Freezing Your Frosting

How to Freeze Frosting
In commercial bakeries, big batches of buttercream frosting get loaded into large plastic buckets, which are then labeled, dated and stored in a freezer. The same method for storing leftover buttercream may be applied in home kitchens. However since home freezers typically contain limited space, here’s how to store buttercream frosting so that it both fits and stays fresh.

Step-by-Step Freezing Instructions

How to Freeze Frosting

Items Needed

  • Freezer bag (quart for small amounts, gallon for larger amounts) with zipper closure
  • Large cookie scoop (for filling the bag)
  • Pen or permanent marker (for labeling the bag)

How to Freeze Frosting

1. Fold down the opening of freezer bag so that the zipper is facing out.

2. Using a large cookie scoop, transfer the buttercream frosting to the bag. Don’t fill the bag to capacity. Leave about ¼ of empty space.

3. Gently squeeze the extra air out of the bag and seal it closed.

4. Place the bag on its side and flatten it out with your hand, pushing the buttercream frosting out to all four corners so that it takes the shape of a square patty.

How to Freeze Frosting

5. Label and date the bag with a pen or permanent marker.

6. Place the bag on a flat surface in the freezer.

7. Once the buttercream is frozen into squares, it can be stacked or stored upright to consolidate space.

How to Freeze Frosting

Step-by-Step Thawing Instructions

1. Remove the bag of buttercream frosting from the freezer and place it on a dish towel to defrost at room temperature.

2. Once it’s soft, squeeze the buttercream away from the bottom crease of the bag.

3. Cut off the crease with a pair of scissors.

4. While holding the bag over a bowl, begin folding the zipper part down like a tube of toothpaste while squeezing the buttercream out of the bottom of the bag.

5. With a spatula, mix the buttercream frosting lightly in the bowl before use.

How to Freeze Frosting

If you only need a little bit of buttercream frosting, open the bag and remove what you need using a small or medium cookie scoop (1-2 oz size). Then re-seal the bag and return it to the freezer.

Get my Buttercream Recipes Smooth Buttercream Frosting Recipes

The buttercream frosting shown here is American style chocolate and vanilla buttercream. The bag labeled “crumb coat” contains second generation buttercream frosting that may be used as crumb coat or as the base to make cake fillings.

How to Freeze Frosting

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Freezing Your Frosting — 25 Comments

  1. Just wanting to know how many days you need to consume the buttercream in after you take it out from the freezer and it has thawed?

  2. I am wondering how long a cake can be safely kept at room temp? Cake that has milk in it, and made with buttercream for instance (what if the buttercream has. Tablespoon of whipping cream or heavy cream in it? I see it used sometimes and I am curious if its safe to keep out on the counter.

    • This question gets a gold star. I applaud your smart thinking, Sarah.

      You are right to be concerned about a frosting with raw ingredients like cream and milk sitting out at room temperature, even when the quantity is small. If we normally store cream and milk in the refrigerator then logic tells us we need to store a cake whose frosting contains cream and milk in the refrigerator as well.

      I like to limit the display time, when the cake is sitting out continuously at room temperature, to four hours or less. The less time, the better, is a good rule of thumb.

      This article about Food Safety is worth reading. Pass it on!

  3. I wanted to make some sunflowers for some cupcakes and transfer on cupcakes on day of my daughters wedding. How long will they keep in freezer. Wedding is in April I’m using buttercreme frosting. Thanks

  4. I have stored buttercream icing over nite in a pint jar and it turn out great. This was to ice a cake the next day. Did I do the right thing? It just saved a lot of time

  5. Hi, once buttercream has thawed do you need to add extra icing sugar to combat the extra moisture from being frozen,sue

    • No because the act of freezing doesn’t add moisture to food. It may change the consistency (ex. fruit or vegetables) of delicate foods that contain water because water expands when frozen which bursts cell walls but in the case of buttercream, nothing changes. I do recommend mixing it a little bit by hand though.

  6. i plan to make buttercream transfer designs. my question is, can i make use of this design in an upright position on top of a cake or it can only be used flat on a cake? thanks so much for your shared Info.

  7. I enjoyed this article. Good to see I have been doing it right all these years. It’s always good to know I did something right… lol

    • I’m willing to bet you’re a smart cookie, Cheryl. Probably a lot smarter and more capable than you even give yourself credit for. Keep up the good work!

    • It’s frosting from a bowl that was used to crumb coat cakes or that was scraped off a cold cake using the takeaway frosting method (covered in this book). Frosting that is not guaranteed 100% clean of crumbs is better kept separate and incorporated into the inside/underneath parts of the cake. Save the untouched frosting for finish coats.

    • It can be stored like this for 6 months or more. Disclaimer: I’m used to working with pasteurized butter (American). If you happen to use farm fresh butter, the freezer life might be shorter.

  8. I just want to say “THANK YOU!” I appreciate all of the help you provide and the information you share. It’s been a big help to me. I love your book and I refer to it often. I am moving farther away from fondant and am using modeling chocolate more and more. I’ve even combined the two, and my customers love the taste. This tip on freezing fondant is such a simple time saver, that I hadn’t thought of. Thanks again and God bless you for sharing your gift.

  9. Zip Loc bags are a great idea, but I can do you one better. I freeze my leftover buttercream using my Food Saver machine. Sucks the air right out of the bag until there’s no air left, therefore, no possibility of freezer burn. And they lay perfectly flat, and can be stacked. Love that machine!!