Does instant pudding go bad?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does instant pudding go bad?”, what do the dates on the pudding mean, how to tell if the pudding is bad, how long does the pudding last, and how to make chocolate pudding shots. 

Does instant pudding go bad?

Yes, instant pudding, like other types of pudding mixes, goes bad. Frequent exposure to moisture or heat can turn the unopened packages of instant pudding rancid. 

Once prepared, improper storage can make the instant pudding go moldy. The bottom line is that storage practices greatly influence your pudding. Learn more about this in the article below. 

What do the dates on the pudding mean? 

Pudding comes with an expiry date, sell-by date, or use-by date. The type of date printed on the pudding package depends on the type of pudding and the manufacturer. Let us give you a quick rundown of what these printed dates mean. 

Expiration date: The expiration date of the pudding varies from brand to brand. It depends on the combined shelf-life of the ingredients of the pudding and whether or not the pudding contains preservatives.

The product does immediately go bad once it is past the expiration date but the risk is there. If a person consumes an expired product and experiences declining health, the company won’t be responsible. 

Sell-by date: This date is more of a concern for the retailer. The retailers are not allowed to display the products on the store shelves that are past their sell-by date. 

Best-by date: The best by date is indicative of quality. Eating a pudding that is past its best-by date will not be unsafe but it won’t be an enjoyable experience as well.

How to tell if the pudding is bad? 

Unopened pudding mixes with damaged packaging should not be given a second chance. They should be discarded immediately. A bad pudding will have a foul or rancid smell that does not go unnoticed. Moreover, rancidity causes the formation of fluid pockets. 

Other than rancidity, prepared pudding is very susceptible to mold. Mold grows in the form of colored fuzzy patches or spots on the surface of the pudding. Discard the pudding right away if you notice mold growing on it.

If the pudding passes the visual test, taste a bit of it to give the final verdict. If the pudding tastes bitter or sour, it has gone bad. Consuming rancid or moldy pudding can cause food poisoning. 

How long does pudding last? 

(Unopened) Pantry Refrigerator 
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date 
Vanilla pudding 3-4 weeks 3-4 weeks 
Chocolate pudding 3-4 weeks 3-4 weeks 
Kraft’s Dry Pudding Mix4-5 weeks 
(Opened) Pantry Refrigerator 
Prepared pudding from dry mix 1 day 5-7 days 
Homemade pudding 1 day5-7 days 

How to make chocolate pudding shots? 


  • 2 (3.9-oz.) pkg. Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 cup Pinnacle Whipped Vodka
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 (16-oz.) tub Cool Whip, thawed
  • 50 plastic condiment cups


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whip the vanilla pudding mix, milk, Baileys, and espresso powder until homogenous. Then beat in the vodka.
  1. Use a spatula to fold the cool whip into the pudding mixture. Do not overdo it as it can kill the air pockets. 
  1. Scop the pudding mixture using a medium cookie scoop into  2-oz. plastic cups with lids. Leave an adequate headspace of about 1-½ inches. This will allow the puding to expand without damaging the container. 
  1. Place the pudding in the fridge or freezer. 
  1. Serve chilled and enjoy.

Nutrition information 

Yield: 50

Pudding size: 1 pudding shot 

Calories 56.8 kcal
Total fat 2.3 g
Saturated fat 1.6 g
Trans fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0.4 mg 
Sodium 9.1 mg 
Carbohydrates 3.5 g
Fiber 0 g
Sugar 1.2 g
Protein 0.3 g 

How to serve pudding shots? 

You can either serve them directly out of the freezer or thaw them overnight in the fridge beforehand. If you are traveling with the pudding shots, make sure to place them in an ice cooler.

How long do the pudding shots last? 

If refrigerated, pudding shots stay good for about 5-7 days. Freezing is a good option to extend the shelf-life of the pudding shot or their leftovers by approximately 2 months. In case you are wondering, freezing does not render the pudding rock solid. 

The alcohol present in the pudding shots lowers the freezing point of the custard. This is why the frozen pudding shots can be scooped easily. 

Other FAQs about Pudding that you may be interested in.

Can you eat cook-and-serve pudding without cooking?

Can you cook Yorkshire puddings at 180?

How long will Yorkshire puddings keep in the fridge?


In this article, we answered the question “Does instant pudding go bad?”, what do the dates on the pudding mean, how to tell if the pudding is bad, how long does the pudding last, and how to make chocolate pudding shots. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.