Making a Cake or Cupcakes a Few Days in Advance? Ina Garten Has Smart Advice

·2 min read

Cupcakes are in order. Well, cupcakes are always in order but with summer fast approaching and spirits lifting as coronavirus cases in America drop and vaccination rates improve, we're all feeling a little more hopeful these days.

That calls for a cupcakes mandate. But say it's a Thursday, and you've got loved ones coming up for dinner on Sunday. You know you won't have time to get all your baking done on Sunday, so you decide to plan ahead. You whip up a batch of lemon cupcakes with raspberry buttercream. Or perhaps some mini red velvet cakes. Chocolate mayonnaise cake for good measure. Come Sunday evening, things are not looking good though when it comes to the icing or ganache situation, and your dessert just doesn't taste quite right.

What happened? You likely should have held off on making your icing or ganache. Fear not, Ina Garten to the rescue. As we learned from The Cheat Sheet, Garten employs a savvy strategy whenever making cakes or cupcakes ahead of time. On the Barefoot Contessa website Garten shared her wisdom when a reader asked how far in advance they can make her chocolate ganache cupcakes. "Most cakes refrigerate very well, but not the icing or ganache. You can make the cupcakes, wrap them tightly, and refrigerate them for a few days," she wrote. "The day you want to serve them, bring the cupcakes to room temperature, dip them in ganache, allow them to dry, and serve."

Ina Garten in Kitchen
Ina Garten in Kitchen

Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

With this technique, you can ensure your days-old cake or cupcakes taste super wonderful once you slather them with that decadent lemon buttermilk icing or chocolate ganache. Speaking of which, these are trying times, how about doubling that ganache recipe? We're all aboard for chocolate escapism. See you at the dining room table.