On the face of it, buttercream is just a basic mixture of cream, butter, sugar, and flavoring of your choice.
But if you look beyond the traditional American buttercream, you will find a whole new world of buttercream with lots of delicious variations, such as Swiss Meringue buttercream, Italian buttercream, and French buttercream.
All of them are different and equally delicious in their own unique way. If you look at Swiss buttercream, you will find it supremely light, silky, having a mild sweet flavor. This is the kind of buttercream that is typically used for decorating cakes and pastries.
Like Swiss buttercream, Italian buttercream is richer and denser in flavor than its American counterpart. What makes it so palatable?
Hot sugar syrup – an essential Italian buttercream ingredient. Unlike Italian and Swiss buttercream, French buttercream has a golden texture, making it appear remarkably rich.
Undoubtedly, it is the buttercream – the most essential element – that ups an ordinary cake to an extraordinary one. It is loved by both children and adults alike, which is why it is such an important part of baked goods.
Most people consider storing buttercream so that it can be used later. By doing so, they won’t have to go through the time-consuming process of making it all over again. One of the most significant ways you can properly store buttercream and maintain its freshness is by make it correctly in the first place.
Before you learn some tactics on how to store buttercream, learn some tips on how to ideally make one.
Secrets for Preparing the Perfect Buttercream
Use the Right Amount of Cream or Milk
Cream as well as milk is an essential part of preparing delicious buttercream. However, milk can be a better substitute if you are out of cream at home.
Whatever you use, make sure that you incorporate it using the right amount, as stated in the recipe.
Too Much Liquid Is a Bad Idea
You don’t want your buttercream to be too liquidy which is why it is advised not to add additional flavorings or purees into it.
Use the Right Kind of Sugar
If you want your buttercream to be silky and smooth, then go for 10x finely ground powdered sugar. If you are looking for powdered sugar for sprinkling purposes, 5x powdered sugar is the best choice.
Add Sugar According to Your Preference
When it comes to making the buttercream, you can add in the sugar according to your taste. If you are not a huge fan of the sugary flavor, add in as little amount of sugar as possible.
The best way to go about it is by gradually adding in sugar and tasting it as you go.
Chill Your Baked Item First and Then Do the Icing
Don’t cover your freshly baked cake or pastry with cold icing. Chances are that it would fall to pieces. It is better that you refrigerate your baked item first and then decorate it with buttercream.
Always Make Your Buttercream Ahead of Time
The best thing about buttercream is that it can be prepared way ahead of time. Experts suggest preparing it beforehand so that you have enough time on hand to prepare your cake. The best way to prevent the buttercream from getting ruined is by storing it properly.
At times things don’t turn out the way we want. If, in case, that happens with your buttercream, here are some great ways to fix it.
Adjust the Temperature
If your buttercream starts to separate or become too grainy, chances are that the butter is too warm. In this given scenario, it is suggested to keep the butter in your refrigerator for a few minutes.
In some rare cases, extremely cold butter can be the real problem. So, you can try warming the butter slightly.
Add in Flavor
Flavorings are also a great way to fix your buttercream. You can mix in ganache, white/dark chocolate (melted), or nut butter.
Add in Stabilizer
You can easily solidify your buttercream by mixing in instant vanilla pudding.
How to store buttercream, you may ask? Continue to read this post to find it out.
Ways to Store Buttercream
To ensure that your buttercream frosting stays intact for a longer period, there are a few storing methods that you can follow. For your convenience, we have mentioned them here.
1. Refrigerate Your Buttercream
One of the most widely-followed criteria for storing buttercream is using the refrigerator. But don’t think of storing it in a bowl that has no lid on it. By placing your prepared buttercream frosting in a simple bowl, it will only invite unwanted bacteria, ruining the texture and flavor of your buttercream. And would you want that to happen? Of course not.
It is better to fill your buttercream in an airtight container. This will prevent the frosting from the air which is considered as an enemy of food – drying it out or allowing it to absorb strange odors. Whichever airtight container you choose, make sure that you keep the following tips in mind:
- Steer clear from ceramic containers. They do contain gasket seals, but since they are porous, they are unable to keep air out.
- Square and rectangle shaped containers are a better option than the round ones.
- Always go for a storage size that you need. If your container is too big for buttercream frosting, then air can cause the frosting to go bad.
You can easily store buttercream in the fridge from a few days to a whole week. There are people out there who have tried storing buttercream for up to two weeks. However, by that time, buttercream tends to lose its freshness. This is why it is best to utilize buttercream after one week of its storage.
While storing the buttercream filling in the fridge, make sure that you place it away from fragrant foods. The last thing you want is your buttercream smelling like meat. An airtight container may protect your buttercream filling from smelling but to be on the safest side, it is best advised to place the buttercream far away from other food items.
When you are ready to use the buttercream filling, remove it from the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes. Stir it up slightly to bring it back to its original consistency.
2. Freeze it for Long-Term Storage
it in your freezer. Good news – buttercream can easily be stored for up to three months in a freezer.
In wholesale or commercial bakeries, big batches of buttercream frosting are stored in plastic buckets in their freezers. It is easier for them to store it this way since they have tons of space in their freezers. However, a normal home freezer can’t accommodate much space for buckets of buttercream. Hence, it is important that it is preserved in containers. Mind you, not any kind of container will do. Only a clean, airtight container is ideal for storing buttercream for a long time.
Besides an airtight container, you can also opt for a freezer bag. Make sure that you purchase the one that comes with a zipper. For storing buttercream, open the freezer bag in such a way that the zipper is facing towards you. With the help of a large ice cream scoop, carefully transfer the buttercream filling into the bag. Remember not to fill it to the brim, leaving about 1/4th of space at least.
Next, squeeze out any remaining air from the bag so that the frosting doesn’t get ruined. Now seal the bag with the zipper. Place the bag flat on a table and press it firmly so that the frosting spreads across all corners of the bag. Before you place it in your freezer, mark it with a name and date using a pen/permanent marker. Make sure that you place the freezer bag on a flat, smooth place in the freezer.
When you are contemplating to make another batch of your favorite cupcakes, take the buttercream filling out of your freezer and transfer it to your refrigerator. Allow it to thaw overnight before you use it.
During freezing or refrigerating, the texture of the buttercream filling may change considerably. To restore the original texture of the buttercream icing, it is suggested to stir it with a large spoon or spatula at room temperature. If you only need a small quantity of the buttercream, you can open the bag or container, scoop out the buttercream filling using a medium size cookie scoop. Before putting the bag back in the freezer, re-seal it properly.
3. Store It with Baked Items
You can store your buttercream frosting along with baked goods such as cakes, cupcakes, cookies, macarons, etc. Ideally, you should refrigerate your baked items when not eating. This will prevent it from melting or getting attacked by flies. If it is the winter season, you can keep the baked goods at room temperature for up to three days. But make sure that you cover it with a food cover.
If you are planning to serve the cake with buttercream frosting later during the week, place it in a fridge to keep it from going bad. If your fridge can’t accommodate the cake, you can always rely on a freezer. To start, place the cake on a tray and then put it in your freezer. Wrap the cake with a plastic sheet properly to keep off unpleasant odors (unless you want your cake to smell like onions!).
Keep in mind that if you keep the cake out on a hot day, the buttercream frosting can easily become soggy. Therefore, it is better that you don’t let it sit out on a food counter for too long. If you are done eating it, refrigerate or freeze it right away.
After reading this article, you have no excuse of letting that remaining buttercream go to waste. Depending on how long you want to store it for, use the appropriate methods mentioned above and save yourself the hassle and time from creating a new batch every time that you need it.