Easy Ways To Store Your Frosted Cupcakes

Last Updated on February 28, 2023

How to store cupcakes with buttercream frosting? As bakers, this is a very common question. Once we have made all the effort to lavishly decorate them we want to be able to enjoy them later, that is if there are any left. Although that instance is rare -my family tends to get through a whole batch in one day- at a party, for example, there are usually a few left. So, what to do with them?

How to Store Cupcakes: How Long Does it Stay Fresh?

Frosted cupcakes can be kept at room temperature for 1 day or 2, depending on where you live. If you live in a very hot or humid place, I would recommend you refrigerate or freeze them. This way the food will be safe to eat later, but avoid it as much as possible because it will dry out the cake.

But how to keep them fresh and moist? That is easy! We just need to store them in an airtight container. If you do not have any available, you can try putting them in a fresh pastry box and covering them with plastic wrap. 

Be sure to cover the edges well so that no air can leak through to the inside. This way, the frosting, and the cake will stay moist and be ready to eat the next day. See how to do it in this video by The Cooking Guide.

How to Store Cupcakes: How Long Does it Stay Fresh?

How to Store Cupcakes: Why Cover It?

Buttercream is porous. This means that it can absorb moisture from the air and, therefore, smells cling to it. If you put uncovered frosted cupcakes next to your meal leftovers, or some garlic, they will taste like it afterward, and who would want that?

There are several ways to do this, as we explained before: a Tupperware-like container, a pastry box covered in plastic wrap or wrapping them individually after pre-freezing them.  If you are keeping them in a container or a pastry box, make sure it is tall enough to hold the frosting. 

You are looking for something that is at least 3 inches tall, which is what standard cupcake measures approximately. You can try these Rubbermaid plastic containers that are big enough to hold your frosted cupcakes perfectly! For pastry boxes, try these. Remember they are disposable! You will also need plastic wrap, which you can find here

How to Store Cupcakes: Why Cover It?

But if the frosting is at room temperature, do not squish the cupcakes with the plastic wrap! You will ruin all your beautiful piping! You should only wrap them individually if they are pre-frozen.

How To Store Cupcakes- Some tips

If you are making cupcakes ahead of time for a party, you will need to keep in mind some things before placing them in any container.

We would recommend you frost them the day of the party rather than decorating them beforehand. This is because the consistency of the frosting changes when frozen or cooled and does not taste as well as freshly made. 

Also, frosting can melt. This is important because if your counter is close to the oven or a window, they cupcakes can find themselves exposed to heat. This will change the frosting consistency and make it softer. It can even melt the frosting so much that is slides or deflates quite a bit. It can also sweat and separate.

So keep them away from any heat sources and windows. If the frosting is colored, sunlight can also change the coloring and fade it, so cover the plastic container with a tablecloth if you are keeping them for a couple of days.

How To Store Cupcakes- Some tips

How Is Frosting Able To Keep At Room Temperature?

It is because of the sugar it has. Sugar is a natural preservative. Look at honey, for example. Historians have found honey pots in Egyptian tombs that were perfectly ok! I would not eat a thousand-year-old honey, though!

Also, butter can be kept at room temperature. I keep mine in a butter dish and I always have soft butter to spread over toast or use to bake! Look at this one by Kook. It can also be a beautiful vintage piece to add to your kitchen’s decor.

Butter dishes keep light and air out and help to preserve it. You can also use a butter bell that will keep the butter upside down submerged in water, creating an airtight seal.

Butter -and, therefore, buttercream- also has low water content. Without water, there is no space for bacteria to grow. Of course, with time, butter and frosting will both go rancid, but it will not happen overnight. It can definitely be kept outside for a couple of days without any issues.

How To Freeze Frosted Cupcakes

This is a crucial question, as frosting is very easy to smash and we definitely do not want to lose all of our amazing piping and decorating. So, how do we solve this issue?

The first thing we need to do is pre-freeze the cupcakes. To do this, place a plate with the uncovered cupcakes carefully inside your freezer and wait a couple of hours until they are firm and completely frozen.

How Is Frosting Able To Keep At Room Temperature?

Once this has happened, you can safely wrap each cupcake individually without the fear of ruining the frosting. This will help the frosting hold its shape and maintain freshness and color.

With keeping cupcakes in the freezer there is always the possibility of cupcakes and frosting becoming dry once defrosted, the wrapping will help with this and keep away unwanted odors.

How to defrost frosted cupcakes

Pull out the plastic wrap and defrost them over the counter. This will take at least a whole hour, depending on how large your cupcakes are. 

You can store them as fresh cupcakes for a few days. Do not freeze them again, though!

As a side tip, as the cupcakes come to room temperature again, the frosting can slide a bit and maybe fall off. This is because when they are frozen, the cakes keep moisture in and as it thaws, they sweat. You can easily push the frosting back on its place with a knife or small spatula.

Have we helped you store your beautiful cupcakes? Make sure to visit Life as a Strawberry! Their Cupcakes 104 class helped us craft this article for you. Also, leave a comment below if you have any other tips to share!

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