How long do cupcakes last in the fridge?

This article will answer the question “How long do cupcakes last in the fridge?”, and how to store cupcakes?

How long do cupcakes last in the fridge?

The shelf-life of cupcakes depends upon the type of cupcake. The general rule of thumb is to consume the cupcakes within 2 days of baking or purchasing. 

Plain and unfrosted cupcakes will have a longer shelf-life up to a week) than their counterparts with filling or frosting. The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of different types of cupcakes under different storage conditions. 

In the pantry In the fridgeIn the freezer 
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date Past Printed Date 
Bakery cupcakes 1-2 days 2-4 days 2-4 months 
Cupcakes with fresh fruit 1 day 1-2 days 2-4 months
Cupcakes with whipped cream1-2 days 
Cupcakes with cream cheese1-2 days 2-3 days 2-4 months
Hostess cupcakes 1-2 weeks 1-2 months 
Homemade cupcakes 1-2 days 2-4 days 2-4 months

Commercially produced cupcakes or those baked from a mix contain preservatives and stabilizers that contribute to a longer shelf-life. 

Cupcakes baked at home from fresh ingredients or those bought from a bakery will naturally have a short shelf-life due to the lack of preservatives.

Do cupcakes need to be refrigerated?

Plain cupcakes can sit on the counter for a couple of days. But it is not recommended If the cupcakes contain perishable ingredients like eggs, dairy, or custard. In that case, refrigeration is a must. 

Similarly, if the cupcakes have a buttercream frosting on top of cream filling, they must be refrigerated. Cupcakes that contain fruits or fruit-based filling will start to go bad in a couple of days if left on the counter. 

The refrigeration environment tends to dry out the frosted cupcakes. To fix this, you should store the frosting and the cupcakes separately. The bottom line is to not risk the safety of your cupcakes by letting them sit on the counter. 

How to store cupcakes?

Whether in the fridge or on the counter, keep your cupcakes sealed in an air-tight container. As mentioned above, cupcakes frosting or filling or those with perishable ingredients (dairy, eggs, custard, etc) should always be refrigerated. 

However, plain unfrosted cupcakes can sit on the counter for a couple of days If the temperature is ambient. For storing homebaked cupcakes, it is important to cool them completely before storing them. 

Packing hot or warm cupcakes in an air-tight container will lead to steam buildup which harbors bacteria and spoils food. Be careful to not squish the frosting when transferring frosted cupcakes to the container. 

Line the container with paper towels to store super moist cupcakes. It will absorb the excess moisture. The sprinkles melt easily in hot environments. The sprinkles won’t go bad in a while.

Therefore, always keep the frosted cupcakes refrigerated that have sprinkles on top. Before serving refrigerated cupcakes, It is recommended to leave them for about ½ an hour on the counter. This will make them taste better.

Can you freeze cupcakes?

Yes, you can freeze cupcakes. Unfrosted cupcakes without any filling particularly freeze really well. 

Check to see if the author or the manufacturer of a recipe or cupcakes/frosting recommends freezing or not. For safely freezing cupcakes, follow the steps below:

  1. Make sure the cupcakes are cool. Then proceed with wrapping each cupcake with foil or a plastic sheet. This will preserve the moisture of the cupcakes. This trick is particularly helpful if you intend to store the cupcakes for more than 1 month.
  1. Toss the wrapped cupcakes into a good-quality freezer bag. You can also directly put the cupcakes in the freezer bag If the storage is for less than a month.
  1. Label the bag and chuck it into the freezer. 
  1. Make sure the cupcakes do not get squished during freezing or when making preps for freezing them. Allow the cupcakes to defrost on the counter for 1-2 hours before serving. 

How to tell if the cupcakes are bad?

Mold: Mold growth is pretty obvious in the form of fuzzy colored patches or spots over the cupcakes. In that case, discard the cupcakes immediately.

Off-putting smell: If the cupcakes give off a funny smell, It is a sign to get rid of them.

Prolonged storage: If the frosted cupcakes have been sitting on the counter way past their expiry, throw them away even if they look or feel alright.

Quality: If the cupcakes feel too dry or stale or the frosting is out of shape, feel free to discard the cupcakes for quality purposes.


This article answered the question “How long do cupcakes last in the fridge?”, and how to store cupcakes?



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.