Does Buttercream Frosting Have To Be Refrigerated?

Does Buttercream Frosting Have To Be Refrigerated?

When it comes to making a delicious, homemade cake, the frosting can be one of the most important elements. Many bakers who want a light and creamy texture opt for buttercream frosting as their go-to choice. If you’ve ever made buttercream frosting before, you may be wondering if it needs to be refrigerated or not. This is an important question because regardless of how well you make the icing itself, improperly storing it could ruin your recipe altogether! 

In this blog post we will explain why some buttercream frosting recipes need to stay cool while others don’t, plus provide tips and tricks on safe storage and advice on what to do if your icing goes bad so that your desserts always look their best!

Does Buttercream Frosting Have To Be Refrigerated

What is buttercream frosting?

Buttercream frosting is a delicious and highly versatile type of icing. It’s made with butter, sugar, and milk or cream, which gives it a rich and creamy texture. This type of icing can be used to pipe intricate designs on cakes or cupcakes, spread smoothly over an entire cake, or even just used as a simple addition to top off your favorite dessert! Buttercream frosting comes in many different flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, mint and more. You can also add food coloring to create different colored icings that are perfect for coordinating with any party theme or color scheme. With buttercream frosting you don’t have to be a professional baker to make beautiful desserts – the possibilities are endless.

History of buttercream frosting

The history of buttercream frosting dates back to the 16th century in Europe. It was originally used as a way to add flavor and texture to cakes, cookies, and other desserts. Over time, different variations of this classic icing have developed all over the world, with recipes taking on unique flavors, colors, and even textures. Today it’s a staple for any baker or home cook looking to create something special that everyone will want to eat. The delicious versatility of buttercream frosting is just one of the many reasons why it has become so popular.

With its creamy texture and rich taste, buttercream frosting is perfect for decorating everything from cupcakes and cookies to layer cakes and more. Whether you’re baking for a special occasion or just because, buttercream frosting is the perfect way to make any dessert look and taste amazing.

What are some ingredients in buttercream frosting?

The two main ingredients in buttercream frosting are butter and sugar. Butter gives the icing its creamy texture, while the sugar adds a sweet flavor. Milk or cream is also added to give it more of a smooth texture and sweetness. Depending on what type of recipe you’re using, other ingredients such as eggs, vanilla extract, food coloring, liqueur, extracts and jams can be incorporated into the frosting for an even tastier treat!

To ensure that your buttercream frosting turns out perfect every time, make sure to use room-temperature ingredients and high-quality products. This will help prevent any issues with clumping or lumpy textures when you’re ready to pipe your creations onto cakes or cupcakes. With just a few simple ingredients, you can make delicious and beautiful treats that everyone will love.

Does Buttercream Frosting Have to be Refrigerated?

There is no clear-cut response to this query, although generally speaking, buttercream frostings do not require refrigeration. Buttercream does occasionally need to be refrigerated in order to keep it safe and fresh.

1. American Buttercream

American buttercream is typically made with a base of butter and powdered sugar. It’s sweet, creamy, and easy to pipe on cakes and cupcakes. American buttercream does not require immediate cooling after preparation. However, it may be kept in the freezer for about two months and the refrigerator lasting up to 2 weeks. American buttercream should be kept in a jar and kept cold and dry when not being kept in the refrigerator. The buttercream will start to melt if it is left out in the heat.

2. Swiss and Italian Buttercream

Swiss and Italian buttercreams differ from American buttercream in that they are airier, richer, and creamier. These types of frostings require the use of fresh eggs or egg whites to create a meringue base. The frosting is then made by whipping the egg whites with sugar syrup and butter. This type of buttercream should be kept refrigerated immediately after preparation as it contains raw eggs which can spoil quickly if not cooled correctly. Swiss and Italian Buttercream will last up to 5 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

3. French Buttercream

French buttercream uses whole eggs instead of just egg whites like the Swiss and Italian versions do, resulting in a denser but still fluffy texture. French Buttercream should be refrigerated immediately after preparation. It should also be kept in an airtight container as it can spoil quickly if not refrigerated correctly. The buttercream will last up to 5 days when stored properly in the refrigerator.

4. German buttercream

German buttercream is a variation of the American buttercream, but instead of powdered sugar, meringue and custard are used as the base. German buttercream should be immediately refrigerated after preparation and stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

No matter which type of buttercream frosting you choose to make, it’s important to remember that each requires different storage methods for optimal freshness and safety. Keep your buttercreams cool and dry when storing them in the refrigerator or freezer and enjoy all kinds of delicious creations.

