tips and ideas

How Long Does Birthday Cake Last In The Refrigerator?

man 40th birthday cake

By properly storing birthday cakes in the refrigerator, they can be kept fresh for a while. However, the question is what tips should be followed to store the birthday cake properly in the refrigerator? How long do birthday cakes last in the fridge?
In this article, we will answer all these questions.

Wrapping your birthday cake

This is where plastic wrap becomes your lifesaver! When done with your birthday cake, wrap all the surfaces making sure no air is let inside the wrap. We recommend also doing this for cupcakes and other sponges. The plastic wrap acts almost as a barrier which stops the air from drying out your cake; keeping it nice and moist as it was fresh.

Storing birthday cake in the refrigerator 

If you’re cake has simple buttercream icing or ganache, it will easily last up to 4 days in the fridge, when sealed properly. If your cake is not sealed it will most likely last up to 2 days; 3 days at the most. However even though an unwrapped cake will last a couple of days, there is a high chance of the cake going stale, especially if it’s a slice. For cakes with cream cheese icing, I recommend storing them in the refrigerator for a maximum of 2 days. Also make sure that you let your cake with cream cheese come to room temperature before serving.

On the other hand, fruit cakes tend to last a lot longer, holding up for around 6-7 days! As a general rule, we recommend wrapping a birthday cake in the refrigerator to prevent it from going stale and dry.

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Freezing your birthday cake

Freezing cakes is great for the long term, as they last up to 3 months in the freezer! Once again, use cling wrap; it is especially important to wrap your birthday cake before freezing since the wrap keeps your cake from absorbing the flavours and strange smell from the freezer. For an extra step of caution, apply a layer of foil onto your wrapped cakes, which improves their lifetime in the freezer. For cakes that are already frosted wrap them in cling wrap; (whether it is whole or sliced) and keep it in an airtight container or an airtight bag.

birthday cake in the refrigerator

Keeping up to date

A trick I find very useful especially with a lot of cakes and cupcakes around is labelling them with the date which they were baked (you can also label the date you bought or received the cake). This helps to keep track of how long your cake has been in the refrigerator (or the freeze) so you don’t accidentally use or throw out your cake that is fresh or overdue. This tip is best for freezing, however you can also use it when refrigerating cake.

Defrosting your birthday cake

Take your birthday cake out the freezer and let it completely defrosted before serving. This usually takes 30 minutes to 1 hour in room temperature. For frostings, add a splash of milk and whip for a few seconds or until smooth.

For defrosting a birthday cake in the refrigerator leave it out 15-20 minutes prior to serving.

This same rule applies for freezing or refrigerating your cupcakes

Keeping the right temperature

With cakes it’s important that you control the temperature and keep it consistent. As a rule of thumb always leave your cakes at a cool temperature. This is the same as room temperature in winter, however in summer, you will need some help from your fridge.

Related post: how long do birthday cakes last in the fridge

What to look out for 

While storing your birthday cake in the refrigerator or the freezer is a very smart method to keep it fresh, there are some things that could go wrong.

Here are a few things we recommend you look out for.

Dry birthday cake

When not wrapped properly, your birthday cake in the refrigerator or the freezer can go dry in a matter of hours! You can make sure this doesn’t happen by fully wrapping your cake and making sure there are no loose spots for air.

Soggy birthday cake

Wrapping a warm cake or cupcake creates a humid condition inside the wrap and leaves you with a soggy mess. Sometimes this also happens because of humidity in the environment, however this can also be avoided by wrapping your cakes (when cooled down). Remember to let your cakes and cupcakes fully cool down before wrapping and storing them; so you can avoid this messy mistake!

Always test your batch

This tip especially applies when you are baking for someone else or a big event. Always test your batch prior to freezing it, in case something is wrong. No one likes a last minute stress bake, which is why you should taste test a little bit out of the freezer to make sure that your cake is okay for serving.

Stale birthday cake

A cake can have a few reasons for going stale. The first and most common one is a badly wrapped cake, with loose spots that let air in. Your cake will also go stale if it has been in the fridge for more than 4 days or more than 3 months in the freezer; which is why we suggest labelling the dates!

If your cake does end up stale, there is still some ways to rescue it! Crumble your stale cake up by hand or using a food processor and use it as a decoration on top of a fresh batch of cupcakes or a fresh cake! Not a fan of crumbled decoration? Shape your cake sponge into small balls and make cake pops!

I hope you learnt just as much as I did about storing your birthday cake today! Remember that if you have any other questions, use the comment section bellow, or DM me on Instagram!

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