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Posted in Food Safety on September 27, 2022
Cake tastes best when eaten within 24 hours of cooking. However, if you need to preserve it for a longer period or if your kitchen is very warm, it is best to store it in the fridge. Cakes made with perishable ingredients that can spoil—such as cream cheese, whipped cream, fresh fruit, ice cream, or mascarpone—must be refrigerated. If you refrigerate, wrap it in plastic if it is unfrosted. That will prevent the cake from drying out or absorbing any fridge smells. If the cake is frosted, chill it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before placing it in plastic wrap.
The type of icing on cake can make it spoil faster. Cakes that contain buttercream or ganache frosting can last for three to four days in the fridge. Whereas cakes made with fresh fruit, cream cheese, cream, or custard will only last one to two days before spoiling. However, fruit cakes encased in marzipan and icing can last for several months in the fridge. Store-bought cakes that contain preservatives last a bit longer, about 5 to 7 days, and will go stale rather than spoiling or rotting.
Most cakes, whether frosted or unfrosted, can sit at room temperature for several days. However, they should always be wrapped with a protective barrier to keep them from drying out. For example, a cake tin lined with greaseproof paper, a cake keeper, or an overturned bowl. A frosted cake that does not contain perishable ingredients can be kept at room temperature for four to five days.
Cakes can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months and retain the best taste and texture. However, they are still safe to consume for up to 12 months or longer, depending on whether they are stored properly. Before freezing, wrap the cake in plastic wrap and foil, then place it in a freezer-safe container. When ready to thaw, transfer the wrapped cake from the freezer to the refrigerator one day before decorating and serving.
You can easily tell when a cake is bad due to changes in appearance, texture, or smell. Here is how to identify bad or spoiled cake:
Eating spoiled cake can expose you to harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness—for example, norovirus, salmonella, or staph infection. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Although most cases tend to be mild, symptoms can sometimes be severe or even life-threatening. If you or a loved one suffered severe complications from ingesting contaminated food, a food safety attorney from The Lange Law Firm, PLLC can help.