How to Store Cupcakes and Keep Them Fresh

If you bought too many cupcakes or you don’t need to frost and serve until a later date, you might wonder the best way to store them, so they stay nice and fresh. 

A box on the countertop is fine for short-term storage, and long-term storage should have cupcakes wrapped individually and placed in the freezer.

Hey, there! My name is Michelle, and I am a cupcake fanatic. There is just something oh-so-cute about a cupcake. The miniature-sized cake and cupcakes can be decorated minimally or extravagantly. Either way, I had to find storage options to make sure mine stayed fresh.

If you’re considering storing cupcakes for later, then you need to do it the right way. The last thing you want is to end up with cupcakes that are sticky, dry, stale, or a combination of all three. This article will teach you the right way to store cupcakes and keep them fresh.

Who’s ready to store some cupcakes?

How to Store Cupcakes and Keep Them Fresh

Storage options will differ depending on whether your cupcakes are frosted or unfrosted. Both methods are pretty straightforward to accomplish, though. So don’t worry when it comes to how to store cupcakes and keep them fresh. 

It’s simple. 

Storing Unfrosted Cupcakes on the Counter

Why would you ever want to store unfrosted cupcakes? Think of it this way: if you’re throwing a party and don’t want to fuss with baking and frosting on the day of the party, you can make cupcakes in advance and frost them before the big bash.

When it comes to storing unfrosted cupcakes, do the following:

  • Bake your cupcakes as usual. Try one of these fantastic and tasty recipes.
  • Let them cool on a wire rack. A wire rack will speed up the cooling process and ensure there is no undesirable sogginess.
  • When cooled completely, place in an airtight container. The container you use doesn’t really matter, as long as your cupcakes have enough space to sit.
  • Leave on the countertop for up to five days. Remember – the sooner, the better when it comes to freshness. The best timeframe is two or three days, but you can get by with up to five.

Tip: Avoid storing in the fridge. The fridge will suck the moisture life out of your cupcakes and create a sticky top that is hard to frost. If you must use the refrigerator, leave the cupcakes out (uncovered) for about an hour before frosting. This will allow them to dry up a little for frosting.

Tip 2: If you don’t have an airtight container, you can also store your unfrosted cupcakes in a plastic bag or a bowl covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. The goal is to keep the cupcakes away from the air, which will dry them out sooner.

Storing Unfrosted Cupcakes in the Freezer

If you need long-term storage solutions, then you need to use the freezernot the fridge. Unlike the refrigerator, the freezer won’t dry out your cupcakes. As long as they are appropriately wrapped, then you can enjoy your unfrosted cupcakes for months after they’ve been frozen.

To store: Cool cupcakes entirely. Wrap individually. Place wrapped cupcakes in a larger airtight container or sealable freezer bag. 

To use: When you’re ready to nosh on some delicious miniature cakes, simply take the uncovered cupcakes out of the freezer and let them sit on the counter for about an hour. Frost and enjoy as usual.

Storing Frosted Cupcakes

Storing frosted cupcakes isn’t much different. However, you have to be a bit more careful as you don’t want to disturb the frosting or decorations. That said, when it comes to storing frosted cupcakes, do the following:

  1. Bake cupcakes as usual.
  2. Let them cool completely on a wire rack
  3. Frost and decorate
  4. Place cupcakes in an airtight container that has enough height and room for each cupcake
  5. Leave on the countertop for up to three days

Tip: If your cupcakes have a perishable interior or exterior (such as a cream cheese filling or fresh fruit topping), they will need to be stored in the fridge. Otherwise, the refrigerator is a big no-no, just like unfrosted cupcakes.

Tip 2: A specialty cupcake container or storage box can work wonders, especially for frosted cupcakes. They will provide a “house” for each cupcake so the frosting and decorations will not overlap or get ruined. Plus, the box looks professional and fun!

Storing Frosted Cupcakes in the Freezer

A freezer is also an option for frosted cupcakes, but you have to be extra-extra careful, even more so than you were with leaving them on the countertop. 

Trying to plop frosted cupcakes into a freezer bag is going to lead to a frosted, crumbled nightmare. Do this instead:

  1. Freeze the cupcakes uncovered or wrapped. Yes, you will place your cupcakes directly into the freezer, and this is because the frosting needs to freeze before you try to store it.
  2. Wrap each cupcake separately. 
  3. Store the wrapped cupcakes in a larger airtight container or plastic sealable freezer bag.

Frosted cupcakes can last in the freezer for several months, too. When you’re ready to eat them, simply take them out of the freezer and place them on the countertop until they’re thawed and ready for action.


Now you know how to store cupcakes successfully, whether they’re frosted or unfrosted, and need short-term or long-term storage solutions. Keep reading to check out some of these handy, frequently asked questions you might want to know the answer to.

Does refrigerating cupcakes keep them fresh?

In a nutshell, no. It keeps them fresh enough to eat, but not in the sense that they’re light, fluffy, and delicious. The fridge will dry them out. However, sometimes you have to use the refrigerator, such as if your cupcakes have perishable fillings or toppings. 

Is it better to freeze cupcakes with or without frosting?

No way is “better” than the other. I find that freezing unfrosted cupcakes is a lot easier in terms of storage, but it isn’t always handy. Frosted cupcakes come out of the freezer ready to go, making it more convenient in the long run.

How long do cupcakes last in an airtight container?

If your counter is room temperature and there isn’t skyrocketing humidity, cupcakes can technically last up to five days. However, they will lose their moistness and flavor after about three days. That said, I recommend eating before the three-day mark.

Should I refrigerate cupcakes overnight?

You can refrigerate cupcakes overnight, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily should. The fridge is a primary culprit for dried-out cakes, cupcakes, and other goodies. Only use the refrigerator if you absolutely have to.

Final Words

Storing cupcakes to keep them fresh is pretty self-explanatory. They need to be placed in an airtight container or plastic freezer bag. Then, they can be placed on the counter for up to five days (three preferred) or several months in the freezer. Avoid the fridge, if possible.

How do you store your cupcakes, so they stay at their peak of freshness? Do you ever use the fridge, or is that a no-no in your home, too? We would love to hear from you! Comment 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Stella

    This recipe is too sweet. I definitely recommend cutting down on the sugar amount.