For some people, powdered sugar is one of those ingredients they buy over and over again. Others find it hard to use up a bag and look for the best storage method to keep it from going bad before they can use it.
Can you freeze powdered sugar? You can freeze powdered sugar, but it is not necessary and it may create lumps after defrosting. Powdered sugar lasts indefinitely when stored properly in a cool dry place in a well-sealed container, so this is the recommended storing option.
Freezing is simply not the best way to store this product. If you store it right, it will keep years or even indefinitely in your pantry. So, why freeze?
Secondly, freezing and defrosting powdered sugar may create moisture which will cause the powder to get all lumpy.
So it’s best to just store powdered sugar as you probably would normally: in a dry and fairly cool place outside of your refrigerator or freezer, where it will already last for years.
Continue reading to learn the secrets of making powdered sugar last forever and how to detect if it has gone bad.
How Long Does Powdered Sugar Last?
Powdered sugar, also known as confectioner’s sugar, is a baking staple.
It is used to make frosting and icing. Powdered sugar dusted over baked goods is a finishing touch for many treats. You will also come across this product in the ingredient list of cookies, candies, and fudge desserts.
If you are not much of a baker, you may find powdered sugar sitting in your kitchen for years. Luckily, it doesn’t go bad quickly.
Powdered sugar is considered to have an indefinite shelf life. But this claim works only if you store the sugar in the right place. You will hardly see it going bad if you provide proper storage conditions.
An unopened box of powdered sugar will keep well for years, or again, indefinitely. An opened bag or container of powdered sugar is also claimed to keep forever.
However, if you want your confectioner’s sugar at its best, use it within 24 months. The quality deteriorates while the sugar sits in the pantry.
What Is the Best Way to Store Powdered Sugar?
If you are someone that uses powdered sugar often, there is no need to take extra steps like freezing it. Simply follow these rules.
- Keep it in a dry and cool place. Humidity is the worst for powdered sugar as it causes the sugar to clump. Also, confectioner’s sugar is very sensitive to heat. It may melt, lose its smoothness, and possibly go bad.
- Keep it in a well-sealed container. Doing this will keep the pests away and ensure the freshness of the sugar.
- Store it away from strong-smelling spices. Powdered sugar with a cinnamon aroma may work for some desserts. But confectioner’s sugar smelling like cumin or turmeric won’t do your baked goods justice.
If you don’t use powdered sugar that often and simply want to store it right so that it keeps well, here is what you should do:
For unopened packages, wrap tightly with a few layers of plastic wrap and store the sugar in a cool and dry place.
If you have already opened the package, transfer the sugar into a sealable plastic bag and push out as much air as you can. Seal the bag and put it into another tightly sealing bag.
Can You Freeze Powdered Sugar?
Technically, you can freeze powdered sugar. The question is, why would you do that? The shelf life of powdered sugar, as with many sugars, is long. Long as can be. And the point of freezing food is to extend the shelf life.
But this is not the only reason we would recommend you not to freeze powdered sugar. Freezing powdered sugar and defrosting it before using may create moisture in it. This will result in lumpy powdered sugar.
How To Freeze Powdered Sugar
As we said, you technically can freeze powdered sugar, but you probably don’t want or need to.
However, if you have made your mind to freeze powdered sugar to see what happens, here is how to do it:
- Put powdered sugar in a sealable, airtight plastic bag.
- Push out excess air.
- Wrap with a layer of plastic wrap for extra protection.
As for an unopened bag of powdered sugar, wrap it with a few layers of food wrap for protection.
Although if you plan to take out a little at a time, you may want to go ahead and transfer your powdered sugar to a re-sealable container now, to save time later.
To use frozen powdered sugar, pour as much as you need on a plate or baking sheet and spread it out. Put the remaining sugar back into the freezer.
If you leave the whole frozen package of sugar at room temperature, water droplets will form inside the bag as a result of temperature changes.
Avoid refreezing powdered sugar.
How Can You Tell If Powdered Sugar Is Bad?
Powdered sugar has a long shelf life.
However, it is possible for it to go bad. As mentioned, powdered sugar will start going bad as a result of contact with moisture or heat. You may also need to discard powdered sugar if it has absorbed other scents.
If you notice color changes or lumps in your powdered sugar, discard it. If it is still paper-white and smooth, it is still good for use.