How to Cool Cupcakes Quickly

How to Cool Cupcakes Quickly

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If you’re in a hurry to get those cupcakes done and decorated quickly, you’re probably wondering how to cool cupcakes quickly – as in, in the quickest time possible. Thankfully, the team at Buzzy Kitchen have got one or two tricks up their sleeves, and we’re rounded up the best.

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

How to Cool Cupcakes Quickly

You can say goodbye to waiting around with these clever tricks, which will help cool down cupcakes quickly. They’re great for when you’re in a rush, when you’ve forgotten to make them, and for when you just don’t have the time or energy to hang around. Along the way, you’ll also learn a few handy tips and tricks to make the most delicious cupcakes you’ve ever made.

1: Use a Wire Rack

A wire rack to cool cupcakes is non-negotiable, and every baker will tell you that. The wide, open spaces between the racking allows for ventilation and circulation, and for more of the cupcake to come into contact with room temperature. This will shorten the cooling time considerably.

3-Tier Cupcake Cooling Rack Tala

Whether you know them as cupcakes, fairy cakes, or buns, they should be left to cool on the wire rack for a minimum of one hour, ideally. After around 30 minutes, they’ll be cool enough to decorate the top. After 45 minutes or so, the middles should be cool enough to work with.

In case you were interested, cupcake is more of an American term. Fairy cakes is the traditional word for the treats in the UK, and Ireland knows them as buns.

2: Move Them Promptly

When you take those lovely smelling cupcakes out of the oven, don’t leave them in the muffin or baking tray to cool down for ages. There’s no ventilation, and metal is a great conductor of heat.

Take the cupcakes out of the pan after five or ten minutes and transfer them to the wire rack mentioned above. You just need to give them time to cool down, so you can touch them.

Cool Cupcakes Quickly

Yes, the rack is also metal, but there’s little of it making contact with the cupcakes plus more ventilation. Just make sure that you wear oven gloves or something similar, so you don’t burn your hands.

3: Put Them in a Cool, Dark Place

If you pop your cupcakes on the kitchen countertop, right in the line of a bright beam of sun, they’re going to take much longer to cool down. The sun is going to heat them right back up again and will continue to do so until either the cupcake or the sun moves.

A cool, dark place is the best option for cooling your sweet treats. I don’t recommend popping them into a cupboard, but it is an option for when things get a bit desperate.

You could leave them on the countertop (out of the way of sunbeams,) but there’s the fly risk to take into account. Throwing a clean tea-towel over the cakes will keep them safe and fairly ventilated, but it will slow down the cooling process. The cupcakes need ventilation and contact with cool air.

Mesh cake covers are perfect for allowing baked goods to cool whilst also protecting them from flies and other insects. I thoroughly recommend them!

Mesh Cake Cover

4: Urgent – Pop Them in the Fridge

Both the fridge and freezer can be used to cool cupcakes quickly, but let’s start with the less urgent one, shall we?

Once the cupcakes have cooled in the baking pan or sheet (which is non-negotiable, by the way,) it’s time to pop them in the fridge. Make sure that they’re in one layer, so nothing squishes anything else. Only leave them in there for around 20 to 30 minutes, too. Any longer than that, and you run the risk of them turning cold-hard.

5: Super Urgent – Pop Them in the Freezer

You can chill cupcakes in the freezer – but you must make sure you have left the cupcakes to cool for at least ten minutes beforehand. You can leave them in the pan, without transferring them to a wire rack, and the longer you can leave them to cool, the better.

The cupcakes shouldn’t touch each other in the freezer, and you must ensure that nothing can squish them or cause them to lose their original shape. Then, leave them in your freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t forget about them because they’ll freeze (obviously.)

Cool Cupcakes Quickly Freezer

When you take them out, they’ll be chilled enough to decorate or do whatever you intend on doing with them. They’ll also be slightly firmer, which will make the little cakes easier to both cut and handle.

How Long Do Cupcakes Take to Cool Naturally?

The experts suggest leaving the cupcakes on a wire rack for at least one hour to cool before icing, decorating, or otherwise fiddling around with them. Don’t ever leave them in the baking pan or tray, though. You might find that they’re difficult to get out, can shrink or change composition, and can actually make your cupcakes take MUCH longer to cool down.

Whether you’re leaving them overnight or otherwise, take them out of the baking pain or tray around 10 to 20 minutes after you’ve taken it out of the oven.

What’s the Quickest Way to Cool Cupcakes?

The quickest way to cool cupcakes is to place them in the freezer for approximately 20 minutes. Some cupcakes, depending on size, will take a little longer; others will require only 10 minutes. Just make sure you don’t put them in there, then forget about them… unless you want frozen cupcakes, obviously.

The BEST way to cool cupcakes, in case you were wondering, is naturally – left on the counter, at room temperature, covered with breathable mesh/material, for a couple of hours. Depending on how big the cupcakes are, you might need to leave them for between 2 and 4 hours.


Can you put cupcakes in the fridge to cool faster?

Yes, you can! Let them cool for around 20 minutes first, then move them into the fridge for another 10 to 20 minutes. They should be cool enough to decorate (or whatever).

Can you cool cupcakes in the freezer?

Yes, once again, you can! You must let them cool down in the pan first, but that should take only 10 to 20 minutes. After that, pop them in the freezer for around 10 to 20 minutes.

Can I put hot cupcakes in the fridge?

No, don’t put hot cupcakes (or other cakes) in the fridge or freezer. You MUST let them cool down for 10 to 20 minutes first. Rapid cooling alters the shape, texture, and sometimes taste of baked goods, and that’s before you take into account the negative effect hot foods have on your fridge/freezer.

Can You Leave Cupcakes Overnight to Cool?

Yes, you absolutely can leave cupcakes to cool overnight – and in fact, some bakers actually recommend this. You will need to ensure that flies or other critters can’t get to it, but that’s easily enough done with a cake cover, such as the one mentioned above!

How to Cool Cupcakes Quickly: Conclusion

Which one of these tips to cool cupcakes quickly was your favourite? Do you already use these approaches, or do you have a favourite approach of your own to share? Let us know on social media (links at the top and bottom of the page,) and feel to reach us via email/contact us page.

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