Cupcakes are a fun addition to any celebration, and their size allows for easy portion control. However, making a dozen or more individual desserts for a party can be time consuming. With some planning, you can bake cupcakes two days ahead, leaving you time to prepare for the party or travel to the celebration.
Baking and Cooling
Bake your cupcakes according to your favorite recipe. You will not need to alter the recipe if you plan to serve the cupcakes a day or two later. Let the cupcakes cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
Keep Cupcakes Moist
The key to serving cupcakes two days after baking is preventing moisture loss. Make a simple syrup by boiling equal parts sugar and water until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let the syrup cool to room temperature, then use a pastry brush to lightly coat the cupcakes. The syrup will soak into the cupcakes, giving them extra moisture.
Let the cupcakes dry, then wrap them individually in plastic wrap to prevent moisture loss. It will also keep the cupcakes from picking up odors from other foods in your kitchen.
Store the wrapped cupcakes in a hard plastic container that will protect them from accidental damage. You can store the cupcakes at room temperature or in the refrigerator. If you chill the cupcakes, they will be easier to unwrap and frost, and less likely to fall apart. However, if you do not have room in your refrigerator, they will not spoil if left at room temperature.
If you plan to serve the cupcakes more than three days after baking, store them in the refrigerator. If you have more cupcakes than you need for your celebration, you can freeze them for up to six months.
Frost Then Serve
Frost the cupcakes the day you plan to serve them. While frosting and decorating is often the most time-consuming part of making cupcakes, decorating them the day of the celebration is easier than re-doing them when you realize that the frosting has been crushed or has altered consistency during storage.
If you cannot frost the cupcakes the day you serve them, store the cupcakes in an airtight plastic container at room temperature. Try to avoid bumping or jostling the cupcakes, as this can cause them to collide, damaging the frosting decorations.