Does Buttercream Frosting Have to be Refrigerated and How Long Does It Last at Room Temperature

Does Buttercream Frosting Need to Be Refrigerated?

Does buttercream frosting need to be refrigerated? Buttercream is one of the most popular frosting choices. Its creamy, rich and delicious taste pair great with many desserts. However, many people are concerned about the following: does buttercream frosting have to be refrigerated and how long does it last at room temperature?

It is important to know how to properly store buttercream to help keep it fresh and safe to eat. Not only does properly storing buttercream keep it fresh and at the right consistency, it keeps it safe from growing harmful bacteria.

Does Buttercream Frosting Need to Be Refrigerated: Key Ingredients in Buttercream

Buttercream is known for its thick, creamy texture and rich sweet flavor. There are several different types of buttercreams, such as American, Italian, French, German and Swiss.

American buttercream is the most common buttercream and it is the richest, creamiest and most fluffy of all the buttercreams. All buttercreams include butter and some form of sugar. Swiss and Italian buttercreams include egg whites and French and German include egg yolks.

Does Buttercream Frosting Have to be Refrigerated?

There is not a straight answer to this question, but overall most buttercream frostings do not need to be refrigerated. In certain circumstances, buttercream does need to be refrigerated to maintain freshness and safety. This helpful Youtube tutorial shows you ways to store your buttercream in the fridge.

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Does Buttercream Frosting Need to Be Refrigerated? video

American Buttercream

American buttercream is typically made with butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and milk. American buttercream does not need to be refrigerated right away after making it. It can, however, be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks and in the freezer for two months.

When not stored in the fridge, American buttercream should be stored in a container in a cool, dry area. If the buttercream is out in the heat it will begin to melt.

Does Buttercream Frosting Have to be Refrigerated?

Swiss and Italian Buttercream

Swiss buttercream is typically made with butter, egg whites, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Italian buttercream is typically made with egg whites, butter, vanilla, and sugar syrup. These buttercreams do not need to be refrigerated immediately after making.

As long as these frostings are made correctly, there should be no safety hazard from the egg whites. If you are concerned about salmonella, you can use pasteurized egg whites or meringue powder. These buttercreams can be stored for up to a week in the fridge and two months in the freezer.

Does Buttercream Frosting Need to Be Refrigerated: German and French Buttercream

German buttercream generally contains butter, egg yolks, custard, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. French buttercream is typically made with butter, egg yolks, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Since these buttercreams contain egg yolks, they should be refrigerated.

Due to health risks from the egg yolks and stability of the frosting, these frostings should be stored in the fridge at all times. They can be stored in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for three months.

Buttercreams That Have Been Stored in the Fridge

If you have been storing your buttercream in the fridge, it will likely need to be re-whipped before using, as it will have separated. Before decorating with buttercream that has been in the fridge, you should allow it to reach room temperature. Cold buttercream is not easy to decorate with and will not hold the shape as well as room temperature buttercream.

Does Buttercream Frosting Need to Be Refrigerated: German and French Buttercream

How Long Does It Last at Room Temperature?

It depends on the type of buttercream on how long it can last at room temperature. Though most buttercreams don’t need to be refrigerated right away, there is a recommended amount of time they can safely be left at room temperature before needing refrigeration. After this point, the buttercream will start to lose its consistency and freshness.

Due to the large amount of confectioners’ sugar and a small amount of milk in American buttercream, it is safe to leave it out for up to three days. After three days, any frosted items should be stored in the fridge to maintain freshness and texture.

Since Swiss and Italian buttercreams contain egg whites, it is important they are prepared properly. As long as these buttercreams are made properly, they can be left out covered for up to three days at room temperature.

German and French buttercreams are unique because they contain egg yolks. It is important that these buttercreams are made correctly to avoid any foodborne illnesses. Since these frostings contain egg yolks, they should be used within six hours or stored in the fridge.

How Long Does It Last at Room Temperature?

Buttercreams Versus the Heat

Due to containing butter, buttercream frostings do not hold up well in warm temperatures. If in the heat, the fat in the buttercream begins to separate and the frosting melts. If you are having a frosted item outdoors in the summer, leave it indoors or in a fridge as long as possible prior to bringing it out in the heat.

Italian and Swiss buttercreams will eventually start separating in the heat due to the egg whites. German and French buttercreams should not be out in warm temperatures because the egg yolk based frosting will not hold up. 

Choosing the Best Buttercream for Your Baked Goods

No matter what buttercream you make, it will be delicious. However, some buttercreams may work better for your needs than others.

If you are looking for a classic and easy to make buttercream, the American buttercream is your best choice. It has a rich and creamy taste and only takes a few minutes to make. American buttercream is also a good choice since it can be left out at room temperature.

German buttercream has a delicious light taste. If you are looking for a frosting that is not as rich, this is a great choice. However, this buttercream can be tricky to make, but the end result will be worth it.

Choosing the Best Buttercream for Your Baked Goods

Swiss buttercream has a lighter texture and taste than American buttercream. This frosting does take some practice to make, but it will leave you wanting more. Swiss buttercream holds up well in warm weather compared to other buttercreams.

This Youtube tutorial shows the difference between American and Swiss buttercream, which are two of the most popular buttercreams.

Italian buttercream is light, fluffy and super stable. This is due to the sugar syrup. It makes a great cake filling and is easy to work with.

Storing Your Buttercream

It is important to make sure you properly store your buttercream frosting. This allows it to have the best quality and freshness.

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It is important to remember when storing buttercreams:

  • American, Swiss and Italian buttercreams can be stored for three days at room temperature and then in the fridge for one to two weeks.
  • German and French buttercreams should be stored in the fridge after use and can be stored for up to a week in the fridge.  
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