Cupcake and Buttercream Storage
It was only the third time I’d made cupcakes and I was making 96, but the biggest challenge was in storing them to keep them fresh…
For New Years Eve 2010 we thought it would be a good idea to have a house party and the guest list of family and friends quickly amounted to 70 people descending on us to see in 2011. I thought a Cupcake Tower would make a great centre piece on the food table, so went about finding out how best to make and store 96 cupcakes - based on eight 12 hole trays and allowing for rejects, practice attempts and a couple of spares – and buttercream.
There was absolutely no way I was going to be able to bake and decorate 96 cakes on the day itself so i thought about doing it the day before, but I was faced with two problems; physically baking the cakes and storing the cupcakes.
The oven I currently have is a gas oven and it’s fair to say “I hate it!” Items on the top cook way faster than those one shelf down and items at the back way quicker than those at the front, this would have meant that I would have to rotate the trays around, therefore opening the oven door – not ideal when trying to make a good sponge. And to bake eight trays of 12 in this way would be pretty tedious for one session, so I decided to make the cakes over a couple of days.
However as storing decorated cupcakes takes up more room than storing plain cupcakes I decided I’d bake all the cakes in the three days leading up to New Year’s Eve, store in airtight containers and decorate them on event day.
Cupcakes will keep fresh for up to seven days in an airtight container and you can freeze them too. You can actually decorate them and freeze them as well – but like most things they’re at their absolute best when they are completely fresh.
With every batch of cupcake batter I made I made a batch of buttercream icing and stored it all in separate airtight containers. There is no need to put the buttercream icing in the fridge, but I did store it in a cool place. However, I did also make Red Velvet Cupcakes complete with cream cheese frosting and this did need to be kept refrigerated – luckily I only made a small amount as I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, so it didn’t take up too much room in the fridge!
On New Years Eve we had heaps to do and decorating the 96 cupcakes was one of them, so I enlisted the help of two friends to help ice the cakes. It started with us each having an icing bag and a batch of cakes and piping, but we soon found that one of the nozzles
didn’t give as good a result as the others. So we changed to a production line format with one placing the cakes in front of the pipers and moving iced cakes onto the cake stand, whilst the other two piped. It was great fun and worked out really well – we seemed to get them all piped in no time and enjoyed one or two ‘rejects’ along the way!
I hired a 7 tier acrylic cake stand and when all the finished cupcakes were in place it really was the centre piece of the food table. The cupcakes still tasted fresh and they went down a treat.