Cupcakes are the pearl at every social gathering. So versatile and cheerful, you will find your favorite cupcake type. However, when making cupcakes, it is easy to get carried away, as it is delicious and creative work, but the problem arises when you realize that you’ve made too many for dessert. So, can you freeze cupcakes?
Freezing cupcakes is possible, but it is somewhat meticulous work. You must be very careful and do things just right to freeze your cupcakes properly. How you freeze your cupcakes depends on whether you freeze them frosted or unfrosted. Frosted cupcakes require more care.
Because discarding cupcakes that you could have eaten is a very sad thing, you need to make sure that this never happens just because you lack the correct information. Therefore, in the following paragraphs, I will share some helpful information and tips on how you can freeze your cupcakes to keep them fresh and tasty.
Can You Freeze Cupcakes Without Frosting?
You can definitely freeze cupcakes without frosting. That is the recommended way to freeze them. However, you have to be careful about their texture.
Cupcakes are very gentle dessert cakes and are very vulnerable even to the slightest mistake in their handling. Therefore, you absolutely must always remember when freezing cupcakes to be very gentle and delicate with them.
If you intend to freeze an entire batch right after baking, you must leave them to rest first. Never freeze cupcakes while still hot. While hot, the steam of the cupcakes will get reabsorbed back into them during the first hour in the freezer, permanently deteriorating their structure.
When you defrost them, they will likely fall apart, and if they somehow stay whole, they won’t remain that way for long.
So, to freeze your unfrosted cupcakes properly, you need to let them cool down completely before popping them in the freezer. Once they are completely cold, wrap each individual cupcake in plastic foil and place the foil-wrapped cupcakes in individual freezer baggies.
Don’t press the cupcakes in the plastic container. If you need to, use another container, ensuring they don’t press onto each other. Lastly, place the baggies into plastic containers, preferably airtight, and place the containers on the top freezer shelf.
Overall, it is a little bit more complicated than just popping them in the freezer and being done with it, but it isn’t something you couldn’t successfully pull off.
Can You Freeze Cupcakes With Frosting?
You can freeze cupcakes with frosting, but the process is slightly more delicate and extensive. Namely, freezing cupcakes with frosting requires an additional step, i.e., pre-freezing.
The pre-freezing is a crucial step in freezing cupcakes with frosting. As fragile as cupcakes are, the frosting is a hundred times more vulnerable. Therefore you need to ease into the process.
Place the frosted cupcakes uncovered on a place and put them in the fridge. Let them sit there for about an hour to an hour and a half. This pre-freezing process will harden the frosting, making it easier for it to freeze completely.
You mustn’t freeze your muffins uncovered, as they will dry out completely, becoming all the more crumbly when you defrost them. However, covering frosted cupcakes ruins the frosting. So, to keep the frosting intact, the pre-freezing process is an absolute necessity.
If, for instance, you manage to cover the frosting without ruining it, it would mean that you have wrapped the cupcakes too loosely, risking more air penetrating your cupcakes.
Pre-freezing the cupcakes essentially prepares them for the freezing process, more precisely, preparing the frosting. The frosting is mainly sugar and eggs, so even though it seems like a stable structure, it is filled with air bubbles created from the whipping.
These air bubbles freeze, making them watery after defrosting, thus degrading the structure of the frosting. In addition, during the defrosting process, that water gets partially absorbed into the already moist cupcakes, making them excessively watery.
How to Freeze Cupcakes?
Cupcakes hold up great in the freezer and retain their moisture while inside. If frozen correctly, they will taste as if they were freshly made. The fridge tends to dry out the cupcakes, but the freezer treats them way more nicely.
To freeze cupcakes properly, you must be very gentle and careful and ensure you don’t leave them squeezing onto each other. You also need to cover them, so they don’t dry out.
Also, you need to wrap them individually in plastic foil, place them in individual freezer baggies and transfer them into airtight containers. If one container is not enough for your cupcakes to be placed comfortably with enough space, you should use more, as pressing the cupcakes together isn’t an option.
How to Freeze Cupcakes With Frosting?
The freezing process for frosted cupcakes consists of several steps. The first and crucial step is pre-freezing. You need to pre-freeze your frosted cupcakes because if you don’t, you risk ruining the entire cupcake.
Place the frosted cupcakes on a plate and place them uncovered in the fridge for an hour so that the frosting hardens sufficiently to wrap it.
After the pre-freezing process, it is time to wrap the cupcakes. Use plastic foil to wrap each individual cupcake. Be careful and gentle when wrapping frosted cupcakes, as it takes very little to ruin the frosting.
Don’t wrap them too tightly, especially the frosting. After wrapping them, place each individual cupcake in freezer baggies and transfer them to an airtight container.
Although with the unfrosted cupcakes, airtight containers are preferable but not mandatory, frosted cupcakes are non-negotiable. The frosting is highly perishable, as it often contains eggs and dairy, so air penetrating the frosting can and will destroy your cupcakes.
Place the cupcakes leaving enough space, and ensure they aren’t squeezed together but positioned comfortably.
Place the container on the top shelf of your freezer, where the air is driest, and don’t place anything on it.
This freezing process is slightly more demanding than that of unfrosted cupcakes, but it is the best, if not the only, way to get this done right.
Does Freezing Ruin Cupcakes?
Freezing does not ruin cupcakes; on the contrary, it keeps them fresh and moist. The cupcake batter is foamy but stable enough to be frozen. They come out of the freezer spongy and perfectly delicious.
