How Long Can You Store Buttercream Frosting

How Long Can You Store Buttercream Frosting? Guide & Tips

Last Updated on April 23, 2024 by Lori Walker

What methods can be used to prepare buttercream frosting ahead of time or use excess amounts effectively? How long should we expect buttercream frosting to remain fresh? This delightful treat is a favorite addition to our cherished cakes and cupcakes.

I looked into the ins and outs of storing this creamy delight, ensuring every treat you frost tastes as wonderful as the day you whipped it up.

How Long Can Buttercream Frosting Last In The Refrigerator?

Buttercream Frosting

When properly stored in an airtight container, buttercream frosting can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

It maintains its flavor and consistency during this period, ensuring your desserts remain deliciously adorned. 

“Whipped ganache is a great gateway icing if you’re working your way slowly into the vast world of egg-based buttercreams. It’s just a few ingredients and far superior in flavor to the basic butter/sugar/milk frosting.”

– Claire Saffitz, American Food Journalist & Chef

Before using refrigerated buttercream, it’s a good practice to let it come to room temperature and give it a quick stir.

This ensures the frosting regains its smooth and spreadable texture, making your cake decorating endeavors effortless and tasty.

Find out how long frosting will last in the fridge here.

Can Buttercream Frosting Be Left Out Overnight?

Yes, many buttercream [1] recipes can withstand being left out overnight, especially those primarily composed of sugar and shortening.

These ingredients are less perishable and can typically sit safely at room temperature for a day or two. 

However, buttercream variations containing a significant amount of dairy, like milk or cream, should be cautiously approached.

These versions are more susceptible to spoilage when left out and, for safety, are best refrigerated promptly. 

Always consider the specific ingredients in your recipe when determining storage needs. But how long will buttercream last in the refrigerator?

Is Freezing Buttercream Frosting A Good Option?

Yes. Freezing buttercream frosting is an excellent option for extended storage. Buttercream can preserve its quality for up to three months when sealed in a freezer-safe container or bag. 

This method allows for advanced preparation and minimizes waste, especially for larger baking projects.

Upon needing the frosting, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and allow it to reach room temperature before using. 

This ensures the buttercream retains its optimal consistency and flavor for your delectable creations.

Are There Signs That Buttercream Frosting Has Gone Bad?

Buttercream on a Mixing Bowl
  1. Off-Odor: A sour or unusual smell indicates that the buttercream is spoiling.
  2. Mold Growth: Any signs of mold, whether fuzzy or slimy patches suggest the frosting is no longer safe to consume.
  3. Separation: While some separation can be expected, excessive oiliness or watery consistency can indicate the buttercream is past its prime.
  4. Change in Color: A discolored appearance can signify aging or spoilage, especially if the frosting takes on a yellowish hue.
  5. Taste: An off or rancid taste, although not the primary method of checking, can also indicate that the buttercream is no longer suitable.
  6. Hardened Texture: If the frosting becomes overly hard, it may have lost its quality even after being brought to room temperature.

“Buttercream’s delight lasts beyond the first bite; store it right, and enjoy its sweetness another night.”

– Leonelli Bakery

Does The Type Of Buttercream Affect Its Storage Life?

Yes, the type of buttercream plays a pivotal role in its storage life. American buttercream, primarily consisting of butter and powdered sugar [2], tends to be more stable and can often sit out longer than its counterparts. 

In contrast, meringue-based buttercreams, like Swiss or Italian, or those involving custards, such as French buttercream, have more delicate components that can spoil quickly. 

These variations typically require refrigeration and have shorter shelf lives due to their ingredients. It’s essential to reference the specific recipe’s guidelines to determine the most suitable storage conditions.

Related Post: What Frosting Goes Well With Lemon Cake?


How far in advance can you make buttercream icing?

Buttercream icing can be prepared well beforehand. If refrigerated in an airtight container, it remains fresh for up to two weeks.

For longer-term planning, freezing is an option, allowing the buttercream to retain its quality for up to three months. Before use, ensure it’s brought to room temperature and stirred well to regain its smooth texture.

How long does buttercream last on a cake?

A cake frosted with buttercream can safely sit at room temperature for 2-3 days, provided it’s kept in a cool, dry environment. If refrigerated, the cake can last up to a week.

However, cakes with buttercream containing high dairy content or fresh fruit should be consumed more quickly and permanently stored in the fridge to prevent spoilage.

Key Takeaways

Buttercream frosting, a staple in the world of desserts, offers flavor, texture, and storage flexibility. Whether planning a baking project days in advance or saving leftover frosting, understanding its storage life is critical. 

While it can grace your countertops briefly, the refrigerator is its sanctuary for extended shelf life, offering up to two weeks of freshness. And for those looking further ahead, the freezer extends this timeline to three months. 

Ensuring it’s stored in the right conditions guarantees that every dessert you garnish boasts beauty and flavor.


Lori Walker

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