How to Store Frosted Cupcakes Overnight (Or Way Longer)

Something is amazing and undemanding about baking in advance. Various baked goods can be made many days ahead of time and still taste just as delicious and fresh as the first day you baked them.

It may come as a shock that you can actually make and store frosted cupcakes beforehand. If you follow these steps and tricks, not only will the cupcakes appear perfect after being stored, but they will also taste amazing!

how to store frosted cupcakes

Keep reading to learn how to store frosted cupcakes and how best to store them depending on how long you want them to stay.

While there’s nothing quite as delightful as a freshly baked cupcake, sometimes we want more, and we need to spread our keep our them over a few days or save a fresh batch for later. 

Keeping your cupcakes forever might be the dream, but these special, freshly baked beauties won’t stay for long. Luckily, with some of the right storage methods, you can keep the freshness for a longer time and better retain their flavor.

But storage is a complex thing – keeping cupcakes fresh is based on some factors. It’s frustrating to bake cupcakes beforehand only to have them dry out or lose their flavor when you serve them.

Thankfully, there are a few simple tricks on how to store frosted cupcakes without losing their texture and flavor– Below is a step-by-step process on how to store frosted cupcakes and even unfrosted cupcakes. We got you covered.

Why You Should Make Cupcakes Ahead of Time?

There are several reasons you may have to make cupcakes in advance. For one, you may want to do all the baking you need for an occasion or party in advance. This will help you check off “bake cupcakes” on your to-do list and focus on another activity.

Another reason baking cupcakes in advance is a great idea is that if you need to make a large number of cupcakes and you only have so much space in your oven. When making sets of cupcakes, you might need to bake in batches, using your cupcake pans repeatedly. You might have to bake your cupcakes in advance just for feasibility purposes.

It is always ideal to make cupcakes beforehand, regardless of how many you will be baking, to ensure they taste nice. Even professional pastry chefs commit baking blunders now and then, adding excess baking soda or forgetting to add the salt.

Make your cupcakes beforehand, give one a try and make sure they taste divine! If something is off, you will have enough time to whip up another set! It is always better to be prepared!

Do You Have to Frost Cupcakes before Storing?

how to store cupcakes

While you may think that adding the frosting on your cupcakes just before serving them is a good move, you are actually wrong. Frosting your cupcakes in advance has various benefits. It is a better way to prepare and preserve your perfect little dessert.

First off, frosting your cupcakes in advance will afford you more time to get your frosting right and your decorations on the cupcakes flawlessly. Rather than hurrying to frost the cupcakes right before serving, you can calm down and take your time, making each cupcake divine!

If you make any mistakes, you have time to correct it. It is much more fun to frost cupcakes in a comfortable mood!

Frosting your cupcakes beforehand will also help the general taste of your cupcakes. The frosting will coat the cake, preventing it from drying out because of contact with air.

This is particularly true if you are using buttercream frosting, which will put a layer of fat right on top of the cupcake, sealing the cupcake’s natural moisture within. If you are planning on keeping the cupcakes for a day or two, the frosting is nearly necessary to help maintain the cupcake’s freshness!

Frosting cupcakes before preserving them is great for decorative uses and also for keeping cupcakes moistened and tasty. This is certainly something you should do when you intend to serve the cupcakes later on.

How to Store Frosted Cupcakes

1. Cooling the Cupcakes

The first step in how to store frosted cupcakes, whether frosted or unfrosted, is to allow them to cool completely. Once the cupcakes are out of the oven, place them on a cooling rack and let them sit till they are no longer hot, not warm, but at a moderate room temperature.

If you put them in the fridge too soon, they can get gooey on top or start pulling away from the cupcake liners. Cooling at room temperature is ideal.

You also want to make sure your cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting to stop the frosting from melting when it comes in contact with the cake top. Ideally, the frosting/icing and cupcakes should be the same temperature for an ideal icing experience.

2. Use a Storage Container

The best way how to store frosted cupcakes and make sure your cupcake frosting stays perfect and your cupcakes remain sealed, safe from the moisture from the air or the drying impacts of the freezer, is to find a storage container that is deep enough to contain frosted cupcakes and has a tight-fitting cover.

Look for something deep and wide. The more room, the better, especially if you intend to store a lot of frosted cupcakes. Containers with covers will give the cupcakes their own room and protect them the most.

However, if you do not own a container, you can get one by using plastic wrap to envelop the cupcakes. If you have a container that’s deep enough to house the frosted cupcakes, still use this to keep them and simply wrap the whole container in the plastic, avoiding allowing the plastic to touch the frosting.

If you don’t have a deep storage container, lay the frosted cupcakes on a sheet tray and place them in the fridge, unwrapped for around an hour. If you are applying buttercream frosting, this will give the frosting adequate time to harden. Then you can wrap the frosted cupcakes on the tray and not bother about the plastic touching the frosting – it is hard and wouldn’t get messy!

Plastic wrap shouldn’t mess up cooled buttercream frosting since the buttercream frosting is solid once it cools. However, it will ruin the whipped cream frosting on your cupcakes. Whipped cream will not harden in the fridge, and if you attempt to wrap cupcakes iced in whipped cream with plastic wrap, you are likely to have a mess on your palms.

