It's tempting to devour a batch of fresh-baked cupcakes, but if you manage to have a few left over, figure out how to store them properly. To keep your cupcakes as delicious as when they were just baked, take a few steps to prevent them from drying out or spoiling. Depending on your storage methods, cupcakes can be stored for as long as six months.
Most homemade cupcakes will be safe at room temperature for one to two days. To ensure freshness, store the cupcakes in a covered airtight container. If you do not have an airtight container, cover the cupcakes with several layers of plastic wrap.
Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be stored for as long as seven days in the refrigerator. They will be safe to eat, although the refrigerator can cause the cupcakes to dry out. To prevent this, place the cupcakes in an airtight container, then wrap that container in a layer of plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent air from escaping. Remove the cupcakes from the refrigerator an hour to two before you intend to eat them to allow them to come to room temperature.
Cupcakes, preferably unfrosted, can be stored in the freezer for four to six months. Frozen cupcakes will begin to degrade in quality after that time. Do not freeze cupcakes that have already been frosted. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before you freeze them. Otherwise, condensation will form and turn into ice crystals that can degrade the quality of the cupcakes. Wrap each cupcake in several layers of plastic wrap, then toss them all into a freezer-safe, zip-top plastic bag. Don't forget to write the date on the bag. For best results, thaw the cupcakes in the refrigerator overnight; cakes thawed at room temperature can become mushy.
Frostings and Filling
Frostings and fillings alter the storage techniques for cupcakes. Any cupcake that is topped or filled with something that contains dairy products, eggs or fresh fruit should not be stored at room temperature. This is both for safety and quality reasons; dairy-based toppings and fillings will melt and weep, while cut fruit can turn slimy if left out for too long. If you wish, store the cupcakes unfrosted at room temperature, store the frosting in the refrigerator and simply frost a cupcake when you want one. If you're freezing your cupcakes, it's best not to frost or fill them beforehand.
Irena Eaves began writing professionally in 2005. She has been published on several websites including RedPlum, CollegeDegreeReport.com and AutoInsuranceTips.com. Eaves holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University.