Cupcakes are tasty treats that make any occasion feel extra special. But of course, we all want to minimize the time required for food prep, so you might be wondering if you can prepare your cupcakes in advance. But how will you keep them fresh? You've heard that you can store them in the freezer, but how do you do this properly without damaging the frosting or decorations? We asked the expert bakers how they freeze these desserts, including those with fondant icing, and here's their answer.
Your cupcakes must have cooled down properly before you cover each one tightly with plastic wrap. Put them in an airtight container, label them, and then keep them in the freezer. For frosted cupcakes, you have to flash freeze them uncovered for a couple of hours to solidify them. Then proceed to cover each individual cupcake with plastic wrap before placing them carefully in a sturdy airtight container where they will be kept secure inside the freezer.
Continue reading for detailed procedures and more tips from our expert bakers regarding the best way to freeze your cupcakes to keep them fresh and perfect until you need them. We'll also tell you how to store your fondant decorations and how to pack and store your frozen cupcakes for shipping.
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best way to freeze cupcakes
It's no secret. Many bakers prepare their cupcakes in advance. Chances are, the cupcakes that you bought from your favorite bakeshop have been baked a couple of weeks ago. But you didn't notice anything off with your dessert, right? It's because expert bakers know how to freeze these goodies so that they'll stay fresh for months. And now, we'll share with you their recommended steps and tips for proper storage in the freezer.
Freezing unfrosted cupcakes and Those with Fondant Icing
1. Allow your cupcakes to cool down completely after baking. This will prevent excess air from being trapped inside these treats.
2. Cover each cupcake tightly with plastic wrap. This is important to seal in their moisture and freshness.
3. Put the wrapped cupcakes in an airtight container. You can also use freezer bags just make sure that there's no air left inside after you seal them.
4. Put a label outside and note the date of storage.
5. Place them in a safe place inside your freezer so that they won't be squashed and deformed.
Freezing frosted cupcakes
There are some additional steps you have to do when you're freezing little cakes that have been frosted already.
1. Place your cupcakes on a baking sheet. Make sure you put some space in between them.
2. Put them inside the freezer without any cover on.
3. Flash freeze until they are rock solid.
4. Take them out of the freezer and cover each one carefully using plastic wrap. Since the frosting has solidified, it'll be easier to wrap and will stay firm.
5. Put the cupcakes in an airtight container. It is recommended to use plastic or glass containers to protect the shape of these little cakes while inside the freezer.
6. Label with the content and date before placing them in the freezer.
Can you freeze cupcakes with whipped cream frosting?
Cupcake frosting is usually made of butter and sugar to be able to make a thick and fluffy mixture. It eventually stiffens as it dries which makes them perfect for decorating cupcakes. Whipped cream can also be used for frosting, however, it doesn't hold its shape that well; that's why you need to add a stabilizer to it so you can use it for decorating your desserts.
Unlike buttercream and cream cheese frostings, whipped cream frosting does not do very well in the cold. The issue is when you thaw the cupcakes, the fluff in the frosting is lost, leaving you with a melted sweet mess on top of your dessert. So it's not recommended to freeze your cupcakes with whipped cream frosting. But don't worry because this type of frosting is easy to prepare so you can make it fresh before you serve your cupcakes.
Is it better to freeze cupcakes with or without frosting?
Although both frosted and unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in the freezer and they will do well in cold storage, expert bakers recommend that you put the frosting fresh on the day that you're going to serve your cupcakes.
Freezing cupcakes without frosting is also a lot simpler than freezing those with frosting as you have to be extra careful to preserve the decorations. Besides, frosting tastes so much better when made fresh so your guests will be a lot more impressed with your treats.
Do frozen cupcakes taste the same?
These frozen delights won't taste the same when completely defrosted. But don't be sad because we've got good news for you. Expert bakers say cupcakes actually taste even better upon thawing. If they are properly wrapped in the freezer, they will retain their moisture, texture, and taste so they'll still be at their best quality when you serve these treats to your guests.
How long do cupcakes last in the freezer?
These little treats do well in the cold. As long as they are stored properly, your cupcakes will stay fresh for 4 to 6 months inside the freezer. Once thawed, you can still enjoy these sweet desserts as if they're freshly prepared on the same day that you're eating them.
Can you freeze fondant decorations?
In case you have more free time, you can get started with your fondant decorations as well. We all know how meticulous it is to come up with fun designs for your cupcakes and it would take up so much time if you're going to do them on the day that you have to serve these desserts. So, go ahead and knead your sugar paste and bring out your decorating tools.
Once you're done with your fondant decorations, here's what you need to do to store them in the freezer.
- Cover each of your finished products tightly with plastic wrap. You can also use a press and seal wrap if you have a vacuum sealer.
- Place them in a sturdy airtight container.
- Put a label on the container as well as the date of storage.
Your fondant decorations will stay safe in the freezer for several months so you can make as many as you can in advance. Don't worry because they'll become soft, pliable, and ready to use once thawed.
How to freeze cupcakes for shipping?
You need to make the necessary preparations to be able to transport your cupcakes properly to their destination. This is an essential part of the safe transportation of food as mandated by the FDA. Follow the steps mentioned above for freezing your frosted or decorated cupcakes. Make sure they are wrapped properly and stored securely in the freezer.
When you're ready to ship these sweet desserts, you need to prepare these materials: cupcake containers, an insulated bag, ice packs, bubble wrap, 2 boxes, and packing tape. There's a growing preference for putting cupcakes in mason jars as they are sturdier and easier to transport but the usual disposable cupcake containers made of plastic will do. Here are the steps on how to pack, store, and ship them properly so they'll stay fresh and impeccable after transit.
- Cover each cupcake container with bubble wrap.
- Put them inside a small box and tape them securely.
- Put the small box inside an insulated bag.
- Surround the box with ice packs before closing the bag.
- Place the bag inside a bigger box.
- Fill in the gaps with more bubble wrap so that the insulated bag will remain secure inside the box even if it is shaken or moved around.
- Tape the box securely on all sides.
- Choose the right shipping option, one that will be able to deliver your cupcakes fast and safely. Remember the longer your desserts are in transit, the higher the chances that they'll be less than perfect upon delivery.
How to defrost cupcakes?
It ain't fun to eat a rock-solid cupcake, right? So, here's how you can defrost them properly so you can serve these goodies at room temperature.
- Take your cupcakes out of the freezer.
- Remove the wrapping carefully.
- Place your little cakes on a cooling rack on your counter.
- Simply wait for them to thaw at room temperature! It would take between 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on how frozen they are.
- Put your frosting or fondant decorations before serving.
Here's another reminder though: Don't ever use a microwave to defrost your cupcakes. This would cause them to be soggy and sloppy and they won't be fun to eat at all.
Covering your cupcakes with plastic wrap and putting them in an airtight container will seal in their moisture and ensure that their texture and flavor stay the same once thawed. Your guests will surely enjoy these sweet delights and they won't have a clue that you've baked them months before once you serve them these desserts.