Can You Freeze Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing?

Birthday cakes are the centerpiece of any celebration, but what do you do when you have leftover cake or want to prepare in advance? Can you freeze birthday cakes with buttercream icing? Freezing cakes can be a lifesaver, allowing you to save the deliciousness for later and be well-prepared for any surprise celebration.

birthday cake
Birthday Cake

Understanding Buttercream Icing

Before we delve into freezing techniques, it’s essential to understand what buttercream icing is.

Buttercream icing is a smooth and creamy frosting made from butter, sugar, and flavorings. It’s a popular choice for birthday cakes due to its versatility and delicious taste.

Freezing Unassembled Birthday Cakes

Pre-freezing Preparation

Before freezing an unassembled birthday cake, it’s crucial to ensure that the cake is cool completely. You can either bake the cake layers in advance or use leftover cooled cake layers.

Wrapping the Cake Layers

Individually wrap each cake layer tightly with plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn and maintain freshness. For extra protection, place each wrapped layer in a resealable freezer bag.

Storing in Freezer Containers

Place the wrapped cake layers in an airtight freezer container. Ensure the container is freezer-safe and big enough to hold the layers without crowding.

Freezing the Cake

Label the container with the date and type of cake. Put the container in the freezer, and it’s now ready for long-term storage.

Freezing Assembled Birthday Cakes

Preparing the Cake

If you have already assembled the birthday cake with buttercream icing, place it in the refrigerator for about an hour. This step helps the icing to set and avoids any damage during freezing.

Wrapping the Assembled Cake

Wrap the assembled cake gently but tightly with several layers of plastic wrap. Ensure the entire cake is covered to prevent any exposure to air.

Freezing the Cake

Place the wrapped cake in a sturdy, airtight freezer container. Make sure the container provides enough space around the cake to avoid damage to the decorations.

Thawing Frozen Birthday Cakes

Removing from Freezer

When it’s time to thaw the frozen birthday cake, take it out of the freezer and remove any wrapping.

Unwrapping the Cake

For assembled cakes, gently remove the plastic wrap, ensuring not to damage any decorations. Allow the cake to thaw while still wrapped to prevent condensation on the icing.

Allowing Thawing Time

Place the unwrapped or partially wrapped cake in the refrigerator to thaw slowly. It’s essential to allow sufficient thawing time to maintain the cake’s texture and flavor.

Tips for Freezing and Thawing

  • If you’re freezing multiple layers, place parchment paper between them to prevent sticking.
  • Avoid freezing cakes with fillings that do not freeze well, such as custards or certain fruits.
  • Always use high-quality airtight containers to prevent freezer burn and odor absorption.
  • Thaw frozen cakes in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature for best results.

Can You Freeze Buttercream Frosting Separately?

Yes, you can freeze buttercream frosting separately! Store it in an airtight container, leaving some room for expansion, as the frosting may expand when frozen.

Best Types of Birthday Cakes for Freezing

Certain cakes freeze better than others. Durable cakes like chocolate, vanilla, and carrot cakes freeze well and retain their taste and texture after thawing.


Can You Freeze a Fondant-Covered Birthday Cake?

Freezing fondant-covered cakes is possible, but keep in mind that condensation can cause the fondant to become sticky. Thawing in the refrigerator can help minimize this issue.

How Long Can You Freeze a Birthday Cake?

Properly stored, a birthday cake can be frozen for up to three months without significant loss of quality.

Can You Freeze a Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting?

Cream cheese frosting can be frozen, but it may become slightly softer upon thawing. Stir the frosting gently before using it.

Can You Freeze a Cake with Fresh Fruit Toppings?

Freezing cakes with fresh fruit toppings is not recommended, as the fruit may become mushy after thawing.


Freezing birthday cakes with buttercream icing is a convenient way to preserve the deliciousness and be ready for celebrations anytime.

By following the right steps for freezing and thawing, you can enjoy a freshly thawed cake with all its flavors intact.

Remember to choose sturdy cakes and use proper storage containers to maintain the cake’s quality during freezing. So, don’t hesitate to freeze that leftover birthday cake or prepare ahead for the next celebration!

I'm Jennifer Tirrell, a self-taught baker, and founder of CakeRe. As an experienced baker and recipe publisher, I have spent over a decade working in the kitchen and have tried and tested countless baking tools and products. From classic cakes to creative twists, I've got you covered. So grab your apron and let's get baking!

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