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Do Sprinkles Expire? How Can You Tell?

Do sprinkles expire
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Among the plethora of toppings used on cakes, donuts, and other bakery items, sprinkles are the most cherished ones.

They sure taste yummy!

However, a competent baker, whether professional or at home, should not only be able to make delicious recipes but should also be aware of all the necessary information regarding the stuff one uses, especially when it comes to expiration.

Now, sprinkles don’t go bad as fast as other baking products, but how do you know if sprinkles are expired?

Do sprinkles mold is another question which a lot of us may never think of.

Well, for someone new to baking and those who have the significant baking experience, it is time to acknowledge everything about sprinkles fully.

So, let’s begin;

What Are Sprinkles? What Are They Made of?

Sweets Indeed Frozen Sprinklefetti 8 ounce, Snowflakes, Blue, Purple, Sprinkles for Baking

Also known as jimmies and sugary strands, sprinkles are tiny pieces of crunchy confectionery that are widely used by chefs across the world to decorate their desserts.

These desserts may include cupcakes, ice cream, brownies, doughnuts, and other similar items.

Not only do they make your eateries look beautiful with their exciting colors, but they also add a bit of an extra flavor to the whole thing.

Sprinkles are made of sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, emulsifier (stabilizing agent), and food coloring.

A paste is created using these ingredients and passed through an extruding sprinkles machine to give them a distinctive shape.

What makes them hard and durable are the coating of sugar glaze and color.

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Types of Sprinkles

Wilton 710-4050 Dylan's Bar Sprinkles Candy Tackle Box, Assorted

Who doesn’t love sprinkles?

It enhances the color and texture of your dessert and make it more tempting too.

Different recipes call for different types of sprinkles. So, here I am going to share with you some basic types of sprinkles that makes your favorite dessert splendid.

Sprinkle Types:


These nonpareil sprinkles are made of sugar and starch. They come in the shape of tiny balls. They are specially used for desserts.


When you say sprinkles, firstly Jimmies pop up in our mind.  Jimmies are sugar strands. They usually come in a tiny rod shape.

They are mostly used for classic cupcakes. Jimmies are perfect for decorating kid’s desserts.


The Dragees are like pearls that come in a few sizes. It comes with metallic coatings. Usually, they are bigger than typical sprinkles.


Quins sprinkles are come up with lots of sizes, shapes, and colors. It is basically confetti sprinkles. They are mostly used for decorating bakes stuff.

5.Sanding Sugar

Sanding sugar is clear crystal sugar but bigger than refined white sugar. Sanding sugar adds the shine, crunch, and color to your cake pops and cookies. It adds crust to your dessert.

6.Coarse sugar

Coarse sugar is also identified as pearl sugar. It is bigger than sanding sugar. They come up in a variety of colors.

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Is it Possible to Refrigerate Sprinkles?

It is best to keep the sprinkles under room temperature to store them for a long time.

Although, you can put the sprinkles in a refrigerator by transferring them in an airtight jar or a zip-lock bag to ensure freshness.

Now, let’s discuss if you have a product with sprinkles on it.

Experts often suggest people to avoid keeping anything with sprinkles on it in the refrigerator. Why?

The sprinkles seem to melt and bleed faster into the frosting of cakes and cupcakes after getting out the fridge.

However, if you have to keep it in the fridge, it is advisable to wrap your desserts with sprinkles using plastic before you decide to put them in the fridge.

To preserve freshness, ask for a Sprinkles zip-lock bag at our bakery, plastic wrap the box, or place the cupcakes in an airtight container and freeze.

Can You Freeze Sprinkles?

It is necessary to understand the difference between putting sprinkle desserts in a refrigerator and freezer.

Freezing something turns it into the ice while refrigeration only cools it up above the room temperature.

As sprinkles take a long time to expire, one can use plastic bags and containers to store sprinkle toppings in a freezer to keep them fresh.

However, you will have to be careful with the thawing process.

It is advisable first to transfer the container to the fridge for a night and then to leave it to cool down under room temperature afterward.

Get to know here about food coloring expiration.

What Happens to Sprinkles When They Go Bad?

Apart from sugar, sprinkles also contain oil, and thus, they can go rancid.

How can someone tell when their sprinkles are rotten?

The most prominent of all the signs of spoiled sprinkles is the change in color and texture.

For instance, the red ones will get lighter by appearance, and there will be almost unnoticeable spots on them.

The sprinkles dry out and also lose their original sweet taste over the years, giving you the warning to get new ones.

Therefore, it is advised to taste the sprinkles before using them. If they taste ok, you can use them, and if not, it is better to get new ones.

Do Sprinkles Expire?

The tiny candy pearls you have enjoyed eating with your favorite desserts do expire, but can also last a very long time if handled properly.

According to experts, sprinkles can last an additional 3 years even after their expiry date has passed if you know how to extend their shelf life that is to seal and store them properly.

These are decorative items that are mainly made up of sugar, meaning they rarely expire due to the lack of bacterial growth like other baking material.

However, if, in any case, the sprinkles are exposed to moisture, then they become increasingly vulnerable to expiration.

While purchasing a bag of colorful sprinkles, always make sure to check the ‘best before date’ that is usually not mentioned on the other baking products. It is to measure the additional 3 years you can use the product for.

These attractive toppings lose their taste very slowly over time, and it is not easy to tell when they become completely useless.

Some also believe that sprinkles don’t expire at all as sugar doesn’t either, but it primarily depends on the quality and how you store them.

A high-quality bottle of sprinkles is likely to show indications of expiration after a much longer time than a poor quality one.

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What Makes Sprinkles Vulnerable to Expiry?

It is true that one can use sprinkles for as long as they want, but there comes a time when they start to lose flavor.

Sprinkles become increasingly vulnerable to expiry if you bring them directly under room temperature after storing them in the freezer.

Moist sprinkles go soft and lose their genuine texture, meaning you have to throw them and get new ones.

Are Sprinkles Usable After Expiration?

If you have been paying attention, then you must already know the answer to this question.

One can relax knowing that these tiny crunchy toppings are usable for at least a couple of years, even after the expiry date.

However, there a lot of sprinkles available in the market without any expiration date that might confuse some consumers.

In that case, a wise person should always make their use knowing the signs of rotten ones mentioned earlier in this post.

According to some experienced bakery chefs, if the sprinkles taste and look good, then you are safe to consume them.

Storing Sprinkles for Extended Periods

As exciting as it sounds to have all those yummy sprinkles readily available to eat in your house, they are only as good as the method you choose to store them.

An easy way out is to leave them in the packaging in which they originally came as it is designed to protect them.

In case empty glass jars are lying idle in your home, then you can get creative and store your favorite toppings in those airtight jars.

It is vital to seal whatever container you are using from all ends as exposure to air and moisture can ruin them.

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Video: How to Make Your Own Sprinkles?

Wrapping Up

There is a huge probability of you turning into an expert on the knowledge of sprinkles by now.

A lot of queries about storing, shelf life, and usage after the expiry date should be cleared.

It is crucial to realize that as long as you follow the tips mentioned above and use simple common sense while handing sprinkles, you would not have to spend any additional penny on them for a couple of years after your first purchase.

So store them wisely and enjoy your favorite sprinkles on delicious desserts without worrying about a thing.




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