How Long Can Cake Sit Out Unrefrigerated

How Long Can Cake Sit Out Unrefrigerated? Solved

Last Updated on April 21, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Often, after occasions such as weddings, birthday parties or similar celebrations, you might find yourself with leftover cake. This is a common situation. So, how can you guarantee that none of this delectable remaining cake is wasted?

Can you put it in the fridge? Or can you leave it out on the counter? How long can cake sit out unrefrigerated? Let’s find out.

How Long Does Cake Last Unrefrigerated?

It is generally accepted that cake lasts between two and four days when stored unrefrigerated. However, several factors can affect this timeframe.

For example, the type of cake, the ingredients used, and how it is stored can all impact its shelf life.

For best results, store the cake in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. If you need to refrigerate the cake, wrap it tightly to prevent it from drying out. With proper care, most cakes will stay fresh and delicious for several days.

Read: Top 21st Birthday Cake Ideas

Factors to Consider


The shelf life of a cake is affected by the temperature. In general, cakes will last longer when they are stored in the fridge than when they are stored at room temperature.

However, some types of cakes will last longer when they are stored at room temperature. For example, fondant cakes will last for about 2-3 days when stored at room temperature, while buttercream cakes will only last for about 1-2 days.

Type of Cake

woman spreading buttercream on cake

The type of cake also affects how long it will last. Unfrosted cakes tend to last longer than frosted cakes. Snack cakes also tend to have a longer shelf life than regular cakes.

Buttercream Cakes

Buttercream is a type of icing made with butter, sugar, and cream. It is often used for frosting cakes. Buttercream cakes usually have a shelf life of 1-2 days. But how long will ice cream cake last?

Moist Cakes

Moist cakes are cakes that contain a high amount of moisture. They generally have a shorter shelf life than other types of cakes. Moist cakes usually last for 2-3 days.

Fondant Cakes

Fondant is a type of icing that is made with sugar and gelatin. It is often used to decorate cakes. Fondant cakes usually have a shelf life of 2-3 days. But how will you transport cake pops?

How to Tell If Unrefrigerated Cake Gone Bad?


Look at the texture of the cake. If it is dry or crumbly, it has likely been out for too long and is no longer fresh.

If your cake looks or feels significantly different from when you first left it out, it is probably past the point of safe consumption. Therefore, it is always best to err on the side of caution when determining whether or not to eat unrefrigerated cake.


When it comes to telling if an unrefrigerated cake has gone bad, the odor is usually the best indicator. If the cake has developed a sour or rotting smell, it is best to throw it out.


macro shot of moldy cake

Cake is a delicious treat that can be enjoyed on any occasion, but it’s important to make sure that it’s fresh before you eat it.

An unrefrigerated cake that has gone bad will often develop mold. If you see any black, green, or white spots on the surface of the cake, it’s best to throw it away.

In addition, if the cake has a sour smell or is sticky to the touch, it’s probably best to avoid eating it. However, if the cake looks and smells fine, it should be safe to eat. Keep in mind that mold can sometimes be difficult to see, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution. [1]


What will happen if I let my cake sit out unrefrigerated overnight?

If you let cake sit out unrefrigerated overnight, the cake may start to go bad and develop bacteria. The frosting may also melt. But where do you buy sugar flowers for wedding cakes?

What kind of cake doesn’t need refrigeration?

A cake that has no frosting on it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. But just to be on the safe side, we recommend putting your leftover cakes, whether frosted or not, inside the fridge.

Key Takeaways

It is best to store the cake in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life. However, a cake can sit out for up to two hours without being refrigerated.

If the cake has frosting or a whipped cream filling, it should not sit out for more than one hour. 

To know if a cake is still alright to eat, look at the texture, smell it, and see if mold has formed. If it has gone dry and crumbly, smells sour or off, and has black and green bolds on this side,  it’s best that you follow your instinct and throw it out. 


Kimberlee Johnson
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