Buttercream is one of the most popular types of frosting and is used in all sorts of delicious desserts. It’s creamy texture and rich, sweet flavor make it one of the most versatile icings around.
But what happens when you have leftover buttercream?
How long does it last?
In this article you will learn everything you need to know about how long buttercream lasts. We will go over the proper way to store your buttercream as well. That way you will not have to waste any of your tasty buttercream.
So how long does buttercream last?
When properly stored in the refrigerator, buttercream will last for up to 1 month. When buttercream is stored in the freezer it will last for up to 3 months.
But there is more to it than that. Read on for more details about how to know if your buttercream is safe to eat as well as the best method for storing your buttercream to ensure the longest shelf life possible.
Related Recipe: Buttercream Frosting without Powdered Sugar
How Long Can Buttercream be Stored Safely
There are a couple primary reasons why you need to know how long you can safely store your buttercream.
If you have leftover buttercream after baking you will need to know how soon you will need to use your leftover frosting to avoid needing to throw it out.
Additionally, many bakers find making their buttercream ahead of time to be a serious time saver when it’s time to start baking.
In my kitchen we bake a lot of desserts (especially around the holiday season) and I am always looking for ways to make the process less stressful and more efficient.
And making my buttercream ahead of time is one of my favorite time savers.
But that means it’s important to know how far ahead of time you can make your buttercream as well as understanding the best way to store it to retain it’s texture and flavor.
Buttercream stored in the refrigerator will last up to 1 month while buttercream stored in the freezer will last up to 3 months.
In order to get the longest storage time, you must ensure to properly store your buttercream though. If not stored properly, your shelf life may be significantly shorter.
Related: Buttercream vs Cream Cheese Frosting
Best Method for Storing Buttercream
When storing buttercream the key is to eliminate as much air as possible from the storage container.
Air will increase the rate of degradation of your buttercream so take extra care when removing excess air for storage.
Storing Buttercream in the Refrigerator
Place your prepared buttercream in a ziplock bag or a piping bag. Remove all air and seal. If using a piping bag, seal the end with a rubber band or zip tie.
Once sealed, place buttercream in the refrigerator for up to 1 month before using.
Storing Buttercream in the Freezer
Place buttercream in a freezer safe bag and remove all air before sealing. Next, wrap your sealed buttercream in tinfoil. Wrap it tightly and make sure it is completely covered.
Now place your wrapped buttercream in a second freezer bag and remove excess air before sealing.
Place your sealed buttercream in the back of the freezer. It will last for up to 3 months.
How Long Does Buttercream Last at Room Temperature
There are many different types of buttercream and it depends on which type you have.
American buttercream can be left at room temperature for multiple hours (as long as it is not extremely hot). And should be stored in the fridge or freezer if longer than that.
Italian or Swiss buttercream can be left at room temperature for longer periods of time. When using pasteurized eggs, this type of buttercream does need to be refrigerated.
French buttercream should not be stored at room temperature. It is best to store it in the refrigerator or freezer following the methods outlined above.
German buttercream also should not be stored at room temperature for extended periods of time. Instead, store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
How to Soften Buttercream that Was Stored in the Refrigerator
Buttercream that has been stored in the fridge will be too stiff to use. To soften your buttercream first remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to thaw at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Next you will need to whip your buttercream by hand until desired consistency is reached. Now your buttercream is ready to use.
How to Use Frozen Buttercream
You will need to plan ahead to use buttercream that was stored in the freezer. The best way to thaw frozen buttercream is by placing it in the refrigerator for at least two days prior to using.
This will allow your buttercream to gradually thaw in order to better maintain it’s flavor and texture.
Once thawed, place your buttercream at room temperature for about 1 hour. Then whip it by hand before using.
How to Remove Air Bubbles from Buttercream
When buttercream is stored in the refrigerator or freezer it will often form small air bubbles. This is normal and nothing to worry about.
To remove the tiny air bubbles you will need to mix your buttercream by hand until it has reached the desired consistency. And all the tiny bubbles will be removed.
Buttercream Shelf Life and Storage FAQ
How can you tell if buttercream has gone bad?
Buttercream that has gone bad will have a sour flavor and experience color changes. You may also find green mold growing which is a sure sign your buttercream has gone bad.
Check your buttercream for signs of mold and sniff it to see if there is a sour odor. You can also taste a small amount. Your buttercream should taste sweet with no sour flavor.
Do you have to refrigerate a cake with buttercream frosting?
It depends on the type of buttercream used. American, French, and German buttercream cakes can be stored at room temperature.
While Swiss and Italian buttercream cakes should be stored in the refrigerator.
How long does Swiss buttercream last in the fridge?
Swiss buttercream can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Can you get food poisoning from expired buttercream?
Yes you can get food borne illness from buttercream that has gone bad. Always check your buttercream for signs of spoilage including mold, sour taste, and discoloration before consuming.