Who doesn’t love buttercream? We love sinking our teeth into a beautifully baked cupcake topped with lashings of buttercream. But, what if you don’t eat all the cakes in one go? Do cupcakes with buttercream frosting need to be refrigerated?
Most cupcakes with buttercream frosting do not need to be refrigerated, although it depends on how the buttercream is made. If you have made German buttercream (i.e., a buttercream made from egg yolks), you must refrigerate them. However, all other buttercreams are fine at room temperature.
On this page, we want to give you information about storing your cupcakes with buttercream. We’ll also let you know why you may not always want to keep them in the fridge.
In most cases, no. In fact, we recommend that you avoid putting cupcakes with buttercream frosting in the fridge.
Buttercream frosting is delicious because it is loaded with fats and sugars. While this isn’t necessarily going to be great for your health, it works wonders at keeping bacteria from developing. So, even though buttercream is made from ingredients that would normally be a harboring ground for bacteria, it manages to keep pretty well outside of the fridge.
That being said, there are some buttercreams that do need to be refrigerated. We recommend that if you make anything with fresh egg yolks (normally called German buttercream), you refrigerate as soon as the cupcakes have cooled down. The egg yolk will cause bacteria to grow. You don’t have to worry about this if you have only used egg whites.
Where possible, we suggest that you don’t put buttercream cupcakes in the fridge. When you put the cakes in the fridge, the frosting will start to crystalize. This won’t really impact the taste of the cake, but it will have an impact on the look. It may also cause the buttercream to harden up, which means that you’ll need to wait for the cake to soften up when removed from the fridge (takes around 15 minutes).
If you leave the cupcakes on the countertop (at room temperature), then you can expect them to last around 2-3 days before they become inedible. However, you must store them in an airtight container to prevent them from drying out.
If you put the cakes in the fridge, they can last up to two weeks. However, as we said, the frosting will start to crystalize. That will happen after a couple of days.
If you want, you can store the cupcakes in the freezer too. Even if they are frosted, they will last up to 30 days in the freezer (without impacting the taste). Although, we do tend to avoid doing this. Only freeze if you know you won’t be eating the cupcakes any time soon because the freezing process will make the crystalization on the buttercream so much worse.
How To Properly Store Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
As we said, the best method for storing your cupcakes is at room temperature. This means:
- Out of direct sunlight (will cause the buttercream frosting to mount)
- Out of cold areas (will cause the frosting to harden up)
If you have a pantry, feel free to store the cupcakes in there. It is probably the best way to store your cupcakes as the pantry will keep them out of direct sunlight. The pantry may also add a day or two to the life of your cakes.
However you do choose to store the cakes, it is important that you store them in an airtight container. Don’t just store them out in the open. They’ll dry out far quicker, and they’ll attract pests (flies, ants, etc. won’t be able to get enough of the sweetness of the cakes). Cupcakes stored out of an airtight container may last a day or so, at most.
Remember, you can store them for up to 3 days like this.
If you notice that the frosting starts to discolor, a weird smell emits from the cupcakes, or the cake hardens up, then throw it away. There is no salvaging it.
If you have stored in the fridge, then make sure that you leave the cupcakes at room temperature for around 15 minutes before you eat them. This will let the frosting soften up a little bit, ensuring that your cake tastes so much more delicious!
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Do cupcakes with buttercream frosting need to be refrigerated? Mostly, no. You’ll only need to refrigerate any frosting made with egg yolks. Everything else can be kept at room temperature (in an airtight container) for up to three days. You can store up to 2 weeks in the fridge, but there is a chance that the buttercream will start to develop crystals, and it won’t look that nice.