How Long Do Cupcakes Last

Everyone loves a good cupcake, but not everyone knows how long it will last. Typically, most cupcakes can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container for up to three days. Cupcakes can last up to a week in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer.

Hey! I’m Michelle, and I’m a huge cupcake fan! I’ve been baking and eating cupcakes for as long as I can remember. That said, I definitely needed to figure out how long cupcakes really last. Fresh cupcakes are the best cupcakes!

If you have bought or made a fresh batch of cupcakes and need to know how long they will be good for, you’ve come to the right place. Cupcake longevity is pretty simple, but there are a few key things to keep in mind – which you will learn more about below.

Who’s ready to bake and save cupcakes?

How Long Do Cupcakes Last?

When it comes to cupcake storage for longevity, you have three options: room temperature, refrigerator, or freezer. Each storage solution has its own rules and regulations, so knowing how to properly store in these areas is imperative. Let’s dive in!

Room Temperature

The best way to store cupcakes is at room temperature. Why? Because they will remain at their peak of freshness. Most cupcakes (frosted and unfrosted) can be stored at room temperature for up to three days. However, not every situation is ideal for room temp cupcakes.

  • If the cupcakes contain custard, cream cheese, dairy fillings, or fruit fillings, the cupcakes must be stored in the refrigerator immediately after cooling.
  • Areas with high humidity and temperatures are not ideal for room temp storage. In this climate, it’s better for cupcakes to sit in the fridge.

If you’re not dealing with any of these “issues,” then room temperature is best. When storing cupcakes, keep them in an airtight container to keep them fresh. It’s best to avoid stacking the cupcakes, so the frosting does not get damaged.

If you don’t have any airtight containers on hand, you can always opt for plastic wrap or aluminum foil. The key is to create moisture and air away from the cupcakes, which could cause them to dry out quicker.

Another thing to remember about storing cupcakes: always make sure that they are entirely cooled off before trying to store in a container or plastic wrap. Storing cupcakes that are even slightly warm will create a soggy and undesirable texture.

Refrigerator

Most bakers shudder at the thought of leaving their baked goods in the fridge. The refrigerator is notorious for drying out baked treats such as cupcakes, and a lot of people will tell you to avoid them at all costs. But this isn’t exactly the truth.

While the fridge might not be the “ideal” place for cupcake storage, sometimes it’s necessary – such as the case with cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting or a fruity-filled masterpiece. These kinds of cupcakes require refrigeration as they go bad quickly at room temp.

Another benefit to using the fridge is that cupcakes can easily last up to a week in the fridge, making it a great spot to increase longevity. 

When storing in the fridge, it is even more important to seal the cupcakes in an airtight container. Otherwise, you may end up with the dreaded dryness from improperly stored baked goods in the fridge.

Freezer 

Do you want your cupcakes to last forever? Okay, not really. While it’s technically true that cupcakes can last indefinitely in the freezer, it doesn’t mean they will have the same texture and flavor a few years down the road. 

When it comes to storing cupcakes in the freezer, the best timeframe to consume is within six months. After that, the cupcakes may start to deteriorate a bit. But really – who is going to take longer than six months to devour cupcakes?

When it comes time to eat your precious baked treat, simply leave it on the counter for around 15 to 20 minutes, and it should be defrosted enough to enjoy once more. 

You can easily freeze cupcakes that are frosted or not. However, you might have better results opting for fresh frosting and toppings. This will simply ensure that your cupcake indulgence is at the peak of performance.

How to Tell if Cupcakes Have Gone Bad

So you’ve stored your cupcakes properly, but it’s a day or two after the “recommended” shelf life of cupcakes. How can you know whether or not it’s still good to eat? Well, there are three big indicators that your cupcakes have gone bad:

  • The texture is incredibly dry and hardened, or
  • The ingredients are wet and slimy (typical with fruity fillings)
  • Sometimes, mold may be present

Needless to say, you’re going to have to stick to your senses when it comes to knowing whether or not your cupcakes are still good. Any sign of mold and the cupcakes should be discarded to avoid a potential health hazard.

While eating a dried-out cupcake might not be risking your health, it certainly won’t taste good. Skip the undesirable cupcake adventure and whip up a fresh batch of delicious and fresh cupcakes instead.

FAQs

Cupcakes don’t last forever (although I’m sure we all wish they did). The good news is, there are plenty of options for storage. Do you still have questions about how long cupcakes last? Then check out these frequently asked questions below.

How long do cupcakes last on the counter?

Most cupcakes will be fine sitting on a countertop for up to three days. Of course, they must be stored properly. An airtight container is ideal, but even wrapping with foil or plastic wrap is fine. If the cupcakes contain whipped cream, cream cheese, custard, or fruit, they must be refrigerated.

How long do frosted cupcakes last?

It depends on the cupcake, but the longevity stays the same. Unless you’re using whipped cream, cream cheese, or fruit, frosted cupcakes can last up to three days on the counter. They can also be refrigerated or frozen as long as they are properly sealed.

Do homemade cupcakes need to be refrigerated?

Again, the answer to this question all comes down to the ingredients that are being used. Anytime you use a dairy, custard, or fruit ingredient, your cupcakes will need to be refrigerated whether they are homemade or not. Otherwise, they can simply be stashed on the countertop.

Should I refrigerate cupcakes before frosting?

You do not need to refrigerate cupcakes before frosting. However, if you plan to frost with whipped cream or cream cheese frosting and do not need the cupcakes until several days later, it may be best to store them unfrosted until it is time to frost them. 

Final Thoughts

I hope one-day cupcakes will last forever, but we have to follow the recommended time frame until then. Leaving on the counter is the top option, but they will only last for up to three days. To extend the longevity, choose the fridge (up to a week) or freezer (up to six months).

How long do you think cupcakes last? What is your favorite way to store them? Share your cupcake storage solutions with us below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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