What if your favorite cake could last forever? I’m sure you would love that! Sadly, that’s not realistic. Cakes have expiry days, including those you put in the refrigerator. But how long is cake good for in the fridge?
Cakes are good for about 2 – 7 days in the fridge and sometimes up to 10 days, depending on the frosting and filling type, ingredients, whether it has preservatives or not, and the storage.
You can expect plain (unfrosted) cakes to last the longest even without refrigeration, while options with fruit toppings and fillings last the shortest.
I’ll discuss all the factors that determine a cake’s lifespan in the fridge and even compare the fridge’s lifespan to that of the counter and freezers.
What is more, I’ll share smart storage tips for cakes while also answering the most cake storage-related questions.
How Long Is Cake Good for in The Fridge? (Table Summary)
Depending on whether the cake has frosting or not, store-bought or home-baked or with filling or not, here are the expected lifespans of cakes in the fridge:
|Cake’s Lifespan in the Fridge
|Plain homemade cake
|Plain store-bought (with preservatives) cake
|Cream cheese frosting cake
|Buttercream frosting cake
|Fruit topping cake
|Cake with ganache topping
|Cake with custard, cream, whipped cream, cheese, or fresh fruit filling
Factors Determining ‘How Long Does Cake Last in The Fridge?’
It’s worth knowing that cakes can last 2 – 7 days or up to 10 days in the case of store-bought options in the fridge.
But why such a wide gap in the number of days? Well, that’s because of these factors:
- Cake frosting
- Cake filling
- Whether it’s homemade or store-bought (with preservatives or not)
- Ingredients (whether they are wet or dry)
- General storage
Let’s discuss all these factors next:
1. Frosting Vs. Plain (without frosting) Cake
You expect plain cakes (without whipped topping or frosting) to last much longer than those with frosting. After all, you don’t even need to refrigerate a plain cake if you are only planning to take it within 2–3 days as long as you keep it under room temperature.
But how long does cake last in the fridge without frosting?
In terms of refrigeration, you can expect a plain homemade cake (without preservatives) to last up to 7 days and a store-bought (with preservatives) to go for ten days.
How about those with frosting? Well, it depends on the type of frosting.
Here’s what to know:
- With cream cheese frosting
Expect cake with a cream cheese topping to last 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator. Cream cheese has a slightly shorter lifespan. So, the cake may go stale quickly without proper refrigeration
- With Buttercream Frosting (how long does buttercream cake last in the fridge?)
Cakes with buttercream frosting don’t necessarily need refrigeration unless it’s too hot or you plan to consume them after three days.
So, you can store them under room temperature for up to 3 days. But if you choose to refrigerate them, these cakes can last 5 – 7days.
- With fruit topping
Fruits go rancid quickly, even when at the top of the cake with refrigeration. These cakes with fruit toppings can go for up to 4 days. But without refrigeration, you’ll need to consume them within 1 – 2 days, lest they go stale.
2. Cake Filling
The thick mixture (filling) you put between the cake layers also determines how long a cake can go. Cream cheese, custard, whipped cream, and fruit filling are all quick perishables which means you should only keep the cake in the fridge for two days at most.
3. Homemade Vs. Store-Bought
The difference between store-bought and homemade cakes is that the former often have preservatives that boost their lifespan. So, you expect them to last slightly longer than homemade options (which don’t have preservatives).
But how long is homemade cake good for in the fridge?
While homemade cakes are likely to go for 2 – 7 days depending on whether they are plain or with frosting and topping, store-bought options may last up to 10 days in the fridge without frosting or filling. So, frosting/topping and filling reduce the cake’s lifespan.
4. Ingredients (Wet Vs. Dry Ingredients)
The ingredients you bake with determine how long the cake lasts in the fridge. Usually, the more wet ingredients such as butter, eggs, water, and milk shorten the lifespan, and the drier ingredients such as milk solids, starch, egg white, and flour, the less likely the cake will go bad quickly.
That, however, doesn’t mean you’ve to sacrifice one for another when baking. If you do, that compromises the consistency and quality of the cake.
5. Cake Storage
If you want your cake to last longer in the fridge, you should store it properly. So, consider wrapping it in foil or plastic bag or put it in an airtight container before keeping it in the fridge.
Should You Refrigerate a Cake?
Given that the fridge doesn’t guarantee weeks of storage, you are likely to ask, why should I refrigerate my cake? Or do you I to refrigerate your cake?
Well, you don’t have to refrigerate every cake you make. For example, if you plan to consume the cake within a day or two, you can keep it on the shelves/cabinets at room temperature.
