What is the shelf-life of cupcakes?
I have a client that is a actually the owner of a cafe. She and her customers loooooooooooooove my cupcakes but she is concerned about the cupcake care (i.e. when to refrigerate, refrigerating with frosting, etc.). The cupcakes that have buttercream on them are kept in her non-refrigerated case but the ones with cream cheese frosting she keeps on display in the refrigerated case. Well we all know that cupcakes taste better at room temp. She has recently cut her order to exclude cupcakes that have cream cheese frosting (carrot cake, red velvet, pumpkin spice, sweet potato) because she feels that it's an inconvenience to her to explain to the customer that they are better eaten at room temp. and as she says "who wants to wait for a cupcake to come up to room temp." I agree but is it really that much of an issue??? I'd like to offer her some solutions/suggestions/alternatives if anyone has any ideas. Hope this makes sense...LOL TIA
Did she tell you which cupcakes tended to sell better when she was carrying both perishable and non perishable ones you made?
I can see how it would be a little off putting to have to explain to a customer EVERY time they bought a chilled cupcake to let it warm up to RT before eating it. Yeah, if they only bought one they want to EAT IT NOW most likely! I'm guessing quite a few customers could care less what temp that cupcake is if it's already appealing enough that they just had to buy one, kwim?
Have you thought about tweaking your cream cheese recipe? Find one that is shelf stable or perhaps try a cream cheese flavoring?
As for the shelf life of cakes in general, I wouldn't want to sell cupcakes older than 3 days. That's my rule of thumb for serving a cake...no more than 3 days out of the oven or out of the freezer. That leaves the 4th day for leftovers.
BUT, if I am selling prouducts in a cafe, I don't want to sell a 4 day old cupcake. 3 days max.
i can't help with the shelf life in a store display, however I suggest changing your cream cheese recipe to a more shelf stable one. I use the crusting cream cheese recipe on on CC and it acts just like my buttercream recipe. I feel comfortable leaving it out for up to 3-4 days w/o refrigeration.
This way the shop can still carry all your flavors w/o more work for the owner.
Thank you Chasey and leily! I thought about using the crusting buttercream but wasn't sure if it needed refrigeration as well. I had also thought about cream cheese flavoring but since I'd never used it was afraid of the taste. I think I will try both this weekend and let her decide if she would like to return to selling the more perishable frosted cupcakes. The Red Velvet were her top sellers and she won't carry them as long as she has to refrigerate them.