Your buttercream frosting just came out perfectly—it’s smooth, tasty, and super fluffy. So, should you refrigerate it or leave it on the counter at room temperature?
A good rule of thumb is to refrigerate your buttercream frosting. It will help keep your frosting fresh for longer, as well as enhance its overall shelf life.
If you’re still wondering whether or not it’s a good idea to refrigerate buttercream, keep on reading to learn the best ways to store frosting.
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How Long Does Leftover Frosting Last?
Frosting keeps well in the fridge or freezer, and how long it’s going to stay in there depends on the method of preparation. For example, store-bought frosting is good for about 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator and 2 to 3 months in the freezer.
Homemade frosting stays at best quality for up to a week in the refrigerator and about four weeks in the freezer. However, you need to be mindful of the spoilage signs, like a thicker texture, foul smell, or a darker color.
To defrost, transfer the frosting into the refrigerator and let it sit there overnight. Once thawed, let it come back to its room temperature before you can re-whip it.
How Do I Store My Frosting?
Can I Store Frosting in the Fridge?
Yes, you can keep the frosting in the fridge if you’re planning to use it in the next few weeks. And when you’re ready to use, transfer the content in an airtight container and bring it to room temperature before re-mixing it again.
Also, because frosting tends to absorb flavor, you should keep it away from spicy foods in your fridge, such as meat and fish. There’s also a high chance that the fats in the buttercream may take in the odors of those foods, rendering them useless.
How Do I Store Frosting in the Freezer?
If you’re planning to keep frosting for months, freezing is the ultimate solution. Simply transfer your buttercream frosting in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Again, let your frosting thaw overnight in the fridge, and make sure to bring it to room temperature before use. This is incredibly helpful when making bigger batches or having leftover frosting you’d like to preserve for later.
How Do I Soften Buttercream Frosting?
To soften your buttercream frosting, you need to let it thaw on the counter at room temperature. If the buttercream is frozen, let it defrost in the fridge overnight to reduce temperature shock. Again, bring your buttercream to room temperature when you’re ready to use it for complete effectiveness.
It’s also worth noting that defrosting bigger batches of buttercream takes time. For that reason, you need to transfer it to the fridge two days in advance so that it has completely thawed by the time you’re ready.
Once your buttercream warms up, re-whip it with a hand or stand mixer to achieve the right consistency. This will also help eliminate any air bubbles that may have formed in your frosting while mixing.
How Long Can Frosting Sit Out at Room Temperature?
How long a buttercream frosting stays out at room temperature depends on the ingredients used. If your buttercream recipe calls for butter and shortening, it will sit out at room temperature for up to 2 days. However, you need to cover it with plastic wrap or put it in a cake carrier to prevent the buttercream from crushing.
If you’re using an all-butter recipe, you need to refrigerate it since butter melts at room temperature. That said, a pure buttercream made with just shortening can last up to 2 days at room temperature. Just make sure to cover it with plastic wrap to limit crusts.
Should I Refrigerate an American Buttercream Frosting?
No, it’s unnecessary to refrigerate an American buttercream frosting since it’s made with just butter and powdered sugar. A buttercream made with these ingredients can keep for a few days at room temperature without showing any signs of spoilage.
To make this buttercream, beat softened butter and powdered sugar together until you get a frothy mixture. Then, add a little vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to complete your American buttercream frosting. This is an excellent example of buttercream frosting that doesn’t need refrigeration.
How Long Does a Frosted Cake Last in the Fridge?
Frosted cake can last up to 4 days in the fridge. But if you’re planning to eat it within three days, you can keep it covered at room temperature. Either way, decorated treats are at their best quality in the refrigerator.
And because the frosting acts as a protector for the cake by keeping it moist, there’s no need to cover it when storing it in the fridge. However, you may want to wrap the cake with plastic wrap if you have fish or meat in the refrigerator to prevent it from absorbing the flavor.
