You’ve just finished making another cake! You step back to look at your beautiful creation and let the feeling of accomplishment sink in. Then you look at your kitchen, as the next step is one of the most dreaded parts of cake decorating: the clean-up.

While we unfortunately cannot assist in cleaning your kitchen (believe me, I’ve asked!), we can help give you some tips on how to store leftover buttercream, icing and fondant.

If you’re anything like me, you’re an over-planner. I always make extra of everything because you just never know what’s going to happen. So when a cake is done, I always have extra frosting sitting there that I don’t want to go to waste. This raises two questions – how do you store it and how long for? Each icing is different so I’ve laid it all out for you below.

How to Store Royal Icing

Store royal icing made with meringue powder in an airtight container and keep it at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Before using, beat well in a mixing bowl at low speed. If you don’t have plans to use the icing within 2 weeks, another option is to pipe out your decorations and let them harden. Hardened royal icing decorations can be stored in a covered, NON-airtight container (like a cake box) for years! They’re great to have on hand for future cakes.

How to Store Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream is the best frosting to store because it lasts a long time! Once you are done, place all leftover buttercream in an airtight container. If you know you will be using it soon, you can place it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If you aren’t planning on using it for a while, place that airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.

When you’re ready to use it, remove it from the refrigerator (or freezer) and allow it to come back up to room temperature. Be sure to place it back in your mixer and whip it again to get it back to the right consistency.

How to Store Fondant

Sadly, fondant does not keep as well as other icings. Once pre-made fondant, like Decorator Preferred Fondant, has been opened, the best way to store it is to cover it with a thin layer of shortening, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in an airtight container. This may seem like overdoing it, but in my experience, this has worked the best. Store it at room temperature.

There’s no exact timeline for how long it will last, as it depends on the environment and conditions it’s stored in. Fondant will start to get a crusty layer on top (the shortening helps resist this) the longer it sits. When it starts to crust, the fondant is no longer workable.

Hopefully, with these storage tips, you can extend the life of your icing or fondant and get more use out of them!