Does cake get spoiled in the fridge?

Quick Answers

Cake can last in the fridge for around 5-7 days if stored properly in an airtight container. The exact shelf life depends on the type of cake and ingredients used. Creamy and custard-filled cakes tend to spoil faster. Signs of spoiled cake include mold, unpleasant odors, dried out texture, and off colors or flavors. Refrigeration slows down spoilage but does not prevent it completely. For best quality and freshness, cake is best consumed within 3-4 days of baking. Freezing can significantly extend the shelf life of cake.

How Long Does Cake Last in the Fridge?

Most baked cakes will last 5-7 days when properly stored in the refrigerator. Here is a breakdown for different types of cake:

Type of Cake Fridge Life
Sponge or chiffon cake 5-7 days
Pound cake 5-7 days
Angel food cake 5-7 days
Bundt cake 5-7 days
Sheet cake 5-7 days
Cupcakes 3-5 days
Cheesecake 3-5 days
Mousse cake 3-4 days
Custard filled cake 3-4 days

As you can see, plain cakes like sponge, angel food, and pound cake tend to last a little longer in the fridge compared to creamy cheesecakes and custard-filled options. The more moisture in a cake, the quicker it will spoil.

Factors That Shorten Fridge Life

There are a few factors that can decrease the fridge life of cake:

– Ingredients like fresh fruit, custard fillings, and whipped cream shorten shelf life since they are prone to spoiling quicker.

– More moisture makes it easier for mold to grow. Dense, creamy cakes have higher water content.

– Foods with higher sugar concentration hold onto water better, which promotes spoilage. Frosting and glazes act as food sources for microbes.

– Damaged packaging or uncovered cakes are exposed to circulating air which accelerates drying out.

– Frequent temperature changes from opening the fridge speeds up staleness.

– Higher fridge temperature (above 40°F) allows bacteria and mold to multiply faster.

How to Extend Fridge Life of Cake

Follow these tips for maximizing how long cake stays fresh in the fridge:

– Allow baked cakes to cool completely before refrigerating. Covering warm cake traps moisture and makes it soggy.

– Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil to prevent drying out. Make sure there are no gaps where air can sneak in.

– Place cake in an airtight container or bag for extra protection. Hard plastic cake domes with lids work great.

– Store cake layers separately rather than stacking or frosting ahead of time.

– Keep fridge temperature at or below 40°F. Use a thermometer to monitor.

– Avoid overcrowding fridge shelves. This restricts airflow and creates temperature fluctuations when opening the door.

– Refrain from refrigerating cakes with perishable fillings and frostings more than 2-3 days. The high moisture content causes faster spoilage.

– Consume within 3-4 days for optimum freshness and texture.

How to Tell if Cake is Spoiled

Here are signs that indicate your leftover cake has spoiled and should be discarded:

– Mold growth. This appears as fuzzy spots or patches that are green, white, black or blue. Mold spores give cake an unpleasant musty smell.

– Change in texture. A dried out, crumbly texture that becomes stale or soggy.

– Sunken center. The inner portion sinks down due to moisture loss.

– Strange odor. Cake gives off a sour, alcoholic or rotting smell instead of sweet aroma.

– Change in color. Unnatural or uneven discoloration.

– Taste. Off flavors lend a bitter, rancid or unpleasant taste.

– Weeping frosting. Watery droplets form on the frosting surface.

– Crystallized frosting. Grainy texture with hardened crystals forming in the frosting.

Trust your senses. Any cake that looks or smells funky is best to discard even if still within the expiration date. When in doubt, remember it’s better to be safe than risk foodborne illness.

Can You Freeze Cake?

Yes, freezing is an excellent way to extend the shelf life of cake for future use. Here are some freezing tips:

– Double wrap layers in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.

– Place in an airtight freezer bag or container, squeezing out excess air.

– Label package with type of cake and date.

– Freeze cake within 2-3 days after baking for best moistness and flavor.

– Thaw overnight in the fridge before decorating and serving.

– Avoid freezing cakes with fresh fruit, custard or whipped cream fillings as texture suffers.

