Cupcakes contain just the right amount of sweetness for those days when you crave something sugary. Each cupcake counts as a single serving, unlike cakes or brownies where you determine the serving size based on your cuts. Cupcakes keep for quite a long time in the freezer, but less time when stored on the counter or placed in the refrigerator.
According to Still Tasty, the best way of storing cupcakes is without any frosting on top. Unfrosted cupcakes last for up to six months in the freezer. Store unfrosted cupcakes for up to seven days in the refrigerator or keep on the counter for two days. Still Tasty recommends storing unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container, such as a plastic storage container. The container regulates the temperature of the cupcakes and blocks any harmful bacteria.
Cupcakes made from a butter base may keep for up to three days when left sitting on the counter or at room temperature. Heavier cakes, including chocolate and vanilla, also keep for up to three days. Cakes that have more moistness, including dulce de leche and caramel cupcakes, should last for up to five days. The caramel or rich ingredients added to the batter provides extra moistness to the cupcakes, which keeps the cake from drying out.
You must store cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, chocolate ganache coatings, buttercream frostings or whipped cream topping in the refrigerator. The uncooked dairy ingredients in the toppings are a haven for bacteria, which might lead to food poisoning. Eat the cupcakes within three days and throw away the remaining cakes. Loosely cover the cupcakes with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container designed for use in the refrigerator.
Homemade Vs. Purchased
Purchased cupcakes generally last longer in the refrigerator or on the counter because the cupcakes contain artificial ingredients and preservatives. The preservatives help keep the cupcakes longer and retain their freshness and flavor longer. Cupcakes made from a mix contain the same preservatives, though you must still use caution in regards to the frosting. Homemade cupcakes and cupcakes purchased from bakeries have a shorter shelf life because the cupcakes utilize fresh ingredients and lack the preservatives. Any cupcakes made from butter, milk or other fresh dairy products have a shorter shelf life than those made from a box or package.
References and ResourcesStill Tasty: How Long to Keep...Cupcakes
Cupcake Jones: FAQs
Cupcake Project: Cupcake Baking Tips