If you’re anything like me, you like to bake your desserts ahead of time whenever you have the chance. And when it comes to making treats, like frosted cupcakes, for a get together or party I rarely have time to make them the day of the event.
That means storing your cupcakes in a way that retains their delicious flavor and soft texture. And that is where freezing comes in! If you have some cupcakes (even leftovers) to store then you came to the right place.
So can you freeze frosted cupcakes?
Yes! You can freeze your cupcakes, even if they are already frosted, and keep them tasty until later.
This is great for preparing your cupcakes ahead of time or to simply save leftover cupcakes for later instead of letting them get stale and throwing them out.
But you won’t just throw them in the freezer, you will want to store them the right way to prevent freezer burn and your cupcakes going bad. So after some practice and trying multiple different freezing methods I will let you know the best way to freeze frosted cupcakes so you can keep that delicious flavor and texture.
Can Frosted Cupcakes Be Frozen?
Yes they can! Just like unfrosted cupcakes, frosted cupcakes are well suited for being stored in the freezer. It is an effective and efficient way to store leftover or cupcakes you make ahead of time.
The freezing technique we will use is perfectly suited for frosted cupcakes because it will allow you to keep your frosting looking good, as well as tasting great! Most cupcake freezing methods you will find on the internet will leave you with smooshed frosting and that just won’t cut it!
Instead, this method will allow your frosting to maintain it’s pretty shape and look good once thawed and served.
How To Freeze Frosted Cupcakes The Right Way
Once you have baked your cupcakes allow them to cool completely before moving on. Once cooled, frost your cupcakes with your favorite icing, but do not add any other toppings. Other types of toppings will not hold up to freezing well and should be added just before serving.
Prepare Freezer Safe Container
Use a container that provides an airtight seal. Ensure that it is deep and large enough to hold your frosted cupcakes without smooshing down your frosting.
Set all of your frosted cupcakes in your airtight freezer safe container and seal the lid shut. Place your filled container in the freezer for one to two hours. This will allow your frosting to freeze (which allows it to maintain it’s shape in the following steps).
Remove Cupcakes From Freezer
Now that your frosting has had a chance to freeze, remove the container from the freezer and individually wrap each frosted cupcake with plastic wrap.
For this step it is important to work quickly as your cupcakes will begin to thaw while out of the freezer. So carefully, but quickly wrap each cupcake!
Place each of your individually wrapped cupcakes back in your airtight container. Make sure they still fit without your frosting getting crushed down.
Now just place your container back in the freezer and leave until ready to thaw and serve!
Tip: I like to place my cupcakes in the back of the freezer if they will be stored for more than a day or two. That is because every time you open your freezer the temperature rises a bit and can cause ice crystals to form on your cupcakes.
Frozen Frosted Cupcake Tips
- As noted above, avoid adding any additional toppings or decorations to your cupcakes prior to freezing. Many won’t freeze well and are best added just before serving. If you are certain the decorations you are using freeze well then go for it, but when in doubt wait until you thaw your frosted cupcakes.
- Some toppings that freeze well include chocolate pieces and nuts. Toppings that do not freeze well include sugar sprinkles and cookie pieces.
- It is always best to use an airtight container when freezing cupcakes but if you are freezing for only a couple days then you can store your individually wrapped cupcakes on a baking sheet if an airtight container is not available.
- Always write the date you froze your cupcakes on your container, especially if freezing for an extended period of time. This will ensure you do not forget when you froze them (trust me it’s common to forget!). I like to add in the date they were baked as well as the date they are good till.
- Cupcakes, like regular cake, can absorb odors so be certain your freezer is odor free before storing your cupcakes. You can eliminate freezer odors by storing vinegar or coffee beans in your freezer.
- You should also ensure your freezer maintains a constant temperature. Frequently opening and closing your freezer will lower the temp in it so this should be avoided. Only open your freezer when you need to and do not leave it open for extended periods of time.
- Wrap each cupcake individually or they will get smashed together and not look good when ready to serve.
- Each cupcake should be wrapped tightly, but not so tight they get squished.
- The container you use should hold your cupcakes in a single layer. Multiple layers will also result in crushed cupcakes.
- Cupcakes should never be refrigerated prior to freezing as this will result in drying them out and reducing their flavor.
How Long Can Cupcakes Be Stored In The Freezer?
Cupcakes will last for 1 to 1.5 months in the freezer when storing using this method. It is important that you label your container with the date your cupcakes were frozen to ensure they are used within this time period.
What Types Of Frosting and Icing Can Be Frozen?
All popular frosting and icings can be frozen! I have successfully frozen cream cheese frosting, ganache frosting, meringue frosting, as well as Swiss buttercream, Italian buttercream, and French buttercream.
You will find though that whipped frosting does not freeze as well as other types of frosting. Whipped frosting loses it’s fluffiness when frozen and therefore is not recommended for being stored in the freezer.
What Does Freezing Do To Cupcakes?
The freezer is the best way to store cupcakes because it does not dry them out like the refrigerator does. Cake becomes dry when stored in the fridge and so should be avoided but lucky for us the freezer will trap that moisture in your cupcake allowing it to be stored and still served moist!
The most important thing to remember about storing frosted cupcakes is to never place them in the refrigerator!
By using this freezing method your cupcakes will remain moist as well as keeping their delicious flavor.
But like you read in the tips above, you must make sure there are no bad odors in your freezer! Cupcakes will soak up any odors in your freezer so if there are any bad aromas in your freezer eliminate them before proceeding.
I recommend storing your cupcakes in the freezer for no more than two months because beyond that time they will begin to rapidly lose their moisture content. They will also lose much of their flavor leaving you with a very disappointing treat.
To avoid a tasteless dry cupcake be sure to serve them within a month and a half.
Frosted Cupcake Shelf Life
Any cupcake will fall within the shelf life noted above but there are some differences in how long different types of frosting will last when frozen.
Cupcakes frosted with buttercream will stay good for up to two months while a meringue based frosting will last for about one month longer.
The longest freezer shelf life, up to four months, is regular old fashion buttercream.
Other Ways To Store Frosted Cupcakes
While I don’t recommend storing cupcakes in your refrigerator, you can do so for up to four days. But keep in mind that they will become drier with every passing day.
If you do not wish to freeze your cupcakes then the best storage method is at room temperature. Keep your cupcakes in an airtight container on the counter for up to three days. They will lose moisture but not as quickly as in the fridge.
Frosted Cupcake FAQ
Can cupcakes be frozen with their paper wrapper?
Yes you can. The paper wrapper not only freezes fine it will also help hold in some moisture while your cupcakes are stored in the freezer.
How do you thaw frozen cupcakes?
Defrosting your iced cupcakes is quick and easy! Remove them from the freezer and unwrap them from the plastic wrap. Place them back in their airtight container and leave at room temperature for a couple of hours. They will be ready to serve!
Do not thaw your cupcakes in the fridge or by heating them up! This will dry them out.
Can filled cupcakes be frozen?
Yes! You can follow the exact steps above to freeze filled cupcakes. The thawing process is also the same.
Just be sure to know what type of filling they have so you know how long they can be stored in the freezer (follow the recommendations for frosted cupcakes above).
Can cupcakes be thawed in the microwave or oven?
No! Do not defrost your cupcakes in the oven or microwave as this will severely dry them out. They will lose almost all of their flavor and be barely edible. Just thaw them at room temperature and you will be all set.
Freezing frosted cupcakes is simple and easy if you follow this method. It consistently produces great results and as long as you that your cupcakes properly they will taste moist and delicious!