Learn how to store buttercream frosted cookies to keep your dessert looking—and tasting— as fresh as possible!
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❤️ Why this works
- A slight crust prevents homemade frosting from moving or spreading
- American buttercream cookies are safe at room temperature for days
- Fluffy frosting is the perfect complement both to cutout cookies and soft sugar cookies
Frosted sugar cookies are beautiful, bakery-worthy treats. Thankfully, they don't take much time, effort, or skill.
There are a few great options for storing sugar cookies with buttercream frosting, and it all depends on what you prefer!
Whether you're going to enjoy the cookies within a couple of hours or a couple of months, this is the best way to do it. So, let's begin!
🧾 What you'll need
- A large airtight container, like Tupperware or a wide glass storage dish
- Your favorite American buttercream recipe
- Cookies, of course
- Wax or parchment paper (optional for stacking)
Cut-out cookie dough is perfect for special occasions, baby showers, themed celebrations, and, most popular, Christmas cookies! Plus, the flat top of the cookie is the perfect canvas for amazing buttercream.
🥣 Why American Buttercream?
American buttercream is ideal sugar cookie icing for a variety of reasons. First, and best of all, it's easy! American buttercream only takes a little bit of time to whip up—literally.
Plus, it only requires a few, basic ingredients—you might not even have to go to the grocery store. Unlike other types of buttercream that use finicky egg whites and messy sugar/corn syrup, American buttercream only mainly needs powdered sugar and room temperature butter.
Royal icing cookies take a lot of work and time to dry. However, classic buttercream only needs a few minutes of chill time. After that, they're the right consistency to store (and even stack) your decorated sugar cookies.
You can learn more about the different types of frostings and buttercreams here.
🥫 How to Store Buttercream Frosted Cookies
No Refrigeration: Place frosted cookies in a single layer on a cookie sheet, cutting board, or in a storage container. Let them sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
The buttercream will develop a slight crust, which means that it will hold its shape against light pressure. Once crusted over, you may choose to separate the first layer of cookies with a piece of wax paper and gently stack a second layer on top.
Seal the cookies in an airtight container. They'll last at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Refrigeration speeds up the crusting process and preserves your favorite sugar cookie recipe for a few extra days.
Let the sugar cookie frosting set in the fridge for 15 minutes to a half hour before stacking the cookies together—if you need to stack them.
Then, seal the cookies in an airtight container and refrigerate! They'll last for about a week.
Absolutely! To prepare buttercream sugar cookies for long-term freezing, place them straight into the freezer on whatever plate or board you decorated them.
Let the cookies "flash-freeze" for about an hour, or until the frosting is firm to the touch. Then, carefully store them in a heavy-duty plastic bag or a storage container, separating each layer with a piece of parchment paper.
In the freezer, they'll last for about three months. Separate the frozen cookies into a single layer and let them thaw at room temperature until you're ready to enjoy.
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: If your design is more intricate, like a piped swirl, you may prefer not to stack the cookies, just in case. Delicate swaths of frosting, even after set, may not be stable enough to support additional cookies.
- When making buttercream, it's important to use room-temperature butter. Too cold and the frosting will look split and oily as you beat it.
- Let your cookies cool fully, otherwise, your frosting will melt right off!
- Use a piping bag and tip to make easy, big swirls on the cookies, or get creative with different colors and more intricate designs.
- You can also use an offset spatula to easily decorate cookies. These are the best for stacking!
- Butter tends to absorb odors from the fridge or freezer very quickly. Be sure to use heavy-duty storage materials, and keep any fragrant foods (like meat, fish, or onions) away from the cookies.
- If refrigerated, you may prefer to let the cookies sit at room temperature before serving. When cold, the fluffy texture of buttercream tends to harden a little.
Nope! American buttercream has a high sugar content which preserves the dairy—the butter. Even if you use heavy cream to thin the frosting, it's still fine for a few days.
Not at all. The crust simply refers to the sugar hardening just enough to hold its shape. The frosting is still perfectly light and fluffy underneath.
It happens for the same reason an icy can of soda gets wet on a hot, summer afternoon! Condensation forms when warm air meets a cold surface—like refrigerated cookies. It won't hurt. You can dab it with a paper towel, but it'll usually go away on its own as the cookies warm up.
Sure! Wrap it in plastic wrap or put it in a heavy-duty bag. You can store American buttercream in the fridge for 2-3 days or the freezer for 2-3 months. Let it thaw and come to room temperature before rewhipping and frosting the cookies.
📚 Related recipes
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- Learn about American buttercream, Swiss Meringue buttercream, cream cheese frosting, icing, and more with these helpful tips.
- Bakery-style sugar cookies are sweet and light. They have a perfectly crisp edge with a chewy, addictive center—yum!
- Unique, stunning, and scrumptious, red-velvet no-spread cookies are great for Valentine's Day, Christmas, and more.