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Does Marzipan Expire? (Store-Bought and Homemade)

Does Marzipan Expire? (Store-Bought and Homemade)

Who doesn’t use marzipan to cover their chocolate, fruits, or cakes? It’s a delicious confection that is versatile and easy to use. 

People often only use some of the marzipan they have at home to make their sweets or cakes, and they wonder if they can store the rest for later.

While marzipan doesn’t really expire, it can certainly go bad. If you store it inappropriately or for too long, it can dry out, harden, and lose its almond flavor. If stored the right way, it can last for several weeks or even months. 

Keep reading this article to find out how long you can keep store-bought and homemade marzipan at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer. 

Does Marzipan Have an Expiration Date?

Even though store-bought marzipan often has an expiration date, technically, it does not really expire. 

Most marzipan brands do, however, have an “official” expiration date that occurs between 9 and 12 months from the date of manufacturing. 

Manufacturers generally include an expiration date on their food products’ labels, even though the FDA does not legally require it

They do so to inform consumers about the time frame a product can be expected to maintain quality and flavor.

But that’s just it; it is more of an expected time frame than an actual deadline or expiration date. 

Marzipan is mostly made of sugar (typically between 50 and 70%, ground almonds (approx. 25 to 30%), water, and glucose syrup. None of these ingredients can really expire and go bad. 

Especially the high sugar content of marzipan explains why it doesn’t really expire, as sugar acts as a preservative and inhibits the growth of microbial bacteria in foods. 

It also helps preserve the food’s texture, color, and flavor. 

And then there’s glucose syrup. This substance is used in many foods as a moisture-retaining agent that prevents the crystalization of sugar in processed foods. 

Furthermore, glucose syrup is a natural preservative that saves foods from getting spoiled.

As you can see, marzipan is basically a self-preserving food product, and if you store it the right way, it can last for many months or even years!

GOOD TO KNOW: The expiration date of your homemade marzipan will vary and depends on the amount of sugar and glucose syrup. Homemade marzipan recipes can contain eggs or egg whites, which is why it usually won’t last as long as commercial marzipan!

How Do You Store Marzipan?

You can safely store marzipan in several ways if you it the right way.

You can store your unused store-bought or homemade marzipan in both a room-temperature environment, in the fridge, or your freezer.

The most important thing to remember is to wrap your marzipan in plastic!

Keep reading this article to find out why this is so crucial.

Why Must Marzipan Be Kept Wrapped in Plastic?

a marzipan roll being tightly wrapped in cling film

No matter where or for how long you’re planning on storing your marzipan, always wrap it in plastic.

Both air and moisture can be terrible news for marzipan, which is why this step is so important!

Wrap it as tightly as you can, and be sure to overlap the wrap so that no air can get to the marzipan inside.

When that’s done, put the wrapped-up marzipan in an air-tight container for long-term storage.

This can either be a sealable tupperware container or a zipper bag.

How Do You Know if Marzipan Has Gone Bad?

So what if your marzipan has been exposed to air anyway? 

It’s not like it’ll go off, at least not the store-bought variety. Instead, it’ll start to dry out and get hard. 

Additionally, the marzipan’s almond content will oxidize and develop an off, sometimes slightly sour or bitter flavor. 

This will result in a dry, flavorless lump of once-delicious marzipan that you won’t be able to use or consume anymore! 

Homemade marzipan, on the other hand, can actually go bad, as it sometimes contains eggs, a perishable food! 

So not only will this type of marzipan dry out and lose its flavor, but it can also develop a foul stench. 

Additionally, as some marzipan recipes call for egg whites, and homemade marzipan is not always made and consumed cooked but raw, there’s always a risk of salmonella!

Of course, you can safely avoid these risks by either cooking your marzipan, using egg-free marzipan recipes, or simply storing it adequately and within the recommended timeframe!

How Long Does Marzipan Last at Room Temperature?

two rolls of marzipan stored in a cupboard

While store-bought, unopened marzipan can last for several years at a low room temperature, opened and already-used commercial marzipan typically lasts around four weeks at room temperature.

Some brands will start to break down earlier, while others will do so later. 

What’s important here is that you do the following:

  • Store your marzipan in cling wrap and an air-tight container
  • keep it in a dark place (like a cupboard)
  • Make sure that the room temperature doesn’t get too high

The marzipan will keep its flavor and quality much longer if it is appropriately stored and not exposed to direct sunlight. 

It’s also optimal to store your marzipan in a low to medium room-temperature environment. The higher the room temperature, the sooner the marzipan will start to break down!

Things look a little different regarding homemade marzipan containing eggs or egg whites.

This type of marzipan may only be stored in a room-temperature environment for up to two weeks before it starts to go bad. 

PLEASE NOTE: The length of this time frame will depend on the ingredients you use and the factors (packaging, temperature, exposure to sunlight) mentioned above. 

If your homemade marzipan seems off or has developed a bad smell before those two weeks are up, it’s best not to use it! Better safe than sorry, right? 

How Long Can You Keep Marzipan in the Fridge?

two rolls of sealed marzipan stored in the fridge

While homemade marzipan has an approximate shelf life of 5 to 6 weeks when adequately refrigerated, store-bought marzipan can easily last 2 to 3 months in the fridge.

Regarding packaging, the same rules apply to refrigerated marzipan as to marzipan kept at room temperature.

Meaning: wrap it up tightly and put it in an air-tight container!

Again, marzipan that has been exposed to air can harden pretty fast, so wrap that stuff up well!

Additionally, you don’t want any spoilage bacteria getting to your marzipan! These often linge rin your refrigerator and can eventually cause foods to develop bad tastes and smells!

If you, on the other hand, store it appropriately in the fridge, it can keep its freshness and flavor for many weeks!

PRO TIP: The same goes for icing and marzipan on your fruit cake or christmas cake, by the way! Just remember to wrap up your cake so the marzipan won’t dry and get hard.

How Long Does Marzipan Last in the Freezer?

two rolls of marzipan in a sealable freezer bag

Many people also wonder if you can freeze marzipan, and the answer is a solid yes!

Both store-bought and homemade marzipan can technically be kept frozen indefinitely, but it often loses its texture and flavor after 6 to 9 months in the freezer.

I know people who’ve kept it successfully in their freezer for several years, though.

So it depends on the temperature and the way you store your marzipan!

For best results, you will need to wrap each marzipan ball or roll in cling film and then put them in a sealable freezer bag. Those have done a phenomenal job keeping moisture and freezer burn away from my marzipan.

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