Can You Freeze Buttercream Frosting? The Ultimate Guide

Buttercream frosting, if made the right way, can transform a cake from average to spectacular. A well-made buttercream frosting is rich, creamy, and so delicious!

In addition to a great taste and texture, buttercream frosting is super easy to pipe onto cakes or cupcakes. It also holds its shape spectacularly. So whether you’re a pro or amateur, putting buttercream frosting on your baked goods is pretty simple. And lastly, it’s super quick and easy to make as most recipes only take 10 to 15 minutes.

So, since it pretty much has all the qualities you hope for in a cake or cupcake topping – tasty, practical, and quick to make –  it’s no surprise that it’s used so frequently!

However, it can be a bit too easy to get carried away and make too much of it. But, that’s actually great news! Why? Because even if you make too much, you can freeze any leftover buttercream frosting. Then, you have it to hand for your next cake or frosted cupcake. After all, even though buttercream frosting is easy to make, cleaning up the mixer and mixing bowls can be a bit of a drag. So, by freezing any leftovers, you can save yourself the future cleanup! 

Read on for a full guide to freezing buttercream frosting and thawing it for use.


Does Buttercream Frosting Freeze Well?

In some cases, things that have cream as the main ingredient aren’t thought to freeze well. This is because usually having milk or cream in a dish, sauce, soup, etc. can lead to the separation of ingredients. Of the types of food that this occurs, it’s usually with soups or more liquid types of food. Fortunately, this isn’t the case at all for buttercream frosting.

Buttercream frosting freezes very well. Despite it being made with cream (or milk, which is a common substitute) and sometimes egg yolk, it still does freeze very well. This is perhaps due to the thick consistency of buttercream frosting and how well the ingredients are mixed together. They’re simply not able to separate like they do in things like a cream-based soup. 

However, like with most other foods that you store in the freezer, it should be done properly if you want to protect the taste and creamy texture of the buttercream frosting. So, for the best results, you should take proper precautions and follow certain steps when freezing and thawing the frosting. 

How Long Does Buttercream Last in the Freezer?

There are a couple of different ways that you can store buttercream frosting, but it will last the longest if it’s stored in the freezer. When it’s kept frozen, buttercream frosting can last between two and three months – no matter the recipe that you’re using. This is a big difference when it’s stored in other ways. And while it will likely be fine after three months, you may start to notice some differences in taste and texture. So, for the best results, it’s better to use it within three months and try to freeze it as soon as you can – the fresher the better.

What About the Fridge or Room Temperature?

It’s not as flexible when it’s stored in the fridge or at room temperature, though. When you store buttercream frosting in the fridge, it can last for around one to two weeks if there are no eggs in the recipe. If there are egg whites in the frosting then it should last between one to two weeks in the fridge. However, if there are egg yolks in the frosting (like with German or French buttercream) then it can be stored in the fridge for only around seven days. 

Lastly, it’s also possible to keep buttercream frosting stored at room temperature for a short amount of time. This is convenient if you don’t want the frosting to be cold when you add it to a cake or cupcake. However, when it’s stored at room temperature it doesn’t last long at all – only around 48 hours if it’s kept in a dry and cool place and made with shortening, and not butter. So, you shouldn’t keep it out at room temperature at all if it’s made with butter. However, if it’s made with shortening then it can last up to two days sitting at room temperature. 

How to Freeze Buttercream Frosting

It’s pretty simple to freeze buttercream and only takes a few steps. One thing to note beforehand is that, as I said before, it’s best to freeze it as soon as possible. So, if you don’t think you’ll be using it within the next week or two, then it’s best if you freeze it. Here is how you go about freezing buttercream frosting: 

  • Put the leftover frosting in a sealable freezer bag. Multiple bags are recommended because it’s best to freeze buttercream in smaller portions for easier use later on. However, this is primarily only if you have a large batch you’re freezing. 
  • After you’ve filled the bag(s), squeeze out as much air as you can, making them as air-free as possible. 
  • Seal the bags. And for an extra layer of protection from freezer burn, you can wrap the bag in plastic wrap. 
  • Then, flatten the bag full of buttercream so it takes up less space in the freezer and is even stackable. 
  • Label the bag with the date and place it in the coldest part of your freezer. 

While I said to use a plastic bag, it’s also possible to use an airtight container. However, it’s more difficult to get rid of the excess air in the container than you can do when using a plastic bag. 

How to Thaw Buttercream Frosting

Defrosting buttercream frosting is super easy, but the drawback is that it can take a bit of time for it to fully thaw – particularly if it’s a large portion. 

The most hands-off method is simply to leave the frozen frosting in the fridge to fully defrost. This takes the longest (even up to 48 hours if the batch is big enough) but it doesn’t require extra effort or thinking. The only thing to keep in mind is that you might consider placing the bag on a plate in the fridge so there isn’t any excess water dripping through the fridge. 

If you want to leave it at room temperature to defrost, that’s also fine. It will defrost quicker that way. However, this may require a bit of attention to the time if the frosting is made with butter. Because remember that buttercream frosting made with butter shouldn’t be kept at room temperature. So, you should check on it after some hours making sure that it doesn’t reach room temperature and sit like that. It should be used directly or placed in the fridge until you plan on using it. 

Can You Refreeze Buttercream Frosting?

You shouldn’t refreeze buttercream frosting.

While it may be slightly better than other foods that have cream in them – like soup for example – refreezing buttercream frosting will likely have a negative effect on the buttercream frosting.

Refreezing will particularly impact the texture – which is the most sensitive thing about buttercream frosting. So, to protect the smooth, creamy texture of it, you shouldn’t refreeze buttercream frosting. 

Related Questions

Can You Freeze Cake with Buttercream Frosting?

Yes! You can freeze cake with buttercream frosting. Doing do is pretty simple and straightforward.

It’s a great way to save any extra leftover slices of cake or even a full cake you want to save for a later date. Here’s how you freeze a frosted cake with buttercream:

  • First, make sure you have enough space in your freezer as a cake can take up a large space and also needs to be stored in a flat and secure spot. This is important because the last thing you want to do is plan on freezing a cake only to find that your freezing is completely full!
  • Place the cake on a tray, cookie sheet, or cutting board and place it in the freezer unwrapped. 
  • Then, leave the cake in the freezer until it’s fully frozen. This will depend on the thickness of the cake but usually, around six hours is okay. 
  • Take the cake from the freezer and then wrap it with a few layers of plastic wrap. 
  • Label the cake and then put it back in the freezer in a secure spot. 

Like the buttercream frosting, a cake with buttercream frosting should be eaten within three months. 

What Can You Do With Extra Buttercream Frosting?

There are so many ways that you can use extra buttercream icing. Of course, there is freezing it as we already discussed, but you can also use it in a variety of other ways that include (but aren’t limited to): 

  • Spread over graham crackers or other prepared or store-bought cookies and sprinkle with some extra toppings.
  • Stir a spoonful into your morning oatmeal for a sweet breakfast.