When baking cakes, cookies, and pastries, it is typical to err to the side of caution and buy or make more frosting than needed. While you make sure all of your baked goods are covered in ample frosting, you will likely have some leftover. Before you toss it, you can store the extra frosting in the fridge or freezer and use it in the weeks to come on your other desserts.
How long frosting lasts in the fridge or freezer depends on whether it is store-bought or homemade. Store-bought frostings can last 2-4 weeks in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer if sealed well. The shelf-life of homemade frosting depends on the ingredients used to make it.
This guide will break down how long frostings will last in the fridge or freezer based on whether they are store-bought, the brand, if they are homemade, and which ingredients impact the shelf life.
Does Frosting Need to Go in the Fridge After Being Opened?
Although some frostings can be stored outside of the fridge based on their ingredient composition, it is best to store all frostings in an airtight glass or plastic container to maximize their shelf life.
Pre-made frosting in a can that has been purchased from the store can be stored in its original container in the fridge or freezer as long as it is airtight.
Does Frosting Go Bad?
Because of the lack of preservatives, homemade frostings are likely to spoil faster than pre-made store-bought frostings. This can vary further based on the ingredients your homemade frosting was made out of.
Frostings made with butter and milk need to be refrigerated (this includes your baked goods frosted with milk or butter-based frosting and any excess frosting). You should store this frosting in an airtight container in the fridge to prevent it from developing a crust and to elongate its shelf life for up to 1-2 weeks.
Frosting made with shortening and oil technically does not need to be stored in the fridge or freezer and can last for up to 2 weeks as long as it is stored in an air-tight container. Depending on the temperature and humidity levels in the area, it is advised to store milk and butter-free frostings in the fridge to preserve them for longer.
Store-bought frostings will usually come with a “best by” or “use by” date, making a difference in their estimated shelf life. If it says “best by,” this indicates that the frosting will be freshest to use by the indicated date and you may see some changes in the quality of its texture or ability to spread after the stated date though it is technically not expired. If it says “use by,” this can be considered an expiration date and you should likely toss the frosting after that date.
In the case of store-bought frostings, they are made to last longer than homemade frostings and can typically last for 2-3 weeks in the fridge once opened as long as it is stored in its can or another air-tight container. If stored in the proper conditions, you can keep store-bought frosting for up to 3 months in the freezer.
If you have kept your frostings in the freezer and allowed them to thaw at room temperature, you will likely be able to store them for a further 2-4 days in the fridge. If your frosting was thawed by running the container under warm water or in the microwave, you should use it all immediately as these thawing methods can change the moisture content and its ability to harbor bacteria if it is kept any longer.
How Can You Tell if Frosting Has Gone Bad?
When purchasing store-bought canned frostings, avoid buying any cans that are dented, bulging, or showing any other signs of tampering and spoiling. If you purchase frosting in a can and it starts to bulge after you have purchased it, return it or dispose of it immediately as this could signify unwanted bacterial growth.
If you have stored any frostings in the fridge or freezer, check it before use to gauge its freshness and safety to use. Look for changes in its odor, color, and for the presence of any moisture that may have seeped in which could indicate bacterial growth.
What Happens if You Eat Expired Frosting?
If you eat expired frosting, it will not necessarily make you ill, unless there was the presence of moisture and mold growth after storing it for some time. Expired frosting will however have a change in texture and an off taste that is likely to be less palatable than if it were fresh. In some cases, you may end up with a mild upset stomach which should pass on its own.
Different Types of Frosting and How Long They Last in the Fridge
Different types of frosting can store differently based on their ingredient composition and whether they are homemade or store-bought. Here are some answers about how long each type of frosting lasts:
How long does buttercream frosting last in the fridge?
Because buttercream frosting contains both milk and butter, it will have a shorter shelf life than other frostings. Any extra buttercream frosting, along with baked goods that you have frosted with buttercream should be stored in the fridge to maintain freshness.
If stored in an airtight container, buttercream frosting alone should last for up to 2-4 weeks in the fridge and should not develop a hard crusty layer on the top. You may need to let it thaw at room temperature, stirring it before use after storage.
How long does canned frosting last in the fridge?
Store-bought canned frosting can last for 2-3 weeks in the fridge once opened. It is important to check store-bought frosting for the “best by” or “use by” dates as these can indicate how long you should keep frosting for. Frosting with a “best by” date can typically be stored safely past the stated date in the fridge whereas, frosting with a “use by” date should be eaten or tossed by the stated date, with the exception of storing it in the freezer which would elongate its shelf life.
How long does homemade frosting last in the fridge?
Storing homemade frosting in the fridge depends on the ingredients used to make the frosting. If milk or butter was in the ingredient composition, the frosting can be stored safely in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks continuously.
Frosting made out of oil or shortening can technically be stored outside of the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks although, you should be mindful of the general climate of your kitchen and surrounding area. If it is warm or humid, it is wise to store this frosting in the fridge which can lengthen its shelf life to 2-4 weeks.
How long does homemade cream cheese frosting last in the fridge?
Cream cheese frosting tends to be more temperamental than other frostings in its shelf life. Cream cheese frosting, like buttercream, should be stored in the fridge alone or on baked goods. Cream cheese frosting should be stored in an airtight container and can last in the fridge for up to 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
As is the case with any other frosting, check for signs of spoiling through changes in odor, color, texture, or mold growth.
How long does Pillsbury frosting last in the fridge?
According to Pilsbury, their frosting can be stored in the fridge and used for up to 2 weeks.
How long does Betty Crocker frosting last in the Fridge?
According to Betty Crocker, their frosting is good for 2-7 days on your baked goods if stored in an airtight container. Alone, Betty Crocker frosting can be stored for 2-4 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container or up to 3 months in the freezer for best quality.
Can You Put Frosting in the Freezer?
You can store frosting in the freezer. To ensure it does not absorb the odors of any nearby foods or become exposed to unnecessary moisture, store your frosting in an airtight container.
How Long Does Frosting Last in the Freezer?
Frosting stored in the freezer is best used within 3 months for optimal quality however, it can technically be stored in the freezer for longer than that and still safe to eat, though you may notice changes in its texture.
The Verdict – How Long Will Your Frosting Last?
In summary, the first step is to store your frosting in an airtight container whether placing it on your counter, in the fridge, or freezer. Remain mindful of the ingredients in your frosting as most need to be stored in the fridge or freezer to avoid spoiling. In the fridge, most frostings will stay good for 2-4 weeks and in the freezer for 3 months or more.
Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.