However, cupcakes are very delicate, requiring care and attention in terms of freezing. While you can freeze other pastries just by popping them in the freezer and forgetting about them, cupcakes don’t work that way. Leaving them uncovered in the freezer will definitely over-dry them, causing them to fall apart when defrosted.
Also, exposed to the freezer air, they may absorb some of the other flavors of other foods you have in your freezer, so you may end up with runny cupcakes tasting like chicken. Therefore wrapping them is essential.
If you can choose between freezing frosted cupcakes and unfrosted, choose to freeze unfrosted cupcakes, as they are easier to handle. If you have already frosted them, you may want to consider removing the frosting and freezing them bare.
However, if you choose to freeze frosted cupcakes, let them pre-freeze for an hour so that the frosting hardens, making it easier to wrap for long-term freezing.
If you do all the steps and are careful enough, freezing won’t harm your cupcakes. Therefore, freezing doesn’t harm, let alone ruin your cupcakes, but not observing the necessary steps will definitely cause them to deteriorate after defrosting.
Another crucial thing to remember is that you should never freeze your cupcakes right after baking. Let them cool and freeze them once they are completely cold. Freezing your cupcakes hot or even warm will result in overly moist cupcakes falling apart in your hands once you defrost them.
Can You Freeze Cupcakes in Paper Cases?
You can absolutely freeze cupcakes in paper cases. Paper cases are not only allowed but also recommended when freezing cupcakes. They will allow the cupcakes to keep their integrity and structure and keep them even safer in the fridge.
The paper cases also protect the cupcakes from excess moisture absorbing from the cupcakes. Therefore, even if air penetrates the cupcake, the paper case will act as a shield, so your dessert will stay intact.
How to Defrost Cupcakes?
Defrosting cupcakes requires the same care and attention as freezing them. Never defrost your cupcakes using a kitchen appliance such as a microwave oven, a regular oven, or another appliance with the same or a similar function.
It is crucial to let your cupcakes thaw on their own before doing anything with them. When you take them out of the freezer, while they are still frozen solid, unwrap them and place them on a plate.
If you let them thaw while they are still wrapped, you will have difficulty unwrapping them once they have softened.
After you unwrap the cupcakes, place them on a plate and let them thaw all the way. You will notice that as they thaw, the plate gets wet. The best way to prevent the moisture from re-entering the cupcakes is to use a porcelain plate covered with paper or a cotton kitchen towel.
The towel will absorb the moisture from the cupcakes, so you won’t risk having wet cupcakes. After they have defrosted completely, you can pop them in the oven for a few minutes to warm them up if you want to, but you don’t have to.
What Is the Best Way to Store Cupcakes?
Depending on the length of time you need to store them, there are several ways to store cupcakes.
If you need to store them for later that same day, for example, you made them in the morning and need them for the evening, make sure they are completely cold before you store them.
To store them for later the same day, you don’t need to refrigerate the cupcakes, especially if they are not frosted, which I recommend. You can frost them before serving the cupcakes; you don’t need to take unnecessary risks and have a runny frosting on your cupcakes.
Therefore, once completely cold, transfer your cupcakes to airtight containers and place them in a cool dark place where they would be sheltered from the elements, such as air or sunlight.
If you need to store them for a few days, leaving your cupcakes at room temperature is never a good idea, as they will dry out and probably start to spoil. Therefore if you plan to store them for up to a week, refrigerate your cupcakes and place them on the top shelf in the fridge.
You should place them in airtight containers and use as many as you have so that you don’t squeeze the cupcakes onto each other. If you don’t have airtight containers, use the ones you have, but make sure you wrap each individual cupcake in plastic foil and place them in the container all wrapped up.
The fridge can excessively dry out your cupcakes, so it is best to refrigerate them unfrosted, as the frosting may turn hard and crumbly. Don’t put anything on the cupcake container so as not to break it and ruin the cupcakes.
If you need to store your cupcakes for a longer period of time, use the freezer. It will keep them safe and relatively fresh for up to three months. Again, never freeze hot or warm cupcakes; opt to freeze them without frosting.
Wrap them individually in plastic foil, place them in separate freezer baggies and place them in an airtight container. Don’t squeeze them together, but allow for each cupcake to have enough space.
Lastly, freezing frosted cupcakes requires pre-freezing, which is a step you must carry out before freezing your cupcakes completely and for the long term. Place the cupcakes on a plate and put them in the freezer uncovered for an hour for the frosting to harden.
Afterward, the regular procedure is wrapping, packing, and freezing.
How Long Do Cupcakes Last in the Fridge?
Cupcakes last about a week in the fridge, but in no case longer. The fridge is known to excessively dry out cupcakes, and leaving them there for over a week will undoubtedly decrease their quality.
For best results, leave them in the fridge for four to five days, and if you don’t eat them in that time, freeze them for more extended storage.
Can You Freeze Cupcakes?
- 4 Cupcakes
- You can freeze cupcakes without frosting. To do that, you need to wrap them individually in plastic foil, place them in individual freezer baggies and transfer them into airtight containers.
- You can freeze cupcakes with frosting.
- To freeze cupcakes properly, you need to be very gentle and careful and make sure you don't leave them squeezing onto each other. Place the frosted cupcakes on a plate and place them uncovered in the fridge for an hour so that the frosting hardens sufficiently to wrap it.
- After pre-freezing, wrap each cupcake in plastic foil, place them in individual freezer baggies and transfer them into airtight containers.
- You can freeze cupcakes in paper cases.