How to Store a Cake Without a Container: Practical Tips


Cake containers come in glass and plastic. There are also disposable cake containers that allow you to store as well as transport whole or sliced cake. If you don’t have a container for a delicious cake that you baked, purchased, or received as a present, worry not. That’s because you can keep it from going stale even without a proper container.

Storing a cake without a container depends on whether it’s frosted or unfrosted. An unfrosted cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and then sealed in a Ziploc bag. A frosted cake can be covered with a large bowl. It may also be chilled for 15 minutes to harden the frosting before wrapping it.

Especially if the cake is delightful to both the eyes and taste buds, it can be heartbreaking to let it go stale just because you don’t have a container designed for properly storing it.

If you want the cake to last for several days, continue reading. Below you will come across the steps on how to store a cake without a container.

Reasons to Properly Store a Cake

Before we talk about how to keep a cake in tip-top shape without placing it in a container specifically designed for it, let us first discuss some of the most important reasons why it’s a must to store it properly.

One of the reasons why you should store a cake the right way is to keep it from drying out.

There’s nothing enjoyable about a cake that’s as parched and hard as a cinder block!

An unfrosted cake tends to dry out faster than a frosted cake. It’s because nothing is protecting it from the elements — frosting has flavoring, decorative and protective properties.

Whether frosted or unfrosted, a cake begins to lose much-needed moisture the moment that you slice it. As a general rule of thumb, the thinner the cake slice is, the quicker it’s going to go stale.

Other than keeping the cake from drying out, other reasons for storing it include:

  • To keep it from collecting dust, dirt, pet hair, and others, especially if it’s frosted.
  • To protect it from common household pests with a sweet tooth, such as ants and flies.
  • To save it from damage when transporting it from one place to the other.

Placing a cake in a container, in some instances, is for decorative purposes. This is especially true if it’s placed in a glass container, which can instantly make any kitchen or dining area look inviting!

Storing a Cake the Right Way (Based on the Type)

Different cakes require different storage.

And if a proper cake container is not available, they need different makeshift storing requirements to keep them moist and delicious for several days.

Most people think that the best way to keep cakes fresh is by stashing them in the refrigerator.

After all, it’s no secret that just about anything can be kept fresh when placed in the refrigerator.

However, it’s a completely different story when it comes to cakes. Placing them in the refrigerator can cause them to dry out at a faster rate.

So, in other words, it’s a better idea to keep a cake outside the refrigerator. Well, except for some, which we will talk about later. So don’t stop reading now if you want nothing but the moistest cake!

Meanwhile, let’s take a look at how you can store a cake without a container…

Unfrosted Cake

Let’s begin by talking about storing an unfrosted cake without a proper cake container as it requires a lot less effort. That’s because there is no frosting that you need to worry about.

Storing an unfrosted cake without a container is as easy as wrapping it in plastic wrap. Make sure that it is wrapped very well to prevent moisture from escaping.

To be sure, place the wrapped cake in a Ziploc bag that’s large enough to accommodate it. This will help keep common household pests from snacking on them when you’re away.

Following these steps allows you to keep the cake in tip-top shape for up to five days.

Do you want to make your unfrosted cake last longer than five days?

All you have to do is stash it in the freezer. However, don’t just place the cake in the freezer. You must first wrap it in plastic wrap. Wrap it in aluminum foil afterward.

The reason for wrapping it in aluminum foil just before you keep it in the freezer is to fend off freezer burn, which happens when cakes or other food items are exposed to the frigid air in the freezer directly.

Freezer burn won’t make cake less edible. However, it can cause it to have dry and hard spots that are not delightful in the mouth.

By the way, refrain from wrapping an unfrosted cake while it’s still warm.

Otherwise, condensation will collect, which can damage the cake. Before storing an unfrosted cake without a container, allow it to cool to room temperature first.

Frosted Cake

What makes a frosted cake trickier to store without a proper container than an unfrosted cake is the frosting.

Because it makes the cake look eye-catching, it can be upsetting to see the frosting damaged.

Worry not because, with the right steps, it’s possible to keep the frosting intact while keeping the cake from ending up stale.

Contrary to popular belief, refrigerating a frosted cake is not necessary. As a matter of fact, it can stay fine for up to five days outside the refrigerator. The only time that a frosted cake needs to be refrigerated is:

  • If it’s topped with fresh fruits.
  • If the frosting contains eggs or is out of whipped cream.
  • If its filling is whipped cream, custard or mousse.
  • If you live where it’s hot, or your kitchen is poorly ventilated.

You can protect a frosted cake from collecting dust, dirt, pet hair, lint and others by placing an overturned bowl over it. Needless to say, the bowl should be large enough to accommodate the cake and keep the frosting intact.

Regarding storing a slice of frosted cake without the right container for it, you can keep it in the refrigerator if its topping, frosting or filling requires refrigeration.

However, it’s a must that you first carry out the steps necessary to keep it from drying out. What you can do is spread some of the frosting on the sides to keep the cake slice from losing moisture faster than usual.

Do you feel like you need to wrap it in plastic wrap?

What you need to do is the first place the slice of cake in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This will cause the frosting to harden like a rock, which can keep it from getting damaged easily. Once the frosting is hard, you can start wrapping it in plastic wrap and then sealing it in a Ziploc bag.

Instead of a ziploc bag, you may encase the frosted cake in aluminum foil after wrapping it in plastic wrap if you want to freeze it for longer shelf life.

According to experts, you can freeze the cake, frosted or unfrosted alike, for three months. Some say that you can stretch it to four or five months.

However, the less time that a cake spends in the freezer, the fresher that it will taste when served.

Just Before You Store That Cake

Even if you do not have a proper container for storing a cake, you can keep your cake in excellent condition for a long time.

The necessary steps to take will depend on the type of cake. There is a proper way to store an unfrosted cake without a container, and there is a proper way to store a frosted cake without a container.

The simple tips mentioned above can keep your cake in tip-top shape for many days!

Related Questions

How can I revive a dried out slice of cake?

You can revive a slice of dried out the cake by microwaving it on a plate that’s placed on top of a moist paper towel. You can use a steamer, too. You can also deal with a dried-out slice of cake by applying simple syrup — traditional simple syrup is one part sugar and one part water.


What can cause a cake to be dry other than exposure to air?

Using the wrong ingredients or committing a mistake while mixing the batter can cause the cake to be dry. Similarly, baking it longer than necessary or at a temperature higher than recommended can make the cake dry.

Photo credit: ©canva.com/jerenme, ©canva.com/drouk

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