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How to Store Cupcakes with Frosting: Tips & Tricks

Want to know how to store cupcakes with frosting to keep them fresh and delicious? This guide will cover the best ways to store frosted cupcakes, helping you keep them tasty and beautiful until it’s time to serve them!

how to store cupcakes with frosting

How to Store Cupcakes with Frosting

As someone who used to own a chain of cupcake stores, I’ve spent the past 10 years baking and selling cupcakes for parties, weddings, and other special events. Through my experience, I’ve picked up lots of tips and tricks for storing frosted cupcakes to keep them fresh and delicious. 

Check out my recipes for moist chocolate cupcakes and my popular red velvet cupcake with pecan praline topping. You can read all my cupcake tips and articles here.

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How to Store Cupcakes with Frosting to Keep Them Fresh

To keep your cupcakes fresh and delicious, using the right storage techniques is key. For short-term storage, room temperature works best. But if you need to store them longer, you’ll want to think about refrigeration or freezing. 

What is the Shelf  Life of Cupcakes?

Before you decide which storage method is best for you, first you’ll want to think about how long you need to store before serving. 

Frosted Cupcakes can last a couple of days at room temperature

Refrigerated Cupcakes can last a week. 

Freezing Cupcakes can be stored for up to 3 months.

Can I Store Frosted Cupcakes at Room Temperature?

For short-term storage of 1-2 days, keeping your cupcakes at room temperature is usually the way to go. This method is super easy and convenient. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Airtight Container: Place the cupcakes in a single layer in an airtight container. This helps prevent the frosting from becoming sticky and the cupcakes from drying out. 
  2. Plastic Hinged Cupcake Containers: These are perfect for storing cupcakes with frosting, as well as for packaging cupcakes for sale. 
  3. Sheet Box: A full or half-size sheet cake box is a great way to store and transport cupcakes with frosting. Use a cake pad insert for stability to prevent the cupcakes from moving around.
  4. Dough Boxes: To cut down on packaging expenses, these dough boxes can be reused over and over again.. They are ideal for storing large batches of cupcakes and can be stacked for storage and delivery. 

how to store cupcakes with frosting

Do I Need to Refrigerate Cupcakes with Fillings?

For cupcakes with perishable ingredients like cream cheese frosting, mousse fillings, or cheesecake fillings, refrigeration is necessary:

  1. Plastic Container: Use a plastic container with a tight seal. Arrange the cupcakes in a single layer.
  2. Special Occasion: For events, you can prepare your cupcakes a day in advance and refrigerate them.
  3. Food Safety: Ensure that the container is stored on a shelf where the cupcakes won’t be squished. Refrigeration is particularly important for cupcakes with dairy-based frostings or perishable fillings.

How Far in Advance Can I Bake and Frost Cupcakes?

There are several reasons why you might need to get an early start on baking and frosting cupcakes. Wedding orders, farmer’s market events, and special orders require extra preparation. Keep reading for tips on how to frost cupcakes in advance of your next big event!

Preparing Wedding Cupcakes

When preparing cupcakes for a wedding, timing is crucial:

  1. Advance Preparation: Bake the cupcakes a day or two ahead and store them at room temperature in an airtight container.
  2. Frosting: Frost the cupcakes on the morning of the wedding day for the best freshness.
  3. Refrigeration: If the wedding is in a hot climate, refrigerate the frosted cupcakes and transport them in a cooler.

how to store cupcakes with frosting

How Do I Keep Cupcakes from Tipping Over During Transportation?

Transporting cupcakes without them tipping over can be a bit tricky, but with a few simple steps, you can ensure they arrive looking perfect.

  1. Use a Stable Base: Start by placing your cupcakes on a stable base. A sheet pan is an excellent choice because it fits nicely inside a half sheet box. Alternatively, you can use a cake pad, which provides a sturdy surface and can be easily moved into a box.
  2. Proper Spacing: Make sure to space the cupcakes out so the frosted tops don’t touch each other. This prevents the frosting from smudging and keeps each cupcake looking neat and tidy.
  3. Secure Packaging: Once your cupcakes are on a stable base and properly spaced, place them in a box or container that fits snugly around the base. This prevents them from shifting during transportation.
  4. Drive Carefully: Always drive carefully, especially when transporting cupcakes. Slow down for turns and stops to avoid sudden movements that could tip the cupcakes over. Think of it as transporting fragile cargo – because it is!

