How to tell If molasses is bad? (+7 Ways to use)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to tell If molasses is bad?”, and how to store molasses?

How to tell If molasses is bad?

  1. If you notice mold growth in the form of a tiny discolored spot or fuzzy area on the surface, discard it immediately.
  2. If the molasses has separated and gives off a strange smell, throw it out.
  3. If the molasses develops an off-color or crystallizes, ie belongs in the bin.

How to store molasses?

  • Molasses should be stored and handled the same way as honey and maple syrup. The rule of thumb is to keep it in a dry, cool, and dark place away from heat. The storage temperature must be consistent.
  • Once the bottle is opened, make sure the seal is tight. An opened bottle of molasses stays good at room temperature. Refrigerating it will make it over-viscous. 
  • If you refrigerated your molasses, you can loosen it up by heating the bottle and jar in a tub of warm water.

The shelf-life of molasses

The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of molasses under different storage conditions.

In the pantry 
Molasses (unopened)2 years past the Best-by date 
Molasses (opened)1 year past the Best-by date 

What is molasses?

Molasses is a dark, sweet, and viscous fluid formed as a by-product during the processing of sugarcane and sugar beet to produce sugar. Depending on the variety and sugar extracted, molasses varies in sweetness level, nutritional value, and depth of color.

Molasses can also be extracted from sorghum syrup, pomegranate, carob, or dates. During sugarcane/sugar beet processing, the juice is extracted and boiled. The crystallized sugar is removed and the remaining liquid is boiled over and over again to yield sugar. This recurrent boiling results in the formation of different types of molasses discussed below.

Types of molasses

Light molasses

It is often referred to as Barbados or mild molasses. The first boiling of sugarcane or sugar beet juice yields light molasses. It is, therefore, rich in sugars. It is sweeter than black molasses and works as a great substitute for maple syrup.

Dark molasses

The second boiling of sugarcane or sugar beet juice yields dark molasses. It is darker and thicker but less sweet than light molasses. The strong flavor of dark molasses goes well with gingerbread.

Blackstrap molasses 

This gooey and bitter molasses is obtained when the sugarcane or sugar beet syrup is boiled for the third time. Due to its undesirable taste, it is not used for cooking purposes. It is used for animal feed. However, blackstrap molasses is nutritionally rich. It provides a rich amount of iron, minerals, and vitamin B6.

Other FAQs about Molasses which you may be interested in.

Can molasses go bad?

How to use molasse?

Light and dark molasses are used in both sweet and savory dishes. They moisten and add color in products like pecan pie. They can also be used to improve consistency and thicken sauces like BBQ sauce for pulled pork. Some of the other uses of these two varieties of molasses are given below.


Light molasses can be used in place of maple syrup. Drizzle over pancakes, waffles, ice cream, porridge or oatmeal for sweetening. It can also be added to salad dressings.

Baked beans 

The visocusity, deep color, and the high calcium content of the dark molasses is very desirable to impart color and firm texture to baked beans. Molasses baked beans can be enjoyed with homemade cheese tea biscuits. During summers, they can be paired with grilled ribs and corn.

Brown sugar 

Molasses is responsible for the brown color and the moist texture of the brown sugar. Light brown sugar has less molasses than dark brown sugar and is frequently used in baking, sauces and glazes.


Molasses can be added to baked desserts to add moisture, color and texture. It can be used to make pecan pie, gingerbread, molasses cookies, molasses brown bread, and bran muffins etc.

Pumpernickel bread

A mixture of molasses and brown sugar is used to bake Pumpernickle bread. Pumpernickel is a dense and mildly sweet rye bread. It uses rye bread and whole rye grains. This bread has low carbs and high soluble fiber content. Theofre it has a low GI value which makes it ideal for diabteic patients.


Molasses can be added to meat marinades for a sweet hint. The complex sweet and tangy flavors of the grilled meats are irresistible. 


Sugarcane molasses undergoes fermentation. It is distilled and is one of the staple ingredients to make rum.


In this article, we answered the question “How to tell If molasses is bad?”, and how to store molasses?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.