How To Store Cupcakes Overnight For Ultimate Freshness

If you've ever been on cupcake duty for an event like a birthday party, you may have considered making them the day of. This idea certainly doesn't seem like a bad one. After all, who wouldn't want to sink their teeth into a freshly-made cupcake? However, as you may have found, this can pose several problems, like forcing you to make one of the biggest cupcake frosting mistakes: decorating them before they've cooled, causing the icing to turn into a melty mess. Therefore, if possible, it's much better to make your cupcakes the night before.

Now, we know what you're thinking: "Won't that cause my cupcakes to become dry and crumbly?" Not if you store them properly, which is much easier to accomplish than you might think. The method you should use depends on a few things, but the key to overnight cupcake storage is placing them in an airtight container to maintain their moisture. Additionally, make sure to use the proper cooling method of quickly removing them from the pan and letting them sit on a wire rack for an hour or more before placing the treats inside of the container, which will also help keep them from drying out.

In the case of unfrosted, unfilled cupcakes, the airtight container can simply be left out at room temperature, where they'll stay fresh for up to 48 hours. Additionally, even most frosted cupcakes can be left out overnight in an airtight container. However, there are a few exceptions.

When not to leave cupcakes at room temp overnight

In most cases, you want to avoid storing cupcakes — either unfrosted or frosted — in the refrigerator overnight, as doing so can prompt them to go stale, even if they're stored in an airtight container. Still, there are a few instances when keeping the dessert in your refrigerator is necessary.

For example, if you're making filled cupcakes (like these Copycat Hostess Cupcakes), they'll need to be kept in the refrigerator to prevent the whipped cream filling from spoiling. The same goes for cupcakes topped with cream cheese or whipped cream frosting, which can also turn if left out on the counter.

You'll also want to exercise caution when leaving cupcakes out overnight during the summer months, as the warmer temperatures can cause the frosting to melt — similarly to how it does when applied to cupcakes before they've cooled. In this case, the best solution is to wait to frost them until the day of serving. However, if you need to frost them the night before, you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for one night.