– Most frosted cakes will last 2-3 months in the freezer. Unfrosted cakes can last 4-6 months frozen.

– Let cake come to room temperature before eating for best flavor and texture.

Freezing prevents further staling and locks in freshness when stored at 0°F. It allows enjoying cake weeks or months down the line with minimal quality loss.

How to Revive Old Cake

What if you forgot about cake hidden in the back of your fridge? Try these tricks to revive and restore slightly stale cake:

– Older baked goods often dry out. Use a pastry brush to gently moisten cake layers with a spritz of lemon juice, milk, or simple syrup. This adds back moisture.

– Unwrap and place cake in an airtight bag with a slice of bread. The bread will release moisture to soften the cake in 1-2 days.

– Stale edges can be trimmed off to remove the dry parts.

– For cupcakes and muffins, split horizontally and sandwich together with frosting for renewed moisture.

– Too dry? Dunk in milk for a few seconds to rehydrate cake.

– Microwave 10-20 seconds to gently warm. This makes cake seem fresh baked.

– Disguise flavor with a flavorful glaze or soak syrup like citrus, coffee, or chocolate.

– Crumble into crumbs for cake pops or trifle. The added flavors and moisture improve taste.

With some creativity and TLC, slightly stale cakes can be revived for another day of enjoyment. But if cake shows signs of spoilage, it’s safer to discard than risk eating spoiled cake.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get food poisoning from spoiled cake?

Yes, eating moldy or spoiled cake could result in food poisoning. Cake can harbor dangerous bacteria like Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, and Clostridium perfringens which can cause illness if ingested. Always discard cake past its prime.

Can you put warm cake directly in the fridge?

It’s best to let cake cool completely first. Warm cake straight from the oven continues baking if refrigerated, causing a gummy texture. Covering hot cake traps moisture and affects texture. Cool cake layers on a rack before chilling.

Should you keep cake covered in the fridge?

Yes, cover cake well in plastic wrap or a storage container. This prevents drying out, retains moisture, and blocks food odors from absorbing into the cake. Uncovered cake stales much quicker.

How do you store cake for long term?

For long term storage, the best method is freezing. Wrap cake layers securely in plastic wrap and foil, or place in a freezer bag. Frozen cake keeps for 2-3 months if wrapped airtight at 0°F. Thaw overnight in the fridge before decorating or eating.

Can cakes be refrigerated after frosting?

Frosted cakes can be refrigerated but are best consumed within 2-3 days. The frosting traps in moisture speeding up spoilage. Store frosted cakes in a cake dome or loosely covered so the frosting stays firm. Avoid freezing frosted cakes as this ruins the frosting texture.

Is fondant cake refrigerator safe?

Cakes covered in fondant can be stored in the fridge but the fondant may weep or discolor. It’s best to refrigerate fondant decorations separately and apply them right before serving. Refrigerate fondant-covered cakes no more than 2-3 days.

Why does my cake get moldy so fast?

Cakes with fresh fruit fillings, lots of moisture, and sugar tend to mold quicker. Proper storage methods like sealing airtight and monitoring fridge temperature help prevent fast mold growth. Eat cake within 3-5 days and discard any that looks or smells off.


Cake brought home after a party or celebration often gets a prime spot in the refrigerator. But like most baked goods, cake is perishable and has a limited fridge life.

With proper storage methods, an average frosted or unfrosted cake stays fresh about 5-7 days in the fridge. Creamy cheesecake and moist cakes with fillings expire faster in 3-4 days.

Monitor refrigerated cake for signs of spoilage like mold, off-colors, unpleasant odors, and stale texture. Discard cake at the first hint of spoilage. While steps can be taken to extend fridge life, consuming cake within 3-5 days ensures safety and quality.

Freezing is the best method for long term cake storage. Wrapped airtight at 0°F, most cakes maintain quality for 2-3 months in the freezer. Simply thaw overnight before enjoying! With proper handling, you can have your cake and eat it too without the worry of cake spoiling in the fridge.

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