You’ve made a cake and made some decadent buttercream frosting to decorate it with. The decoration looks beautiful and you have filled it to the brim with frosting.
However, now you have lots of buttercream frosting left, but you don’t have another cake to put it on. What should you do? No, don’t eat it right out of the bowl!
Although actually, that would taste good… You should put it in the freezer! Yes, that’s correct. You can put your leftover buttercream frosting in the freezer.
The key is learning exactly how to freeze it properly, and ensuring you know how to safely defrost it too. We explain all that and more in this article.
How to freeze buttercream frosting
Freezing buttercream frosting is as easy as pie… or should we say cake? All you need is your buttercream frosting (obviously), a freezer, and something to freeze it in.
We recommend an airtight, freezer safe container. If you do not have one of these available, then a resealable freezer bag will be fine, too but a little more difficult to work with.
We also recommend using some plastic wrap, such as Saran wrap. Again, this could get a little messy but this extra step is worth it in our opinion.
To freeze your buttercream frosting, first decant the frosting from your bowl or tub into your airtight, freezer safe container. If you want to be extra cautious, you can put a small layer of your plastic wrap on the bottom of the container first.
Once you have put all the frosting into the container, take another layer of plastic wrap and as carefully and as tightly as you can, wrap the surface of the buttercream.
The difficulty of this step will depend on how thick your buttercream frosting is, with thicker frosting being that little bit easier and thinner frosting being more messy and difficult.
We say messy because the frosting clings to the plastic wrap, making it harder to wrap tightly. You are very likely to get buttercream icing on your fingers, but this will be quickly solved by popping them into your mouth!
As we said, this step is optional, however, we do recommend it to stop pesky freezer burn occurring on your delicious frosting! Trust us, it is worth the tiny bit of extra effort and mess.
Once you have covered the buttercream frosting in the plastic wrap, it is now time to close the airtight container and label it. Labeling is often overlooked when it comes to freezing foods and it is super important for two reasons!
The first reason is that it allows you to identify what is even in the container (take it from us, we know the pain of thinking we are defrosting lasagne, only for it to be gravy!).
The second reason labeling is so important is the date. Sure, you can make a rough guess as to when you put the frosting in the freezer, but it would be so much easier, in the long run, to put the date on first.
This way you know exactly how long you have to use it, and you will be unlikely to get sick from bad foods.
In terms of storage time, buttercream frosting can be kept in your freezer for up to three months, provided it is frozen according to our steps.
How to defrost buttercream frosting
So, the time has finally come to use that delicious buttercream frosting that you froze all those weeks ago, (or if you are like us you only froze it and the weekend and have been thinking about it every day since).
Before you can decorate your cake with it, or even eat it out of the container, it must first be defrosted. To do this, patience is key, you can’t go putting it into the microwave, or else you will end up with a bowl of sweet melted butter!
If possible, you should take the buttercream frosting out of the freezer the night, or better still, the day before you intend to use it. You can keep it all wrapped up and in its container for this.
Place it in the refrigerator to let it slowly defrost. Try to give it at least 24 hours in there, before taking it out and unwrapping it. When it has been unwrapped from the plastic wrap, you can still keep it inside the airtight container whilst it comes to room temperature in your kitchen or pantry.
This could take around an hour, but again, be patient because it is notoriously difficult to frost with cold buttercream!
When it is room temperature, you can frost to your heart’s content! Or better still, just grab a spoon and dig in.
We are sure the buttercream frosting will be finished in no time, however, if you do happen to have leftovers, make sure that you do not freeze it again!
Anything that has been defrosted should never be frozen again! Keep leftovers in the fridge, and use it within 3 days!
Factors to consider before freezing buttercream frosting
Before freezing your buttercream frosting, you should ensure that the frosting itself is fresh, and not already turning bad. Freezing anything that has already turned bad will not reverse this, it will still be bad when you defrost it. In fact, it may even be worse.
You should also ensure that the frosting hasn’t been previously frozen, as stated earlier on in the article. Once an item of food has been defrosted once, it should not be defrosted again.
It is also important that no other foods have contaminated your buttercream frosting before you place it in your freezer. For example, if you have accidentally gotten some raw egg in the buttercream mixture whilst baking, this could cause you to be sick after defrosting and using it at a later date.
Finally, you should consider freezing small amounts of buttercream separately, rather than one huge bowl. Ensure each lot of buttercream is wrapped and stored in airtight containers or resealable freezer bags even if you are doing it separately.
Clearly, buttercream frosting does not need to be wasted. We bet that you are kicking yourselves right now thinking of all the buttercream you have tossed in the trash before!
Fear not, for now you know that buttercream frosting can indeed be frozen and that if you freeze it properly and thaw it safely, it can be just as good as the freshly made stuff, either on a cake or straight into your mouth!