Question About Leaving Buttercream Out? Plz

Decorating By maceyjane Updated 27 Jan 2012 , 2:31pm by MimiFix

maceyjane Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 1:01am
post #1 of 9

I need help answering this question. I am the Creative Arts Superintendent for our county 4H/FFA youth project show. For years the rules have not allowed a cake to be frosted with buttercream...recipe with butter, powdered sugar, vanilla etc. .... I am hoping someone can anwer the question, "Can buttercream frosting be left out safely?" I have looked and I find mixed reviews. I really need a concrete answer and maybe even a website that backs it up. It is driving me crazy going over these recipes every year and not knowing if the frosting should be refrigerated or not. Thanks for any help!!!

8 replies
kelleym Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 1:27am
post #2 of 9

American-style buttercreams made with butter or shortening and powdered sugar are typically non-potentially hazardous and do not require refrigeration. However, if you want peace of mind, you can always send a recipe in for testing to Food Safety Net Services for around $32.00. They will test it for pH and water activity (aW) which are the two factors that determine whether or not a food is non-potentially hazardous. It does take some studying up on this issue to be able to interpret the test results, but it's very satisfying to know for sure and finally have a scientific answer.

http://texascottagefoodlaw.com/Resources/FoodTesting.aspx

pounds6 Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 3:41am
post #3 of 9

I took a Food Safety class and the instructor told me butter was safe to leave out. He said the reason butter is refrigerated is because thats how it maintians the log shape the producers package it in not because it has to be refrigerated. I have always kept cakes baked at home in a glass covered cake plate on the kitchen table and never had any problems.

BlakesCakes Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 2:27pm
post #4 of 9

The key to a buttercream that is shelf stable is that it have a high fat, high sugar, low water content.

Most American buttercreams fit that fill very well.

My basic recipe uses butter & hi ratio shortening, PS, and heavy cream--lots of fat & sugar, very little water content. It can stay on the counter for many days.

Rae

AnnieCahill Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 2:31pm
post #5 of 9

I'm pretty sure the Wilton class buttercream could survive a nuclear holocaust.

scp1127 Posted 27 Jan 2012 , 11:31am
post #6 of 9

The issue you will have is not having control of the environment before the event. These standards have been in place because like other food safety rules, sometimes they are misinterpreted or ignored.

The best and only source you should use are the FDA sites, .gov sites, and the official dairy board, egg board, etc. These sites will give you the specifics for handling plus the dangers. These specific questions usually cannot be answered by your local HD. But the HD may have guidelines that you must follow in this situation. Another source to find state laws is the Dept of Ag.

MimiFix Posted 27 Jan 2012 , 2:14pm
post #7 of 9

Sometimes I'm concerned that as much as fellow posters want to help, the responses are opinions rather than legal guidelines. With safety questions, it's imperative that we give not only our opinions, but specific links to accurate help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

American-style buttercreams made with butter or shortening and powdered sugar are typically non-potentially hazardous and do not require refrigeration. However, if you want peace of mind, you can always send a recipe in for testing to Food Safety Net Services for around $32.00. They will test it for pH and water activity (aW) which are the two factors that determine whether or not a food is non-potentially hazardous. It does take some studying up on this issue to be able to interpret the test results, but it's very satisfying to know for sure and finally have a scientific answer.




Thank you Kelley! Surely this site will send people in the right direction.


Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

The best and only source you should use are the FDA sites, .gov sites, and the official dairy board, egg board, etc. These sites will give you the specifics for handling plus the dangers. These specific questions usually cannot be answered by your local HD. But the HD may have guidelines that you must follow in this situation. Another source to find state laws is the Dept of Ag.




And thank you Susan. Health departments, FDA offices, even your inspector, can guide us as to where we can find answers.

BlakesCakes Posted 27 Jan 2012 , 2:24pm
post #8 of 9

It most certainly is not the responsibility of members of Cake Central to offer "legal guidelines" or even "specific links".
This is not the appropriate place to look for those things and I would think that most people would understand that, more often than not, opinions will be proffered.
An opinion can give someone a jumping off point for gathering more information simply by using Google.
And, as we've all experienced here, some "legal guidelines" are state/country/county/town limited.
On a forum like Cake Central, any and all responses should be appreciated and considered. It's up to the OP to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Rae

MimiFix Posted 27 Jan 2012 , 2:31pm
post #9 of 9

Okey doke. Sorry for offering my opinion.

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