By following these tips, you can make sure your cupcakes arrive at their destination looking just as beautiful as when you packed them.

Preparing Cupcakes for a Farmers Market

Selling homemade cupcakes at a farmers market is a great way to share your delicious treats with a wider audience! With a bit of planning, you can ensure your cupcakes stay fresh and look their best:

  1. Always Sell Fresh Cupcakes: Bake your cupcakes as close to market day as possible, to ensure they’re super fresh and ready to impress.
  2. Packaging Options: It’s a good idea to offer cupcakes in single cupcake boxes or half-dozen boxes. If you pre-package them before the market, it makes transportation a breeze and provides a convenient option for your buyers.

how to store cupcakes with frosting

Special Orders and Large Batch Baking

Timing the preparation of special orders, such as for a birthday party or corporate event, is key:

  1. Baking Ahead: Bake the cupcakes a day in advance to allow time for cooling and decorating.
  2. Refrigeration: For warm weather, the best option is to refrigerate the cupcakes and deliver them chilled on the day of the event.
  3. Storage: Use cupcake boxes or air-tight containers to transport the cupcakes safely without damaging the frosting.

What Is the Best Way to Freeze Cupcakes?

Freezing is a great way to store cupcakes for a longer period of time:

  1. Unfrosted Cupcakes: If possible, freeze cupcakes without frosting. Wrap each unfrosted cupcake in plastic wrap, then place them in a freezer bag or an airtight container.
  2. Frosted Cupcakes: Freeze frosted cupcakes on a baking sheet until the frosting is firm, then transfer them to a freezer container. This prevents freezer burn and maintains the quality.
  3. Freezer Burn: To avoid freezer burn, wrap the cupcakes in freezer-grade foil or parchment paper before placing them in a sealed container.

How Should I Store Unfrosted Cupcakes?

Properly storing your unfrosted cupcakes is key to keeping them fresh:

  1. Shelf Life of Your Cupcakes: Frosted cupcakes can last up to 3-4 days at room temperature, while refrigerated cupcakes can last a week. Frozen cupcakes can be stored for up to 3 months.
  2. General Rule of Thumb: Always allow cupcakes to cool completely before storing to avoid condensation and soggy tops.
  3. Warm Cupcakes: Avoid wrapping warm cupcakes as this can lead to sticky cupcake tops.
  4. Batch of Cupcakes: For large batches, use cupcake carriers or storage containers that provide enough space for all cupcakes in a single layer.

how to store cupcakes with frosting

How Should I Handle Cupcakes in Warm Weather?

In warmer climates, it’s essential to take extra precautions to prevent the frosting from melting:

  1. Hot Weather: Always refrigerate cupcakes in hot weather to keep the frosting stable.
  2. Dairy-Based Frosting: Cupcakes with dairy-based frosting like cream cheese should always be refrigerated.
  3. Perishable Filling: If your cupcakes have a perishable filling, refrigeration is necessary for food safety.

What Are the Best Storage Options for Transporting Cupcakes?

Transporting cupcakes to events like bake sales or farmers’ markets requires sturdy and secure storage options:

  1. Cupcake Carriers: These carriers are designed to hold multiple cupcakes securely.
  2. Tall Containers: Ensure the containers have enough space to accommodate the height of the frosted cupcakes without smudging the frosting.
  3. Sealed Containers: Use sealed containers to keep the cupcakes fresh and prevent them from drying out.

How Can I Prevent Cupcakes from Drying Out or Getting Sticky Tops?

To keep cupcakes from drying out or developing sticky tops:

  1. Proper Cooling: Always allow cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before storing.
  2. Airtight Storage: Use airtight containers to prevent exposure to air, which can cause drying.
  3. Avoid Warm Wrapping: Never wrap warm cupcakes as this can create condensation and make the tops sticky.

How to Store Cupcakes with Frosting

Whether you’re making cupcakes for a wedding, farmers market, or special order, proper storage is key to maintaining their freshness and taste. By following these tips, you can ensure your cupcakes remain delicious and presentable, no matter how long you need to store them. Enjoy your sweet treats at their best by using the right storage techniques!