How to Store Cupcakes

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If you’re anything like me, your time during the week is somewhat limited leaving the weekends for the best time to do your baking.  But what happens when you have to bake cupcakes (or anything else) ahead of time?  Cupcakes taste best when eaten within a day or two of baking.

I generally freeze baked goods for a few days if I have to bake ahead of time.  There is a certain chocolate cookie recipe that I actually prefer to store in the freezer because it keeps them fresh for days.  Some frosting doesn’t freeze very well, though, so I would recommend freezing the cupcake unfrosted.

A few hours, or the night before, remove the cupcakes from the freezer and frost as you normally would while allowing the cupcakes to warm to room temperature.  Your guests will never know.

Better Crocker compiled these tips to consider:

  1. Cool cupcakes completely before covering to keep tops from becoming sticky (about 30 minutes).
  2. Cover cupcakes that will be frosted later loosely so the tops stay dry. If covered tightly, they become sticky and difficult to frost.
  3. Store cupcakes with a creamy-type frosting loosely covered with foil, plastic wrap or waxed paper or under a cake safe or inverted bowl
  4. Refrigerate cupcakes with whipped cream toppings or cream fillings.
  5. Frost cupcakes with fluffy frosting on the day they are to be served.
  6. Freeze cupcakes two to three months, tightly wrapped.
  7. To prevent frosting on frosted cupcakes from sticking, freeze cupcakes uncovered 1 hour, then insert a toothpick in the top of the cupcake, and tightly wrap.
  8. Thaw cupcakes in the refrigerator or on the countertop.
  9. When thawing on the countertop, loosen or remove wrapping to prevent condensation.
  10. Decorating gel, hard candies and colored sugars do not freeze well because they tend to run during thawing.

Cupcake Containers and Carriers

While the 2-tiered cupcake carriers look great, these are actually a bad idea. They are hard to stack and you’ll find they don’t fit in many freezers. Using a flat single-tier cupcake carrier will be a lot easier to make room for storage.

This is our favorite cupcake container and carrier. Part of what makes it so great is the reversible tray to hold both standard cupcake sizes and minis. The sides are meant to help protect frosting.

Flat tupperware containers work really well in a pinch.


Dark Chocolate and Champagne Buttercream Cupcakes

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes


4 thoughts on “How to Store Cupcakes”

  1. I need a fail safe method to store iced cupcakes overnight and not have them be super moist in AM. It seems like the cake part gets soggy. I generally use a homemade buttercream icing.

    • I have become a huge fan of freezing cupcakes – frosting and all – as soon as they are completely cooled. Just be sure to use an air tight container (such as Tupperware) to avoid freezer burn. It doesn’t take more than 30 minutes or so for the cupcakes to thaw. You might be able to get away with refrigerating cupcakes just for a few hours overnight as long as they are completely cooled off prior to refrigeration. Try both and see what works best with the cupcake & frosting recipe you are using.


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