You can also choose to freeze a frosted cake. Simply put it in the freezer and let it stay in there uncovered for at least 4 hours. Once frozen, take it out and wrap firmly in a plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
This is by far the best way to store a decorated cake and will remain safe to eat for up to a month. When you’re ready to use it, remove it from the freezer and let it defrost overnight. Oh, and don’t forget to loosen the plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Does Frosting Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?
Yes, like any other product, the frosting will go bad if not stored correctly or if the package is damaged. Once opened, it should be refrigerated for about 3 to 4 days or frozen for up to a month.
If unopened, check for the expiration date before use. Note that this is not a safety date; instead, it’s the manufacturer’s estimate of how long the buttercream will stay at its best quality.
To further enhance the shelf life of your buttercream leftovers, freeze them. You can do this by putting the frosting in airtight containers or high-quality freezer bags.
Properly stored, frozen buttercream will stay at its best quality for up to three months and remain safe to eat past that time. Again, let it sit overnight in the fridge to defrost. But if time isn’t on your side, you can use the microwave or cold water to facilitate the thawing process.
The only downside is that you’ll have to use it immediately; otherwise, it will spoil. It’s also worth mentioning that a canned frosting that has been constantly frozen at 0°F and thawed in the fridge will keep for an extra 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
That said, you can tell if a frosting has gone bad through its appearance and smell. Usually, it will give off odd flavors, odor, or even develop molds. If that’s the case, don’t even think of reviving it; instead, you should dispose of it. Also, discard any frosting that has leaking or bulging cans or packages.
How to Store a Frosted Cake
Since frosting acts as an insulator, it will keep your cake moist in the fridge. However, you may need to cover it with plastic wrap or put it in the cake holder if you’re storing it at room temperature.
An uncut frosted cake comprising buttercream, ganache, or fondant is good for five days at room temperature. Just make sure to cover it with a bowl or plastic wrap to limit crust and protect against dust and other particles.
If the cake is cut already, then there’s a higher chance it’s losing moisture. So, all you need to do is cover the sliced or exposed edges with plastic wrap to prevent the cake from drying out. Alternatively, you can frost the sliced edges, then store the cake usually. A cut cake should keep for about 3 to 4 days at room temperature.
When Should I Refrigerate Frosted Cakes
Frosted cakes can keep well at room temperature; however, they sometimes call for refrigeration. For example, you’ll want to refrigerate a frosted cake during the summer months to protect against high temperatures and bacteria.
You may also want to refrigerate a frosted cake if you’re using fresh fruits, whipped cream, or cream cheese as toppings. Such are vulnerable to high temperatures and may not survive in a humid kitchen. Meanwhile, avoid refrigerating cakes with tinted fondant, as this may lead to loss of color.
To refrigerate frosted cakes, cool the cake uncovered in the fridge for about 15 minutes so that the frosting hardens a little. Then, cover it using plastic wrap to seal in moisture. When you’re ready to use, let the cake sit at room temperature for about half an hour.
1. Can Pillsbury Frosting Be Left Out Overnight?
No, Pillsbury frosting should never be left out overnight. Once opened, store the leftovers in the fridge and use them within a month. And when you’re ready to use it, let it come to room temperature because Pillsbury frosting spreads best at average temperatures. Frosting that has been continuously refrigerated is good for about 3 to 4 weeks.
2. What Is Better, Frosting Or Buttercream?
Since fats absorb and distribute flavor, buttercream is a better option when flavoring the frosting. On the other hand, whipped cream will slightly impact the frosting’s taste because they are lighter than buttercream.
3. What Can You Do With Leftover Frosting?
There are plenty of ways you can utilize your leftover frosting. For example, you could use it to make cookie sandwiches, cake pops, peanut butter truffles, and buttercream mints. You could also use it as a drizzle on ice cream, cinnamon rolls glaze, brownie, and cookie glaze.