Last Updated on January 14, 2023
Buttercream is very versatile. It can be a topping for cupcakes or be used to fill out cakes. You can even cover an entire 4 tier cake and create amazing piped decorations over it. It holds its shape, looks beautiful, and can be colored and flavored in an array of different incredible combinations. It tastes amazing and is a hit with everyone.
Naturally, every baker wants to have readily available buttercream all the time. So, can you freeze buttercream frosting?
Sometimes we want to make a batch ahead of time, so we need to freeze it to keep it good until it’s time to shine. Or maybe we made a little bit too much and we have some leftovers that we want to save for another time.
Maybe you ran out of ingredients and cannot finish decorating! We have all been there; you start frosting your cupcakes and midway through the batch you realize you do not have enough of that special, creamy buttercream you just made. You open the fridge only to realize that you do not have even one stick of butter left. The horror!
What baker has not seen themselves with their final cake, all finished and cooled, and ran out of will to even turn on the stand mixer? And what is a cake without buttercream, really?
In any case, having frozen buttercream already made or freezing some is the ideal solution and could potentially save you in the future if you do not have the time -or energy- to whip up some.
Can You Freeze Buttercream Frosting?
The short answer is: yes. Yes, you can. And it is a lifesaver.
It will not change its texture and can be kept for 3-4 months. Keep in mind we are speaking about traditional American buttercream; either butter or shortening based.
If you are dealing with Swiss meringue buttercream, it is a different story. Personally, I would not recommend it. Its texture will change and it will not be as tasty. Of course, you can still do it at your own risk.
We have taken some of this advice from I Scream for Buttercream.
Can You Freeze Buttercream Frosting? The Best Ways
With an Airtight Container
Grab a freezer-safe airtight container that will comfortably fit all the buttercream. Before moving forward, lay out some regular plastic wrap all over. This will help with removing it once you are ready to use it. Without this step, I have found that it is a struggle to wedge the frozen cream out of the container.
There is a really easy way of doing this: cut a piece larger than the container and put it over top. Spoon in a little of the buttercream. This will make the wrap fall so that it is easier to put the rest without making a mess.
If you have too much buttercream, you can use smaller containers and divide it up. This way you can defrost just the right amount you need.
With a Ziploc Bag
If you do not have a container that will fit the exact amount of buttercream you have, you can always just use plastic wrap. To do this, cut squares of the wrap and divide the buttercream into small portions.
Place each of these portions in one square and fold the plastic over the buttercream and then roll it until it is all covered. Pinch and twist the ends to seal it. You can tuck them underneath the buttercream.
Once you have all your buttercream wrapped, put all pieces inside a Ziploc bag. Take as much air out of it as you can and pop it in the freezer. You can try these reusable food storage bags.
Do not forget to label all containers!
How to Defrost It
Grab your piece of frozen buttercream and place it in a bowl. Put some plastic wrap over it and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. Then take it out and leave it to come to room temperature.
Once it has warmed up enough, you need to give it a new lease on life. To do this, you can either stir it if it is creamy already or re-whip it. We love whipping it again because it gives some of the fresh-like texture back.
What to Use It For
Apart from the ones we have mentioned above, one of our favorite uses is to have different colored buttercream ready to go for some last-minute small decorative piping details like flowers or petals.
But, what if you froze some buttercream a few months ago and you need to use it before it goes bad? Apart from the obvious response of making some cupcakes, we have a few options for you.
You can always make cookie sandwiches. You can use it as a glaze for some cookies as well (even pre-made ones, they will taste ten times better!). We also love using it on cake pops, as frozen buttercream tends to be a little bit stiffer than fresh.
Making truffles is also a great idea. Using the buttercream as the base, add some flavoring like chocolate or peanut butter. You can cover them in chocolate shavings, shredded coconut, or even cookie crumbs. This one is a hit with my kids!
You can also heat it and use it as a glaze, or in place of some syrup, over top of ice cream, a Bundt cake, or muffins. Or even over the top of cinnamon rolls or brownies!
I also like using it as a spread over some cookies and eating them as is. My favorite ones are graham crackers.
Other options include using it as a fruit dip, although it does defeat the purpose of eating fruit, doesn’t it? Although it sure is delicious! We love it with apples. The crispness of a good Granny Smith tastes amazing with the sweetness of the buttercream.
Can You Freeze Swiss Meringue Buttercream?
When it comes to Swiss meringue buttercream, it is possible to freeze it. However, I find that it loses some of its texture and structure when frozen. It’s best to make Swiss meringue buttercream fresh and it will last around two weeks in the refrigerator if you want to prepare it in advance. If you do want to freeze it and take that risk, be sure that it’s in an airtight container or sealable bag. You’ll also need to ensure that it’s been used for three months.
Can You Freeze American Buttercream?
Absolutely! In fact, American buttercream is one of the best types of frosting to freeze. Both glace and royal icing are also great if you’re looking to freeze your frosting. For American buttercream to be frozen, it needs to be stored in either an airtight container or a sealable bag. It should also not be frozen for longer than 3 months. You can also store American buttercream in the fridge for around a month. Always be sure to thaw your frosting overnight in the fridge when removing it from the refrigerator, and then allow it to come to room temperature before use.
When it comes to frosting made from egg whites, or fondant icing, these are best to make fresh. They don’t tend to freeze well and taste far better fresh.
How Long Does Frozen Buttercream Last?
Brands like Wilton suggest that you can freeze your buttercream for no longer than 3 months. When storing, it should be kept in a sealable bag or an airtight container. When ready to use, it should be left overnight in the fridge before use. You should also bring it to room temperature just before you need it.
Frozen Buttercream Recipe
Now that we’ve answered the question: can you freeze buttercream frosting? Let’s take a look at a buttercream recipe that is perfect for freezing, and then using on your baked goods at a later date. The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe are:
- 24oz of unsalted butter
- 40oz of powdered sugar
- 5oz of heavy whipping cream
- 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Now all you need to do is:
- Bring your ingredients to room temperature before you begin; this makes for a smoother buttercream.
- Add the butter to your stand mixer or electric mixer and beat the butter until smooth and fluffy. Scrape the bowl throughout.
- Gradually add in your powdered sugar. Only add the next cup of powdered sugar, once the previous cup has been fully incorporated into the frosting. Do this at a low speed until all sugar has been added.
- Once smooth, add the salt, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla extract.
- Mix for a further few minutes (or until you have the consistency you’re looking for).
Use immediately, or cover with plastic wrap. For best results, this buttercream should be kept in the refrigerator it freezer. If you’re opting to freeze your buttercream, keep it in an airtight container or a freezer bag. Be sure to thaw your frosting overnight, before use. Your frozen buttercream is now ready to use!
I hope this article has helped to answer the question: can you freeze buttercream frosting? Have you tried freezing your leftover buttercream or do you always whip up a fresh batch? What is your favorite use for buttercream? Do you have a special trick? Share it with us!
Karen is a passionate pastry chef who loves to create delicious baked goods. She has been in the culinary arts for over 10 years, honing her skills and perfecting her craft. Karen is known for her creativity and attention to detail, creating unique desserts that bring a smile to everyone’s face. She is always looking for ways to challenge herself and come up with new recipes that are both tasty and visually appealing. Karen loves to experiment with different flavors and textures, and she is committed to providing the highest quality of products to her customers.