Keeping your cupcakes indefinitely might be the dream, but these delicate, freshly baked beauties won’t last for long. Luckily, with some proper storage you can keep the freshness for longer and hold their flavour better.
How long do cupcakes keep for?
As a general rule, we recommend eating your cupcakes on the day of baking or within 24 hours for the best flavour, but they will last up to 2 days.
Any longer than this is up to you, we hate to see waste, but it’s better to either adapt your recipe quantities before baking to the amount you’ll need or to freeze them after baking and before frosting to retain their freshness. (See our Baking in Advance blog post.)
Buttercream frosted cupcakes are good for up to two days (they are fine at room temperature) and cream cheese frosted cupcakes need to be refrigerated if kept for the second day.
How should cupcakes be stored?
Always keep them in an airtight container to prevent contamination and to prevent air from drying them out. They can be kept at room temperature out of sunlight for a day. If it is an especially hot day, keep them in the fridge in an airtight container and allow them time to come back up to room temperature before serving.
How do I store cupcakes after baking?
Frosted cupcakes can be put in an airtight container with a tightly sealed lid. Make sure the container is deep enough to not squash the tops of your finished cupcakes.
The best way to keep unfrosted cupcakes after baking is to allow them to cool completely on a wire rack to allow air to circulate. If you seal them in a container before they have had the chance to cool down, the steam can make them go soggy and can cause the cupcake cases to peel away from the sponges. (For Cupcake Cases: Tips and Advice, this blog post explains.)
Once stored, an unfrosted cupcake can last for up to 2 days before being frosted.
In our bakeries we use large cooling racks to let the cupcakes cool completely in their tins before frosting, but as a home baker you can use a wire cooling rack as this is much quicker.
We think it’s best to make your frosting fresh on the day you wish to serve them and wrap the cooled and baked cupcake sponges in clingfilm before storing in an airtight container. They can also be frozen like this and defrosted completely before decorating, but this requires generous freezer space to allow the frosting to freeze without damaging it (you need to freeze the frosted cupcakes on a plate unwrapped until the frosting sets and then wrap well in cling film and return them to the freezer).
Special cupcake storage containers are great if you wish to transport your cupcakes as they often have holders which will keep them in place. Although it’s still very important not to knock, tip or shake any containers holding precious cake – they will turn over as the frosting makes them top heavy. (Read our Cake Care: Transporting Cupcakes and Cakes blog post if you plan to take your bakes on the move.)
Want to cheat?
If you want to pass off Hummingbird Bakery cupcakes as your own, we’ll never tell a soul…
Browse our selection of tempting cupcakes, including our limited edition Monthly Special or order a cupcake selection box of different flavours. Don’t forget, we also make fabulous Vegan cupcakes and Made Without Gluten cupcakes (not certified gluten-free).