skip to content

FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $60! *Limited to domestic U.S. orders only.

Discussion Forum

Topic: where & how to keep cakes fresh before icing
rykerskiki 06/21/2009 8:12 PM
Just baked my first cake. So for so good! I think I am to wait 24 hrs before icing cake? What is the best method for storage of cakes with no icing? I don't want them to dry out in the open air. Any suggestions will be appreciated..
Jeanne G 06/21/2009 8:31 PM
Is this a cake mix cake or scratch? (Scratch tends to dry out faster, which is why I ask.)

The cake should be cooling on a rack, with air circulating on all sides.

When the cake is fully cool (about 2 hours), move it to its cakeboard. If this is a layer cake, now is when you pipe a dam and apply the filling, then stack the layers.

Apply a crumbcoat. This is a very thin layer of the same buttercream you will later frost the cake with. It doesn't have to be pretty -- it won't show. It seals the cake for freshness and also glues any loose crumbs to the cake so they don't show up in the final frosting.

All the crumbcoat to dry.

Now you can proceed to frost and decorate, or you can wait. If this is a filled layer cake it is best if possible to allow the layers to settle a few hours before frosting. If it is a single layer then it is just up to what fits your schedule best.

Unless the cake has a perishable filling (cream cheese, pudding, custard, mousse, etc.), it is best to let the cake sit at room temperature. To protect it against dust, pet hair, etc., cover it loosely with a clean dishtowel or place it in a cake box. (If you also need to protect it from inquisitive little fingers or paws, put the box out of reach.) Do not use an airtight container.

If the cake does have a perishable filling (which I try to avoid, because it is a hassle), then it needs to be refrigerated before and after you frost and decorate it.

Does this help? Good luck with your cake!

(By the way, did you realize you posted in the wedding forum?)

rykerskiki 06/21/2009 9:12 PM
Hi, Thanks for the info., very helpful indeed. It is a scratch cake (Paula Dean) almond butter pound cake. I didn't know I was on the wedding forum. I was looking at all the beautiful pictures of the wedding cakes. Thank you again...especially for the description & instructions on the crumb icing. How did you know that was my next question? Smiles, rykerskiki
sweetgrandma 06/23/2009 3:01 PM
I was watching cake boss last night and noticed he called the crumb coat "dirty frosting". I'd never heard that before but I guess it does look like that.
Jeanne G 06/23/2009 3:41 PM
That's funny. It may be appropriate, but somehow "dirty frosting" doesn't sound so appealing for a cake. I think of it as the primer coat.
sweetgrandma 06/23/2009 7:41 PM
I know what you mean. I don't think I'll be calling my crumb coat dirty frosting.
vthorse 06/23/2009 7:51 PM
I had a small audience of carpenters watching me while I was crumb coating my sister's wedding cake. One let on that he thought that that was the final frosting. I used the term 'spackling' and he got it, lol!
navyempress 06/23/2009 8:20 PM
If you don't want to do all the torting, filling and frosting right now, just wrap each cake in plastic wrap and leave them out. As long as they're tightly wrapped, they won't lose any moisture sitting out. You should never refrigerate a cake (even frosted) unless it has perishable fillings or frostings. The cakes can become dense and dry or worse - pick up flavors and smells from other foods in the fridge.
cakes06 06/23/2009 9:06 PM
navyempress: I use box mixes for my wedding cakes and always keep the finished tiers in the frig. until delivery (buttercream frosted). If I made scratch cakes, that might be a different story because I think scratch cakes are more dry. I do understand that you shouldn't keep them in the family frig with other foods, but to say never keep them in the frig is a kind of a broad statement. If you have an extra frig. for that purpose, it works out fine and I always get told how moist and great my cakes are. I just felt like I had to put my two cents in. Dana
navyempress 07/01/2009 2:01 AM
A cake (whether it be from scratch or box, as the difference really is in the preservatives) is like a bread in the sense that it reacts the same way a bread would in most cases. It will do better if never placed in a refrigerator, that doesn't mean that if you do, it will turn into a disgusting glob and be inedible. It just means that it will not have the same texture, or softness and moisture that it would if kept out. But of course, there may be no choice if the fillings or frosting are perishable. Just so you know what I mean, have you ever placed a loaf of bread, rolls, muffins, anything of the sort in the fridge? There is a noticeable difference between it after and before it went in. The reasons you, Dana, may not have noticed a difference could be 1) you use box mixes that are usually already more moist than a from-scratch recipe and therefore may take longer to dry out (they do contain a preservative, after all) and 2) you may have always put them in the fridge and wouldn't be able to tell the difference because you've never tried it the other way. It's really your preference, and maybe rykerskiki should try both ways in the future and decide which she likes best.