How Long Are Cupcakes Good For? Can You Freeze Them? 

Sarah Owens

By Sarah Owens

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Cupcakes are undoubtedly the universal crowd-pleasers. They have been flying off the shelves at my bakery for ages, a testament to their insane popularity and how much people adore these delightful treats.

Yet, even though cupcakes are a household staple, not everyone knows the best way to keep them fresh. Some readers told me their cupcakes lose all their charm after only a couple of days!

As an experienced chef, it pains me to see such tasty dishes go to waste for nothing. Let me lend a hand and guide you through how long cupcakes stay good right below.

How Long Do Cupcakes Stay Fresh?

Stick them in the fridge, and you can keep the cupcakes for about 7 days. At room temp, their lifespan is shortened to 2-5 days. And if you are thinking of a freezer, the cakes should hang around for 3 months. Better gobble them up within that period!

How Long Do Cupcakes Stay Fresh
Cupcakes can stay good for 3-5 days at room temperature

Frosted Cupcakes

Stored In The Refrigerator

Most of my friends tense up whenever I suggest tossing their baked delights into the fridge. There’s a rumor floating around that the fridge temperature might zap the moisture out of delicious cupcakes and make them taste like cardboard. But let me tell you, that is not entirely accurate!

Sure, a refrigerator might not be the ultimate cupcake sanctuary, but it’s sometimes necessary. Take cupcakes with cream cheese or fruity-filled frostings; without a cooler environment to stay fresh, they can turn bad pretty fast at room temperature.

If you pop them in the fridge properly, the cupcakes could last up to 7 days. Make sure you seal them well in a quality, airtight container; otherwise, they might turn into that dreaded dry mess that no one wants to taste.

Stored In The Freezer

Want your flavorful cupcakes to stick around forever? Well, not exactly forever, but a reasonable period regardless. Technically speaking, cupcakes can hang out in your freezer indefinitely, but that doesn’t mean they will taste just as delightful several years later. 

Therefore, for the best cupcake experience, my family will enjoy them within 3 months of freezing. Beyond 3 months, they might start losing lots of their charm (and let’s be real, who waits that long to chow down their cupcakes anyway?).

When it’s cupcake time, let your treat chill on the countertop for 15-20 minutes to defrost. That should bring the cake back to its yummy, fluffy state. I also like to freshen up the cupcake frostings and toppings before digging in; it’s the secret to savoring my cupcake delight at its absolute best!

How to Store Cupcakes
A frozen cupcake can lose its taste over time

Unfrosted Cupcakes

Forget the fridge or freezer tales; room temperature is the go-to spot for your sweet treats. 

Why? Because they will stay at their absolute freshest! Most cupcake types, frosted or not, can chill at room temperature for 2-5 days and keep their delightful taste intact.

Still, not every cupcake thrives without refrigeration: 

  • Do your cupcakes contain dairy/fruit fillings, custard, or cream cheese frosting? Then, they must be fridge-bound right after cooling. 
  • Are you living in a toasty place or a high-humidity zone? The fridge is definitely a better bet for your cupcake freshness.

As long as you are steering clear of these cupcake “issues,” room temperature storage is still the champ. Remember to pop them into a good airtight container to lock in their freshness. 

No airtight containers? No problem! When running out of them, I usually grab aluminum foil or plastic wrap instead.

It’s better not to stack the cakes, lest you ruin that beautifully piped frosting. And one more thing: before you stash them away, make sure they are totally cool. Storing warm cupcakes will only give you a soggy, undesirable texture.

How to Tell If Your Cupcakes Have Gone Bad

If you want to confirm whether your cupcakes are still good, here’s a quick checklist I have compiled from my not-so-fun past experience with my own stale cakes:

  • First off, break your cupcake in halves. Feel the texture; is it still soft, or has it turned crumbly and dry? 
  • Now, take a close look. Is there any sign of mold on your homemade cupcake? Sometimes, the sponge even soaks up extra moisture from the surrounding air (especially in hot and humid conditions), turning itself into a cozy spot for bacteria. 
  • For cakes with fresh fruit fillings, check if they look gooey or slimy. If they do, it might be best to say goodbye to that batch of cupcakes for food safety.

Extra Tips on How to Store Cupcakes

Keep Your Store-Bought Cupcakes In Their Boxes

If the cakes are pre-frosted and kept in a store box, they should be able to hold up for 3-4 days. Tape the flaps shut to keep your fresh cupcakes from drying. 

Hold Off On Toppings Until You Are Ready To Eat 

As we have all agreed, delicate cupcakes with fruits or perishable ingredients should be placed in the fridge. But here’s the trick: to keep everything fresh and tasty, only add those toppings when you are about to serve them up.

Plus, if your cupcakes are rocking cereal or other crispy toppings, I suggest putting those goodies at room temperature. Do not forget to sprinkle a little on them just before serving! 


Your cupcakes can stay at room temperature or in the fridge for 3 to 7 days. But if you plan to freeze them (and hey, that’s a smart move to keep them fresh!), try to munch on those lovely treats before they hit their 3-month mark.

I hope these pointers help you out with your cupcake storage game. If you still have more cupcake-related queries or anything else baking on your mind, feel free to message me. Happy cupcake munching!

See more: Cupcake Sizes Chart: Mini, Standard, Jumbo Or Oversized?

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Sarah Owens
Sarah Owens
Baker & Owner At BK17 Bakery

Sarah Owens is a professional baker with an insatiable curiosity for global food traditions. As the owner of BK17 Bakery, an artisan microbakery specializing in sourdough that serves both NYC and Louisville, Sarah believes strongly in the power of baking to foster community, social change, and stone milling can bring good bread back to the table.

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