The exception is when your kitchen is warm enough to make the cake bad. In such a case, you should store your cake in the fridge as soon as it’s ready.
More importantly, you should refrigerate the cake if you plan to consume it after 3 – 5 days.
What if you want to store it for months? Then you should consider freezing it, as I will explain next!
Cake Storage Options – Fridge Vs. Counter Vs. Freezer Storage!
Generally, you can opt to store your cake in the fridge or freezer or on the counter. Note, however, that the three options promise different shelf lives, as shown in the table below:
|1 – 3 days
|2 – 7 days
|3 – 4 days
a) On the counter cabinet
If you are okay storing your cake at room temperature, you can keep it in your cabinet. This option is best for cakes you plan to consume in a day or two.
But when it gets to 3 days, the cake might start to soak and lose its consistency.
b) In the fridge
In the fridge, a cake can go 2 – 7 days or up to 10 days in the case of plain store-bought options. So, the fridge improves the lifespan of a counter cake by several days.
What’s important, however, is that you keep it in the correct container or wrap it correctly if you want to keep it for long.
c) In the freezer
If you plan to consume the cake in a month or two, the best storage option is to keep it in the freezer. If you wrap the cake properly in a cling film or re-sealable bag or put it in an airtight container, it may stay for 3 – 4 months in the freezer.
It’s also essential to ensure your freezer has enough space not to squish your cake. And when it’s time to serve the cake, first take it out of the freezer to allow it to defrost.
After defrosting, you can even splash some milk to give it a frosty fluffy texture and taste.
How Can You Identify a Cake That Has Gone Bad?
After highlighting the cake’s shelf life, you probably ask, ‘how do I know when my cake goes bad?’
Well, you can know if your cake has reached its expiration by looking at the following:
- Its smell – A stale cake will smell even if it’s in the fridge. You need to take it out and smell it. If the smell is unpleasant, the cake is terrible.
- Mold – Does the cake have any mold on it? If they are, then it’s stale. Look carefully under the icing as that’s where mold likes to hide. Remember, mold can cause food poisoning, so avoid moldy cakes.
- Frosting damage – Unless you squish it, your cake’s frosting shouldn’t show any damage. If the topping color suddenly changes or even the appearance when you cut into it, the chances are that it’s going bad.
- Cake texture –You can also tell a bad cake from its texture. If it’s all over suddenly too dry, it shows moisture loss, which is a sign of going bad.
What Can You Do with A Stale Cake?
Once your cake goes past its expiry, the one thing that’ll come to mind is throwing it away. Well, you don’t have to throw it right away. You can choose to repurpose it by making cake crumble that you can use on ice cream or bread pudding. That’s possible as long as the cake is not moldy or smelly.
People Also Ask
1. How Long Does Red Velvet Cake Last in The Fridge?
Red velvet cakes have the shortest shelf life, even in the fridge. While most cakes can last for up to 5 – 7 days, the maximum number of days you can refrigerate a red velvet cake is three days.
2. How Long Chocolate Cake Last in Fridge?
Chocolate cakes can last a week in the fridge with good storage. Just cover the cake with foil or wrap it in plastic wrap, and it’ll last you seven days.
3. How Long Does Birthday Cake Last in The Fridge?
Because of the perishability of the topping, most birthday cakes only last 3 – 4 days in the fridge. But when it comes to cream cheese or custard cream or fruit topping, they last 1 – 2 days.
4. How Long Is Wedding Cake Good for in The Fridge?
Depending on the topping, a wedding cake can last for 2 – 4 days. Expect an option with fresh fruit filling or cream cheese topping to last two days and those with ganache or buttercream to go for 3 – 4 days.
5. How Long Is Cheesecake Good for in The Fridge?
Cheesecakes can stay for 3 – 4 days in the fridge with good storage. So, consider using an airtight container, aluminum foil, or plastic bag to cover the cake before refrigeration.
6. How Long Is Carrot Cake Good for in The Fridge?
With proper covering with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, carrot cakes can last up to 1 week in the refrigerator. The most important thing is preserving the moisture and protecting the cake from drying.
7. How Long Is Coconut Cake Good for in The Fridge?
You can keep a coconut cake in the fridge for a week if you cover it adequately, especially if its frosting is whipped cream or any other topping.
How Long Is Cake Good for in The Fridge? Closing Thought!
As shared, you can expect a plain cake to last up to 10 days in the fridge, a frosting option to last up to 7 days, and a filling alternative to last up to 4 days in the refrigerator. However, freeze it if you want the cake to last longer (months).