrettably, is a common issue with storing fondant for prolonged periods of time. It is suggested you use your fondant product within the initial 6-months of purchase to ensure maximum freshness and quality.
How to Tell If Fondant Has Gone Bad
There are a few tell-tale signs that are indicative of expired fondant. Prior to use, implement this simple checklist of questions to weed out any expired fondant:
- It is discolored?
- Is it falling apart and not flexible?
- Does it have mold?
- Does it smell unpleasant?
- Can you taste anything other than sugar?
If you answer yes to any of these questions during your inspection, it is a sign of expiration and should be discarded immediately.
With its decadent taste and elegant structure, fondant is a type of cake and pastry icing even amateur bakers can use to give their desserts a more refined look.
I hope these fondant tips have been helpful. Thanks for stoppin’ in for a visit!
CC Main Image courtesy of NASA Universe on Flickr
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