leftover frosting

Leftover frosting sitting in the fridge? 3 recipes that will use it up

Don’t let your leftover frosting go to waste!

Throwing away leftover frosting seems so wrong.

Khara Westergard shares shares three recipes for giving leftover buttercream a new life.

Find more advice from Khara on Instagram, @balsamicbaker.


Buttercream Cookies


  • 8 oz. (1C.) American Buttercream (any flavor)
  • 1 L/XL Egg*
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Sugar**
  • In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients:
  • 6 oz. All-purpose Flour (About 1 C. + 3 Tbsp fluffed)(minus 1 oz. for chocolate buttercream = 1 C. for chocolate)
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 2/3 C. Mix-in of choice (chocolate or white chips, flavored chips, candy pieces, sprinkles, nuts, etc.)


  1. Beat wet ingredients together well, & set aside.
  2. Combine wet & dry ingredients until almost combined. Add mix-ins as desired. Finish mixing until just combined. Do not over mix.
  3. Scoop dough into balls. Roll balls in extra sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar (4 Tbsp Sugar, 1 Tbsp. Cinnamon), or fruit flavored sugar (.5 oz. ground freeze dried fruit – use blender or food processor, 1.5 oz. Sugar), etc. for rolling cookies in.
  4. Chill in fridge 30 minutes or stick in freezer while oven warms up.
  5. Bake at 350° for 10-13 minutes on ungreased parchment paper, on a cookie sheet. Increase or decrease recipe according to amount of leftover buttercream. Allow plenty of room between cookies for spreading. I did 6 cookies per bakers half sheet. My scoop was equal to about 2 Tbsp. & I baked for 13 minutes. Test bake 1 cookie at a time to find the right temperature & timing for your oven & cookie size.


*For a 1/2 recipe, use at least 25 grams of beaten egg (or slightly more)

**Omit if buttercream recipe was high in sugar already. High would be 8 C. (Or more) Powdered Sugar to 2 C. Butter. My buttercream recipes are based on 7 C. Of Powdered Sugar. Do consider still adding the extra sugar if necessary for real citrus or chocolate flavors.)

Gluten-free adjustments: Use a GF rice based flour that contains a binding ingredient like xanthan gum. Add 2Tbsp. Cornstarch to flour mixture. Proceed with recipe as written.


Fruit Dip from Buttercream


  • American Buttercream (any flavor – any amount)
  • Cream Cheese (half the weight of the buttercream)
  • Cool Whip* – thawed (1/3 total weight of above ingredients. Approximate works. Exact weight is not crucial here)


  1. Beat buttercream & cream cheese together until well blended.
  2. Add a small portion (a scoop or so) of the cool whip to the buttercream & cream cheese & mix it in to loosen up the mixture.
  3. Fold the rest of the cool whip in until combined.
  4. Serve with fresh fruits to dip in it. Apples, strawberries, pineapple, & grapes, etc.


Tip: set fresh cut apples in cool water for a few minutes with a bit of lime juice or other citrus to avoid browning while sitting out on a serving tray.

*Can substitute fresh whipped sweetened vanilla whipped cream. Fresh whipped cream should be added shortly before use (same day), it is less likely to hold its structure as long as cool whip.


Fudge Truffles from Buttercream


  • 4 oz. (1/2 C.) American Buttercream – Room Temperature (any flavor)
  • 3 oz. Melted Chocolate (White, Chocolate, or flavored)
  • Mix-ins (optional – if using, try mini chocolate chips, chopped candy bars, nuts, etc.)
  • Coating of choice (See recommendations)


  1. Melt chocolate. Add to buttercream & stir until well combined. Allow mixture to cool before adding mix-ins, as desired (not required).
  2. Scoop & roll into balls.
  3. Roll in coating of choice or freeze & dip in chocolate.
  4. Set in refrigerator. Room temperature is great for serving.



Do not use a chocolate that does not melt well. For example, I love Ghirardelli white chocolate. But, their white baking chips do not melt well & the fat separates when mixed with the buttercream. I have to use Ghirardelli white chocolate bars for this recipe. However, Hershey’s milk chocolate chips do melt well, & work great. Chocolate bars & melting wafers are typically your reliable options. A baking chocolate designed to not melt is not a good choice. But if it melts fluidly, it should work.


Not always needed, but recommended for all vanilla centers in my book. I appreciate flavors &/or texture added to my vanilla truffles to add interest even if it’s just white chocolate chips. I used Heath bar bits. I find mini semi sweet chips delightful in my milk chocolate truffles too. But again, not always needed.


To keep it simple, roll in straight cocoa or powdered sugar. If you want to dip in chocolate but are not a chocolatier ready to temper chocolate correctly, I recommend using Ghirardelli’s melting wafers designed for dipping. They are easy to use. I recommend dark chocolate & straight cocoa on these sweet truffles. Think about contrast. The sweet insides cancel the cocoa right out, no need to worry about a bitter taste. However, powdered sugar on a sweet vanilla inside is just sweet on sweet & is a bit much. Save powdered sugar for dark chocolate truffles or be mindful of what you are pairing it with. A powdered sugar coating sticks best after chilling with the first coat applied, & then rolling a second time in the powdered sugar.

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