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My Favorite Shelf-Stable Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This shelf stable buttercream frosting recipe is similar to a classic American buttercream, but it’s safe to use in a cottage bakery.

If you are a home baker who follows cottage food laws then this fluffy, white frosting is sure to become one of your favorite go-to recipes!

Be sure and try my shelf-stable chocolate frosting too! It’s perfect for chocolate cake or chocolate cupcakes!

Shelf stable buttercream

Cottage food-approved recipes

The question I get asked most by cottage food bakers is:  How can I make my recipes taste like they should when I can’t use the ingredients I love?

Selling baked goods from your home means you might need to make some changes to your recipes to adhere to your state cottage food laws. 

Don’t give up on your bakery dreams, just find good cottage foods-friendly recipes instead!

Here are a few of my favorites:

Easy Chocolate Icing Recipe: No Butter

Dairy-Free Sugar Cookies

Royal Icing Recipe with Meringue Powder

Do you have questions about starting a home bakery business?

Do you feel like you have more questions than answers about starting a home bakery business?

If you want to find out what it really takes to start and run a bakery business from home, then grab my Ultimate Hobby to Hustle Handbook!

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My professional baker’s frosting recipe

If you’ve been around my website before, you probably know that I used to own and operate a chain of cupcake shops. We were known throughout the Midwest for our buttercream frosting and people went BANANAS for it! The recipe that I’m sharing today isn’t the same (because that one had butter and milk) but the baker’s technique is the same. 

shelf stable buttercream

Is buttercream shelf-stable

American buttercream recipes (made from whipped butter, heavy cream, and confectioner’s sugar) are technically not shelf stable, but they can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container. The high sugar content acts to preserve the cream and butter making it safe to consume without refrigeration for several days. 

Shelf-stable foods, however, are those that can safely be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for an extended period of time. This fluffy frosting recipe has no dairy ingredients that require refrigeration, so once you mix the recipe you can store it unrefrigerated for up to 7 days. 

How do I make grocery store-style buttercream frosting

 This frosting recipe tastes like the kind found in grocery stores because of the way it is whipped. It creates a very smooth pipe-able frosting that is easy to work with. 

To make it, place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed to combine.  Once everything is well combined, switch to the whisk attachment and mix on high speed until you have a fluffy, white buttercream. 

What is the most stable buttercream frosting

Ask any baker and they will probably tell you that they have different frostings for different uses. One of the types of frosting I often needed was heat-stable frosting. 

Summertime weddings that get set up outside require cakes and cupcakes that can hold up to warm weather. 

This recipe holds up well in warm weather and is perfect for things like outdoor summer weddings or selling cupcakes at the farmer’s market. 

Does Buttercream frosting need to be refrigerated?

This non-refrigerated frosting recipe can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container for 7 days. 

To save time, it can also be mixed in bulk and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. 

How to add flavor to buttercream frosting

If you’d like to change the flavor of this buttercream frosting you can! Just mix it according to the recipe directions, and then add your flavoring of choice. 

My favorite flavorings are baker’s emulsions. An emulsion is like an extract but instead of the flavoring being suspended in an alcohol base, it is suspended in a water base. 

This is great for frosting flavoring because you do not cook the alcohol out of the recipe as you would with baked goods. 

Lorann Oils makes the best emulsions!

Here are a few of my favorite ways to add different flavors. I’ve linked them all here in My Amazon Shop. 

  • Almond Bakery Emulsion- love this in cookie frosting!
  • Princess Cake and Cookie Bakery Emulsion- give your frosting a wedding cake flavor!
  • Cheesecake Flavor-for cottage foods safe cream cheese frostings.
  • Coffee Bakery Emulsion- perfect for that rich mocha flavor.
  • Butter Bakery Emulsion- add richness to vanilla frosting.
  • Lemon Bakery Emulsion – amazingly intense tangy lemon flavor.

You can also combine the flavor oils for a more unique taste. I like Princess, Lemon, and Almond for a signature wedding cake flavor.

Be careful! The flavors are very concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Start with just a drop or two and add more if needed.

Hi-ratio shortening for a creamier frosting

I like using a high ratio shortening whenever possible because it acts more like real butter in the recipe. If you can find it, you will get a glossier and smoother frosting.

If you can’t get high-ratio frosting, then you can substitute a more traditional vegetable shortening like Crisco. It will work for the recipe, but won’t have the same creamy mouthfeel and texture.

Shelf stable buttercream

Shelf Stable Buttercream Frosting

If you are looking for a non-dairy, shelf-stable buttercream recipe, this fluffy white frosting is sure to become one of your favorite go-to recipes!
4.91 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 cup Sweetex High Ratio Shortening 8 oz or vegetable shortening
  • 7 cups Confectioner's Sugar 2 lbs
  • 3 tbsp Water or more for desired consistency
  • 1 tsp Clear Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Salt


  • Using your mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the shortening on medium speed until very light, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the clear vanilla extract, water, and salt and mix to combine.
  • Add the powdered sugar, a few cups at a time and mix until all the powdered sugar has been combined. If you prefer a thinner frosting for icing cakes, just add 1 tsp of water at a time until you have your desired consistency.
  • Remove the paddle attachment and switch to a whip attachment. Whip the frosting mixture on medium until it is very light. This is the trick to making it taste like bakery frosting, so don't skip the whipping part!
  • Frosting can be stored at room temperature in a tightly sealed container for 7 days.

Final thoughts

If you are looking for a professional baker’s frosting recipe that is similar to grocery store frosting, then give this shelf stable frosting a try!  You’ll love the convenience of non-refrigerated ingredients, and your customers will love that it tastes like their favorite bakery-style whipped frosting.

Don’t be discouraged if you are a home baker and your list of prohibited ingredients doesn’t allow you to bake like you are accustomed to. Just swap out your old recipes for new cottage bakery-friendly recipes like this one!

If you liked this recipe let me know in the comments and be sure and check out my Chocolate Shelf-Stable Frosting too!

Recipe Rating


Sunday 14th of April 2024

Can I use palm shortening instead of vegetable shortening? Thank you!


Friday 22nd of March 2024

Can i use palm shortening with this, or does it have to be vegetable shortening? Thanks in advance for your answer!

Better Baker

Wednesday 27th of March 2024

Palm shortening should work!


Saturday 9th of March 2024

I tried to make this frosting today but it was so overwhelmingly sweet. Is there anything I can do to lessen the sweetness?

Better Baker

Wednesday 20th of March 2024

You can try my ermine frosting recipe. It is much less sweet.


Monday 5th of February 2024

This is my go to buttercream recipe its all I use.smooth creamy and I whip the crap out of it so it's light and fluffy and doesn't have that greasy taste.

Better Baker

Thursday 8th of February 2024

I agree! Whipping it takes it to the next level!

Laura Stewart

Monday 5th of February 2024

never mind - just saw you mention it with your chocolate frosting. thanks