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Using Shelf Stable Icing

Last Updated on March 24, 2019
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How can I make my icing shelf stable?

Do you know how to prepare shelf stable icing? Recently on Facebook, there was a post suggesting that a baker had found a shelf stable icing recipe.
“CakeCentral.com user -k8memphis has developed the next best thing. This buttercream offers the subtle tang of cream cheese in a worry-free stable American buttercream. It even crusts!” This is not true and for bakers who think they are giving their customers a shelf stable icing, you’re not.”
 
It’s hard to believe no one has developed a database of shelf-stable icings. Every state has a different safety factor for allowable Aw (water activity), pH and the direct relationship between the two. The pH activity is what puts icings and buttercreams at risk.
 
A shelf-stable determination test is available. Contact the North Carolina State University’s Food Product Testing Department. The test involves sending your icing and frosting to the department.  You also send along with the detailed processing information, your ingredients, and the quantity used in the recipe. 
Home-based bakers using American buttercream or high-risk icings must follow the rules and regulations for their state. We know this is not always done, but that’s the rule. 
 
If you’ve had your recipe tested and it’s determined to be shelf-stable, we’d love to hear from you. Check-in with your cottage food compliance representative. Inquire about a product that might stabilize your icing. There are several bakers who offer recommendations on how to stabilize icing. Here’s one. 
Don’t immediately adopt one of these recommendations. First, discuss it with your state Cottage Food compliance officer. If you find a suggestion that works please post it below and share the state where you live. This is how we can change cottage food rules addressing icings. It will take home-based bakers working together and getting the word out.
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