Tips on how to freeze buttercream frosting, so you can either use it later or for leftovers plus tons of options on how to use up leftover buttercream.
Yes, you really can freeze buttercream and with these tips, it will come out perfectly with no freezer burn. You’ll be able to use it to cover cakes or use the leftovers for other fun things.
What happens when you make too much buttercream? Well, if you’re me, then you just eat the rest. Ok, that’s really not a good idea, but I’m just being honest. 😉
Well, it really is possible to freeze leftover frosting. You can freeze the leftovers, or you can just make buttercream ahead of time and freeze it for later.
There are also a ton of options for using leftover icing as well.
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- Buttercream Used for this post & Recipes:
- Steps for Freezing American Buttercream Frosting:
- The Cheater & No-time Method to Freezing Buttercream:
- How to Thaw Frozen Buttercream Frosting:
- What to do with Leftover Frosting:
- What to do with leftover chocolate buttercream frosting:
- What to do with leftover vanilla buttercream frosting:
- What to do with leftover cream cheese buttercream frosting:
- Other Posts You Might Like:
Buttercream Used for this post & Recipes:
For this post, I’m referring to freezing American Buttercream, which is the buttercream made with either butter and/or shortening and confectioners sugar.
It may be possible to freeze leftover Swiss Meringue frosting this way, but it may change the texture since that type of buttercream is actually made with egg whites.
You may not like the results you get with freezing that type…I’m not an expert in Swiss Meringue, since I mostly stick with American Buttercream.
If you’d like to get my ‘all butter’ buttercream recipe, you can find it here: Favorite Vanilla Buttercream Recipe
If you’re looking for a truly white, heat-stable buttercream that’s a shortening based frosting, you’ll want to check out that recipe here: Bright White Heat Stable Buttercream
Steps for Freezing American Buttercream Frosting:
The first step of freezing buttercream is to lay down a piece of plastic wrap on a counter or a table.
Once you lay down a square of it, just drop a couple of blobs of buttercream on top. You don’t need to measure here…Just plop down about a cup or cup and a half of buttercream onto the square of plastic wrap.
It’s best to freeze small amounts at a time…it’s easier that way and you can just pull out what you need.
Next, you’ll need to fold the plastic wrap over the buttercream.
Then, roll the buttercream up in the plastic wrap.
Keep rolling until it’s all rolled up and then pinch the ends of the plastic wrap.
It’s helpful to twist the ends of the plastic wrap to give it a good seal.
Then just tuck the ends under the buttercream.
Do this until you’ve wrapped all the buttercream. You can then just pop the packets of buttercream into a freezer ziplock bag, squeeze as much air out as you can, label the bag and then pop in the freezer.
I especially love freezing small amounts of colored buttercream…that way, when I just need a small amount of that color for perhaps some flowers, I don’t have to make it.
The buttercream should be fine frozen for two to three months.
The Cheater & No-time Method to Freezing Buttercream:
Ok, while the above method is probably the best method, sometimes I find myself not having much time and/or I’m just feeling lazy and don’t want to put in the effort.
If you plan to use the buttercream soon (as in not freezing if for months), then you can usually get away with the method I’m about to explain.
So, when I just want to get it into the freezer and plan to use it soon, I just add the buttercream to a plastic container that has a snap-on lid (like a Tupperware container).
Make sure to use the right size container though. You don’t want a bunch of air between the buttercream and the lid. You want it to fill the container so you don’t get freezer burn.
How to Thaw Frozen Buttercream Frosting:
For the plastic wrap frozen buttercream, when you get ready to use it, just pull it out of the freezer, unwrap it, and pop it in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, or press-n-seal wrap, and let it defrost on the counter.
For the frozen buttercream in the container, just set the entire container on the counter at room temperature the day or night before you use it and let it defrost.
Once it’s defrosted, stir it or re-whip it and you’re good to go!
Now let’s talk about ways to use leftover icing.
What to do with Leftover Frosting:
Make Cookie Sandwiches:
Make homemade cookies or grab yourself some premade cookie dough like I did, bake, add buttercream, and another cookie. So good!
Use as a Cookie Glaze:
You can add a bit more milk or cream to your buttercream icing and thin it down just a little, or just heat your buttercream up a bit in the microwave. You can either spread it on sugar cookies or just dunk the top of the cookies into the icing glaze.
Make Cake Pops:
A list of using leftover buttercream, wouldn’t be complete without the suggestion of making cake pops. Here’s my recipe for cookies & cream cake pops…cuz everything’s better with Oreos, right? Cookies & Cream Cake Pop Recipe
As a Cinnamon Roll Glaze:
Yes, I know that cinnamon rolls usually come with that little container of icing, but seriously…is that ever enough? Well, it’s not for me and I always want more.
So, here’s your chance to really spice up those cinnamon rolls. Grab leftover buttercream, add a touch of cinnamon to it, heat it up, just slightly, and drizzle it over cinnamon rolls. Yum! Yum!
Make Peanut Butter Truffles:
You can’t go wrong with peanut butter truffles. I found this recipe for peanut butter truffles at Marsha’s Baking Addiction that I’m anxious to try.
