Learn how to properly store buttercream frosting in the refrigerator or freezer with this simple how-to about its shelf life.

The great thing about buttercream frosting is that you can make it up to 3 months in advance. With these simple tips and tricks, you’ll learn how to properly store buttercream frosting so you always have it on hand when you need it!

Looking for a great buttercream recipe to get you started? Learn How to Make Homemade Buttercream Frosting with this simple step-by-step guide.

Storing Buttercream in the Fridge

If you’re planning on using it in the next week or so, buttercream frosting does need to be refrigerated until you need it. Simply place it in an airtight container and let it come up to room temperature before using it. Once your buttercream has warmed up, re-whip it to bring it back to a fluffy consistency.

It’s also important to keep your frosting away from fragrant foods in your fridge, such as fish or meat. The fats in the buttercream may absorb the odors and flavors of those foods, rendering it unusable.

Storing Buttercream in the Freezer

You can freeze buttercream frosting for up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer bag. The day before you’re ready to use it, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bring it to room temperature before re-whipping again. This is helpful if you’re making buttercream months in advance, or you have leftover frosting you’d like to use later on.

How to Soften Buttercream Frosting 

When you’re ready to use chilled buttercream, simply take it out of the fridge and let it thaw on the counter at room temperature.

If your buttercream is frozen, transfer it to the fridge the day before you need to use it. This will let your buttercream to defrost gradually, minimizing temperature shock. Once thawed, let it come to room temperature.

If you’re defrosting a large amount of buttercream, you can pull it from the freezer two days in advance to make sure it’s ready to go when you are!

Once your chilled or frozen buttercream is at room temperature, re-whip it with a stand mixer until it’s nice and fluffy. This will also help get rid of any little air bubbles that may have appeared in your frosting.

How Long Can Buttercream Sit Out at Room Temperature?

A buttercream made with a recipe consisting of butter and shortening can generally sit out at room temperature for up to 2 days. We suggest covering your treat with plastic wrap or placing it in a cake carrier to prevent your buttercream from crusting too much.

If your buttercream recipe is made with all butter, it will need to be refrigerated. An all-butter recipe may melt off your cake once it’s reached room temperature.

If you’re making a pure white buttercream with no butter and just shortening, it can stay out at room temperature for up to 2 days. Cover it with plastic wrap or a cake carrier to limit crusting.

How Long Does a Frosted Cake or Treat Last in the Fridge?

If you’re planning to serve your frosted cake or treat within 3 days of making it, you can store it, covered, at room temperature. Otherwise, decorated treats are best kept in the fridge.

There’s no need to cover your cake if you’re storing it in the fridge – the frosting actually acts as an insulator and helps keep the cake nice and moist. Though if you do have meats or fish in the fridge, you can wrap the cake in plastic wrap to prevent odors from seeping into the frosting.

You can also freeze a decorated cake. Simply place your decorated cake, uncovered, in the freezer until it’s frozen solid, about 4 hours. Remove it from the freezer, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, which helps prevent freezer burn.

Stored like this, a decorated cake will keep in your freezer for up to 1 month. A day before serving, loosen the aluminum foil and plastic wrap and let your stored cake defrost in the fridge overnight.

For more helpful tips on how to thicken buttercream, how to fix grainy buttercream how to remove air bubbles and more, check out our post on Buttercream Troubleshooting.

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