How to store buttercream frosting?

When storing buttercream frosting, it is important to use airtight containers or bags to keep it fresh and prevent any contamination.

Storing in the fridge: American buttercream can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Swiss and Italian buttercream, as well as French and German buttercreams should all be stored in the refrigerator immediately after preparation, and kept in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Storing in the freezer: American buttercream can also be stored in the freezer for up to two months when placed in a sealed container or bag. Do not store any of the other types of buttercream frosting in the freezer, as they contain raw eggs which could spoil quickly. When using previously frozen buttercream frostings, make sure to allow them to thaw completely before use so that they are at the right consistency for piping or spreading.

What are some uses for buttercream frosting?

Buttercream frosting is extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. It’s great for piping intricate designs on cakes or cupcakes and spreading smoothly over an entire cake. Buttercream frosting also makes a great filling between layers of a layer cake, allowing you to add even more flavor to your creations. You can also use it as a topping for cookies and other desserts such as brownies, pies, tarts and more. The possibilities are endless!

The creamy texture of buttercream frosting also makes it perfect for decorating cakes with flowers, letters and other intricate designs. Use a pastry bag to pipe shapes and colorful swirls onto your cakes and cupcakes – the possibilities are truly endless! Buttercream frosting can also be used to ice cookies, making them look extra special for any occasion.

What can we do with buttercreams kept in the refrigerator?

Buttercreams that have been stored in the refrigerator can still be used to decorate cupcakes, cakes, and other sweet treats. Allow the buttercream to come to room temperature so it is malleable enough for piping or spreading. Alternatively, if kept in an airtight container or bag, you can place the buttercream container in a bowl of warm water and allow it to thaw until soft enough for use. To ensure your buttercream frosting stays fresh, make sure you store it correctly and consume it within the recommended time frame. Enjoy all kinds of delicious creations with your freshly made buttercream.

At room temperature, how long does buttercream stay fresh?

It is not recommended to store buttercream frosting at room temperature for more than a few hours. American buttercream can be kept at room temperature, but should only be left out for up to 4 hours before it starts to spoil.  Swiss and Italian Buttercreams, as well as French and German buttercreams, contain raw eggs and therefore should never be left sitting out on the countertop or any other warm area. These types of buttercream must be refrigerated immediately after preparation in order to keep them safe for consumption. If you are planning on serving your treats with these types of buttercreams, make sure they are stored safely in an airtight container until ready for use. It is safest to keep all types of buttercream frosting stored in the refrigerator until ready for use. 

Buttercreams and the heat?

If you are worried about your buttercream frosting melting in the summer heat, it is best to keep it refrigerated until just before use. When you need to transport buttercreams, make sure they are placed in an insulated container with ice packs or cold storage bags to help them maintain their texture and consistency. To prevent any bacterial growth, do not leave the stored buttercream at room temperature for more than two hours. Buttercreams can handle brief exposure to warmer temperatures but should never be left out in direct sunlight or a hot car for too long as this will cause them to spoil quickly. With proper care and storage techniques, you can enjoy all kinds of delicious creations made with fresh buttercream frostings year-round. 

What about choosing the best buttercream for baked goods?

When choosing a buttercream frosting for your baked goods, it is important to consider the type of recipe and texture you would like. Do you want a light, fluffy American-style buttercream or a more traditional European-style buttercream? Consider the flavor combinations as well such as chocolate with Swiss meringue or lemon paired with Italian meringue. There are also vegan options available if you prefer an animal product-free option.

If you want a classic taste, American buttercream is the best option. This type of buttercream has a sweet, buttery flavor and is perfect for cupcakes, cookies, cakes, and other desserts. Swiss meringue buttercream is a great option if you are looking for something lighter with a more subtle sweetness. Italian meringue buttercream has a richer and creamier texture that pairs well with bold flavors such as lemon or raspberry. French meringue buttercream is ideal for decorations due to its firm structure, while German buttercream provides an extra-rich indulgence of sweet custard.

Ultimately, the choice between these types of buttercreams depends on personal preference or what you plan to use it for.

How long does buttercream take to defrost from the fridge?

