Can I Freeze Un-iced Cupcakes?
by Carolyn Lee
I am making cupcakes for my daughter's reception. Can I freeze the unfrosted cakes? If so, how long will they take to thaw and how long after I remove them from the freezer can I frost them?
Answer: Yes you can freeze cupcakes, but you have to be VERY careful. For short storage, you can place cupcakes in a freezer bag and freeze them, but you have to make sure the seal is extra air tight. Also, the cupcakes will get ice crystals on them. We have placed a piece of wax paper over the tops of the cupcakes to help mitigate that and to keep the tops of the cupcakes from getting too moist after thawing. Also, the shorter amount of time in the freezer the better (a week or less).
Two of the biggest issues with freezing cupcakes is drying out the cake and bending or crimping the cupcake wrapper. Since the cakes are so small, if the recipe is delicate freezing can make the cake dry out. Also, if you have to stack the cupcakes in your freezer, you run the risk of bending the pretty cupcake wrapper.
In terms of thawing time, they don't take much time at all. If you are icing the cupcakes with a butter cream swirl, you don't really need to thaw them out. If fact, icing them while they are still a little frozen will help seal in moisture. Of course for optimal flavor, all cupcake bakers recommend that you avoid freezing the cupcakes and baking and serving in the same day.
If you have the time, experiment with one of your recipes and try different freezing and storing methods. You can test ahead to ensure the defrosted cupcake is as flavorful and moist as your freshest batch!