How Long is Cake Good For?
Whether frosted or not, a cake can generally sit out unrefrigerated for 4-5 days and will last 3-4 months if frozen. However, if you live in a very hot, humid climate or if your cake has filling such as pudding, whipped, cream, or mousse, you will need to refrigerate your cake. Refrigerated cake lasts 2-5 days. Cakes with dairy-based fillings shouldn’t sit at room temperature for longer than two hours.
How to Store Cake
Whether storing cake overnight or trying to keep your cake fresh longer, it is crucial to keep your cake from drying out. The best way is to wrap each fully cooled layer tightly in plastic wrap, making sure to fully cover the top, sides, and bottom. You may need to lightly grease the plastic wrap to prevent sticking too much if the top is sticky. Place your wrapped cake in a zip-top bag, removing as much air as possible. They can then be stored for up to five days in a cool, dry place.
The frosting on your cake will help keep the cake from getting dried out. To store your buttercream-frosted cake, place it in a cake keeper to help keep it fresh. If you don’t have a cake keeper, an overturned bowl can also help protect your cake though it is not as airtight as a cake keeper. You can store a frosted cake for up to five days in a cool, dry place.
In the Fridge
Cake is best stored at room temperature. However, if you live in a hot, humid climate, you may need to refrigerate your cake. As with storing unfrosted cake at room temperature, wrap each fully cooled layer tightly in plastic wrap. Then place the wrapped cake layers into a zip-top bag, making sure to remove as much air as possible. Unfrosted cake in the fridge will last 4-5 days.
If possible, store your cake at room temperature. However, some toppings and fillings such as pudding, custard, fresh fruit, and ganache need to be held in the fridge. For buttercream frosted cakes, let them chill for 15 minutes or so to allow the frosting to harden slightly. Then wrap the cake in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container.
If you are worried about ruining the look of the cake or if you have sticky toppings on the cake, such as ganache, you will want to store your frosted cake in an airtight container such as a cake keeper without wrapping it. Frosted cakes can last 3-4 days in the fridge, but it is best to eat the cake within 1-2 days if you have custard, cream, or fresh fruit in your cake as it will get soggy.
In the Freezer
To store unfrosted cake in the freezer, wrap each cooled layer tightly in plastic wrap, then place it into zip-top freezer bags or airtight containers. Unfrosted cake layers will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw your unfrosted cake by removing the plastic wrap from the layers and placing the cakes in an airtight container. It will take about 3 hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
To freeze frosted cake, either a whole cake or cake slices, place your uncovered cake in the freezer for about an hour. This allows the frosting to firm up. Next, wrap your cake in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Then place in a zip-top bag or an airtight container. Frozen frosted cakes will last up to four months in the freezer at the best quality. To thaw your frosted cake, remove the plastic wrap and aluminum foil and place in an airtight container on the counter for 3-4 hours or in the refrigerator overnight. The larger your cake is, the longer it will take to thaw.
If you’re looking for some tasty cake, check out my Banana Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting. If you need more cake tips, learn more about How to Remove a Cake From the Pan or check out my Cake Serving Size Guide. Happy baking!