There is nothing nicer than coming home after a long day to a piece of yummy chocolate cake and a cup of tea or coffee. The best chocolate cakes are fresh, moist, and packed full of chocolatey goodness, and storing them correctly will ensure the flavor and freshness are maintained until you eat the last piece.
Chocolate cake will dry out if stored in the fridge, especially if the cake is unwrapped. To keep your chocolate cake moist, store it in an airtight container or cake dome and leave it on the countertop, pantry, or cupboard.
It doesn’t matter whether you baked your chocolate cake yourself or picked it up from your local bakery and have some leftovers. Knowing how to store it correctly locks in the moisture, allowing you to enjoy it for a few days.
Why Chocolate Cake Dries Out in the Fridge
Most of us think that if we want any food item to last and stay fresh, it’s best to pop it into the fridge. While this may work for many foods, from fresh fruit and veggies to dairy and meat, this isn’t true for chocolate cake unless it’s a chocolate mousse cake.
Sponge cakes, like chocolate cakes, have more moisture than the moisture present in the fridge. When you put your cake in the fridge, especially without covering it, the moisture from the cake evaporates and is absorbed into the air, making your cake dry.
The Best Way To Store a Chocolate Cake
To keep your chocolate cake moist and fresh, the best way to store it is to put it into an airtight container. Keep the cake at room temperature and away from direct light or heat sources like the stove, microwave, or air fryer, which will melt the frosting. Your chocolate cake should last for about a day or two if stored this way.
If you don’t have an airtight container or want to use the cardboard box it came in, you can wrap the box in plastic wrap.
Chocolate Cake Storage Options
In many homes, freshly baked chocolate cake is polished on the same day it’s baked or bought. But in the unlikely event that it’s not, you need to know how to store it properly. While it is best to keep your chocolate cake at room temperature and eat it within two days, this isn’t always possible.
If you’re a single person, have tons of cake leftover from a party, or for whatever reason can’t finish the cake within two days, you can either store it in the fridge or freezer.
Storing Chocolate Cake in the Fridge
It’s already been established that keeping the chocolate cake in the fridge is a big no-no because it will dry out, but there are ways around it. If you have cake layers or a plain chocolate cake without icing, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, ensuring all sides are covered.
Wrapping it in two layers is preferred for extra insulation. Once wrapped, you can safely store it in the fridge.
If your chocolate cake has frosting, you will need to pop it into the fridge for about fifteen minutes to let the icing harden. You can also place it in the freezer so that it sets faster. When the frosting is stiff, remove the cake from the fridge or freezer and wrap it with plastic wrap.
Chilling the chocolate cake first allows the icing to become hard so that it doesn’t smudge when you wrap it. Wrapping it in two layers of plastic wrap gives the cake extra security.
The chocolate cake will keep in the fridge for five to seven days when wrapped securely.
Storing Chocolate Cake in the Freezer
On the rare occasion that you have way too much chocolate cake that you know you won’t eat within a week, or you want to keep it to enjoy at a later moment, you can freeze it. Many home bakers batch bake cakes and freeze them in layers, ready to take out and defrost when needed.
Freezing a cake is easy as long as it’s done correctly and none of the cake is exposed to the freezer. The last thing you want is bits of ice in your cake, which will thaw out and make your cake soggy.
To freeze your chocolate cake, follow the steps I described for freezing—mainly, wrap it securely. Remember to chill it first if it is a frosted cake. If wrapped correctly, the cake will keep for about six months.
When you’re ready to eat your chocolate cake, take it out of the freezer, remove the plastic, place it on a wire rack or plate and let it defrost at room temperature.
Alternatively, you can take it out of the freezer the night before and place it in the fridge with the plastic wrap. You can take it out of the fridge about one to two hours before serving.
Tips for Baking Moist Chocolate Cakes
Storing your chocolate cake correctly will ensure that it doesn’t dry out. However, if you want your cake to be as moist as possible, there are a few things you can do when you’re baking it. Try out the following:
- Use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour.
- If you’re using butter, take it out of the fridge about an hour before you bake so that it is at room temperature.
- Don’t over-beat the butter or over-mix the batter after you add the dry ingredients.
- Don’t over-bake the cake, and ensure that the oven is heated to the correct temperature.
- Brush the cake with simple syrup, which adds additional moisture.
Chocolate cake will dry out if stored in the fridge uncovered. The moisture will evaporate from the cake into the cold air. It is best to keep cakes in an airtight container at room temperature.
Chocolate cakes can be stored in the fridge or freezer as long as they are securely wrapped in plastic wrap. You can keep chocolate cake in the fridge for up to two days and in the freezer for up to six months.