A girl from our church has asked me to help her out with cupcakes for her wedding. I need to make 350 of them. How far in advance can I make these and how would I go about storing them? Thank you in advance.
To keep the cake itself as fresh as possible you want to prevent it from getting in contact with air. Air-tight containers are a good start. It might also be worth getting reasonalbe quality cupcake cases, such as foil lined ones. They will give more support, prevent any grease marks from showing through over time and maybe even keep the cake more air tight that cheaper paper ones. You do not want to put the cake in the fridge as it is air that makes cakes stale not warmth. Freezing may be an option if you need to make them well in advance but i have had no experience of this so can't help with that one.
The other limiting factor is the decoration. Icings such as cream cheese icing would want to be kept cool in the fridge and wouldn't last long once put on the cupcake. If you are going to cover the cupcakes with fondant disks then this may help with keeping the cupcake air tight and so that can be done soon after the cupcakes are cooled. Any other sort of decoration i would leave until the last minute.
I wouldn't keep the uniced cakes more than 3-4 days in airtight containers, but then again i can't ever remember having any cupcakes last that long without getting eaten so i can't be 100% sure on that one!
If they are scratch, make the buttercream two nights before. Then bake all cupcakes the night before. After they have cooled, put them in the transporting containers and leave the top cracked slightly or the papers could separate. Just before you leave for the event, allow for enough time to frost the cupcakes, I'm assuming with a pastry bag, and finish with any decoration and leave for the event.
Some people freeze, store at room temp longer, refrigerate, but all of these methods will deteriorate the cake to a degree. You can't cover a cupcake for freezing like you can a cake layer. Air will be present.
Once you start baking, if you keep the batter made while the batch before is in the oven and cool down the hot pans with a cold wet cloth applied to the underside, this will not be that bad. Assuming that you can make a double batch of 48 at home, this process will have to take place about 7 times, or about 4 1/2 hours. Doing this with a partner will really ease the stress. One can bake and the other can keep the batter made.
You can put 48 in your oven, but be sure to rotate and change shelves. Make sure there is at least 1" betwen pans and the sides of the oven for circulation.
what i always do (for cupcakes) is bake a day ahead and frost the day of the event. i combine 1 cup of sugar with 2 cups of water, boil for about 3 mins, then put that in a spray bottle and spray on my cupcakes to stay moist overnight covered with plastc wrap, (in the fridge, so theyre cool and help the frosting) but my cupcakes go on a tall container so the wrap doesnt touch the cupcakes or it will stick to the top. theyre fairly moist baked 2 days in advance but its rare when i need to do that. also, spray right out of the oven!!!(when the hot steam is coming out)