Storing a Cake

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It is important to know how to store a cake properly whether it is decorated or not. A decorated cake will require care in how it is stored so that the frosting design is not disturbed; whereas, an undecorated cake must be stored properly to maintain freshness. If the cake is frozen for storing, it is important to thaw it properly.

To store a cake properly, you need to consider the type of cake, frosting, and filling being used to make up the cake. Our Cake Storage Requirements charts will help you determine the type of storage required for different types of cake, frosting types, and fillings. The information below will help you learn how to store cakes to keep them fresh and beautiful.

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Storing Undecorated Cakes | Storing Decorated Cakes

Storing Undecorated Cakes

How to Store an Undecorated Cake | How to Thaw an Unfrosted Cake

How to Store an Undecorated Cake

It is a good practice to bake the cake at least a day ahead of when you want to decorate it. This allows you enough time to freeze the cake before handling it. Freezing the cake helps tighten the crumb and keeps it moister after decorating. A frozen cake is easier to work with also when it comes to trimming and cutting. Leveling and torting a cake will produce fewer crumbs when the cake is frozen and the layers are easier to handle. See the notes below in regard to storage of the unfrosted cake.

  • When freezing a cake, be sure that it is completely cooled before wrapping.
  • Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and then wrap it again in foil before placing it in the freezer.
  • If you do not have time to freeze the cake overnight, freezing it for 2 or 3 hours will help when it comes time to decorate it.
  • Remove the cake from the freezer just before you are ready to work with it.
  • If you elect not to freeze the cake before frosting or decorating, be sure it is completely cool before you begin.
  • Do not store in the refrigerator because this will cause it to lose some of its moisture. Keep it at room temperature unless you decide to freeze it first.

How to Thaw an Undecorated Cake

  • Remove the frozen cake from the freezer and remove the foil covering but leave it wrapped in the plastic wrap. Allow it to set at room temperature until thawed; thawing may take 2 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the cake.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and begin frosting and decorating. You may want to remove the wrapping during the last 30 minutes of thawing so that the surface dries; the dry surface will make it easier for the frosting to adhere.

  • It the cake needs leveling or torting, do the trimming and cutting before the cake thaws completely.

Storing Decorated Cake

How to Store a Decorated Cake | How to Freeze a Decorated Cake | How to Thaw a Decorated Cake

Store the decorated cake according to the information in our Cake Storage Requirements charts to be sure you are storing the cake properly for the different types of cakes, frostings, and fillings.

How to Store a Decorated Cake

  • To store at room temperature, the cake can be stored in one of the following manners: in an air-tight container, covered with a covered cake plate, or covered with an inverted bowl.
  • A single layer cake, such as a 9" x 13", can be stored in the pan in which it was baked and then covered with the pans cover or with foil.

  • If storing a cake with a fluffy frosting that does not hold up well, place a knife or the handle of a spoon under the edge of the cover to allow some air flow. If the cover is air-tight with this type of frosting, it can cause the frosting to begin to melt or run from the moisture build up.

  • Frosted cakes that require refrigeration can be covered in the same manner as cakes stored at room temperature.

  • If you need to cover a cake with plastic or foil because it is too large for other methods or the right storage containers are not available, you will have to be careful when the frosting is a soft type, such as cream cheese frosting. Place the frosted cake in the refrigerator just long enough for the frosting to set up a little, approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Then remove from the refrigerator and loosely cover with plastic wrap or tent with foil to cover.

How to Freeze a Decorated Cake

Our Cake Storage Requirements charts indicate the frostings and fillings that should not be frozen.

  • Place the frosted cake on a solid flat surface that can be used to hold the cake when placed in the freezer, such as a cookie sheet, cake board, or cutting board. Place the unwrapped cake in the freezer.

  • Freeze unwrapped until the frosting and decorations are frozen hard.

  • Remove the cake when the frosting is frozen and then wrap with plastic. The plastic should not stick to the frozen frosting.

  • Once the plastic wrap is secured, quickly wrap the cake with foil and secure all of the edges tightly to protect it from air flow.
  • Place the wrapped cake in an airtight rigid container or cake box to help protect it if there is potential for it to be damage when stored in the freezer.

  • Place back in the freezer as soon as possible.

How to Thaw a Decorated Cake

  • Remove the cake from the freezer and unwrap immediately so that the wrap will not stick to the frosting and other decorations as the cake begins to thaw.
  • Place in the refrigerator uncovered to thaw. This will prevent condensation from forming when the cake is thawing. If condensation forms, it can ruin the frosting and cause colors to run.

  • Place the cake in a location in the refrigerator where it will not be exposed to other foods and will not be accidently damaged.
  • Once the cake is thawed in the refrigerator, remove it and allow it to set at room temperature for approximately 2 hours before serving.

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