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Topic: Milk in icing? Refrigerate?
shannabanana23 06/01/2009 7:52 AM

I found an icing recipe I want to try that calls for milk, and after finding one previous thread on this topic that left me unsure of an answer, I thought I would ask it again in hopes of a general consensus on the answer. So, my question is this..

If there is milk in the icing, do the icing and iced cake need to be refrigerated?

MARIE J 06/01/2009 8:17 AM
How much milk?

If you have a large amount I would say yes- just beacues it is dairy..

If you only have a small amount - mayeb a tbsp or 2, I would say it shouldn't matter, as long as you're not keeping the cake out for days
Jeanne G 06/01/2009 8:28 AM
No. You can use milk or cream or evaporated milk and/or butter and leave the frosting out.

As with many foods, it will stay fresher longer in the refrigerator so if you make the frosting ahead or have some leftover, you can refrigerate the batch. But it is fine sitting out for a few days once it is on the cake. After a few days the frosting may not be as pleasant -- it may start to dry out, for example. But that is true of the cake as well. Who wants to eat week-old cake?

I'm no food scientist, but what I've read is that both sugar and fat combine with water making it unavailable for bacteria. Since frosting is mostly sugar and fat and the proportion of liquid is small, bacteria that cause spoilage really don't have much of a chance in buttercream! It is true that all fats will eventually go rancid, but "eventually" is a long time. I trust the Wilton charts: that say cakes with homemade or ready-made buttercream can be left at room temperature a few days.
MARIE J 06/01/2009 8:34 AM
Thanks Jeanne - that explained it better than I was...