Can You Refrigerate (Or Freeze) Chocolate?


If you received lots of chocolate as a gift, or made too many chocolates, you might be looking to store your chocolate for longer than a week or two.  In that case, you are probably wondering whether you can store chocolate in the refrigerator, and how to do it properly.

So, can you refrigerate chocolate?  Yes, you can refrigerate chocolate to make it last longer if you do it properly.  Be sure to take measures to prevent problems like chocolate bloom and flavors from other food in your chocolate.  Chocolate should be wrapped and tightly sealed in a container separate from other foods before putting it in the refrigerator.

Of course, the length of time that chocolate will last depends on the type of chocolate you have and how you store it.  Let’s get into the finer points of storing chocolate, how to avoid some common problems, and what to do with chocolate that was stored incorrectly.

Can You Refrigerate Chocolate?

Yes, you can refrigerate any type of chocolate, but you should only do this as a last resort.

If you have an alternative place that is cool, dry, and dark, then store your chocolate there.  If you can use the chocolate quickly by melting it down and using it in a dessert, then do so.

Otherwise, if you must store chocolate in the refrigerator, be sure to take the appropriate measures to preserve its quality for as long as possible.

Wrap Your Chocolate Carefully

The first step is to wrap your chocolate carefully.  This will keep it dry and prevent moisture in the refrigerator from forming condensation (drops of water) on the surface of the chocolate.

One method is to wrap your chocolate with some type of foil.  You can choose aluminum foil, which is widely available at most grocery stores. You can also find aluminum foil on Amazon, of course.

gold foil on chocolate
Gold foil is often used to wrap chocolate to keep it fresh and avoid condensation, which can cause chocolate bloom.

You can also choose specialized foil for wrapping candy bars, such as this gold foil from Wilton.

Make sure to use a piece of foil that is long and wide enough to wrap over the chocolate bar in all directions.  If you don’t cover it completely, the chocolate can collect condensation from humid air in the refrigerator.

If you bought a large amount of chocolate in bulk, you may need to split it into pieces that can be covered by the foil that you have.  Be careful if you use a knife to cut a large bar of chocolate!

In addition to foil, you can use another layer of plastic wrap or a sealable Ziploc-type plastic bag to cover the chocolate.  Just make sure to remove as much of the air as possible before you seal the bag shut.  If you really want to go overboard, you can vacuum-seal the bag before putting it in the refrigerator.

Seal Your Chocolate in an Airtight Container

The next step is to seal your chocolate in an airtight container.  This will prevent your chocolate from absorbing the odors and flavors of other foods in your fridge.

Some strong food odors and flavors that could easily get into your chocolate include onion, garlic, cheese, coffee, and spicy dishes.  If you don’t have an airtight container available, then store the chocolate as far from these strong foods as possible.  A cardboard container can still allow odors to get in and contaminate your chocolate with unpleasant flavors.

If you are planning on storing truffles or other fine chocolates for a long time, consider a candy box to keep them dry and protected from strong food odors.  You can check out Artisan Candy Boxes on the Clear Bags website.

Can You Freeze Chocolate?

Yes, you can freeze chocolate to make it last even longer than if you put it in the refrigerator.  However, some of the same warnings apply for freezing chocolate.

Keep in mind that if you are freezing chocolate truffles, the filling may freeze differently than the chocolate.  If it expands after freezing, the frozen filling could cause the truffle to split open.

chocolate truffles
Chocolate truffles may not freeze well if they have filling, so keep them out of the freezer.

When you thaw the truffles out, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise and have a mess to clean up.  It might be better to keep truffles out of the freezer and use the refrigerator instead.

For other types of chocolate without filling: first, wrap your chocolate carefully and put it in an airtight container, as outlined above.  Then, put it in the refrigerator for a day or so to let it cool down gradually.

Finally, put move the chocolate from the refrigerator to the freezer (make sure to label it so you know what it is!)  This method allows for a slower transition from room temperature to freezing temperatures.

You should follow a similar procedure in reverse when removing chocolate from the freezer.  First, move the chocolate from the freezer to the refrigerator, and leave it there for a day.

