Does Buttercream Frosting Need To Be Refrigerated?

You just made a perfect buttercream frosting. It is smooth, delicious and perfectly fluffy. Now the trick is to keep it that way! 

Should you refrigerate buttercream frosting? Or just leave the buttercream on the counter at room temperature? 

These are excellent questions that we are happy to answer!

It is always a good idea to refrigerate your buttercream frosting. It will help your frosting stay fresh longer and taste delicious days later. If you want to know a little bit more about why you need to refrigerate buttercream, what kinds of buttercream need to be refrigerated and if there is any buttercream that does not need to go in the fridge, keep reading to get all the details! 

Tip: if you are refrigerating buttercream frosting, ensure that your fridge is always at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Related: Can You Eat Chicken Left Out Over Night?

Does Homemade Buttercream Frosting Need to Be Refrigerated?

Yes, homemade buttercream frosting should be refrigerated. Homemade frostings have no preservatives or additives like the canned frosting found in the grocery store. Since the ingredients are all fresh and perishable, they may spoil if not refrigerated. Storing your homemade buttercream frosting in the fridge is, in fact, the best way to ensure it stays delicious. 

How to Store Buttercream Frosting

To keep your fluffy, delicious buttercream frosting tasting fresh, you should store it in an airtight container with a sealed lid. 

You may even want to put a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the buttercream before placing the lid on the container, giving your buttercream an extra layer of protection. (This is especially helpful in preserving your tasty frosting from absorbing any fridge food odors!)

The refrigerator is a very dry place and you do not want your buttercream to lose moisture. Seal it well and it will stay fresh!

How Long Does Buttercream Last in the Fridge?

Buttercream will keep for about two weeks when stored in the fridge. Be sure to keep your refrigerated buttercream in an airtight container. 

This two week estimate may change slightly depending on the specific kind of buttercream you made. So, let’s talk about that now!

Does American Buttercream Need to Be Refrigerated?

To make American buttercream, you beat softened butter and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy. A little vanilla extract and salt top off the mix and then the American buttercream is ready to use.

Since American buttercream is made with just butter and powdered sugar, these simple ingredients do not need to be refrigerated immediately. This frosting can be kept at room temperature for a few days and stay fresh. American buttercream is a great example of buttercream frosting that doesn’t have to be refrigerated. 

How Long Does Buttercream Last at Room Temperature? 

The answer is: 

that American buttercream can be stored at room temperature for 3-4 days. American buttercream will stay soft and ready to use when kept at room temperature.

If you want your American buttercream frosting to last longer, you can store it in the refrigerator. Place the buttercream in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Does Italian Buttercream Need to Be Refrigerated?

Making Italian buttercream is a little more involved. 

Here is a quick look at how to prepare Italian buttercream:

  1. First, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. 
  2. Then, boil white sugar until it reaches 235 degrees F. 
  3. Pour the hot sugar is poured into the whippeding egg whites slowly so as not to cook the eggs. 
  4. Whip tThe mix is whipped until cool and then slowly add in softened butter is slowly added in. 
  5. Mix in vVanilla extract and salt to finish it the Italian buttercream and it is done!

Since Italian buttercream containsis made with egg whites, you need to store itit needs to be stored a little differently than American buttercream. Italian buttercream does need to be refrigerated. This will keep it fresh and also prevent the eggs from becoming rancid quickly.

Place your Italian buttercream in an airtight container, seal it well and keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Do you know: How Long Does It Take for a Refrigerator to Get Cold?

Does Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting Need to Be Refrigerated?

While American buttercream and Italian buttercream frostings are the most popular, there are many other kinds of buttercreams out there. With each unique ingredient in your buttercream recipe, you will need to assess if the buttercream needs to be refrigerated. 

If you use cream cheese in your buttercream frosting, it will need to be refrigerated. Cream cheese can not sit at room temperature without spoiling. Since cream cheese buttercream is made with fresh, uncooked cream cheese, put it right in the fridge after you make it to help it stay fresh for up to a week.

Does Frosting with Heavy Cream Need to Be Refrigerated?


Heavy cream is another perishable ingredient that requires refrigeration. If you add a little heavy cream to your buttercream to make it softer and more smooth, you should definitely store itit will need to be stored in the fridge. 

If you’re now wondering, does frosting with milk need to be refrigerated, you can probably guess the answer —- YES! If you make your buttercream with milk it will taste best and stay fresh the longest when refrigerated.

Does Strawberry Buttercream Frosting Need to Be Refrigerated?

Say you make a delicious buttercream frosting and decide to throw in a few fresh berries to make it even more tasty. Once those berries are mixed in, you are going to want to use the frosting right away or store it in the fridge. 

Fresh fruit, like strawberries, are very moist and will spoil quickly when crushed and then left at room temperature. Wrap your strawberry frosting well, cover it, and place it in the fridge. 

Can’t get enough of that sweet strawberry flavor? Check out our recipe for Strawberry French Macarons!

How to Use Refrigerated Buttercream Frosting

So, you refrigerated your buttercream frosting. Now, you are ready to use it! You take it out of the fridge and it seems, well, a little too hard. 

How can you ice a cake with cold frosting?! 

Here is a simple solution for you:what you should do.

1.      Take the buttercream out of the fridge and place it on the countertopat room temperature.

2.      Once the buttercream has warmed up to room temperature and softened (after about 1-2 hours), place the buttercream back into a mixing bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

3.      Gently beat the buttercream on low speed to bring it back together, making it a uniform texture once again.

Follow these simple steps and your buttercream frosting will be just as fluffy and delicious as the day you made it!

Now that you’ve got all this buttercream, what will you frost first? Read: How to Use a KitchenAid Mixer for Cake for our funfetti cake recipe!

Can You Freeze Buttercream Frosting?

Maybe you made too much buttercream. Or maybe you made your buttercream frosting way in advance and need to store it for a little longer. 

So, can buttercream frosting be frozen? Yes, it can!

Almost all buttercream frostings can be stored in the freezer, preserving them for quite some time. 

Here is how to store buttercream in the freezer:

1.       Place the buttercream in an airtight container and close.

2.       Wrap the container in plastic wrap for an extra layer of protection.

3.      Freeze the buttercream. American buttercream will keep for 3-4 months. Italian buttercream and buttercream with cream cheese or heavy cream will be good in the freezer for 2 months.

When you are ready to use your frozen buttercream frosting, simply remove it from the freezer and place it in the fridge for 24 hours to thaw slowly. Right before you are ready to use the buttercream, let it sit on the counter at room temperature for about an hour to soften. Then, go ahead and ice your cakes and cupcakes!

You may also like: Can You Freeze Smoked Salmon?

ConclusionKeep Buttercream Frosting Fresh

The best way to keep your buttercream frosting fresh and tasty is to store it in the refrigerator. Make sure it is an airtight container, well-sealed and defrost it slowly when you are ready to use your frosting. Your buttercream frosting will keep for weeks in the fridge (or months in the freezer!).

So, go ahead and make your frosting in advance. Keep that extra bit of frosting and save it for later. It is always a good idea to have some buttercream on hand! Enjoy.

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