Does Cream Cheese Frosting Need to be Refrigerated

Not all frostings are created equal. If you’re working with cream cheese frosting for the first time, you might be confused about whether it needs to be refrigerated. The simple answer is yes, cream cheese frosting must be refrigerated and should not stay at room temp over four hours.

Hey! I’m Michelle, and I am a huge fan of cream cheese frosting (okay, cream cheese in general). That said, I have had plenty of experience using cream cheese frosting and know when it’s time to stick it in the fridge. 

For those who want to start indulging in the succulent, perfectly sweet, and tangy flavor of cream cheese frosting, you need to know how to store it properly. Below, you will find out everything you need to know about whether cream cheese frosting needs to be refrigerated or can be left out overnight. 

Let’s get cheesy, friends.

Does Cream Cheese Frosting Need to be Refrigerated?

Cream cheese frosting is so good. It isn’t like other types of frosting, such as buttercream, that can be intensely sweet – if not overly sweet. Cream cheese frosting has a delightfully sweet flavor with a pinch of tangy goodness.

Aside from its impeccable flavor, the texture is impressive, too. Cream cheese frosting is so unbelievably smooth. It slathers on cakes and cupcakes with ease and is enjoyable to sink your teeth into.

Needless to say, cream cheese frosting doesn’t work or act like other types of frosting. It also differs in the storing department too. While other kinds of frosting can be left out on the countertop for days, the same is not true for cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting must be refrigerated. It should not sit out at room temperature for longer than two hours. If you live in a chilly climate and the temperatures are below 70F, you may be able to extend it to four hours before needing to be refrigerated.

Refrigerated, cream cheese frosting lasts up to three days. If you need the cream cheese frosting to last beyond that timeframe, you can always store it in the freezer for up to one month. 

Do Cakes/Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Need to be Refrigerated?

Okay, so on its own, cream cheese frosting needs to be refrigerated. But what about a cake or cupcakes that are slathered with cream cheese frosting? Do they need to be placed in the fridge, too?

Yup. It’s no different for baked goods that are covered with delectable cream cheese frosting. They should be refrigerated within a few hours of being on the countertop. They can be frozen, too, but the texture doesn’t seem to hold up as well.

If you place your cream cheese frosted treats in the fridge, you can always set them out an hour or two before the big event. That way, you don’t end up serving or eating chilled cake. 


Cream cheese frosting is peculiar and needs to be refrigerated pretty quickly. Do you still have questions about cream cheese frosting storage? Then let’s dive into some of the most frequently asked questions.

How long does cream cheese frosting last out of the fridge?

Out of the fridge, cream cheese frosting can sit out for a good few hours. At most, cream cheese frosting can be left out for four hours, but only when the climate is below 70F. Otherwise, it will go bad.

Does cream cheese frosting go bad if not refrigerated?

Yes. Cream cheese frosting will certainly go bad if it is not refrigerated. With that in mind, make sure that you are sticking your cream cheese frosting in the fridge before the two-hour timeframe, especially if you live in a warm or humid climate.

Can I leave a cake with cream cheese frosting out overnight?

Some people believe that it is okay to leave a cake with cream cheese frosting on the countertop overnight, which might be true if it is incredibly cold. However, it’s not worth it to risk it. Cream cheesecakes should be refrigerated and thawed an hour or two before eating.

Can you get sick from cream cheese frosting?

It is fairly unlikely that you would get sick from cream cheese frosting that has sat out for longer than the recommended time frame, as sugar acts as somewhat of a preserver. If you notice discoloration, a slimy texture, or an unpleasant smell, do not consume, or you may end up sick.

Final Thoughts

Cream cheese frosting is delectable, but it is a lot pickier than other kinds of frosting. Cream cheese frosting needs to be refrigerated and can stay in the fridge for up to three days. Never leave this frosting at room temp for longer than four hours at a time.

Do you enjoy cream cheese frosting as much as I do? Do you store it in the fridge?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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  • gary

    when cream cheese is frozen it will become gritty