How To Store Buttercream Cake Overnight

Buttercream is sometimes called butter icing or frosting but these are all names for the same thing. This is a common decorative and delicious topping for all types of cake but a lot of people are still confused on how they should store it. 

There are lots of different types of buttercream. The traditional type involves mixing butter and sugar together but there are some that call for egg yolks, egg whites and even milk. For the purposes of this guide, we will be discussing the regular type of buttercream. 

So, the question remains, how do you store buttercream cake overnight and does it need to be kept in the fridge?

Buttercream can be kept at room temperature for up to three days. While you can store it in the fridge if you prefere, there’s no dire need to. 

Here, we will look at the best way to store buttercream cake so it keeps at its best for the longest possible time.

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How Best To Store A Buttercream Cake

If you do not store your buttercream properly then there is a risk of it drying out. While this might not make it bad for you within a day or two, it won’t be pleasant to eat and should be avoided. The good news is that, for the majority of buttercream cakes, it is possible to store them at room temperature for up to three days. 

The key to success is making sure that the buttercream cake is placed into an airtight container. Oxygen can speed up the deterioration of foods and will sap out much of the moisture, causing your cake to go stale more quickly.

Moreover, when you store a buttercream cake overnight at room temperature, you will need to make sure that the conditions are spot on. This means keeping the cake out of direct sunlight; I realise that this won’t be an issue overnight, but you will want to make sure that, when the sun comes up, the cake isn’t going to be in its path. If not, you will find that the buttercream frosting will melt, ruining your cake.

It is best to store your buttercream cake on a covered cake stand or a large Tupperware container. If you don’t have either of these then you can use tightly wrapped cling film. 

Can You Put Buttercream Cake In The Fridge?

A lot of people become confused when it comes to storing buttercream icing because they instantly associate butter with the fridge. While it might seem strange, it is OK to store it at room temperature. Doing this will prevent the cake from drying out as quickly so you’ll get a longer shelf life. 

That said, it is possible to store a buttercream cake in the fridge. In fact, some situations may even call for this if you want to get the most out of your cake. For example, if the kitchen is incredibly humid and hot then this can make it much easier for bacteria to grow. The last thing you’d want to do in this instance would be to leave your buttercream cake out.

Therefore, if you live in a hot area or if it is the height of summer then you might need to make use of the fridge.

Moreover, you will need to consider what other toppings you have put onto your cake. Buttercream alone will keep well out of the fridge but if you’ve used things like fresh fruit, fresh cream or cream cheese then you absolutely will need to keep these in the fridge. 

When storing a buttercream cake in the fridge, you’ll need to put it in uncovered for around 15 minutes. This will ensure that the buttercream slightly hardens. You can then cover the cake with cling film and keep it in the fridge for up to five days. 

Before you serve the cake, I would recommend leaving it out on the worktop at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

You might also have wondered what to do with any leftover buttercream. This can be put into an airtight container and left in the fridge for seven days. However, you will need to bring it back to room temperature before you use it again. 

Should You Freeze Buttercream Cakes?

Sometimes you make a buttercream cake only to realise that you aren’t going to get through it all in one sitting. This might call for a longer storage time but since keeping the cake at room temperature will only be good for a few days, you might consider freezing it. 

The great thing about freezing a buttercream cake is that you’ll be able to store it for as long as six months and it’ll still be good to eat. That said, if you know you aren’t going to eat the cake after making it, it’s much easier to store it without frosting and then simply add the buttercream when you’re ready to serve it.

Before you put the buttercream cake into the freezer, you will need to make sure that you pop it into the fridge for an hour. Again, this is to make sure that your buttercream hardens which is important as this will prevent it from smudging when you cover it to go into the freezer.

Once the cake has been in the fridge for an hour, you’ll now need to cover it in cling film, being very careful as, although it’s hard, the buttercream will still be delicate. Over the top of the cling film, I would then suggest using a layer of tin foil or putting the cake into an airtight container. You will need to choose somewhere level in the freezer and put the cake somewhere that it isn’t going to get crushed by other items. 

When you are ready to eat your cake, you’ll want to take it out of the freezer the night before and leave it in the fridge to defrost overnight. You can then keep it in the fridge for up to five days. 


If you’re not quite ready to devour all of that delicious buttercream cake you’ve been working on, there’s no need to worry. Buttercream cakes can be stored at room temperature for up to three days as long as they are properly covered using an airtight container. This will prevent the cake from drying out. 

It is OK to store a buttercream cake in the fridge if the kitchen is going to be too hot or humid. However, this shouldn’t be the primary method of storing as the cake will dry out more quickly. 

Alternatively, you can store a buttercream cake in the freezer for up to six months. Just make sure you thoroughly defrost it before serving.

Cake Baker