If you will frost your cupcakes using whipped cream, definitely look for a deep storage container with a lid! It will be worth the try.

3. Decide the Best Spot

Where you will store your frosted cupcakes is just as important as how to wrap them accurately. You can actually store frosted cupcakes in different places and still achieve great, delicious results when it is time to eat.

Where you decide to store your frosted cupcakes is largely based on when you would want to eat them. Take a look at the options below and pick the one that is best for your preference.

Store your cupcakes at room temperature:

If you intend to eat the frosted buttercream cupcakes in one or two days, it is absolutely okay to store the cupcakes at room temperature. In fact, this is apparently the best place to store them as they wouldn’t dry out and the cake and frosting will equally be soft and ready to eat.

If you use a whipped cream topping, this option will not be feasible as the icing cannot stay outside the fridge. Cupcakes should only be kept at room temperature for a maximum of two days.

➤ How to store frosted cupcakes in your fridge:

Once your cupcakes are properly wrapped and sealed tightly, you can definitely store them in the fridge. Frosted cupcakes can stay in the fridge for around 4-5 days before they begin to get solid and dry. Be sure to remove the cupcakes from the fridge, unwrap them and let them stay at room temperature for an hour at the least before serving.

Chill cupcakes with chill frosting are not so yummy, but they will warm back up very quickly when you take them out in advance!

➤ How to store your frosted cupcakes in the freezer:

Wrap your frosted buttercream cupcakes firmly and store them in the freezer for as long as three months. Yeah right! When properly sealed, frosted cupcakes will stay in the freezer for as long as three months. Once again, make sure to take them out of the freezer beforehand and let them get to room temperature before serving and eating.

This should take about two to three hours to let them fully thaw. If you have frosted your cupcakes using whipped cream frosting, freezing is not ideal. Whipped cream frosting does not melt well (actually, no cream-based product does), and the frosting wouldn’t hold up when thawed.

Go for the fridge if you intend to store whipped cream cupcakes or ice them on the day of your event.

How To Freeze Unfrosted Cupcakes

how to store unfrosted cupcakes
unfrosted cupcake

If you need to bake cupcakes particularly far beforehand or love baking but know you can’t eat a whole batch of cupcakes before they become crispy, freezing unfrosted cupcakes is a good option.

While the refrigerator can dry cupcakes out, the freezer keeps cupcakes surprisingly moist, even after some months. To ensure the freshest, softest, fresh-off-the-oven-taste cupcakes, follow these four steps.

Step 1 – Let Cupcakes Cool Completely

Letting the cupcakes cool down on a wire rack for at least one hour stops condensation. While in the freezer, condensation will cause ice to build on the cupcake, resulting in a soggy cupcake once it’s melted. Cupcakes should be cool to feel before you prepare to freeze them.

Step 2 – Wrap Cupcakes Firmly in Plastic Wrap

Do you know how sometimes food that has been frozen a while takes up the taste of the freezer? You wouldn’t want that.

Keep that freezer taste away (and help cupcakes stay a bit longer in the freezer) by separately wrapping each cooled cupcake with a piece of plastic wrap

Step 3 – Store wrapped Cupcakes Individually in a Sealed Bag or Container

For a layer of protection (and to keep cupcakes from moving around in the freezer), place separately-wrapped cupcakes in a freezer-safe plastic bag or storage container. Place the bag or container in a reasonably “safe” spot in your freezer – don’t squeeze the cupcakes to fit them into a small space, and keep them off any heavy objects that may fall on them.

For brilliant results, defrost and use frozen cupcakes in three months.

Step 4 – To thaw, unwrap cupcakes and let them come to room temperature

When you’re ready to melt the cupcakes, remove them from the freezer and pull out the plastic wrap. Leaving the cupcakes unsealed prevents them from getting gooey while they defrost.

Bring them to room temperature on the kitchen counter (this only takes about an hour or two), then frost as usual and store them in an airtight storage container on the kitchen counter for up to one week.

Use Frozen Cupcakes to Make Deep Fried Cupcakes

A substitute use for frozen cupcakes is to make deep-fried cupcakes. Coat the frozen cupcakes with prepared pancake batter and immerse them in a deep fryer containing oil at 375 F. (You can also use a deep skillet, but you have to take care because splatters can cause a fire accident.)

Sprinkle the deep-fried cupcakes with powdered sugar and/or cocoa powder and lay them directly on a baking rack to cool. Savor the delicacy!

Some Tips on How to Store Frosted Cupcakes

If you are baking cupcakes beforehand for a party, you will have to keep some things in mind before placing them in any storage container.

It is ideal for you to frost them the day of the party other than decorating them ahead of time. This is because the texture of the frosting changes when chilled or cooled and does not taste as nice as a freshly made one. 

Also, frosting can thaw. This is necessary because if your counter is near the oven or a window, the cupcakes can find themselves subject to heat. This will change the frosting density and make it softer. It can even liquefy the frosting so much that it flows or deflates quite a little. It can also sweat and divide.

