Whether topping cute cupcakes or frosting fluffy birthday cakes, buttercream is a baker’s best friend! Whipping up extra means you’ll have enough to decorate dozens of treats.
But without proper freezing, the silky texture can become grainy and stiff, ruining that perfect pipeable flair.
So Can You Freeze Buttercream Frosting, And If Yes Then How Do We Freeze It?
Yes, you can freeze buttercream frosting to extend its shelf life. Buttercream is mainly made up of butter, powdered sugar, and sometimes milk or cream. All of these ingredients freeze well, so freezing is a great way to store leftover buttercream for later use.
When frozen properly, buttercream frosting can last in the freezer for 2-3 months without losing its texture or flavor. The key is to store it in an airtight container with minimal air exposure to prevent freezer burn. Make sure you label the container with the date before freezing.
How To Freeze Buttercream Frosting?
Freezing buttercream frosting is easy to do:
- Allow the buttercream to cool completely before freezing. If it’s still warm, it can melt in the freezer and lose its shape.
- Transfer the frosting into an airtight container such as a freezer bag or plastic container. Smooth down the top of the frosting and press out any air pockets.
- Seal the container tightly. For bags, remove as much air as possible and seal with a freezer bag clip. For rigid plastic containers, make sure the lid is on tight.
- Label the container with the type and date of the buttercream.
- Place the buttercream in the freezer. Arrange it flat to freeze faster.
Once solidly frozen, you can stack or stand up the packages of frosting to maximize freezer space. For best quality, use frozen buttercream within 2-3 months.
How to Store Buttercream Frosting for Longer?
To extend its freezer life even longer, buttercream can be stored in convenient portions:
- Scoop it into ice cube trays and freeze individual cubes. Pop out the frozen cubes and store them in freezer bags. Thaw what you need as you go.
- Pipe buttercream into bite-sized pieces on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Freeze until solid then transfer to bags or containers.
- Portion frosting into disposable piping bags, seal, and lay flat in the freezer. Stand up the bags once frozen. Clip off the tip of the bag when ready to decorate.
- Divide into disks on sheets of wax paper and stack the frozen disks with wax paper layers. Unwrap needed amounts for cupcakes.
How Do You Defrost Buttercream?
Properly thawing frozen buttercream is important for preserving texture. Here are some tips:
- For the fastest thawing, place the frosting in the refrigerator overnight. Then let it sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours until completely thawed and smooth.
- To quickly thaw a small amount, place the frozen buttercream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 10-second bursts, stirring in between, until softened enough to use.
- For piping frosting, you can microwave just until slightly softened then pipe designs onto the cake and let finish thawing on the cake at room temperature.
- Avoid defrosting buttercream at room temperature alone. This can cause condensation leading to a soggy texture.
- Once thawed, use the buttercream as soon as possible. Avoid refreezing any leftovers.
How To Use Frozen Buttercream Frosting?
Frozen buttercream is perfect for:
- Cupcakes – Just thaw what you need for each batch of cupcakes. Frost while still chilled for easier spreading.
- Piping designs – Microwave frozen buttercream briefly until soft enough to pipe but still firm. Finish thawing on the cake.
- Cake filling – Thaw what you need for each layer of filling. Use immediately once spread onto the cake.
- Frosting layer cakes – Thaw frosted layers in the refrigerator before stacking and frosting the outside.
- Decorating sugar cookies – Thaw a small bowl of buttercream. Dip cookies directly into the bowl for easy decorating.
- Adding detail – Use handy frozen buttercream cubes anytime you need just a little extra frosting.
How Long Will Buttercream Icing Last In The Freezer?
With proper freezing and storage methods, buttercream frosting can retain its flavor quality and texture for:
- 2 to 3 months in an airtight freezer container
- 4 to 6 months frozen in individual portions like cubes or piped shapes
- Up to one year frozen when divided into disks with parchment dividers
No matter the storage method, labeling each package with the date is important. Use the oldest frozen buttercream first within these time frames.
Any buttercream that shows ice crystals, excessive drying, or freezer burn should be discarded instead of refrozen after thawing. Watch for changes in color or flavor as well over time.
How To Tell If Buttercream Frosting Gone Bad?
Check buttercream that has been frozen for signs it should be discarded:
- Strong rancid odor, sour smell, or off-flavor
- Excess moisture, weeping, or separated oils
- Dry, stiff, or gritty texture
- Discoloration or unnatural colors
- Ice crystals, freezer burn marks, or dried-out patches
- Mold growth anywhere on the frosting
- Expired date from initial freezing
When in doubt, remember the old saying “When frozen goods go bad, they go very bad.” Rancid buttercream can make people sick. Always use your sense of sight, smell, and taste to check before serving.
Freezing is a handy way to keep leftover frosting fresh for future use. With proper storage and handling, buttercream can retain its delicious taste and creamy texture for months after freezing. Just be sure to label, seal, and freeze promptly. Follow safe defrosting and food safety guidelines, and your frozen buttercream will be ready when you need it.
Q1. How do you store buttercream in the freezer?
A1. Place buttercream in an airtight container or freezer bag, smoothing the top before freezing. Buttercream can be frozen for 2-3 months.
Q2. Should you put buttercream frosting in the fridge or freezer?
A2. For short-term storage, refrigerate buttercream. For the longer term, freeze it. Buttercream can last 2-3 months frozen.
Q3. How long does homemade buttercream frosting last in the fridge?
A3. Properly stored in an airtight container, homemade buttercream will last 2-3 weeks refrigerated before spoiling.
Q4. How do you store leftover buttercream?
A4. Leftover buttercream can be refrigerated for 2-3 weeks or frozen for 2-3 months. Seal air-tight before storing.
Q5. What frosting is best for freezing?
A5. Buttercream and cream cheese frostings freeze very well for 2-3 months without texture changes when thawed.
Q6. Can buttercream frosting be made ahead of time?
A6. Yes, buttercream can be made up to 1 month in advance when properly refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.