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do wilton icing colors expire

Do Wilton Icing Colors Expire? Let’s Talk About It

Wilton icing colors are one of the most popular cakes decorating materials. As a baker, it’s your responsibility to know the expiration dates of all the ingredients you’re using. Which brings you here to ask, 

Do Wilton icing colors expire? 

The Wilton icing color does not really expire, ever. Icing colors are only edible dye and sugar. Hence, the Wilton icing colors last quite a long. You can use them for 24 months after opening for best use. Regardless, the Wilton gel color has an indefinite expiration date. 

For them to last long, you’ll have to store them properly. Apart from icing colors, other products of Wilton have different expiration dates.

This article is about the expiration dates of Wilton Icing colors and more. Shall we start?

Do Wilton Icing Colours Expire: The Shelf-Life of Icing Colour

The Wilton Icing colours have a long shelf life. And because they can be used in tiny amounts and last song as a result. They are made to last about 24 months past the opening date.   

Ingredients of Wilton Icing Colour:

Let’s take a look at the ingredients – 

  • Corn Syrup
  • Sugar
  • Glycerin
  • Edible Food Colour
  • Corn Starch
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Agar Gum
  • Citric Acid

All of the ingredients above have an indefinite period of expiration date.

That should tell you that the Wilton Icing colour does not exactly expire. However, it’s best if you use the colouring within 24 months. But you can use them forever. The icing colour doesn’t have any ingredients that can go bad or harm your health. 

So you can go on and on until you run out of the dye. 

After 24 months, it’s still usable. Because the icing colours never expire. But they might lose the intensity of pigment over time. After 2 years, you’ll have to use more to dye your icing.

Do Wilton Gel Food Colours Expire?

No, the Wilton gel food colorings do not expire. Gel-based colors are more stable than liquid, which means that they’re easier to mix into icing. This makes them a great choice for cake decorating and other applications.

Like where you need your icing to hold up well under high humidity conditions.

Because gel-based colours resist moisture better than liquid ones, they can be used in a variety of ways besides just icing—you could use them as paint or even on paper!

Wilton offers both gel-based and liquid-based icings in their products. Gel-based icings typically have a much longer shelf life than liquid ones. They’ll last up to two years! 

Liquid icings tend to fade sooner than their gel counterparts due to exposure to sunlight. Because sunlight causes discoloration. So store them in a dark and cool place.

How Much Wilton Icing Color Do You Need?

Wilton gel Icing colours are gel-based food colouring. This means that they’re very concentrated. 

You need a very small amount of the Wilton gel food colour. Use a wooden toothpick to take a tiny amount of gel from the container. For liquid colouring, start with a drop of the colouring. 

With a spatula, Properly mix the colour with the icing. And, wait for a while because the colouring gets darker in a few hours. So, build the colour as you go. Wait for a few hours and if the colour isn’t satisfactory, add a bit more. 

Does Wilton Icing Color Change the Consistency of the Icing?

The Wilton icing color does not change the consistency of your icing or frosting cream. Nor does it change the consistency of the buttercream you’re dying. 

You only need a tiny amount of colouring. The gel food coloring is thick in consistency as well. So it won’t thin out your icing as you mix. 

For the Wilton liquid food colouring, the consistency of your icing won’t change as well. Even with the liquid colour, you just need a drop of it to dye a batch of icing. 

Can the Wilton Icing Color Still Go Bad?

Although rare, both the gel and liquid food colour can go bad

How to Know the Food Color Has Gone Bad

Closely inspect your food colours. Put a drop of colouring on a container. 

If it smells different, or if there’s any change in the consistency of the gel colour. It has most likely gone bad. 

For gel food colouring, the consistency starts to thicken, it gets dry as well. 

But if the liquid food colour consistency becomes thicker. You can fix it. 

How to Fix Thickened Liquid Food Coloring?

Just like you can fix thinned caramel, you can fix thickened liquid food colouring as well. In fact, it’s really easy to fix liquid food colouring. 

Add a few drops of very hot water. Mix the colouring, it will start to thin out. You may need to add more colouring than the usual amount in your food. 

At the same time, the colours are really concentrated. So you don’t really need to overdo it. 

How to Soften an Icing That’s Hardened? 

Did you perhaps store your icing for later and forgot about it? And then the icing later welcomed you in a hardened state? 

If you’re reaching out for your trash bin, stop right there. Your icing didn’t go bad. You can still save it. 

Here’s how –

Put the hardened icing in a warm bowl. Then warm up some butter till it’s soft. 

At room temperature, start beating a tablespoon of butter into your icing. Keep adding the butter and vigorously mix. 

When you reach the desired consistency of your icing. Stop adding butter and let the icing settle in a refrigerator for a little while. 

Take the icing out and voila! It’s usable again. As far as the colour is concerned, add a tiny bit of Wilton food colour to reach the shade it was originally in. 

How to Soften a Hardened Fondant?

Fondants are sugar gum that covers the cake for decoration purposes. Because it’s gum, when you refrigerate it above the required temperature, it gets rock hard. 

So how can you soften a fondant that’s rock hard?

The solution to rock-hard fondant is simple. Microwave your fondant for 30 seconds at intervals. Check the consistency every time. As soon as you reach the desired consistency, knead your fondant. 

The fondant will gradually become soft and handleable. Now you can use your fondant to decorate your cake. Make sure the fondant is soft enough to knead, otherwise the fondant might crack. 

How to Store Wilton Food Colored Frosting

To store leftover frosting you prepared with Wilton Food colouring, follow these simple instructions.

After you have leftover frosting, carefully transfer them to a dry and airtight container. Seal the container properly and store it in the refrigerator. Choose a plastic or glass container. However, a glass container is the best for storage. 

You can also store the frosting in the piping bag as well. Just make sure they’re properly sealed. So that no air comes into contact with the frosting. 

Otherwise, the frosting might become thinned. Or in some cases, it might go bad if you store them for a few days like that. 

Expiration Date Of Homemade Icing with Wilton Icing Color

Preparing homemade icing is surely unbeatable. And the best thing is you can also keep them stored and use them multiple times. 

Is there any expiration date for homemade icing with Wilton food colour? If you store homemade icing properly, it can last for two weeks in the best condition. 

Although the expiration of the Wilton food colour is indefinite. 

So go ahead and use your stored homemade icing without any worries! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Long Can You Keep Wilton’s Food Coloring?

You can keep Wilton’s food colouring for a very long time. Food colorings are only made of food-grade dye and sugar. Upon opening the container, you can use the food colouring for as long as 24 months. As for gel colouring, they have a more stable shelf-life. The decorator icing lasts for 12 months.

How Long Does Wilton Piping Gel Last?

Piping gel as you’d expect does not have a long shelf-life. After a few days, the piping gel starts to get thinner. At best, you can make a gel piping last for 2 weeks. And if your icing becomes hard within that period, it becomes unusable. In this case, you’ll have to throw it away.

How To Read The Julien Manufacture Date Of Wilton’s Products?

Julien date is a 5-digit number that is stamped on to the packaging of Wilton’s products. The first two numbers depict the year of manufacturing. The next 3 digit depicts on which day of the year the product was manufactured. Wilton doesn’t print an expiration date on the packaging of its products.


We hope this article has helped you understand when Wilton icing colors expire. They may fade over time but should be usable for many years to come.

Now that you know that they last longer, use them as you will without any worry!

Best of luck!


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