How To Properly Store A Buttercream Cake

Buttercream cake is the gold standard of deliciousness but what is the best way to store it? We've investigated to find out what the best storage practices are and have the answers for you here. So let's look at this delicious cake and its storage methods.

Buttercream frosting is made with either butter and shortening, butter only, or shortening only. Because of this, it will have a tendency to melt if left out too long. This is why your buttercream cake should be stored in a cake box or cake container to keep the frosting neat and to make it easy to cool if needed.

We'll talk about this a bit more as well as answer all your questions around buttercream cake, like how long it lasts at room temp, in the fridge, and in the freezer. Does your cake dry out in the fridge? How do you thaw a buttercream cake when it's frozen and how far in advance you can decorate one? All of this and a bit more will be covered in the post below, so be sure to keep reading.

A cake under bell glass dome, How To Properly Store A Buttercream Cake

The Best Way To Store A Buttercream Cake

Beautiful birthday cake decorate with edible pearls on white neutral background

Because buttercream frosting is soft and can soften more with exposure to heat and temperature, it's always a good idea to cover your cake.  This will keep the frosting from getting messed up. It will also help keep the cake from drying out. If you need to move the cake from the counter to the fridge, having a cake box or cover keeps it safe from getting jabbed by fingers or anything else that may mess up its appearance.

We love simple lidded cake covers that snap and come with handles. They make it easy to store your cake and move it around.

Click here for this one on Amazon.

If you have a cake you want to show off and you know it's going to be eaten quickly, then you might like to have a glass-lidded cake over to sit on your counter. This one is absolutely elegant and sits up off the counter. It would be amazing on a buffet table tantalizing your guests that delicious dessert will be served after the main meal.

Click here for this cake stand and cover on Amazon.

How Long Does Buttercream Cake Last At Room Temperature?

This is somewhat dependant upon the buttercream recipe you used. If you used an all-butter recipe, your cake will need to be refrigerated or your frosting will get melty and runny pretty quickly. On the other hand, if you used a recipe that has both shortening and butter in the ingredients, your cake should be good for about two days at room temperature.

How Long Does Buttercream Cake Last In The Fridge?

If we're talking about the frosting, you can store it up to a full week in the refrigerator before you need to use it. To add it to fresh cake, simply let it warm up to room temperature, give it a good re-whip, then frost the cake.

Whipped cream hanging on electric mixer's whip

For a cake frosted with buttercream, it will keep in the fridge for about the same amount of time, but you'll want to cover it loosely with plastic wrap or a cake cover to keep it from drying out. The frosting will provide some moisture protection, but unfortunately, your cake won't last forever.

A basic cover like this will help keep your cake moist for several days when stored in the fridge. Click here for this cover on Amazon.

Will Refrigerating A Cake Dry It Out?

If your cake is not frosted, it's going to dry out more quickly than if it is. Frosting adds a layer of protection that helps keep moisture in your baked goods. As a general rule though, if your cake is not frosted, it's only going to last two or three days before you begin to notice it drying out. Frosting will, of course, prolong that time frame.

How Long Can Buttercream Cake Last In The Freezer?

Buttercream frosting is awesome because it can be made well in advance of when you need it. Then you simply store it in the freezer and pull it out to thaw when you need to frost a cake or cupcakes. It will store for up to three months in your freezer.

We recommend always marking your containers with the date and rotating through them so you know just how longs things have been in your freezer. Rolls of freezer stickers are super inexpensive and allow you to clearly label your frozen baking needs.

Click here for these labels on Amazon.

How Do You Thaw A Cake With Buttercream Icing?

If you have a cake stored in plastic wrap in your freezer that is iced with buttercream frosting, you must take care when defrosting it. You don't want condensation to form between the wrapper and the frosting to such a point where you pull off the icing. Therefore, this defrosting process is a two-step process.

First, take the cake out of the freezer, place it in the fridge, and keep the wrapper on it. Let the cake defrost for about two hours. This is just long enough that you should be able to easily pull off the plastic wrap without messing up the frosting. At this point, place the cake in a cake box or cake container with a cover and place it in the fridge to defrost overnight or on the counter if you're eating it sooner.

Remember to take the defrosted cake out of the fridge about two hours prior to serving so that it can return to room temperature. It tastes best that way.

If you bake a lot, you might like to have a few cake boxes on hand. This set of ten is reasonable and they even have see-through tops so that you can see the cake easily.

Click here for this set on Amazon.

How Far In Advance Can I Decorate A Cake With Buttercream Icing?

Close shot of a human hand frosting a cake with whipped cream on the foreground

You can do some of your decorations well in advance of serving your cake. If you're making flowers are other items that are totally made of icing, you can make those ahead of time and store them in the freezer. Like the icing itself, these decorations can rest in the freezer for up to 3 months.

However, if you're wanting to serve a very fresh and beautiful cake, you should probably do the bulk of your decorating no more than two days in advance of when you plan on serving it.

This buttercream decorating kit comes with several icing tips and icing bags. Click here for this set on Amazon.

How To Store A Buttercream Cake With Fondant Decorations?

Confectioner decorates wedding cake

Keep in mind that your fondant decorations are going to dry out more quickly than your buttercream. That's why it's very important to store this type of cake in a box. It will help keep the fondant from drying, or conversely, forming condensation bubbles in the fridge.

Buttercream Is Best

There's nothing that beats a cake frosted in delicious buttercream. And though we advise you to follow practical storage advice, chances are that your cake will be delicious at most any stage of the game.

If you enjoyed this post here at, please check out a few of our others below:

How To Store Warm Cake Overnight

How To Store A Fondant Cake? [5 Easy Solutions]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *