If you are a passionate baker but a novice in cake decorating, you most likely have tons of questions about fondant, including its shelf life and storage conditions.
Does fondant go bad? Yes, fondant does go bad if not stored properly. Keep fondant in an airtight container or bag, in a dark and cool room. Make sure to prevent contact of the icing with water. Storing fondant right will help you maintain its best qualities for over a year.
Continue reading to find out more about the shelf life and storage rules for fondant. You will also learn why you should never refrigerate it and what to look for if you’re afraid your fondant has gone bad.
What is Fondant?
Fondant, also known as fondant icing or rolled fondant, is the term used to refer to the stiff, dough-like icing widely used in cake and cupcake decorating and sculpting.
It is often rolled out into a flat layer to cover cakes with a smooth layer of color in place of frosting.
Fondant has a very short and simple ingredient list. It is made of sugar, corn syrup, and water.
Fondant may also contain such ingredients as gelatin, vegetable fat, and shortening. Glycerin is also popular in commercially manufactured fondant.
As you can see, there isn’t much going on in fondant. However, if you fail to store fondant properly, you will come across texture and flavor changes. Improper storage conditions will also cause the fondant to mold.
How Do You Store Fondant?
Here are a few rules to follow for storing fondant properly.
- Fondant should be stored in an airtight container or bag to prevent it from drying out. Store unopened fondant in its original packaging so long as it is undamaged.
- Store fondant somewhere cool, away from heat sources.
- Keep fondant somewhere dark and avoid leaving it under direct sunlight.
- Make sure no water gets into the bag or container with fondant. Moisture is the number one enemy for fondant icing.
Does Fondant Need to Be Refrigerated?
Don’t store fondant in the fridge. Temperature fluctuations will create condensation in the bag or container with fondant. This, in turn, will cause the fondant to become sticky and increase the risk of fondant getting moldy.
You shouldn’t freeze fondant either. Because of its high sugar content, the icing will undergo texture changes.
How Long Does Fondant Last?
The shelf life of fondant is a topic of debate among bakers. One thing is clear; the best thing you can do is to look up the expiration date on the package as soon as you buy the fondant.
Store-bought fondant may last anywhere between 6 to 24 months. A lot depends on the brand, quality, and ingredients of the product.
In general, so long as you store fondant right, it is highly likely to keep well for at least 12 months. However, the sooner you use it, the softer it will be.
The high amount of sugar in fondant is what makes it last so long. Store-bought fondant also contains artificial preservatives that extend its shelf life.
The shelf life of homemade fondant, on the other hand, is not very long. As it doesn’t contain added preservatives, it is best to err on the safe side and use homemade fondant within 2 months.
How Do You Know When Fondant Goes Bad?
Commercially manufactured fondant may still be good for consumption a few weeks past its best-by date. However, whether the fondant is expired or not, you should always closely inspect it before use for safety reasons.
Otherwise, you are risking throwing the entire cake out.
Firstly, check the texture. Fondant that is still good should be soft and kneadable. If the fondant is stiff or is falling apart, it has either been exposed to air or is simply expired.
Secondly, if you see mold on the fondant, don’t consume it. Fondant is quite dense. However, the chances of mold traveling through the fondant are high.
If you have cut the moldy parts out, use the fondant for practicing purposes only and never for eating.
Third, inspect the color. Bright-colored fondant icing tends to fade. If the color of the fondant still works for you and there are no other signs of spoilage, go ahead and use it.
Lastly, if the fondant looks and feels good, give it a taste test. It is always good to taste the fondant before using it. Covering a cake with a layer of off-tasting fondant is a nightmare for every baker.
If the fondant tastes as it should and not rancid, then it is still good to use.
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