Fresh cupcakes are a delicious treat. But unless you live at a cupcakery, it's hard to whip up daily fresh batches of cupcakes. Common ingredients, such as eggs, butter and cream, spoil quickly and begin declining in taste after just 24 hours in unrefrigerated environments. Fortunately, with the proper storage, you can preserve the freshness of your cupcakes past their 24-hour mark and up to 10 days.
Place your cupcakes on the counter for approximately one hour or until the frosting cools and feels slightly hard. Mildly hard frosting won't stick to the lid of the container and damage any decorative designs. Frosting made from scratch generally hardens faster than canned frosting with preservatives.
Wrap each cupcake in cling film once the frosting has hardened slightly. Cling film seals in moisture and prevents the cake portion of the cupcake from becoming dry and crumbly in the refrigerator. Wrap a second layer of foil around the cling film as a protective buffer between each cupcake. If you have to transport the cupcakes, the foil barrier prevents them from accidentally hitting each other and ruining any decorative frosting designs.
Arrange the foil-wrapped cupcakes in an airtight plastic container, and close the lid. Place the container in the refrigerator away from the cold-air vent, which can expedite the drying process or cause freezing. Your cupcakes will remain fresh between seven and 10 days inside the refrigerator, depending on the temperature and the ingredients in your cupcakes. Recipes made with dairy products, such as cream, butter or eggs, decline in taste faster than cupcakes made from a package mix.
Store your cupcakes up to six months by freezing only the cake portion in a freezer-ready zip seal bag. When you're ready to serve the cupcakes, thaw them on the counter for three hours, make and apply the frosting after thawing.