Sweet and airy mini-cakes with decadent frosting – who doesn’t love a cupcake? From vanilla and chocolate to fruity and boozy versions, the sky is the limit when it comes to flavors, fillings, and toppings for these scrumptious treats.
As with many freshly baked items they only last a couple of days but the good news is that if stored correctly, you can freeze your cupcakes and enjoy them for weeks to come without seeing a single crumb go to waste.
Below you will learn everything you need to know about freezing cupcakes to retain the best texture and flavor.
Types of Cupcakes
Cupcakes, also known as fairy cakes, are individual mini-cakes perfect for a single serving. Cupcakes are usually baked in muffin tins with cupcake liners or custom paper liners to hold each cakelet.
Cupcakes come in a large variety of flavors, colors, and frostings. Popularly, decorated cupcakes are topped with buttercream icing, but you can also frost cupcakes with candy, custom themed edible decorations, fruit, cream cheese frosting, and meringue topping.
They come in various cake flavors from chocolate, vanilla, and lemon, to red velvet, coffee, and fruitcake. They can also be filled in the center for a decadent surprise.
Popular for birthdays, weddings, celebrations, teas, or even just an afternoon treat, cupcakes are a favorite for all ages.
Can Cupcakes Be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze cupcakes with little change to their texture or flavor. You need to properly store and freeze cupcakes while they are still fresh, preferably no older than 2 days. Cake that is old before freezing, will still be old after freezing.
Placing the cupcakes in the freezer will not improve on the quality or freshness if they are already dry or stale.
Cupcakes are best frozen without any toppings as this could weigh down the airy cake in the freezer. Your best bet is to make (or buy) unfrosted cupcakes and freeze them plain.
Once defrosted, add toppings and decorate to your heart’s content ensuring not only that the cake looks beautiful, but that the toppings have not spoiled the cupcake texture or taste.
How To Freeze Unfrosted Cupcakes
Step 1: Cool
It is important that freshly baked homemade cupcakes cool completely before freezing to prevent freezer burn caused by the formation of large ice crystals during condensation. Place warm cupcakes in the fridge on a wire rack to speed up cooling. It shouldn’t take more than an hour before they’re completely cool.
To prevent the cakes from being weighed down in the freezer and delicate decorations from spoiling, leave the frosting and decorating for after the cupcakes are defrosted, just before serving.
Step 2: Wrap
Double wrap the cupcakes in plastic wrap or aluminum foil making sure that no part of the cake is exposed to air. Gaps in the wrapping will allow air in which can cause freezer burn, dry out the cake, and also allow the absorption of odors from surrounding foods.
Step 3: Pack
Pack the wrapped cupcakes in an airtight container or re-sealable freezer bag, pressing out all the air before sealing.
Step 4: Label and Freeze
Label the container or freezer bags with the date so that you can keep track of how long it has been stored and place it in the freezer. If using a resealable plastic bag, make sure that the cupcakes are not squashed by other items in the freezer.
How To Freeze Frosted Cupcakes
Step 1: Pre-freeze
Place the frosted cupcakes in the freezer on a wire cooling rack on an open baking sheet or in an uncovered sturdy container for a couple hours to harden the frosting. Do not freeze whipped cream, delicate decorations, or fresh fruit toppings.
If your frosted or filled cupcakes include any of these ingredients, it is preferable to remove the topping before freezing as the texture and flavor will spoil when thawed.
Step 2: Wrap
Once they freeze completely and the frosting is set, quickly wrap each cupcake in foil or plastic wrap. Make sure that they are completely covered with no exposure to air.
Step 3: Pack
Place the individually wrapped cupcakes in an airtight, freezer-friendly tupperware for an extra layer of protection and to prevent the cupcakes from getting squashed by other items in the freezer.
Alternatively, place the cupcakes in zip lock freezer bags and lightly press out all the air before sealing it.
Step 4: Label and Freeze
Label the container or airtight bag with the date and freeze.
How To Defrost Frozen Cupcakes
Remove the wrapped cupcakes from the freezer and take the cling film or foil wrapping off to prevent the frosting from sticking as it thaws. Place the cold cupcakes on a plate or back in the plastic containers and into the fridge overnight or for a few hours. For faster thawing, they can also be placed on a countertop for about an hour if the temperature is cool.
Let the cupcakes defrost completely and come to room temperature before serving. If the cupcakes are not yet frosted, frost your cupcakes as desired.
A taste adventure awaits with cupcakes as a blank canvas to decorate in a delicious variety of sweet goodness. Whether it is buttercream frosting, cream cheese frosting, chocolate ganache, caramel, or candy, the options are endless.
Bake your big event cupcakes ahead of time and freeze the cupcakes for effortless catering on the big day. If you have leftover cupcakes, freeze frosted cupcakes while fresh and keep them for later enjoyment rather than tossing the airy and delicate baked masterpieces.
Freezing cupcakes allows you to enjoy a little taste sensation at any time without having to lift a finger to bake anything.
Up next: Can you freeze cake batter?
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