If you have ever had a birthday party or hosted a dinner party, you probably know that cakes quickly go stale due to temperature conditions and the used ingredients.
The problem is, they do not always stay fresh for very long.
Cakes go bad because of bacteria growth. This happens because the air inside your refrigerator gets warm, moist, and humid, which encourages mold and bacteria to thrive.
The length of time cake lasts depends on a variety of factors, including the ingredients used and how it is stored.
Usually, a cake that is brought from the stores will last for up to 2 weeks – certainly one week.
In addition, homemade cakes containing cream cheese will last around 5 days, a little more if stored well.
If lemon juice or preservatives (like store-bought cakes may have) are added then the shelf life can be extended.
With that, we will give you steps and tips on how to preserve the cake’s original flavor and texture.
What Factors Determine How Long Does a Cake Last in the Fridge
As mentioned, cakes only last from four days to 2 weeks in the fridge.
The shelf life of leftover cake depends on the type of cake and its ingredients. Some factors can affect the shelf life of cakes (both homemade cakes and store-bought cakes). For instance, sugar content affects the shelf life of cakes as well as their taste. Sugar is one of the main components of cakes.
When it comes to baking cakes, sugar helps create a firm structure and gives the cake a sweet taste. However, if you bake a cake with too much sugar, there will be excessive moisture. On the other hand, if you use less sugar, then the cake will become dry. Therefore, when making cakes, try to balance the sugar level so that you get the perfect sweetness. In addition, the type of flour you choose will also affect the shelf life of your cake. Flour is another important component of cakes.
Here are some tips for making the cake last longer:
1. Make sure you store your cakes in a cool place. You should keep them away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Also, make sure that the cakes are stored upright and at least two inches above the bottom of the container.
2. Store your leftover cake in the freezer for longer shelf life. When storing your cakes in the freezer, you can freeze them individually or put them into a large Ziploc bag.
3. Use airtight plastic containers or an airtight cake box instead of loose cake boxes. Loose cake boxes tend to absorb odors and flavors from the food. This makes the cake taste different from what it was originally supposed to taste.
4. Keep the cake in the fridge until you are ready to serve it. Do not leave the cake out overnight. Instead, take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving.
How to Refrigerate Different Types of Cakes
Not all cakes have the same storage methods. This applies to those with special ingredients, layers, and toppings.
Cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
When storing cake layers with cream cheese frosting, cover the top layer with plastic wrap. This prevents the cream cheese frosting from drying out. Furthermore, it would help if you refrigerated the frosted cakes separately.
Cakes with fondant and buttercream icing
You can either store your cake layers with fondant and buttercream icing together or separate them. To prevent the fondant from getting sticky, dip the knife in hot water before cutting the cake.
These cakes usually contain chocolate ganache filling. Ganache contains both cocoa powder and heavy cream. To avoid spoiling the cake’s taste, make sure you store these types of cakes in the freezer.
What are the Signs of a Spoiled Cake?
Several signs indicate that your cake has gone bad. Here are some common signs:
- Your cake starts to smell sour or moldy.
- Your cake becomes soft and crumbly.
- The cake looks discolored.
- The cake gets hard.
- Your cake begins to crumble.
- You see small holes in the cake.
- A lot of liquid oozes out of the cake.
Do not eat your cake immediately if you notice any of these signs. Instead, throw it away and start over again. If the problem persists, then you may have to throw away your entire cake.
How Long Does Cake Last in the Freezer
To extend the shelf life of your cakes, you can freeze them for up to three months. The best way to store your cakes in the freezer is by wrapping them individually in aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Here are the steps for freezing cake layers:
1. Take your cake layers out of their original packaging.
2. Place each layer on a piece of wax paper.
3. Wrap the cake layers individually in a layer of aluminum foil.
4. Put all of the wrapped cake layers in a large airtight container.
5. Label the bags with the date and name of the cake.
6. Freeze the cake layers for up to 3 months.
How to Thaw a Cake
Thawing frozen cakes take less time than thawing fresh cakes. However, if you want to thaw a cake quickly, you can use this method:
1. Remove the cake from its packaging.
2. Cut off the aluminum foil or parchment paper around the cake.
3. Place the cake on a plate or baking sheet.
4. Cover the cake with another plate or baking sheet. Make sure there is enough space between the two plates so that the cake does not stick to one plate.
5. Let the cake sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes.
6. Flip the cake over onto a clean surface.
7. Carefully remove the first plate or baking sheet. You should be able to lift the cake easily now.
8. Repeat step 6 until all of the plates or baking sheets are removed.
9. Serve the cake right away.
What are the Types of Cakes with a Longer Shelf Life
Some cakes, such as carrot cake, banana bread, and apple pie, last longer when stored properly. These cakes have a high moisture content, making them more susceptible to spoilage. Therefore, they require special care while being stored. On the other hand, some types of cakes last longer because of their ingredients.
Here are some of the long-lasting cakes with their shelf life:
Fruit cake can last for months in the refrigerator. It only needs to be refrigerated for 2 weeks after opening. Fruit cake also lasts well in the freezer.
Baked Chocolate Cake
Cakes made with dark chocolate will last much longer in the fridge. Chocolate cakes should be kept in the fridge for no more than 4 days.
Cake Made With Whole Eggs
Whole eggs make cakes richer and moister. They also help prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.
Cake without frosting or icing will keep for a very long time. Unfrosted cakes can last for up to six months in the refrigerator.
Sponge cakes can still last for several months in the refrigerator because of their high water content. Sponge cakes need to be stored in the refrigerator for no more than four days after opening.
Whipped Cream Cakes
The best way to enjoy a cake with whipped cream is by eating it straight away.
If storing cake that has been topped with cream for any longer than a few days – it is best to scrape off the cream first. This will prolong the life of the cake.
How Long Do Unfrosted Cakes Last in The Fridge?
You should always check the expiration dates before buying cakes. Some cakes, like carrot cake, banana bread, and apple pie, can last for several months in the refrigerator at their maximum freshness. Like cheesecake, brownies, and angel food cake, other cakes need to be eaten within four days.
How Long Does Cake Last Unrefrigerated?
Most cakes with no dairy toppings like whipped cream can last for up to 2-3 days if left out. However we do advise keeping them in a cool spot out of any sunlight.
Can You Eat a 2-Week Old Cake?
Yes, you can eat a 2-week-old cake if it contains no perishable toppings or layers. e,g. a sponge cake with cream layers you could not eat.
Can You Put a Frosted Cake in The Fridge?
Frosted cakes should be kept in the refrigerator for safety reasons. Cake with cream cheese frosting is best stored in the refrigerator. Make sure the cake is tightly wrapped or sealed well in an air tight container.
How Long Does Birthday Cake Last in The Fridge
Birthday cakes usually last for two weeks in the refrigerator if it is not topped with cream cheese. If you want your birthday cake to last longer, wrap it in plastic wrap.
How Should a Butter Cake and A Sponge Cake Be Stored
The best way is to freeze butter cake and sponge cake. To freeze them, place them into a large container or individual slices into a ziploc bag.
How Long Exactly Can a Chinese Mooncake Last Before Going Bad
A traditional homemade moon cake should not be left out for more than four hours before refrigerating.
Should I Put Cupcakes from The Bakery in The Refrigerator
You can do this but they are best served immediately. But they often have a cream cheese frosting so after a few hours, they are best preserved by putting into the fridge.