When you need to thaw buttercream that has been stored in the refrigerator, you should begin by taking it out of the container and allowing it to sit at room temperature for 1 – 2 hours. After this time, the buttercream should be soft enough to beat or pipe onto cakes and other desserts. For a quicker thawing method, place the container of buttercream in a bowl of warm water until it reaches your desired consistency. Once ready to use, make sure you store any remaining buttercream frosting in an airtight container in order to keep it fresh. 

How long does buttercream need to chill before setting?

Depending on the type of buttercream, it usually takes about 1 – 2 hours for the frosting to set in the refrigerator. If you are working with a hot climate or need your dessert to be prepared quickly, you can speed up the process by placing it in the freezer for 15 – 20 minutes. This will help ensure that your buttercream is firm enough to shape and pipe without being too hard.

Remember that all types of buttercream frostings should always be stored safely in an airtight container until ready for use in order to prevent spoilage.

Is buttercream sweating in the refrigerator?

If your buttercream is stored in the refrigerator, you may experience some condensation on the surface due to a difference in temperatures. To avoid this, make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature before mixing and keep the frosting covered when it’s not being used. If there is already condensation present on your buttercream, simply pat it with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.

You can also add an anti-sweat agent like shortening or cornstarch to help prevent sweating and improve shelf life. For vegan options, try adding arrowroot powder or coconut flour instead. With proper care and storage techniques, you can enjoy freshly made buttercreams for days.

In the refrigerator, will buttercream crack?

Yes, buttercream can crack when stored in the refrigerator due to sudden temperature changes. To prevent this, try avoiding drastic shifts in temperature between your kitchen and the fridge. Also make sure to spread the frosting evenly on cakes and other desserts to reduce air pockets that can cause cracking.

If you do notice any cracks on your buttercream, you can fill them with melted chocolate or ganache for an even surface. This will also improve the overall look of your finished product.

How to make buttercream frosting?

Making buttercream frosting is easy and requires just a few simple ingredients. Start by creaming together softened butter and powdered sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Gradually add flavors, extracts or coloring to the mixture until you reach your desired taste and hue. Finally, slowly incorporate heavy cream or milk until the frosting reaches an even texture that’s suitable for piping onto cakes and other desserts.

If you’re looking to make vegan buttercream, simply substitute out the dairy products for non-dairy alternatives such as coconut cream or almond milk when mixing your ingredients together.

With these tips in mind, you can easily achieve delicious results with homemade buttercream frostings every time.

How can buttercream frosting be softer?

If your buttercream is too stiff, you can soften it by gradually adding more liquid such as heavy cream or milk until you achieve the desired consistency. Alternatively, you can also try heating it up in the microwave for a few seconds at a time and stirring between intervals until it’s soft enough to work with. For vegan options, try adding melted coconut oil or almond milk to help thin out the frosting.

When working with softened buttercream, make sure to keep it covered so that it doesn’t dry out before you’re ready to use it. Once you have reached your desired texture and consistency, store any remaining frosting in an airtight container for later use.

How long does a cake or dessert with frosting stay fresh in the fridge?

If your cake or treat is properly frosted and stored in an airtight container, it can last up to 3 – 5 days in the refrigerator. However, it’s best to consume your desserts within 1 – 2 days to ensure freshness and avoid spoilage. You should also make sure that you cover any exposed cake layers with plastic wrap before storing them in the fridge for further protection.

For longer storage periods, you can freeze your frosted cake for up to 3 months. Make sure to wrap it securely in several layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn from occurring on the surface. When ready to serve, thaw the cake at room temperature for a few hours until it reaches its original texture and consistency.


Summing up, storing buttercream frosting can be done in one of two ways: at room temperature or in the refrigerator. It all depends on which recipe’s ingredients and quantities you use as to which method is most suitable. Even if you’ve added a few extra ingredients, you’re unlikely to damage your frosting if you store it at room temperature. However, if you’ve used raw eggs or any other perishable ingredient, opt for refrigeration instead. No matter what, both options still taste great, so whichever fits your dietary restrictions and preparation requirements should be your method of choice! Be sure to check for specific information about how long the prepared frosting will last before it has gone bad. By doing this and knowing when to refrigerate and when to keep at room temperature, your buttercream creations will stay fresh and delicious longer!


Icing (food) – Wikipedia

4 Ways to Make Buttercream Frosting – wikiHow

Buttercream Frostings

The Art of Cake Decorating

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