Can You Freeze Cream Cheese Icing on a Cake?

Cream cheese icing is a delectable topping that adds a rich and creamy taste to cakes, cupcakes, and other baked goods. However, there are instances when we find ourselves with leftover cream cheese icing after frosting a cake or baking session. In such cases, it’s natural to wonder if we can freeze the excess icing for future use.

Cream Cheese

Understanding Cream Cheese Icing

Cream cheese icing, also known as cream cheese frosting, is a popular choice for many dessert lovers.

It is made by combining cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and flavorings like vanilla extract.

The result is a smooth, creamy, and tangy frosting that complements various desserts, especially carrot cake and red velvet cake.

Freezing Cream Cheese Icing

Preparing the Icing for Freezing

Before freezing cream cheese icing, it’s crucial to prepare it properly to ensure the best results upon thawing. Firstly, make sure the icing is smooth and free from any lumps.

If the icing has been sitting out for a while, give it a gentle stir to restore its consistency.

Proper Storage Techniques

When freezing cream cheese icing, it’s essential to store it in an airtight container or a freezer-safe plastic bag.

Remove any excess air from the container or bag before sealing it to prevent freezer burn.

For convenience, you can also freeze the icing in individual portions, making it easier to thaw only the amount needed.

Thawing Frozen Cream Cheese Icing

Thawing cream cheese icing should be done slowly and gently to maintain its texture and taste.

Transfer the frozen icing to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. Avoid microwaving or using hot water to speed up the process, as it may cause the icing to become runny and lose its creamy consistency.

Tips for Freezing Cream Cheese Icing

Individual Portions

Freezing the icing in individual portions is a great idea, especially if you often require small quantities for cupcakes or muffins. This way, you can thaw only what you need and avoid wasting any leftovers.

Labeling and Dating

To keep track of the icing’s freshness, label the containers or bags with the date of freezing. Cream cheese icing can generally be frozen for up to three months, so it’s essential to know when it was stored.

Avoiding Over-Freezing

While cream cheese icing freezes well, it’s crucial not to leave it in the freezer for an extended period. Over-freezing can lead to changes in taste and texture, affecting the overall quality of the icing.

The Effect on Texture and Taste

When cream cheese icing is frozen and properly thawed, it typically retains its creamy texture and tangy taste.

However, it’s essential to note that freezing may slightly alter the texture, making it a bit softer. Nevertheless, this change is minimal and should not significantly impact the overall taste experience.

Cream Cheese Icing Variations

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

For chocolate lovers, adding cocoa powder or melted chocolate to the cream cheese icing can create a delightful chocolate cream cheese frosting that pairs perfectly with chocolate cakes.

Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

To add a refreshing twist, consider incorporating lemon zest or lemon juice into the cream cheese icing, resulting in a zesty and tangy lemon cream cheese frosting.

Vegan Cream Cheese Icing

For those following a vegan lifestyle, use plant-based cream cheese and vegan butter to create a delectable vegan cream cheese icing that is both dairy-free and delicious.


Can I freeze a cake with cream cheese icing on it?

It is not recommended to freeze a whole cake with cream cheese icing, as the icing’s texture may suffer during freezing and thawing. It’s best to freeze the icing separately and frost the cake after thawing.

How long can I freeze cream cheese icing?

Cream cheese icing can be frozen for up to three months without a significant loss in quality.

Can I freeze carrot cake with cream cheese icing?

Yes, you can freeze carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Ensure the icing is properly sealed and follow the correct thawing process for the best results.

What other frostings can be frozen?

Most frostings, including buttercream and ganache, can be frozen successfully using similar storage and thawing techniques.

Can I freeze cream cheese icing for cupcakes?

Absolutely! Freezing cream cheese icing for cupcakes is an excellent way to have it readily available for future baking projects.


Freezing cream cheese icing is a practical solution to preserve the leftovers and ensure you always have a delightful frosting on hand for your baked goods.

By following the proper freezing and thawing techniques, you can maintain the texture and taste of the icing, providing a delectable experience every time you use it.

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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