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 its time to shine. Or maybe we made a little bit too much and we have some leftover 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 caramel 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 other 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 yummy. Of course, you can still do it at your own risk.
We have taken some of this advice from I Scream for Buttercream.
The Best Way to Freeze Buttercream Frosting Leftover or Pre-made Buttercream
With an Airtight Container
Grab a freezer-safe airtight container that will comfortably fit all the buttercream. Before moving forward, layout some regular plastic wrap all over. This will help with unmolding 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 down 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 the 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.
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 counter.
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 really warm and 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 for example 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 up and use it as a glaze, or in place of some syrup, over top of ice cream, a bundt cake or muffins. Even over 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 defeats 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.
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!