Do Cupcakes Need to be Refrigerated: Top Tips

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Last Updated on February 22, 2023

Do cupcakes need to be refrigerated? First and foremost, everybody loves a good cupcake. The main reason is that it is popular at parties and gatherings. But sometimes, you can bake too many cupcakes for an occasion or party. 

So, to rephrase the main question, where do we store our leftover cupcakes to keep them fresh? Likewise, do cupcakes need to be refrigerated to prolong their shelf life? To answer those questions, you have to consider that it depends on what cupcake you have; keep in mind that your cupcake’s shelf life depends on different factors, such as how you prepare them and how you store them. 

Moreover, the ingredients used in your cupcakes also play a part in the shelf-life of your delicious cupcakes. Remember, unfrosted cupcakes or cupcakes without frosting and filling will stay fresh for about two days without the need to be refrigerated. However, if you have frosted and filled cupcakes, they must be refrigerated.

Do Cupcakes Need to be Refrigerated?

For starters, should cupcakes be refrigerated? In most cases, cupcakes do not need to be refrigerated if the cupcakes are unfrosted because cupcakes stored inside the refrigerator will tend to dry out. 

Also, storing your cupcakes inside the refrigerator will speed up the crystallization of the sugar and flour. As a result, the cupcakes can go stale quickly. 

Furthermore, if you have frosted cupcakes with frosting that melt quickly, then this is the only time you are allowed to refrigerate your cupcakes. Another exception to the no refrigeration rule is cupcakes with a filling and frosting made with dairy, eggs, and custard. In that regard, refrigerate them to avoid food poisoning and bacteria. 

To store your frosted and filled cupcakes inside the refrigerator, place them inside an airtight container tall enough for your cupcake frosting. Then, be sure to cover the container with plastic cling wrap. After that, place them inside your refrigerator. 

store cupcakes in fridge or room temperature

How to Store Cupcakes Correctly 

Is it best to store cupcakes in the fridge or at room temperature? When baking cupcakes, it is an important rule to keep in mind to store your homemade cupcakes inside a sealed container. In addition to that, please place them away from sunlight. With that, put them over your countertop for one to two days. Likewise, you can put them inside your refrigerator for about four to six days. 

Remember, placing your cupcakes inside a closed container keeps them moist, prevents them from drying out, and avoids contamination. 

Also, storing cupcakes in the fridge or at room temperature depends on what cupcake you have prepared. 

For instance, if you have frosted cupcakes that you plan to consume in the next two days, you can store them inside the container at room temperature. Also, if you have cupcakes that have buttercream or ganache frosting, keeping them inside a container and leaving them on the counter is the best way to store them to have moist cupcakes ready to eat all the time. 

On the other hand, cupcakes with whipped frosting will melt at room temperature and should be refrigerated because they will go stale and not be safe to consume. 

It is also okay to store your cupcakes inside the fridge to make them last four to five days, but you must observe proper storage. To keep your cupcakes inside the refrigerator, place them in a single line inside an airtight container. After that, cover them with plastic cling wrap before placing them inside your fridge.

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Storing Cupcakes Inside the Fridge

What temperature do refrigerated cupcakes need to be kept at? The shelf life of cupcakes varies from two to seven days when placed inside an airtight container inside the refrigerator. 

Typically, cupcakes with cream-based frosting containing dairy and eggs can last about three to four days when stored correctly inside the refrigerator. Remember, when keeping cupcakes inside the fridge, the storage condition can affect their shelf life. 

Moreover, it is best to keep frosted cupcakes inside the refrigerator below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 4.44 degrees Celsius, especially those with dairy or eggs; keep in mind that bacterial growth occurs faster between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 4.44 to 60 degrees Celsius. Therefore, it is advisable to store your cupcakes at a lower temperature to keep their freshness and quality longer. 

Cupcakes with whipped frosting can stay fresh at room temperature or over the countertop for two to three days. The presence of many sugars can preserve them. But, whipped cream frosting can lose its form or structure. 

Additionally, store frosted cupcakes with whipped cream inside the refrigerator or freezer. To keep cupcakes with whipped cream frosting, place them inside a sealed container in the fridge. The container will prevent your whipped cream frosting from absorbing odors. 

Besides, it is best to keep your refrigerator’s temperature at 36 degrees Fahrenheit or 2.22 degrees Celsius; bear in mind that the temperature is enough to keep the frosting on your cupcake stiff.

Tips and Tricks

How long do cupcakes last in the fridge? When we talk about the cupcake’s longevity or shelf-life, there are three options: room temperature, refrigerator, and freezer. 

In most cases, you can keep your cupcakes at room temperature, keeping them fresh. Most cupcakes can be stored at room temperature and last about three days. 

At the same time, you must store cupcakes that contain custard, cream, cheese, dairy filling, and fruit fillings inside the refrigerator. But, the common problem that people encounter when keeping their cupcakes inside the fridge is that it dries out. 

what temperature do refrigerated cupcakes need to be kept at

Do not worry, though, since there are ways to store your cupcakes, especially when you put cream cheese on your cupcakes, fruit-filled, and those cupcakes that contain dairy and eggs. 

Remember, these cupcakes require refrigeration because they are prone to becoming stale at room temperature. That is why placing or storing your freshly baked cupcakes inside the refrigerator can make them last up to one week. 

It is also essential to observe proper storage, like putting them inside a sealed container and covering them with plastic cling wrap or foil to avoid becoming dry; not to mention, it maximizes your cupcake’s shelf life. 

