How Long Can You Store Homemade Buttercream Frosting?

Buttercream frosting is a cake lover's dream. Intended to taste sugary, rich, and most importantly, creamy, it's hard to beat a frosting made from peoples' two favorite ingredients: butter and sugar. Sometimes, vanilla and milk are also creamed together with the butter and sugar to add flavor and smoothness (via All Recipes). While vanilla is indeed classic to buttercream, the frosting is not limited to it! Bakers can add all sorts of things into their confections, including chocolate, strawberry, peach, and so on down the list of fruits. The point is that no matter what kind of cake you're baking or what kind of theme you want, buttercream frosting is the best, most versatile thing to decorate with.

There are tons of buttercream varieties that you can choose from as well, with the most popular being the American buttercream. Other great options include Swiss meringue, French, and custard (via Spoon University). With all that being said, there's one crucial thing to remember when you're making this delectable frosting, and that's the shelf life of buttercream.

The guidelines for buttercream

Buttercream, like all other perishable items, has a shelf life. After whipping everything together, your buttercream will be light and fluffy. Wilton Industries reports that a basic buttercream can remain covered and at room temperature for about two days, but it may crust up a little. However, if you're looking to have your frosting on hand for a week, you must refrigerate it.

Wilton advises that you should keep your buttercream refrigerated until you're ready to decorate your cake, then let it come to room temperature and whip it until it regains its fluffy texture again before spreading it. If, for some reason, you have some extra buttercream you won't use but can't bring yourself to get rid of, don't worry! You can freeze the frosting safely for up to three months (via Can You Freeze This?).

You can tell when your buttercream has expired in a few ways. If a cake you decorated with the confection begins to turn green or watery, it's time to toss it! And if any of the frosting you stored away smells or tastes sour, develops a mold, or has strange lumps, Survival Freedom recommends throwing it out. Better not to risk it!