I am making a large number of Nigella's Chocolate Cherry cupcakes for a friend's wedding, 48 to be exact. How long will they keep for? I don't fancy having to get up at some ridiculous hour on the morning of the wedding to make them. Thanks
Unfortunately cupcakes will stale more quickly than a full sized cake and we would suggest that you make the cupcakes one day ahead, if possible, for the best quality. Store the iced cakes in airtight containers. If you are having to make them further ahead then you could make the cupcakes and freeze them, then take them out of the freezer the night before the wedding and let them thaw for about an hour before icing them.
It is posible to freeze the chocolate ganache type of icing that is on these cupcakes but we would prefer to freeze the cakes un-iced as sometimes the surface of the icing can dull a little on thawing. Also you may as well make the icing just before using it as if you make it in advance you will need to warm it up again to spread it, so you don't really save any time.
If you really have to make the cakes further in advance without freezing them then the maximum would be 2 days in advance. You could brush the tops of the cupcakes with a simple syrup made from equal quantities of sugar and water that has been brought to the boil and then cooled. For adults you could also add a dash of kirsch to the syrup too. This can help to keep the moisture in the cakes, and store them in a cool place in airtight boxes.