Can you get sick from eating expired frosting?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you get sick from eating expired frosting?”, how to store buttercream frosting, how long does frosting last, how to store frosting, how to make powdered sugar, how long does powdered sugar last and how to tell when it has gone bad.

Can you get sick from eating expired frosting?

Yes, you can get sick from eating expired frosting. The presence of dairy fat and other perishable ingredients limits the shelf-life of the frosting and compromises its safety after expiry. Moreover, expired frosting does not feel fresh, loses its texture and spreadability, and becomes less desirable for topping.

How to store Buttercream frosting?

The high-fat ad and moisture content of the buttercream frosting is what makes it so rich and heavenly but it also limits its shelf-life. The perishability of the buttercream frosting is a big concern.

But there are ways you can keep your buttercream frosting fresh for longer. The simplest method is to spread it over the cake, cover it in a plastic sheet, and store it in the fridge or freezer.

Alternatively, you can keep it in an air-tight container at room temperature. If you live in an area with a warm climate, the room temperature storage isn’t for you.

In this case, you best opt for refrigeration or freezing. Make sure to store your frosting, kept in a piping bag or an air-tight container, near the back of the fridge, where it is the coldest. Minimizing the temperature fluctuations helps extend the shelf-life of the frosting.

How to tell if the buttercream frosting is bad?

The consistency or the texture of the buttercream frosting is of utmost importance. If its spreadability gets hurt, there isn’t much you can do about it. When the buttercream frosting turns, it becomes lumpy, grainy, or undergoes fat separation.

Due to the presence of eggs, bad buttercream frosting will develop a very distinct rotten smell that is hard to go unnoticed. If the buttercream frosting is salvageable, you can fix it by whipping it with more cream or mixing it in small amounts with a fresh batch. 

How long does frosting last?

Past printed date 
Canned Frosting/Icing3-4 months 
Dry frosting mix 5-6 months 
Canned Frosting/Icing 2-3 weeks 
Ready to Decorate Icing – Pressure TubeIndefinite -the icing will harden and not work
Ready to Decorate Icing – GelIndefinite – the icing will liquify and not work
Homemade Frosting/Icing 1-2 weeks 

How to store frosting?

The storage guidelines may vary with the type of frosting. The general rule of thumb is to keep the frosting somewhere cool, dark, and dry, such as in the pantry or the fridge. A freezer is also a viable option.

It is important to prevent the sun from hitting the frosting directly. Similarly, the frosting should not be placed near the stovetop because the heat from the stove can cause condensation in the frosting. 

Store the frosting separately from the cake to make it last longer. Leftover icing whipped from the mix should be refrigerated as soon as possible to avoid spoilage.

How to make powdered sugar?

Things you’ll need 

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 T of cornstarch (Acts as an anti-caking agent, every cup of powdered sugar uses 1 T of cornstarch) 
  •  A food processor (A coffee grinder or blender also works)
  • Rubber spatula


  1. Grind the sugar and cornstarch in a food processor until a fine powder forms. Scrape the walls of the processor using a spatula during grinding to ensure uniform grinding. If you opt for a coffee grinder, do not overload it at once and divide the sugar into several batches to grind.
  1. The sugar is perfectly powdered when the powder feels smooth when rubbed in between your thumb and index finger.
  1. Use the powdered sugar right away or store it for later use. 

How long does powdered sugar last?

Powdered sugar has an indefinite shelf-life as long as it is stored correctly. The store-bought powdered sugar comes with a best-by date. 

This date is an indicator of quality and not safety. If you use good storage practices, the sugar does not go bad past the printed date but it becomes old.

How to tell if the powdered sugar has gone bad?

If the powdered sugar develops lumps, it is a sign it has gone bad due to being exposed to humidity or moisture over time. Lumpy powdered sugar may not be unsafe but it loses its functional properties. 

Sometimes, the powdered sugar, when kept under terrible storage conditions, becomes infested with pests. Pest-contaminated powdered sugar is unsafe and should be immediately discarded. Yes, even if you see just a single bug. 

Last but not the least, the smell of powdered sugar is a reflection of its freshness. Fres powdered sugar gives off a sweet, subtle vanilla-like odor. If the smell deviates, the sugar has turned. 


In this article, we answered the question “Can you get sick from eating expired frosting?”, how to store buttercream frosting, how long does frosting last, how to store frosting, how to make powdered sugar, how long does powdered sugar last and how to tell when it has gone bad.


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