The question of “how long do sprinkles last” has many answers depending on your location, what you’re using them for, and other factors.
But it’s safe to say that most people who use sprinkles will eventually find themselves wondering just how long they’ll be good for.
So, with all this uncertainty, it’s time to make some educated guesses about how long sprinkles can hold up under different conditions.
Let’s take a look at some answers.
How long do sprinkles last in the fridge?
In general, sprinkles tend to stay fresh longer when refrigerated than when frozen or kept out in the open air.
For example, according to the USDA, store-bought chocolate sprinkles should keep their shape and color for three months if stored in the refrigerator.
If you’re going to eat them right away, however, you should probably avoid any sprinkles that are more than one month old.
If you want to know exactly how long your sprinkles will last, you can check the expiration dates on the packaging.
As we mentioned earlier, these dates are usually pretty vague—like “best by” or “use by.”
These dates only tell you how long the product will remain edible after opening.
They don’t necessarily mean that the sprinkles will still be good after that date.
If you’re making a dessert, you might be able to get away with eating sprinkles past the recommended date.
You’ll also likely need to eat them sooner if you intend to share them with others.
However, if you’re planning to keep them around in case you need to sprinkle something else later, you’ll want to follow the guidelines on the package.
How long do sprinkles last in the freezer?
While the shelf life of sprinkles is shorter in the freezer than in the refrigerator, there is a difference between the two.
That’s because the freezing process affects the texture of the product.
It can cause the sprinkles to become harder and brittle, so they break into smaller pieces faster.
According to the USDA, if you buy sprinkles that aren’t in contact with ice or water, they should last for three years in the freezer.
If you plan to freeze them yourself, however, you should probably discard any sprinkles that are older than four months.
How long do sprinkles last when opened?
When you first open a bag of sprinkles, you should probably throw out any that are more than six months old.
Once you start using them, though, they can last much longer.
In fact, sprinkles made from sugar and corn syrup (such as those used for frosting) typically won’t go bad until they reach 12 months old.
If you’re looking for information about specific types of sprinkles, such as candy coating, you should check the expiration date printed on the packaging.
How long do sprinkles last when stored properly?
Most sprinkles contain ingredients that can react with oxygen in the air.
So, storing them in an airtight container is important.
If you keep your sprinkles in an airtight container, they should last for several weeks.
However, if you keep them in an open container, they should still last for about five days.
How long do sprinkles last when not stored properly?
Even if you store your sprinkles properly, they could still spoil quickly if you leave them sitting around for too long.
According to the USDA, sprinkles should be thrown out after six months of age, even if they haven’t been opened yet.
If you’ve been keeping sprinkles for a while and they’re starting to lose their shape and color, you should probably toss them.
How long do sprinkles last when exposed to air?
Once you open a bag of sprinkles, they will begin to deteriorate within a matter of hours.
Even if you’ve stored them properly, they will lose their crispness within a few days.
How long do sprinkles last when exposed to light?
Light exposure can degrade the taste of sprinkles.
While it’s true that sprinkles made from sugar and corn syrup (such as candy coating) will last longer if you keep them in an opaque container, you shouldn’t rely on this tactic alone.
If you’re going to use sprinkles regularly, you should consider buying ones made from flour or starch instead.
How long do sprinkles last when exposed to moisture?
Some sprinkles are made from products that can absorb moisture easily.
These include marshmallow fluff, which contains gelatin.
When you combine marshmallow fluff with another ingredient, it creates a paste that becomes soft if it absorbs liquid.
This makes it difficult to determine the exact amount of time that sprinkles made from marshmallow fluff will last.
However, you can estimate that they’ll last for about a week after being exposed to moisture.
How long do sprinkles last when exposed to heat?
Sprinkles made from sugar and corn syrup (such as candy coating) will last longer when you bake them.
You can bake them in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes to soften them slightly without affecting their flavor.
You can also microwave them briefly to achieve the same effect.
If you’re baking sprinkles for a specific purpose, you should always check the label before heating them.
What happens when sprinkles go bad?
If you notice that sprinkles in your pantry are stale or discolored, you should not use them to top cakes and probably discard them.
If you’re unsure whether or not they’re still edible, you can try microwaving them briefly.
If you’re still concerned, you can send them to a lab to test them for contaminants.
Mastro’s Butter Cake Recipe
- Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then rub each ramekin inside and out with Crisco (1/2 cups). Make sure to coat the bottom and top edges and rub them well.
- Add the turbinado sugar to each ramekin, making sure it coats every surface, including the bottom.
- After shaking out excess sugar, put into the next buttered ramekin. Continue this process with the remaining ramekins.
- Combine Crisco and sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Use a paddle attachment on your mixer to cream together the butter and sugar.
- Then, begin adding the eggs one at a time. Mix until it’s light in color and thick.
- After adding the eggs, turn your mixer down to low speed.
- Separately, combine milk and vanilla.
- In another bowl, combine salt and baking powder. Mix until creamy, and then slowly add in the flour while mixing. If flour streaks are visible throughout the mixture, adding the liquid ingredients next will correct the flour streaks in the cake mixture.
- By alternating between flour mixtures and milk mixtures, add to the Crisco mixture in small batches. Begin and end with flour during this process. After adding all of the flour, mix until fully incorporated, and then pour into a buttered pan.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the bowl’s sides. Avoid overmixing.
- Don’t fill the ramekins more than 3/4 full.
- Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes. The baking time may take longer than you think, so please start checking on your cake after 25 minutes. Also, use a timer as the key to Mastro’s butter cake recipe is to bake for 35 minutes. There will be some gooeyness in the middle, but that’s on purpose.
- Top with chocolate sprinkles and serve right away!