Many of us are familiar with how foods spoiled at room temperature faster than in the refrigerator, but what about homemade goodies? Cakes are a classic example.
Some cakes, like butter cakes, oil cakes, chiffon cakes and sponge cakes don’t need refrigeration, and they can stay at room temperature for several days. Others, such as cheesecakes and fruit cakes, must be kept cold to maintain their freshness.
So, is it really that necessary to refrigerate cakes?
There are many factors that go into determining whether or not a cake needs to be refrigerated. It’s all about the type of cake, its icing, and what kind of filling or frosting it has.
It’s also about the temperature of your kitchen. If the air is too hot, a cake’s moisture can evaporate before it can cool down. It can also dry out the flavor, which means it can become bland and tasteless after a short amount of time.
You can freeze a cake, but it’s best not to do so until it’s completely frozen.
If you want to make sure your cake is safe in the freezer, wrap it tightly and double-wrap it. This helps lock in the flavor and prevents the cake from getting freezer burn or any other nasties.
Freezing will not keep a cake’s shape, but it can extend its shelf life by about four to six months, Sheehan says. However, she cautions against freezing a layer cake that’s covered in frosting or fondant, as the texture will become more fragile after freezing.
But if you are trying to keep a cake for a long period of time, Sheehan suggests putting it in the freezer in a large bakery box or storage container. That way, it’s easy to take out when you need a slice.
You’ll probably need to thaw it out and let it sit at room temperature for an hour or two before you serve it, so the frosting will have time to warm up and the cake layers will lose their chill.
Frosted cakes can also be stored at room temperature in an airtight container or a glass bowl for up to four days, provided that they are fully frosted and are not exposed to humidity. But if you plan to eat it before that, Brunetti advises taking it out of the refrigerator one hour before you want to eat it.
There are many other reasons for storing cake in the freezer, but for most of them, Brunetti recommends following a few simple steps. When a cake is ready to be stored in the freezer, Brunetti recommends wrapping it in cling film and then in aluminum foil. The cling film and foil help to lock in the freshness, Brunetti says.