Essentially, you’ve already put together several of the ingredients, since you’ve already got the buttercream prepared. Go and check out the recipe here: Peanut Butter Truffles
Make Buttercream Mints:
Another idea is to make buttercream mints. Trust me, if you like mint, you’ll love these. My mom used to make these when I was a kid and I LOVED them.
This recipe from Barefeet in the Kitchen and gives you two types you can make…vanilla & chocolate. Check it out here: Homemade Butter Mints
Use as a Brownie Glaze:
I think this works better when you’ve got leftover chocolate buttercream, but if you’ve got vanilla, just add in some cocoa powder or some melted chocolate chips.
You can either spread it onto the top of your brownies as it is or heat it up a bit and then just drizzle it onto the brownies.
Drizzle onto Ice Cream:
Grab leftover chocolate buttercream, heat it up slightly, then drizzle over vanilla, chocolate, or just about any kind of ice cream you want.
What’s also good is to add a small amount of cinnamon to leftover vanilla buttercream, heat it just a bit, and then drizzle over vanilla ice cream.
Drizzle on Quick Breads, Muffins or Bundt Cakes:
On those cakes that don’t need a huge amount of frosting, like quick breads, muffins, or bundt cakes, drizzling them with leftover buttercream is the perfect solution.
Either heat up the buttercream a bit or just thin it with a small amount of milk or cream and then drizzle to your heart’s content.
You can also add a teaspoon or two of corn syrup so it’ll give it a really nice shine and it’ll help it firm up a bit.
Spread onto Graham Crackers:
I LOVE doing this. Grab leftover chocolate buttercream and spread it onto some graham crackers and it makes an amazing treat.
If you want to go ALL out, you can add peanut butter onto graham crackers and then drizzle on warmed chocolate buttercream. Oh my goodness it’s so good.
Use as a Fruit Dip:
Yeah I know it would be healthier to just eat fruit by itself and yes it’s still good that way, but sometimes you need a little somethin’ extra.
So, use that leftover buttercream as a fruit dip. You could even mix it with some marshmallow fluff and dip away. It’s really yummy…just get ready for the sugar rush.
I thought it would be fun to make some quick idea charts for ways to use chocolate and vanilla buttercream. Let’s get to it.
What to do with leftover chocolate buttercream frosting:
|Use to glaze a bundt cake.||Warm up leftover chocolate buttercream and pour over a chocolate bundt cake.|
|Add cinnamon.||Add cinnamon to chocolate buttercream to make it a Mexican chocolate and warm to pour over a bundt cake or cake layer.|
|Use to make sandwich cookies.||Spread onto store-bought or homemade cookies like chocolate chip, peanut butter cookies, or Oreos.|
|Make chocolate cake pops.||Add a couple tablespoons to a crumbled chocolate cake and form into cake pops or cake balls.|
|Add peanut butter.||Add peanut butter to chocolate frosting to turn it into a peanut butter, chocolate frosting, then add to a chocolate cake, warm and drizzle onto chocolate ice cream, or spread onto Oreos.|
|Use on strawberries.||Warm up leftover chocolate buttercream and drizzle over or dunk strawberries into it.|
|Add to ice cream.||Warm up leftover chocolate buttercream and drizzle over chocolate or vanilla ice cream.|
What to do with leftover vanilla buttercream frosting:
|Use to glaze a bundt cake.||Warm up leftover vanilla buttercream and pour over a vanilla bundt cake.|
|Add cinnamon.||Add cinnamon to vanilla buttercream to taste and warm to pour over a bundt cake or cake layer.|
|Use to make sandwich cookies.||Spread onto store-bought or homemade cookies and sandwich them together. Chocolate chip cookies are perfect for this.|
|Make vanilla cake pops.||Add a couple tablespoons to a crumbled vanilla cake and form into cake pops or cake balls.|
|Make into a peanut butter frosting.||Add peanut butter to vanilla frosting to turn it into a peanut butter frosting, then add to a chocolate cake, warm and drizzle onto chocolate ice cream, or spread onto Oreos.|
|Add cocoa powder to turn it into chocolate buttercream.||Add cocoa powder to taste and mix it into vanilla buttercream. Then spread onto chocolate cake or brownies.|
What to do with leftover cream cheese buttercream frosting:
|Use to glaze a bundt cake.||Warm up just a small amount, and pour over a chocolate, strawberry or banana bundt cake.|
|Add cinnamon.||Add cinnamon to cream cheese buttercream and spoon over a bundt cake or cake layer.|
|Use to make sandwich cookies.||Spread onto store-bought or homemade cookies like chocolate chip.|
|Make into red velvet cake pops.||Add a couple tablespoons to a crumbled red velvet cake and form into cake pops or cake balls.|
|Use as fruit dip.||Let it come closer to room temperature and drizzle over or dunk fruit into it.|
|Add to quick bread.||Add to warm slices of banana bread.|
I hope you liked these leftover icing ideas. Don’t go throwing away that extra buttercream…now you know how to freeze it and you’ve got some ideas on how to use the leftovers.
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