How Long Can Plain, Frosted, Carrot, and Chocolate Cake Sit Out?

There are rules in baking. These rules help to ensure that your baked good comes out perfect and tastes perfect too. For instance, when baking a cake, you should know how long you can allow it to sit out before you refrigerate, freeze, or frost it.

How long your cake sits out is one of the factors that influence its quality. So, you should gather this information before your next baking session.

How long can plain cake sit out?

A plain cake may be left out at room temperature for three to four days before it loses all its good stuff.

However, the cake must contain a preservative. Also, you must store it properly to avoid contamination and quick moisture evaporation.

How long can cake batter sit out?

Cake batter won’t last more than an hour at room temperature. If you love to prep ahead of baking, be prepared to refrigerate or freeze the batter.

The cake batter will last two days in the refrigerator and three months in the freezer. The downside to this is, the cake will not rise well afterward.

How long can cake sit out with cream cheese frosting?

The best your cream cheese frosting cake can last at room temperature is 2 hours. If you can freeze it before the two hours window, good for you.

Typically, cakes with cream cheese frosting must be refrigerated. Therefore, you must do the same with your cake, regardless of the preservative it contains.

How long can a buttercream cake sit out?

A cake with buttercream icing and decorations can be kept at room temperature for up to three days.

But, you must ensure that the cake is covered in a bowl or with a cake keeper to keep out dust, dirt, and insects.

How long can carrot cake sit out?

Carrot cake can last 1 to 2 days at room temperature. If the cake contains custard frostings and dairy fillings such as whipped cream and buttercream, refrigerate it immediately after baking.

How long can cake pops sit out?

Cake pops can sit at room temperature for two weeks. Yes, you can keep them out that long but you should keep them covered and protected from dirt, dust, and other contaminants.

However, cake pops are best consumed fresh, immediately after cooling. If you want to keep them longer, refrigerate them and you’ll have them fresh for three weeks.

Can a cake be left out overnight?

Most cakes, sliced or uncut, iced or unfrosted, can sit out many days at room temperature. You can also leave them out overnight. However, it would be best if you kept them covered.

Moreover, it is advisable to leave freshly baked cakes out overnight. Examples of shelf-stable cakes include sponge cakes, pound cakes, fruit cakes, and most commercial cake mixes.

How long can frosted cake sit out unrefrigerated?

A buttercream, fondant, or ganache-frosted cake that hasn’t been sliced will keep for up to five days at room temperature. To shield it from dirt or other pollutants, keep the cake covered with a dish or a cake keeper.

How long does chocolate cake last at room temperature?

Freshly-made chocolate cake will keep for one to two days at room temperature if properly kept. Cover chocolate cake with tinfoil or plastic wrap to keep it from drying out and reducing shelf life.

How long can fresh cream cake sit out?

A cream cake will last 2-3 days on the shelf or kitchen counter and 5-6 days in the refrigerator.

How to tell if a cake is bad

If your cake is bad, it’ll have any of the following features:

  • Mold growth
  • Slimy and sticky texture
  • Dry texture
  • Foul smell
  • Discoloration
  • An off-taste

How to preserve a cake

To properly preserve your cake, follow these steps:

  • Keep the cake in a cake cover, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil
  • Keep the cake airtight
  • Freeze cake to keep it longer
  • Defrost cakes at room temperature
  • Also, freeze or refrigerate the cake in slices and take out only as much as you need at a time


How long can cake sit in the fridge?

Cake with a buttercream or ganache topping can keep for 3–4 days in the refrigerator. Cakes with custard, cream, cream cheese, or fresh fruit cannot last more than two days in the refrigerator.

How long should you wait to serve a cake after removing it from the fridge?

A chilled cake should sit for 30 minutes to one hour at room temperature before you slice and serve it.

Will a cake spoil if not refrigerated?

No, it will not spoil. A plain and simple cake, whether it is prepared from scratch or a mix, would still be fine to eat if left out on the countertop for a few days.

But, you can refrigerate your cake to preserve it for a few more days. However, refrigerating cakes is not very advisable because cakes tend to lose moisture in the refrigerator.


If you enjoy baking and pastries, you will notice that they are often left out to cool after being removed from the oven. If you have been thinking you’re doing something wrong, you’re not.

It’s perfectly okay to leave a cake out at room temperature for a few hours. Under proper storage, your cake will not go rancid or deteriorate.

Based on the recipe, cakes may have preservatives that keep them fresh even while they are out on the countertop. However, you must cover your cake to prevent contamination.

Don’t stop here, see how long a cake can last in the fridge.

Thanks for reading.