Fresh cupcakes are a delight. Stale cupcakes? Not so much...
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Whether they're elegant white cupcakes or crowd-pleasing chocolate and peanut butter treats, frosted cupcakes are a work of art. But just because they look good, doesn't mean they taste good. If you don't store cupcakes properly, the silky icing turns stiff and the cake base gets hard and dry. If you've ever wondered how to keep frosted cupcakes fresh, look no further. Here's what you need to know.

Place homemade frosted cupcakes in a storage container.

Melinda Monts, owner of Sweet Treats Bakery in Tupelo, Mississippi, says the easiest way to store decorated cupcakes is simply to put them in an airtight container. She adds that she personally prefers rectangle shapes or cake carriers. According to Monts, frosted cupcakes will stay fresh in the storage container for 3-4 days. In most cases, you can leave them on the counter, but if your cupcakes are filled with cream or topped with cream cheese frosting, you'll want to store them in the refrigerator.

Leave store-bought frosted cupcakes in the box.

If you didn't bake them yourself, Monts says that cupcakes will stay fresh in the bakery box for 3-4 days. The key is to keep the box shut with the side flaps taped down. She goes on to say they're even likely to last a little longer if they came in one of those clear, plastic snap-together containers from the grocery store as long as you don't open it until you're ready to eat your treats. You can apply this same rule to almost any container since frosted cupcakes stay fresh longer if they aren't exposed to air.

Strawberry Frosting
Credit: Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Hadas Smirnoff

You can freeze frosted cupcakes.

If you're wondering if you can put cupcakes in the freezer, the answer is yes. You can arrange them in a single layer in an airtight container and store them there for up to 3 months. The best thing about this method? According to Monts, "This allows you to pull out a few at a time when you crave a sweet treat."

Save extra toppings until you're ready to serve. 

Cupcakes with fruit, berries, or other perishable toppings should be placed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator. There's a catch, though. If you're not going to eat them within a few hours, it's best to add the toppings when they're ready to be served. This will ensure perishable toppings remain as fresh as possible. Cupcakes with crispy toppings like cereal should be stored at room temperature to retain their crunch. When possible, it's best to top them just before serving to prevent the toppings from softening. 

If you're new to making frosted cupcakes, we've got you covered! Here's how to frost cupcakes like a professional.