Then, remove the chocolate from the refrigerator and leave it wrapped in a container to let it warm up to room temperature gradually.  Finally, unwrap the chocolate and enjoy!

It might seem silly to go to all this trouble.  However, if you take chocolate from the freezer, unwrap it, and leave it out to thaw, you will get condensation (water) from the air on the chocolate.

Once this happens, the chocolate is more susceptible to sugar bloom.  Sugar bloom gives chocolate a white appearance on the surface (due to the gathering of sugar crystals pulled out of the chocolate by water).

For more information, check out my article on chocolate bloom.

Chocolate with sugar bloom is still safe to eat, but its appearance, texture, and taste may not be as pleasant as you were expecting.  However, you can always melt down bloomed chocolate and use it for baking, ganache, or in other dishes that call for chocolate.

Why Should You Not Put Chocolate In The Fridge?

When you put chocolate in the fridge without wrapping and sealing it, there is a chance of sugar bloom appearing on the chocolate.  This is due to the high humidity that sometimes builds up in a refrigerator.

If your chocolate is out at room temperature and you put it into a cold refrigerator, then condensation will form on the chocolate.  This can lead to sugar bloom (mentioned above), giving the chocolate a white appearance and changing its texture and flavor.

chocolate in aluminum foil
After removing chocolate from the refrigerator, it should be unwrapped after it warms to room temperature.

When you remove chocolate from the refrigerator, let it warm to room temperature before unwrapping, especially if you do not plan on eating it all in one sitting.

How Long Does Chocolate Last?

Chocolate can last anywhere from 1 week to 2 years, depending on the type of chocolate, how it is stored, and what else is included in the recipe (for example, fruit, nuts, or fillings).

One important thing to remember is that chocolate with more cocoa butter will not last as long.  The reason is that cocoa butter is not a stable fat, and it tends to separate from the sugar in chocolate over time.

Chocolate truffles (which have fillings) and chocolate covered nuts tend to only last 2 to 3 months, since the fillings can go bad and the nuts can go rancid.  Chocolate covered fruit may go bad much faster, especially with fruit that is prone to mold, such as strawberries.

White chocolate tends to have the most cocoa butter out of all the types of chocolate, due to its lack of cocoa solids.  This means that white chocolate will only last 3 to 4 months.

white chocolate chips
White chocolate may only last 3 to 4 months in storage, due to its high cocoa butter content.
Image from:

Milk chocolate tends to have less cocoa butter than white chocolate, since it has more cocoa solids (which give it a light to medium brown appearance).  As a result, milk chocolate can last for 6 months to 1 year.

Dark chocolate has the least sugar out of all the types of chocolate, along with plenty of cocoa solids (which gives it a dark brown appearance).  This means that the cocoa butter in dark chocolate is less likely to separate from the sugar quickly.  For this reason, dark chocolate will last 1 to 2 years.

baking chocolate
Dark chocolate, which includes baking chocolate, can last 1 to 2 years in storage.

For a quick comparison, check out the table below to compare the shelf life of different types of chocolate.

Type of ChocolateShelf Life
Chocolate Covered
varies (1 week for
strawberries; several
months for raisins)
Chocolate Truffles2 to 3 months
Chocolate Covered
2 to 3 months
White Chocolate3 to 4 months
Milk Chocolate6 to 12 months
Dark Chocolate1 to 2 years
Compound Chocolate2 years or more

If you are not sure what compound chocolate is, just remember that it contains oil other than cocoa butter.  For more information, check out my article on compound chocolate.

Since compound chocolate contains less cocoa butter than other types of chocolate, it tends to be more stable and experiences less chocolate bloom.

Remember that you can get chocolate to last longer if you store it carefully by wrapping it and sealing it in an airtight container.  Keep it in a cool, dark, dry place and don’t forget that you put it there!


By now, you know that refrigerating chocolate is not ideal.  However, it is better than letting it melt in the heat, and it can help to preserve chocolate if it is stored properly.

I hope you found this article helpful – if so, please share it with someone who can use the information.  If you have any questions about refrigerating chocolate, please leave a comment below.

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