You may think that the best appliance in the kitchen is the oven, but the freezer can actually be a baker’s best friend.
The freezer helps you cool hot baked goods faster, save leftovers and can also help you make things in advance and be prepared for any party or occasion that pops up. Every baker needs a good freezer!
There are some foods that definitely freeze better than others. Many cakes work great in the freezer and cookie dough is one of the best things to have on hand, frozen and ready to bake anytime you are craving a fresh cookie.
I’m now going to add frosting to the list of foods that freeze well and tell you all about how to freeze your frosting in order to keep it fresh and delicious.
Get excited because you’re about to learn how to use that awesome kitchen appliance and freeze your frostings to perfection.
What Kind of Frosting Freezes Well?
There are lots of different kinds of frostings in the world and some definitely freeze better than others. This is definitely something to consider when you are trying to decide what type of frosting to make.
You may choose to ice your cake or top your cupcakes with a different kind of frosting depending on it’s ability to hold up well in the freezer and as it defrosts.
Here is a look at what frosting freeze best and why.
American buttercream frosting is one of the most commonly used frostings. It is perfect for icing cakes or frosting cupcakes and it is very easy to make.
American buttercream is essentially made by whipping together butter and powdered sugar.
Flavorings and dyes can be added to buttercream as well. Thanks to the simplicity of this frosting and its delicious taste, it is one people make at home very often!
Since both butter and powdered sugar hold up well in the freezer, you can definitely freeze American buttercream. Make your American buttercream recipe completely, adding any dyes or food colorings you’d like, and then freeze it for up to three months.
I’ll go over how to thaw and use it later on in this article but, we can tell you now that it is very easy to use even after being frozen!
Italian buttercream is made by whipping cooked sugar into egg whites. Softened butter is then added to the mix and it is all whipped together to make a perfect, soft and decadent frosting.
Italian buttercream will freeze well but will only keep in the freezer for about one month. After that, the taste may start to turn as the eggs age. Italian buttercream is a little trickier to thaw than American buttercream but it can be done and I will tell you how if you keep on reading!
Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream cheese frosting is another kind of frosting that will hold up well in the freezer. Thanks to the high fat content of the cream cheese and the butter, it will still be delicious after about 3 months in the freezer.
To make cream cheese frosting, you will be blending cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar- all ingredients that are freezer friendly! Put this one on your list of freezable frostings for sure.
Store Bought Frostings
Since store bought frostings are full of preservatives and additives that help it stay fluffy and soft long after it has been made, it also freezes very well.
If you have extra frosting in your can of frosting or just want to extend the shelf life of your store bought frosting, pop it in an airtight container and freeze until you are ready to use it.
Store bought frostings will stay fresh in the freezer for up to a year.
If you want to mix it up, try these simple ways to make store bought frosting better.
What Frostings Do Not Freeze Well?
Just as there are many great, freezable frostings, there are others that do not freeze very well.
Here are a few common kinds of frosting that you will want to continue to make fresh rather than prepping them in advance to store in the freezer.
Whipped Cream Frosting
Whipped cream frosting does not hold up well in the freezer. You may think that the high fat content of the heavy cream would help preserve the frosting but the real issue is the thawing process.
Whipped cream frosting revolves around the fact that lots of air is whipped into the ingredients to make a light and fluffy frosting. If you were to put it in the freezer and then defrost it later on, all that fluffy air will disappear as the frosting thaws leaving you with a sweet, liquid mess. That won’t help you ice a cake!
Whipped cream frosting is pretty easy to make so you may want to stick to making it right before you are ready to ice your cake or cupcakes.
Royal icing frosting is another one that relies on whipped air. Royal icing is made by whipping egg whites to stiff peaks and then adding powdered sugar until your desired consistency is reached.
If you were to freeze the royal icing, it will just turn back into an eggy, liquid mess as it thaws.
Royal Icing is another one that you are going to want to make fresh and skip the freezer.
How to Freeze Frosting
Once you have made a frosting that is on our list of freezable frostings, you are ready to freeze! No matter what kind of frosting you made, the freezing process is all the same.
Place the frosting in an airtight container and, before you put the lid on, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the frosting.
This will help seal the frosting even more, preventing it from being exposed to the dry air of the freezer and also will prevent any moisture from blending with the frosting as it thaws later on.
The plastic wrap will also keep the frosting tasting fresh and delicious as it won’t absorb any odors or tastes in the freezer. Snap the lid on your container and then place the frosting in the freezer. Be sure to label and date the container so you remember what’s inside!
How to Thaw Frosting
When you are ready to use your frozen frosting, remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow the frosting to thaw slowly which will help it keep its original texture.
If you need the frosting faster, place the container on your counter to let it thaw at room temperature. After about 4-5 hours at room temp, your frosting should be thawed and ready to use!
Try to avoid microwaving frosting after it has been frozen as a method of thawing. Most frostings contain butter and, when microwaved, the butter will melt and cause the frosting to also melt into a liquid. This would be very hard to use to ice a cake!
However, there is a little trick you can use to thaw your frosting quickly and still have that light and fluffy texture that you want.
- Remove the frosting from the freezer and place half of the frozen frosting in a stand mixer.
- Turn the stand mixer on low speed and let it break up the frosting a little bit.
- Place the remaining frosting in a microwave safe container and heat for about a minute in the microwave to melt. You want the frosting to be melted and slightly hot but not scolding. If you have a higher powered microwave, you may want to start with 45 seconds, check the frosting and then heat more if needed.
- With the stand mixer running, slowly stream the hot frosting into the cold frosting, whipping them both together.
- Once all the hot, melted frosting is added into the mixer, turn the mixer speed up to high and whip the frosting so that is nice and fluffy once again.
This little trick is perfect for buttercream frosting and cream cheese frosting. It is especially great to use when thawing Italian buttercream which sometimes has a tendency to break as it thaws.
The microwave melting, stand mixer trick will help bring the buttercream back to its original, beautiful texture! Definitely give it a try.
Adding Flavoring to Frozen Frosting
If you are making your frosting in advance, freezing it and using it at a later date, it is a good idea to keep the frosting plain and un-colored. Making a simple, white frosting allows you to add flavoring and color to the frosting later on.
While you can choose to add extract or dye to your frosting before freezing, colors can change in the freezer (most of the time getting slightly dull as the frosting ages). Extract may also lose their potency and give you a frosting that has a more mild flavor after it thaws.
Make your frosting as directed in your recipe but do not add the extract or dyes. Once you are ready to use your frosting, let it thaw completely and then add any dye or extract you’d like.
This is the best way o ensure your colors are bright and your flavors are powerful! It will also give you a nice “clean” frosting to work with in case you change your mind on flavors or decorations. A basic white frosting is always good to have on hand!
Next time you are planning on making a cake, feel free to whip up your frosting in advance and freeze it. You can even bake and freeze your cake ahead of time too!
If you happen to have extra frosting on your hands, put it in an airtight container and freeze that as well. You never know when you may need some extra frosting. You will soon see why the freezer can be a bakers best friend!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.