What is the maximum number of hours cupcakes can sit out at room temp on a table? I have to set up for a wedding this afternoon and don't want to have them there too long and dry out.
It depends on what's in the filling and frosting. If it's just regular buttercream, they're fine. If it's anything perishible, you have a 2-4 hour window. After 2 hours, the bacteria starts hopping - after 4 hours, you need to throw them out.
When I did a cupcake tower of 216 cupcakes, the cupcakes were not filled and I used regular bc that was fine to leave at room temp. The cupcakes were brushed with a simple syrup and iced the night before and placed in cupcake containers for transport. After set-up the cupcakes remained exposed for 3-4 hrs and they were still moist and delicious.