Cakes can frequently be kept fresher for longer if kept in the refrigerator, though different cakes can be kept for varying lengths of time.
The type of cake, the frosting, the type of filling, and whether or not it is covered all affect how long a cake will keep in the fridge.
Depending on the type of frosting and filling, a cake will typically keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 7 days if kept well covered.
But when storing cakes, keep them out of the fridge. Refrigerating a cake makes it stale much quicker than leaving it at room temperature. This can be tricky if you are used to storing your cake in the fridge. Fortunately, there are some ways to store cakes so they last longer.
Let’s now discuss various cake types with various icing and topping options.
How Long do Cakes Last in the Fridge?
You might be curious about how long a cake keeps in the fridge. It depends on the type of cake and the filling or toppings it contains.
While a homemade cake normally lasts around five days, a cake purchased from a store will last up to seven or ten days. However, many variables other than the ingredients can alter that figure.
Please keep reading for all the information you need on storing your cake and extending its life.
Store-Bought Cakes Last Longer
Store-bought cakes last longer in a fridge than in the freezer. You can keep them for up to four months, but they’ll taste best if you serve them soon. To prolong their shelf lives, you must follow some simple steps. First, ensure that the cake is completely cooled on a wire rack before storing it. Humidity can cause the layers to peel off, leading to faster spoilage. Furthermore, trapped steam can form a sticky layer which will encourage bacteria.
Another way to extend the shelf life of store-bought cakes is to store them at room temperature instead of in the refrigerator. This will prevent mold from forming on the cake and help it last longer. However, it’s essential that you regularly check your cakes to make sure that they’re not moldy. After all, you don’t want to end up with a cake that looks great on the outside but is rotting on the inside.
The shelf life of store-bought cakes varies according to their fillings and toppings. The average store-bought cake can last between one and two weeks in the fridge. However, the cakes need to be consumed faster if you use fresh fillings.
Unfrosted Cakes Last Longer
You can do a few things to make unfrosted cakes last longer in the fridge. A simple way to do this is to place them in an airtight container and wrap them in plastic. This will keep the cake fresher for up to seven days. It also helps to keep the cake covered, as it tends to dry out faster without frosting.
It is important to note that most cakes do not have to be refrigerated for a few days. However, refrigerating your cake is necessary if you live in a warm climate. If you plan to serve the cake with fresh fruit, whipped cream, or mascarpone, it is a good idea to store it in the refrigerator for a few days. Unfrosted cakes should also be wrapped in plastic to prevent them from absorbing the refrigerator smell.
Unfrosted cakes can be stored at room temperature for up to a week. You can also freeze them for up to two months. However, you should avoid refrigerating cakes if they are covered in frosting. If you’ve frosted a cake with buttercream, you should be able to store it at room temperature for about five days or longer. If you don’t want to make the frosting yourself, consider using another frosting, such as royal icing or marzipan.
Frosted Cakes Last Longer
Most frosted cakes can be stored in the refrigerator, but the frosting should be covered tightly. This will help the cake last longer. If you have a cream cheese frosting, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or foil to avoid bacterial growth. You can also place the cake in the freezer to keep it fresh for a longer period.
If you have a large cake that needs to be stored for a week, frosted cakes last longer than unfrosted ones. However, unfrosted cakes can last up to 3 days in the fridge if you need a cake sooner. If you don’t use frosting, an unfrosted cake may dry, so wrap it well and place it in the fridge immediately.
While unfrosted cakes can be stored at room temperature, frosted cakes are best stored in the fridge. The reason is that frosting is a protective barrier to seal the cake’s moisture. This helps the cake stay moist for longer, which is important if you store it at room temperature.
How to Tell if a Cake has Gone Bad or is Stale?
First, if the cake hasn’t been refrigerated and sitting out for more than a week, you shouldn’t consume it. Even if it was kept in the refrigerator, food that contains perishable ingredients, such as fruit, custard, curd, etc., may still have gone bad.
Utilizing your senses is the best course of action. Is the odor off? Do you know how long it has been in the refrigerator? Do you have a negative impression of it? Embrace your senses.
Additionally, keep an eye out for any mold. When possible, avoid eating it. Don’t just consume the rest after scraping off the rotten areas. According to the USDA, mold is more than simply what you can see. Although you can’t see its roots, they extend into other food portions that are also impacted. (This link will take you to an article about mold and food safety.)
Checking for mold while gently removing a portion of the icing is also a good idea. Between the frosting and the cake itself, I’ve seen mold develop on cakes.
The cake appears fine when you look at it, but mold may be hidden beneath the icing. Throwing it out is the best course of action if you are unsure. A bad event like food poisoning is not worth it. Make another cake for yourself now.
What About Refrigerating Cakes Before Decorating them?
I wrote a whole post about this topic. I don’t chill cakes before decorating them unless the frosting or filling contains perishable ingredients.
The cause of this is that chilling them may result in condensation, and when buttercream is applied to the cake, it may create significant air pockets that result in icing blowouts.
In addition, preventing cakes from settling at room temperature ultimately results in icing ridges around cakes once the cake reaches room temperature.
Every cake decorator has a preferred technique for smoothing buttercream onto cakes, but this is the one that has worked best for me. There are more specifics, and I delve into them and discuss my approach in this post: Should My Cake Be Chilled Before Decorating?
The Cake Blueprint, a handy pdf with a video that goes into all the specifics of the technique I use to get smooth buttercream with no ridges or buttercream blow-out bubbles, is available if you need a little extra guidance. I’m happy to offer it. This can be found here: The Cake Recipe.
How to Thaw a Cake?
If you must use your cake frozen, defrost it for 12 hours in the refrigerator or 8 hours on the counter. When using a cake that has been frozen, please remove it from the freezer and preheat your oven to 200° F. A rimmed baking sheet should be placed in the oven with a cooling rack on it. Bake your cake for 20 minutes at 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Before frosting it or using it as the base for cupcakes or other recipes, let your cake cool completely.
Shell Life of Different Types of Cakes Last in the Fridge
As was briefly mentioned earlier, the shelf life of a cake varies depending on the ingredients, fondant cover, or frosting. For instance, when working with a plain, unfrosted cake, it can maintain its quality on its own at room temperature. However, you might consider storing this item in a refrigerator to extend its shelf life. Plain cakes can keep for up to a week in this fashion. Make sure to place these items in an airtight container before storing them in these chilly conditions. If not, they might dry out more quickly due to the lack of frosting or filling.
Additionally, you can keep ganache cakes and products with buttercream frosting in the refrigerator. These things have a five to seven-day shelf life. Or it would be best if you kept a cake with cream cheese frosting and filling in a colder environment. Cream cheese must be stored at the right temperature to maximize shelf life due to its perishability. They can stay fresh in the refrigerator for 5 to 6 days.
Additionally, cakes with fresh fruit filling or topping can be kept in the refrigerator for about four days. The same rule applies to baked items that have whipped cream on them.
As an alternative, store-bought cakes can be kept for up to two weeks in a cold location. Preservatives are typically present in these products to keep bakery goods fresh and mold-free for an extended period. Today, several reputable bakeries use primarily natural preservatives to guarantee no harm to your health.
Most cakes keep well on the counter and don’t need to be refrigerated. If you decide to store your cake in the refrigerator, you should know that it typically lasts two to five days. Before eating, look for indications of a “bad” cake, such as dryness or mold.
Put your cakes in the refrigerator, do you? How long are they stored in the refrigerator? Comment below.