Can You Leave Cupcakes Out Overnight? 7 Steps to Freshness

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Last Updated on January 27, 2023

For many people, it can be beneficial to bake ahead of time. However, you may wonder, can you leave cupcakes out overnight? Cupcakes can go stale easily, so it is important to properly store them.

No matter the occasion, cupcakes can make a great treat. However, if you don’t store them properly, they can dry out and become stale. Fortunately, with the right steps, you can keep your cupcakes fresh overnight.

Can You Leave Cupcakes Out Overnight?

Though you can store cupcakes overnight, you want to ensure that they are properly covered. If uncovered, a cupcake will become stale overnight.

Cupcakes are perishable and if they are not properly stored, they will dry out quickly. They are naturally fluffy and moist, meaning that once they are left they will quickly begin to dry out. Keeping them out uncovered will draw out the moisture quickly.

How long can cupcakes stay out before they go stale?

Cupcakes can sit out for a few hours uncovered without going stale. However, they will begin to go stale within six to twelve hours of being left out uncovered. Cupcakes will also go stale quicker if they are unfrosted, as frosting acts as a barrier to keep moisture in.

Generally, you don’t want to leave cupcakes out uncovered for more than a few hours. It is best to put them away as soon as they are cooled off.

You can store cupcakes overnight at room temperature as long as they are properly covered. They need to be kept airtight so the moisture will stay in.

How To Properly Store Cupcakes

You should store your cupcakes in an airtight container to keep them from drying out. They will last for around two days unfrosted and two to three days frosted at room temperature. Be sure to store them in a cool, dry location that is away from direct sunlight.

You can also store cupcakes in the fridge for up to one week. If your cupcakes contain perishable items such as cream cheese frosting, custard filling, or fruit filling, you will want to store them in the fridge at all times.

Cupcakes also freeze great as well, which is great for people who are looking to plan and save time. You can freeze them frosted or unfrosted for three to six months if properly stored.

To freeze, cover the unfrosted cupcakes in plastic wrap and then place them in a Ziploc bag or airtight container. For frosted cupcakes, let them sit in the freezer uncovered for one hour to let the frosting set before wrapping and covering. To thaw, place cupcakes in the fridge overnight or on the counter for 30 minutes to one hour.

How To Keep Cupcakes Fresh

For your cupcakes to be moist and delicious for as long as possible, you must store them correctly. Cupcakes are prone to going stale quickly if you don’t properly store them. Fortunately, there are some great tips to keep them fresh for days.

1. Let them cool completely first

Before you store your cupcakes, you want to make sure they are completely cool. If you put them in an airtight container while they are still hot, it will cause the stem to get trapped inside. This can give the cupcakes a sticky top and make it difficult for the frosting to stick, as well as cause the cupcake to stick to the wrapper.

2. Store with a slice of bread

Placing a slice of bread in with cupcakes can help keep them fresh. The cupcakes will absorb the moisture from the bread, keeping them fresh for longer.

4. Frost them

The frosting is a great way to keep your cupcakes moist. The frosting works as a barrier to prevent moisture from escaping the cupcakes.

5. Keep them covered

It is important to keep your cupcakes covered in an airtight container. This will keep the air out, which is very important to keeping cupcakes fresh. For unfrosted cupcakes, you can also store them in a Ziploc bag or wrapped in plastic wrap.

6. Use simple syrup

Simple syrup is simply just a combination of one part sugar and one part water, with the sugar being dissolved into the water when heated. Simple syrup is then brushed on top of a cupcake before frosting to help give it added moisture.

7. Freeze them

Another great way to keep cupcakes fresh for an extended time is to freeze them. They will not dry out in the freezer and you can easily thaw them out on the counter for around 30 minutes to one hour or in the fridge overnight.

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Will Cupcakes Dry Out Overnight?

So, can you leave cupcakes out overnight? When properly stored, cupcakes will not dry out overnight. However, if you store cupcakes overnight uncovered they will dry out, leading to an undesirable texture in your cupcakes.

Cupcakes can only last a few hours at room temperature before they begin to dry out. Unfrosted cupcakes will dry out faster than frosted cupcakes as the frosting acts as a barrier to help keep the moisture in your cupcakes. 

If you leave your cupcakes overnight uncovered and they become dry, do not panic as you may still be able to save them. There are a few different methods you can try to save your dried cupcakes.

One method is to simply frost your cupcake. If your cupcake isn’t too dry, adding frosting can help add the right amount of moisture back to your cupcakes. Just be sure to store them in an airtight container. 

Another option is to add a layer of simple syrup. Simple syrup is simply made by combining equal parts of water and sugar and cooking it over heat until the sugar has dissolved and become slightly thickened. 

By using a pastry brush, you can add a layer of simple syrup to the top of the cupcake. Not only will it add moisture back into the cupcake but it will also enhance the flavor. After adding simple syrup to the top of the cupcake you can top your cupcake off with frosting. 

If your cupcake is too dry, you can repurpose it into cake pops instead. You can all repurpose your cupcakes to be tres leches cake by poking holes in your cake and adding heavy whipping cream,  sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk then topping with whipped cream frosting. 

how to keep cupcakes fresh

How to Store Cupcakes Overnight

Store your cupcakes overnight in an airtight container, such as Tupperware, a Ziploc bag, or wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature. Be sure to store your cupcakes in a cool, dry location away from sunlight. You can also store your cupcakes overnight in the fridge as well. 

Cupcakes can be stored overnight frosted or unfrosted. Cupcakes with buttercream frosting can be stored overnight at room temperature in an airtight container. However, cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, whipped cream frosting, pastry filling,  or fruit filling should be stored in the fridge since they contain perishable ingredients. 

To help keep the moisture of the cupcakes, you can add a slice of white bread alongside your cupcakes. The cupcakes will absorb the moisture from the bread. In addition, topping cupcakes with frosting will also help keep the moisture inside. 

How Long Do Cupcakes Last?

Unfrosted cupcakes can last at room temperature in an airtight container for five to seven days. Be sure to store your cupcakes in a cool, dry location away from sunlight to keep them as fresh as possible. 

Cupcakes frosted with buttercream can last for one to three days in an airtight container at room temperature. Buttercream frosted cupcakes will be able to last in the fridge for three to five days. 

Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting can last in the fridge in an airtight container for three to five days. Cupcakes with whipped cream frosting can last in the fridge for one to three days in an airtight container. 

Storing Cupcakes Overnight

Cupcakes can be stored for around two to three days overnight on the counter. However, they must be stored in an airtight container, to keep them moist. If you leave them out overnight, they will become stale as the moisture will draw out.

The best way to keep cupcakes fresh is to let them fully cool, then frost them and next place them in an airtight container. Adding a layer of simple syrup can give more moisture to the cupcakes to keep them extra moist and delicious. You can also put a piece of bread in with the cupcakes as another way to help keep the cupcakes moist.

Do you have any questions regarding whether can you leave cupcakes out overnight? If so, please ask any questions regarding the proper storage of cupcakes.


How Long Can Cupcakes Sit Out?

Cupcakes can only sit out for a few hours before they go stale. You don't want to them out overnight uncovered, as they will be stale by the morning. 

Do Cupcakes Need to be Refrigerated Overnight?

In most cases, cupcakes do not need to be refrigerated overnight. If your cupcakes contain perishable fillings or frosting, such as custard or cream cheese, you will want to keep them in the fridge. If you live in a hot, humid climate, you may want to keep your cupcakes in the fridge overnight too.

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