Freeze Cream Cheese Frosting: How To Do and Thaw Effectively

_image of left over cream cheese frosting

We’ve all been there before, you’ve baked a cake and iced it with cream cheese icing, but now you have frosting leftover.

No one wants delicious frosting to go to waste, so now you might need to ask yourself, can you freeze cream cheese frosting?

Short Answer:

Yes, cream cheese frosting can be frozen if you are desperate, but it will not maintain the same texture.

While regular buttercream frosting freezes very well, not all frosting works the same way. It is essential to know what you can or can’t freeze so you don’t spoil a whole batch of frosting.

In this article, we are going to look at the pros and cons of freezing cream cheese frosting and give you some tips on how to best store it for yourself.

If you want to find out more, let’s get into it.

What is Cream Cheese Frosting?

Before we go into why or why not to freeze cream cheese frosting, we need to look at what it actually is.

Cream cheese frosting is a popular decorative icing with a tangy, sweet flavor that is mainly used on carrot and red velvet cakes.

The main ingredients that go into cream cheese frosting are [*]:

#1. Cream Cheese

Obviously, the number one ingredient is cream cheese. [*]

It is a mild, smooth cheese with a minimum of 30% milk fat. It has a slightly tangy flavor and a silky texture.

The main ingredient that affects the freezing of cream cheese frosting the most is the cream cheese itself. The fat content of this ingredient can cause some problems when freezing.

#2. Powdered Sugar

This adds the sweetness you need in good frosting.

Using powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar gives the frosting a velvety smooth texture.

#3. Butter

This may not be buttercream, but we still need a little butter in this frosting.

The butter helps with the texture and spreadability of the frosting.

 #4. Vanilla Extract

This adds a little extra flavor to the mild cheese and rounds out the overall taste.

Can You Freeze Cream Cheese Frosting?

Since cream cheese is so high in fat, it can go crumbly and break up when freezing. This will ruin the texture of the icing. 

This can be remedied, but it will not have the same smooth texture.

If you are piping the frosting to decorate a cake, we do not recommend using previously frozen cream cheese frosting. Once thawed, this cream cheese frosting is better suited to spreading.

We suggest making smaller batches of cream cheese frosting, so there is no excess to freeze afterward.

It is perfectly safe to freeze cream cheese frosting, but it is a last resort option. 

How to Freeze Cream Cheese Frosting

image of Freeze Cream Cheese Frosting and Thaw Effectively

So, as we said, cream cheese frosting can be frozen safely. It won’t have the best texture, but it will prevent it from going to waste if you make too much.

It is better to freeze it than let any delicious frosting go to waste.

If you have decided that freezing is for you, then all you need to do is follow this step-by-step guide to freeze it:

  1. Portion the frosting into separate Ziploc bags. You can’t refreeze cream cheese frosting, so don’t make them too big.
  2. Remove the air from the bag by squeezing it and sealing it up tight.
  3. Label and date the bags and place them in the freezer.

Cream cheese frosting can be frozen for up to 3 months.

How to Thaw Cream Cheese Frosting

Thawing cream cheese frosting correctly is super important if you want to maintain a pleasant texture. 

To thaw and prepare the frosting:

  1. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Leaving it to thaw at room temperature will encourage bacteria growth.
  2. Transfer to a clean bowl and beat with a whisk or electric mixer to make it smooth again.
  3. Do not overmix. Only mix until the frosting is vaguely smooth, and then stop. Overmixed cream cheese will go watery and split.

The 3 Best Way to Store Cream Cheese Frosting

To maintain the best texture in your frosting, we recommend using it fresh. This means making smaller batches so you don’t have any extra.

The best way to store cream cheese frosting is to:

1. Transfer to an airtight container

Scrape all the icing out of the bowl with a spatula and transfer to a clean, sealable container.

2. Keep refrigerated

Pop the container in the fridge until ready to use. Bring it out of the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using it for a nice pipable texture.

3. Store for 3-5 days in the fridge

FAQ

Can you freeze a cake with cream cheese frosting on it?

You can get away with freezing one piece of cake this way, but it will not work for a whole cake.

Since the frosting is already on the cake, you won’t be able to rework it to get the texture back. 

This will cause the icing to crumble and break away from the cake. It will also have a very unpleasant mouth feel.

If you want to make a cake in advance, we recommend freezing it separately and frosting it right before serving.

How long can you keep cream cheese frosting in the fridge?

If you have chosen to refrigerate a small batch of icing, it will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge.

How do you know cream cheese frosting has gone bad?

The number one way to tell if cream cheese frosting has gone bad is to mold being present.

It will start on the edges of the container and then spread across the surface of the frosting. It will start off white and turn into a blur, grey color. 

The second way to tell is to taste it. 

Since it is dairy, the cream cheese will taste sour and off like bad milk. You might even be able to smell that it is off before resorting to tasting it.

BONUS: Our Favourite Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Get Recipe: simplejoy.com

Get Recipe: recipesbycarina.com

Conclusion

So, now that we have learned a little more about cream cheese frosting, what can we take away from this?

  • Only freeze cream cheese frosting as the last option.
  • Make small batches of cream cheese frosting and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days.

We hope this has got you hungry and ready to bake yourself a treat and ice it with the classic cream cheese frosting.

image of Freeze Cream Cheese Frosting

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