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Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

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asked December 19th 2012

How long can I wait after icing the cake

I’m making a sponge cake today and am going to ice it tonight but I don’t want to decorate it until the weekend. How long can I expect the sponge to stay fresh once I’ve covered it in icing and am storing it in a cardboard cake box?

Thanks in advance! Joe

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I’m making a sponge cake today and am going to ice it tonight but I don’t want to decorate it until the weekend. How long can I expect the sponge to stay fresh once I’ve covered it in icing and am storing it in a cardboard cake box?

Thanks in advance! Joe

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Hi JoeB

A sponge cake will stay moist for about three days before it slightly starts to stale. You can keep it moist for longer if you use a simple syrup drench. To make simple syrup boil for one or two minutes equal quantities of either water or juice and sugar. Cool the syrup and brush each layer with it. The sponge will absorb the syrup and will keep moist for your time scale. You can flavour the syrup by adding a vanilla pod during boiling or use an extract once the syrup has cooled.

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Thanks for that madeitwithlove, I am following the BBC Food Vanilla cake which has the syrup drench so was going to do that too, but was hoping if I’d iced it tonight it would stay fresh for much longer before I put the Santa on it etc…bit worried about making sponge cakes today and icing them when people aren’t going to eat them until Christmas Day – eek!

Any advice other than don’t give up the day job?!

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Hi Joe, if it’s the Jane Hornby cake it should be okay for Christmas Day but your best bet would be to freeze it for a few days and then ice and decorate it at the weekend. Good luck!

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Thanks Doodlecake, I’ll do that!

Never frozen a cake before so I’m assuming i let it cool, wrap in cling film and then foil and place in freezer. Take out the day I want to ice it and leave it to defrost before cutting in half and filling etc…?

Wish they’d had fruit cake instead of sponge! 🙂

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Hi JoeB

If you’re going to freeze, might be better to wrap the cooled cake in parchment paper first, cling and foil. Store the cake as flat as possible so it doesn’t distort. When you come to tort keep it slightly frozen as it will be easier to handle when slicing and filling. If you’re crumb coating with butter cream pop the cake in the fridge for the BC to harden up, this will make it easier for you to ice but just leave it out for about 15 minutes because a little dew will form on the cake when it comes into the warm air, the dew will very soon disperse and you can ice it.