Plus, cupcakes purchased in bakeries can last inside the fridge for about two to four days. In contrast, cupcakes that contain fresh fruit can last one to two days inside the refrigerator. 

Likewise, cupcakes with whipped cream frosting can last one to two days when refrigerated. At the same time, cupcakes with cream cheese can keep their freshness for about two to three days. And finally, hostess cupcakes can last up to one to two months. 

Do Cupcakes Go Bad?

Of course. Like all foods, cupcakes will eventually go bad. Some cupcakes may go bad quicker than others. Usually, those with fruit fillings or perishable toppings such as whipped cream have a shorter shelf life in comparison to cupcakes that have a simple buttercream frosting.

If you’re wondering what the signs are that your cupcakes have gone bad, look no further. Let’s take a look at some of the most common signs.

  • Smell. This is only likely to happen if your cupcakes have been left for a long time. If they smell sour or unpleasant in any way, it’s best to discard them.
  • Mold Spots. If any white, green, or blue spots appear on your cupcake or the toppings, you should discard them immediately. You may think it’s safe to remove the fuzz and enjoy the rest, but you shouldn’t do this. The whole cupcake will have been contaminated and it should be thrown away.
  • Time. If your cupcakes have been made longer than 5-7 days ago, likely, they won’t taste as good as they once used to. If your cupcakes are this old, check for any signs of spoilage before consuming them. After this amount of time, it’s likely your cupcakes will be dry and hard.

Can You Freeze Cupcakes?

The answer is: it depends. Most of the time, cupcakes are completely safe to freeze and will freeze well. However, it all depends on the fillings and toppings you use. If you want to freeze plain cupcakes, they’ll be no problems. However, if you’ve decorated your cupcakes, some frostings freeze better than others.

For example, American buttercream freezes really well. However, the whipped cream frosting should not be frozen. If you’re unsure whether your cupcakes can be frozen, check the notes on the recipe you’re using; most will give you an idea of whether you can or not.

To freeze your cupcakes effectively, all you need to do is:

  1. For best results, first, wrap each cupcake in plastic wrap. It’s best to do this individually, but you can wrap them all together with foil or plastic wrap if you’d prefer.
  2. Once wrapped place in a freezer bag or airtight container and then place the bag/container into your freezer.
  3. Be careful not to put food items on top of your cupcakes once stored, as you don’t want them to become damaged.

How to Keep Cupcakes Moist

Keeping cupcakes moist can be challenging and there are steps you’ll need to take to ensure they stay as moist as possible. Here are some top tips to follow.

  • Individually Wrap. While this may seem like an additional effort, it is absolutely worth it. Ensuring no air can get into each cupcake will keep them as fresh as possible and ensure they don’t dry out.
  • Keep in Airtight Container. Once wrapped, for an extra layer of protection, you can keep them in an airtight container, and then store them in a cool, dry place. This ensures no moisture can escape, and also nothing can get in.
  • Chill. Whether you place them in the fridge or freezer, both of these options can give your cupcakes a longer shelf life. Just be sure to allow time for your cupcakes to thaw before serving.

How to Make Cupcakes Moist

Now you know how to keep cupcakes moist, you may be wondering how to make cupcakes moist in the first place! Let’s take a look.

  • Use Cake Flour. Cake flour is finer, which makes for a moister and more tender cupcake.
  • Use Oil. If your recipe calls for butter, use oil instead.
  • Use Sour Cream. Add around 1/2 cup of sour cream to your cake batter to add a creamy, moist texture to your cupcakes.
  • Add Instant Pudding Mix. Adding a sachet of vanilla instant pudding mix can add flavor, as well as moisture.
  • Cover in Simple Syrup. Use a pastry brush to cover your baked cupcakes in simple syrup.
  • Use Fillings and Toppings. This will save any dry cupcakes and keep them extra moist.


I hope this post has helped to answer the question: do cupcakes need to be refrigerated? And given you an idea of how to make moist cupcakes and how to prolong their shelf life. Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to storing cupcakes? If so, please feel free to let me know in the comments below. And remember, sharing is caring!


Should Cupcakes Be Refrigerated?

Please note that you should never refrigerate unfrosted cupcakes since they tend to dry out. On the other hand, please store your frosted cupcakes inside the fridge. Not only that but also, make sure to refrigerate cupcakes with a filling made with custard, dairy, and eggs. 

Store Cupcakes In Fridge Or Room Temperature?

It depends on what cupcake you have made whenever you store cupcakes in the refrigerator or at room temperature. For example, it is best to keep your cupcakes with whipped frosting inside the fridge since they tend to melt at room temperature. On the contrary, cupcakes with ganache or buttercream frosting are best at room temperature if you want to have moist cupcakes ready to consume at any time. 

What Temperature Do Refrigerated Cupcakes Need To Be Kept At? 

It is best to store your frosted cupcakes inside the fridge below 4.44 degrees Celsius or 40 degrees Fahrenheit; it is indeed crucial, especially those frosted cupcakes with eggs or dairy. 

How Long Do Cupcakes Last In The Fridge?

In most cases, it varies. For instance, cupcakes with fresh fruit can only last for around one to two days inside the fridge. Likewise, cupcakes with whipped cream frosting typically last one to two days when you refrigerate them. And store-bought cupcakes only last inside the refrigerator for approximately two to four days. 

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