There are a few circumstances whereby you need to store your cake. A typical example is the leftover from a birthday party, advanced purchase of a cake for the occasion, sponge cake before it is frosted the next day, and many more. I would say 90% of people will just store their cake in the fridge regardless of the scenario and condition of the cake. Today I am going to tell you one big truth, that is storing your cake in the fridge may be the worst decision in majority of the circumstances! The truth may sound surprising or even ridiculous to you. The way of how you store the cake depends largely on the cake type and the duration you wish to keep before consume it.
First and foremost, do not turn to fridge as the first resolution. Refrigerating your cake will make your cake dry and hardened as it forces the water out from the cake rapidly. Instead of maintaining its freshness, it actually speeds up the staling process. This is especially obvious when you keep your sponge cake or bread in the fridge. Next time you want to store your sponge cake in the fridge, just remind yourself that nobody keep bread in the fridge. Next, let’s look at the cake type and duration to decide its storage options.
Applies to majority of cakes
In general, if you are storing your cake for 1 day or 2, just wrap it in cling wrap and leave it outside at room temperature. It will be perfectly all right the next day as long as you do not expose it to sun or any source of heat. For cake which has frosting, it is also ok to leave it outside with its original cake box with plastic wrapped. Unless you are looking at duration beyond 3 days, you can freeze it. In fact, a frozen cake can last up to 4 months. Besides, freezing is better and refrigerating as it manages to keep the cake moisture better. If your cake has deco on top, it is good to keep the cake in a box, wrap the box with 2 layers of cling wrap and freeze it. Otherwise, you can just cling wrap the cake, followed by silver foil before put it in the freezer. Before serve, take out the cake from the freezer and thaw it outside with its cling wrap on. The thawing process averagely will take around 30 minutes.
While most of the cakes could be left outside, a cake with high dairy contents like cheesecake requires to be chilled at all time. For short term storage like 2 or 3 days, keep it in an airtight container and chill in fridge. If you wish to keep longer, you also can use the freezing method above.
Cake with whipped cream
A cake with whipped cream icing will melt if you leave it outside with room temperature. This kind of cakes are best to chill in fridge in a tight container. However freezing it is probably not a good choice if you want to store your cake for long period of time as it alters the texture.
Cakes with buttercream
A buttercream cake is perfectly fine to leave it outside at room temperature for short term. You can fridge the cake with its box wrapped in cling wrap however freezing is not a good option. You don’t want the frosting turns gummy when thaw.
For a day or 2, you can leave your fondant cake outside at room temperature like buttercream cake. If the weather is hot and humid, then fridge it with its box wrapped in cling wrap. Nevertheless, thawing the fondant may become a disaster if you do not take care of its coloring. You may want to transit the cake from fridge to an air-conditioned room before leave it at room temperature. This will somehow reduce the chances of color bleeding.
If you are not staying at hot and humid country, it is best to fridge it with its box cling wrapped. Otherwise you can just leave it outside at room temperature like a buttercream cake. Again, do not freeze it.
A cut cake is easier to spoil than a whole cake. You can apply icing to cover the cut areas for better storage, then wrap it as above. Refer to types of cakes above for possible storage options.