So keep them off any heat sources and windows. If the topping is colored, sunlight can also affect the coloring and fade it, so cover the plastic storage container with a tablecloth if you are storing them for a couple of days.

How Is Frosting Able to Stay at Room Temperature?

It is because of the sugar content. Sugar is a natural and organic preservative. Look at honey, for instance. Historians have discovered honey pots in Egyptian tombs that were absolutely okay! You are not advised to eat thousand-year-old honey, anyway!

Also, you can keep butter at room temperature. You can store it in a butter dish, and you can always have soft butter to spread atop toast or use to bake!

Butter foods keep light and air out and help to conserve it. You can also utilize a butter bell that will have the butter upside down immersed in water, creating an airtight container.

Butter -and, hence, buttercream- also has flat water content. Without water, there is no place for bacteria to grow. Definitely, with time, butter and frosting will both go stale, but it will not happen just like that. You can definitely be keeping it outside for a couple of days without any issues.

Why You Need to Freeze Your Cupcakes

First of all, freezing cupcakes is a super-smart baking move. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. As long as you are doing it well. But in case you are not totally on board, the points below will put you up to speed:

1. You get ahead of time in your baking. This is absolutely true if you have a ton of cupcakes to bake! Whether it is for the holidays, your kid’s bake sales, or even your own wedding. No need to add tension to your already occupied day.

2. It is Perfect for those couple of cupcakes you have leftover. Please do not dispose of them in the garbage!

3. They will be just as nice as they were before you chilled or froze them.

4. It is a super awesome last-minute dessert. This implies less stress during holidays and impromptu get-togethers.

How To Bake Cupcakes Ahead Of Time For A Party

This is how to properly mix using a stand mixer or a manual mixer and make cupcakes in advance, so you do not lose your mind with a busy schedule.

One week ahead of time– prepare your buttercream and store it in the fridge. 

Two days beforehand – Bake your cupcakes, get them out of the pan and store them at room temperature.

One day to a few hours before you need the cupcakes– Whip your frosting and frost the already cooled cupcakes. If it’s one day before then, you can store the cupcakes in the fridge in a storage container. 

FAQs: How to Store Frosted Cupcakes

Do Frosted Cupcakes Need to Be Refrigerated?

Buttercream frosted cupcakes are good for as long as two days (they are good at room temperature), and cream cheese frosted cupcakes have to be refrigerated if they are kept for the second day. 

How Should Cupcakes Be Stored? 

Always keep the cupcakes in an airtight container to prevent contamination and to prevent air from drying them out.

How Long Can Frosted Cupcakes Sit Out?

two days
Cupcakes should only be preserved at room temperature for up to 2 days. You can store frosted cupcakes in the fridge. As long as your cupcakes are properly wrapped and sealed firmly, they can definitely be stored in the refrigerator. Frosted cupcakes can stay in the fridge for around 4-5 days before they begin to get hard and dry.

Can I Freeze Frosted Cupcakes?

When cool, you frost with buttercream icing–other icings like cooked or boiled frosting do not freeze well. Then pop the cupcakes into the freezer. Remove the cake or cupcakes out of the freezer and wrap them in plastic wrap. You can keep frosted cake or cupcakes in the freezer for as long as three months.

Can I Make Cupcakes Two Days in Advance?

You can make cupcakes up to two days in advance; arrange them (unfrosted) on a baking sheet or tray, wrap the whole sheet with plastic wrap, and store at room temperature—Frost before serving.

Does Frosting Go Bad if Not Refrigerated?

Frosting will go rancid if you let it sit out for a really long time. You don’t have to refrigerate it, but I wouldn’t leave it out for a couple of weeks.

Why Are My Cupcakes Hard on Top?

If your oven is hotter above it, it will cook the top too much and make it strong. If the cupcakes are very near to the top, it will cook them too much. If the oven is not calibrated right, it might make them cook too hard. Try another recipe and see.

Can You Freeze Cupcakes in Paper Liners?

How to Freeze Cupcakes (unfrosted) Place the cupcakes in airtight freezer bags. You can also lay them in airtight plastic containers if you need to stack them on a layer of parchment paper in between each cupcake to stop them from sticking.

Why Do Cupcakes Shrink After Baking?

If your batter has a high fluid content, shrinking will happen after baking. The liquid emits a lot of steam. This steam swells up the cupcake but will vanish after baking, and your cupcakes will shrink.

How Do You Know if Frosting Has Gone Bad?

How do you tell if frosting is bad, rotten, or spoiled? When frosting (or icing) turns bad, there is a very slight change in the color (darker), consistency (thicker), and aroma (no longer pleasant) of the product – but a taste will confirm (bad)!

Final Words: How to Store Frosted Cupcakes

Frosted cupcakes are oddly durable and can be stored for quite some time. The real solution to how to store frosted cupcakes is to wrap the cupcakes properly, opt for a buttercream frosting (it holds on the most!), and always eat your cupcakes at room temperature.

So go on and frost those cupcakes in advance, mark it off your list and go on with your other essential tasks. There is no need to hurry to make fresh cupcakes on the day of your occasion when you know how to store frosted cupcakes correctly, Enjoy!

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