Food Safety Issues/american buttercream icing


Hi there.  I am trying to find out how long American buttercream can be left out of refrigerator when used on cupcakes/cake..
...recipe uses 1/2 cup butter or margarine; 1/2 cup shortening; 4-5 cups powdered sugar; 2 teaspoon vanilla; and 2-4 tablespoons of milk.  
Thank you.

Hi Bea,

Buttercream frostings made with fat, sugar, a small amount of milk and flavorings, are okay to store at room temperature. American-style buttercreams are typically non-potentially hazardous and do not require refrigeration.

Of course, buttercream frosting left at room temperature does not get better with age (only women do!!!)  That is why most bakeries only keep their cakes/cupcakes for sale within 3-5 days of baking.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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