Holidays are really close, like seriously “Oh my Gosh I can’t believe they are this close” close. And I have to admit it I always panic a little bit. I mean with the pressure of cooking dinner, baking all the desserts, getting a head start on my Christmas baking, baking gifts (because I really believe that edible gifts are the best type of gifts) I end up feeling like if I need 36 hours a day of only baking, and my day only has 24 hours. And if it’s not for the holiday/celebration part I usually like to have cupcakes on hand, why? because there is nothing worst that finding yourself mid Netflix marathon with a huge craving for sweets and nothing close, calling for takeout? yeah, no I’m to cheap for that. Baking something? Girl, mid marathon of Netflix, there is no way I’m going to stop this show to bake something. So I always freeze cupcakes, always.
How to freeze cupcakes is like a well kept secret of bakers, the do it all the time. If you have ever receive shipped cupcakes then you have tried cupcakes that were frozen. It helps them with their workflow, ensures that you eat a fresh treat all the time, and keeps them tasting and looking like if they were just baked.
So you can consider this the ultimate step by step process on how to freeze cupcakes. There is a tutorial to freeze unfrosted cupcake,s a guideline to freeze frosted ones, , how long can you keep them frozen (to ensure that they still taste like a million bucks), how to defrost them the right way (ahem don’t use the microwave) and a couple of tried and true cupcake recipes that are freezer friendly
How to Freeze Cupcakes (unfrosted)
- Bake your cupcakes and let them cool (like seriously, really cool down)
- Place the cupcakes in airtight freezer bags (like this ones from Hefty). You can also place them in airtight plastic containers, if you need to stack them ad a layer of parchment paper between each cupcake to prevent them from sticking.
- Place in the freezer
Seriously that’s it, only 3 easy steps to freeze cupcakes, I mean I’m pretty sure that it took you more time to read that than to actually freeze your baked creations. More tips on how to defrost them in a couple of minutes (or you can simply scroll a couple of titles, it’s right under “How to long can you keep them frozen” )
How to Freeze Cupcakes that are frosted
But now let’s say that you want to freeze your frosted cupcakes, maybe you really want a head start in your party baking or maybe you just want to have frosted cupcakes on hand all the time (yay friend!!) I have used this method a LOT, and I actually love to keep frozen frosted cupcakes around me at all times. they are seriously life savers!
so here is the step by step on how to freeze cupcakes that are frosted
- Bake you cupcakes and let them cool (like you would normally do when you are going to frost them)
- Decorate your cupcakes with buttercream frosting, buttercream is the type of frosting that freezes the best (cream cheese frosting also works!) other types like cooked frosting don’t work out for this.
- Place your cupcakes, unwrapped in the freezer and let the well freeze for 3 to 4 hours or until they frosting is hard to the touch.
- Place your cupcakes on an airtight container, making sure that the frosting is not touching other cupcakes (so the frosting remains undamaged)
- Place the container on the freezer and you are ready!
Freezing frosted cupcakes take a couple more of steps (and freezer space!) that freezing unfrosted cupcakes but it’s still a super duper easy process!
How long can I keep them frozen
Now this is like the million bucks question, and the one that you are probably asking yourself right now, how long can you keep your cupcakes frozen? Well thi has a LOT of opinions, seriously there are a thousand + 1 articles on how long can you keep them frozen and the times vary from 1 month to 1 year, so yeah talk about different opinions. So here is my 2 cents, because you know a thousand + 1 articles was not enough.
I like to keep them in the freezer for around 3 months. Why? I don’t have a scientific explanation, but I find that 3 months keeps them just like day 1, more time and they start to get a bit dry and a bit too moist when I take them out. You can certainly keep them for shorter periods of time (like a week or a couple of days!) but if you are in a cupcake hurry you can definitely keep them a bit longer, just keep in mind that the texture is not going to be as good.
To guarantee that your cupcakes re going to taste and feel like if you just baked them an airtight container is mandatory, seriously, anything that has a slight opening is no bueno.
How to defrost cupcakes
Now that you are a freezing cupcakes machine and have this process streamlined to a T you need to defrost your little nuggets of baked happiness. If you re anything like me then waiting for more than 5 minutes can feel like “WHYYYYY? ” but truth is there is no shortcut, seriously don’t even try to microwave them, they end up soggy and sad, and did I said sad and soggy? There is nothing worst than a sad and soggy cupcake. The best way to ensure that your cupcakes taste like day 1 is to let them unfrost in your kitchen counter. Also defrosting it the slow way is not that slow! It can take from 30 minute to 3 hours, so it’s actually kind of fast.
How to defrost cupcakes
- take your airtight container out of the freezer and take your cupcakes out of the container
- Place them on a cooling rack (so the bottom remains dry)
- Let them defrost for anything between 30 minutes to 3 hours
- If they are unfrosted decorate them!
Again that’s it, 3 steps to unfrost cupcakes to perfection! (because the 4th is decorating them so it’s not much a step right?)
Great Cupcake recipes that can be made ahead
Where can you find more information about how to freeze cupcakes
I know that this is a complete step by step list full of tips and tricks and how tos, but I also know than sometimes – specially when it come to making ahead cupcakes for something like a party (the fear and anxiety is real!!) – we need to read a couple more of opinions, even if it’s to know that we are not the only ones wanting to bake a ton of cupcakes and then hoard them in our freezers.
So here is a list of resources where you can read more tips on how to freeze cupcakes
A forum: Full of opinions and comments of readers centered around baking cupcakes for parties and the freezing them
Tips: A full list on tips to DIY the desserts for a party without going crazy, just in case you are planning to bake more than a couple things just for you
An open thread: This one is from one of my favorite sites, it’s an open thread full of comments and users opinions too (see? we are not the only ones wanting to bake and store cupcakes!)
An article: On how to freeze frosted gluten free cupcakes (hint just like full of gluten cupcakes) but I love having resources for my friends with allergies
And that is all folks! What are your favorite cupcake flavors for parties? Share it in the comments!!