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How Long Is Cake Good For?

Whether you have leftover cake or you are baking one in advance of a special occasion, you will want to know how long the cake is good for.

While you can store cake in order to preserve it for longer, despite the sugar content, it will go bad at some point.

How Long Is Cake Good For?

After all, cake unfortunately does not last forever. Typically, cake should last for around four days when left at room temperature.

However, this can depend on what the cake is made from and what the topping is.

If it is dairy and fruit, then you will want to put it into the fridge right away. However, do not expect it to last four days.

You will want to eat a dairy-based cake within a day or two at most. Any longer and it may taste sour.

A regular non-dairy cake should last for around a week in the refrigerator.

If you want the cake to last even longer, then you will want to put it in the freezer.

Doing so can help the cake to be preserved for around 3 months.

So, let’s take a detailed look at how long a cake is good for, and how to know when it has gone bad.

How Long Does It Take For A Cake To Go Bad?

When it comes to eating cake, the optimal time for it to be fresh and moist is within the first 24 hours of it being created.

The longer you leave the cake to be eaten, the drier the sponge becomes. However, if it is fruit cake then you are in luck.

Not only can this kind of cake last for up to a whole year when frozen, but it can also last a number of months in the refrigerator.

This is because it has such a high volume of both dried fruit and alcohol that helps the cake to preserve itself.

Due to the type of cake and what it is made of, it can affect how long the cake lasts before going bad.

For example, a store bought cake is likely to last a lot longer than the kind of cake you make at home.

This is because it will have preservatives in its ingredients to ensure that it can last.

For this reason it may only become dry after a week, but will still be okay to eat. A cake with dairy in it may only last a couple of days.

This kind of cake you will want to put into the fridge right away and eat as soon as possible. It will become unable to eat quickly.

A sponge cake should last for a week in the fridge, or up to 4 days at room temperature.

While at first it may just become dry, if left for a long period of time it will become too stale to eat.

Are There Ways To Tell A Cake Has Gone Bad?

If you have left cake either in the fridge or at room temperature for a few days and are unsure whether you should eat it, then the best thing you can do is to use your senses.



One of the first things you will do is take a look at the cake’s appearance. If you notice any mold, then throw it out.

It could make you unwell, so avoid just removing the mold and eating what is left.

This is because undetected mold may be growing within the cake that you do not know about. This then could be ingested by you!

If you notice that the cake looks slimy and too moist, then it has spoiled.

It is the same when it is the exact opposite too. If the cake is too dry, then it will not be nice to eat.

If the cake has cream or frosting on it, you will want to check this too. Dairy can go bad quickly, so you will want to see what the texture is like.

Always cut the cake open. You will need to see how it looks on the inside too.


If the cake looks fine, give it a smell. If it smells fine, then you can give it a try. If it smells off, then avoid eating it.

If it smells bad, then it probably tastes bad too!


Sometimes the appearance and the smell do not give any clues away. When this is the case give the cake a taste.

If it tastes normal and appears to have a regular texture, then it is fine to eat. If you notice a strange taste or that the texture is off, then throw it out.

It is not going to get any better!

When Is It Time To Throw The Cake Out?

A bad sponge cake is very unlikely to make you unwell, however eating spoiled cake will not be an enjoyable experience.

However, if it includes mold, then you do not want to take the risk of it making you sick.

If you notice any texture, smell or appearance differences, then just throw the cake out.

The great thing about a store-bought cake is that it will have a best-by or best-before date.

You will want to eat the cake by its best-buy to ensure that it is safe to eat. This is often on dairy-based cakes.

However, a best-before is just a manufacturer’s indication on optimal freshness.

Once it goes past the date and it has not been unopened, it will begin to go dry.

It can be ignored once the packaging has been opened – it will go bad quicker!

Final Thoughts

If you have leftover cake or you want to bake a cake in advance, you may need to know how long it will last.

It usually depends on what the cake is made of, and where you store it.

A regular cake will last up to a week in the fridge, but a fruit cake can last for several months.

However, if you want the cake to last, always freeze it!

Anna Ingham
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