There are many options when it comes to storing buttercream. Of course, it all depends on the type of buttercream and when you need to use it.
Depending on the recipe, buttercream can usually be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or frozen.
I’ve gathered up all my tips on the best way to store homemade icing to keep things convenient and to keep that buttercream fresh.
For this post, we’ll be talking mostly about American Buttercream, since that is what I use the most, but I will make occasional references to other types of buttercream like Swiss Meringue etc.
American buttercream (buttercream made with butter, milk and confectioner’s sugar) can usually be kept at room temperature, in an airtight container, for 2-5 days as long as the temperature isn’t too warm.
After storing the buttercream at room temperature for a few days, it can be put in the fridge to help prolong its freshness, which can help it last up to a week.
You can also freeze American buttercream by adding it to an airtight container, or wrapping smaller mounds of buttercream in plastic wrap and adding to a freezer bag.
American buttercream can last in the freezer for up to 3 months. To see all the details about freezing buttercream, check out this post here: Freezing Buttercream Plus What to do with Leftovers
One quick note: Make sure wherever you’re storing buttercream, that it’s stored away from strong-smelling food like garlic and onions. You don’t want the buttercream absorbing those scents.
Other buttercream frostings that contain eggs, cream cheese, or whipped cream:
If the buttercream recipe contains eggs or cream cheese, you’ll likely need to keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it will usually last about 5 days and maybe up to a week depending on the recipe.
Make sure not to store this type of buttercream frosting at warm temperatures as it will spoil.
You can generally freeze Swiss Meringue frosting and cream cheese frosting by adding it to an airtight container, or wrapping smaller mounds of buttercream in plastic wrap and adding to a freezer bag.
It can last in the freezer for up to 3 months. To see all the details about freezing buttercream, check out this post here: Freezing Buttercream Plus What to do with Leftovers
Freezing whipped cream frostings may not work out as well since it may change the texture and may or may not be re-whippable.
Tips & FAQs:
In general, American buttercream can last for days out of the fridge but can be refrigerated to prolong freshness. Other buttercreams that contain eggs, whipped cream, or cream cheese, should not be left at room temperature for long periods of time.
In general, American buttercream can last up to a week in the fridge when stored in an airtight container.
Make sure the buttercream is in an airtight container and if it’s American buttercream, it can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge overnight. Other types of buttercream that contain perishable ingredients can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
If it’s an American buttercream or Swiss Meringue buttercream, take the buttercream out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature on its own.
Another option for American buttercream is to take it out of the refrigerator and microwave it on 50% power for 30 seconds to a minute at a time, stirring between heat sessions until the buttercream is a spreadable consistency.
At that point, mix it with a silicone spatula, or add it to a bowl and whip it with an electric mixer.
Take the buttercream out of the freezer a day or at least several hours before you need it.
If it’s an American buttercream recipe, you can allow it to thaw at room temperature.
If the recipe contained eggs or cream cheese, be careful how long you allow it to sit at room temperature. It should be fine for several hours as it thaws, but once it starts getting closer to room temperature, it needs to be stored in the refrigerator, so that it doesn’t spoil.
Make sure whichever buttercream you’re using that you either mix the buttercream again with a silicone spatula or add it to a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer to fluff it back up.
No. To pipe buttercream frosting, it needs to be close to room temperature, or it will be too firm to pipe.
I have several buttercream frosting recipes on this site.
The three most popular are:
Vanilla Bean Buttercream
Double Chocolate Buttercream
Bright White Heat Stable Buttercream
And you can see the full list of frostings here: Buttercream, Frosting and Filling Recipes
Yes, I do this with American buttercream all the time. Just note that you don’t want to store it like this for a longer period of time, but for a day or so, it’s should be fine.
You can add the piping bag to a zip lock bag and just leave out at room temperature if it’s American buttercream, or you can even store it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for several more days. Make sure to let it come back to room temperature before you try to pipe with it though.
You can store frosting that’s had food coloring added to it the same way you store regular buttercream. Whether it’s stored at room temperature, chilled or frozen, you’ll want to re-mix it before you use it.
You’ll want to check out this post that goes into detail about how to store cakes: How to Store a Cake
You’ll want to check out this post that goes into detail about how to store frosted cupcakes: How to Store Frosted Cupcakes
Yes! Unless it’s some type of whipped cream frosting, you generally can make it ahead of time and store it for later use, whether that be in the refrigerator or in the freezer.
Make sure to read the rest of the post on how to store buttercream properly, so that it doesn’t spoil.