photo by Flickr user Scorpions and Centaurs
(note: random cupcake photo from Flickr, probably not homemade, but pretty!)
Over at Manolo for the Brides, a reader wrote in asking for advice on making her own wedding cupcakes, and here was the response:
Creating your own wedding cupcakes is easy because they’re simple to bake (single serving sizes and no worrying about tiers), plus the frosting doesn’t have to look as polished as it typically does on a big wedding cake. In fact, the most charming cupcakes are usually those that look like they came out of a real kitchen, not some high-tech baker’s mecca.
Speaking of frosting, cupcakes freeze best when they’re frosting-free because frosting is the most perishable part of any confection. (Hint: You can freeze frosting, too — buttercreams and fudge freeze well, while custards and egg white frostings do not.) Cook’s Illustrated has this to say about the best way to preserve taste and texture in a frozen cupcake:
“In terms of taste, there was little to differentiate [between cupcakes stored in a plastic zipper-lock bag with most of the air removed, in plastic wrap, in foil, and in plastic wrap and foil]. For longer periods of storage, where the likelihood of freezer burn increases, we recommend double-wrapping cupcakes in plastic wrap and foil (in groups or individually) before placing them in the freezer.”
They note that when you do thaw them, unwrap them first to prevent the buildup of condensation that can turn a cupcake gummy and gross.
As to how long you can freeze your cupcakes, it depends on the kind of cake. Cakes with a butter base (like yellow cake) can be frozen up to six months, but I’d recommend keeping them frozen for no more than two months. Angel food cakes can be frozen for up to two months, but should probably be eaten before then. Natural essences will freeze better than artificial ones, and the flavor may grow stronger over time.