How Long Will Buttercream Frosting Keep?

Updated on July 07, 2010
N.F. asks from Los Angeles, CA
7 answers

Hey all you baking Mamas out there! I'm trying to get the jump on prep work for birthday cakes and am making a butter cream frosting using the C&H powdered sugar recipe. I usually do a more complicated one and opted for the easier route this time, but it doesn't say anywhere on the recipe/box as to how long the frosting will keep. I'd like to try and make it a few days before hand, but have no idea if it will taste better if I wait till the day of baking. Anyone know?

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answers from Dallas on

Butter cream will usually keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. I run a cake decorating business out of my home and make it ahead of time often. If I am making it early I use corn syrup instead of milk to thin it out - I like the taste of milk better, but I don't want to risk the milk going bad. The frosting will taste just as yummy if you make it early, in fact some people like to make it early so the flavors can meld together. If you use corn syrup instead of milk, it can stay unrefrigerated for up to three days...most people want to make sure it can stay out during their party. I always try to refrigerate it, it's just better. And a decorated cake will travel better if the frosting is nice and cold and crusted over before you move it. If you make the frosting ahead of time, just remember to pull it out before you want to use it, it will need to warm up to NOT microwave it to speed things up. Happy baking!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

There are many different buttercream recipes... Are you making yours with eggs? I dunno, but I think there are a lot of variables that may factor in how long it can be made ahead of time... From what ingredients you use to how cold your refrigerator is set. I wouldn't keep it longer than a week; the rule of thumb I am familar with is that bacteria and mold spores tend to set in after 4-7 days, espcially if it's homemade (without preservatives).

Also, I saw a few postings on the Internet that mentioned the frosting might not whip back to a smoothness if it's left too long in the refrig... Apparently, gets crusty.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm not sure what the C&H recipe is, but if it's mostly just butter, sugar, water and vanilla, it will keep for two weeks in the fridge.

If it's made with shortening instead of butter, it will last six weeks.

leaving the icing for a couple of days in the fridge might help the vanilla flavour get better. If the icing has colour to it, the colour will deepen over time.

If it uses milk products, the fridge life will be shortened some, but making it a couple of days in advance shouldn't be a big problem if it's refrigerated. If you think about it, cream cheese lasts a long time in brick form in the fridge!

Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

A few days is absolutely NO PROBLEM!



answers from Toledo on

If you keep it in the fridge with a lid on it, it will be fine.



answers from Phoenix on

Until I eat it all up! Sorry, I have deep and abiding love for homemade frosting. I don't think any would survive if I made it ahead.



answers from Los Angeles on

I have kept it for several months in tupperware in the fridge with no adverse taste. Just bring to room temp before using - you may even want to rewhip it depending upon how you want to use it. Good luck.

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