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asked June 23rd 2015

Vanilla Cake Shelf Life

Sorry if this has been asked before, but I cant find the answers I'm looking for...!

Does anyone know what the shelf life of the BBCGoodfood Easy Vanilla Cake is? I often make this, but a customer contacted me yesterday (luckily a friend) who had cut into her cake 11 days after I had baked it and found green mould growing on the bottom of the cake. I would not recommend eating after this time anyway - I would say 3-4 days. I had baked this on Thursday, filled and covered in (freshly made) white ganache and decorated on Friday, delivered on Saturday. They didn't want to cut it ( 🙂 ) until yesterday, which was obviously quite a long time after, but would you expect it to be growing mould? She was not complaining as they knew they she have eaten it earlier but wanted to show me what she found! I have had customers eat Pauls chocolate cake at least 2 weeks after delivering and been told it was really good...

I'm aware of ganache shelf life etc. but I would expect the actual cake to go dry rather than grow mould?! Has anyone any experience of this? Could it have made someone ill? I'm really worried about offering this vanilla cake again 🙁 This recipe has Greek yogurt in it - would that effect shelf life? Would a cake mix where you just add water (i.e. Craigmillar) have a longer shelf life?

Sorry so many questions, I am really scared! I have made hundreds of cakes without this problem but now I'm worried that maybe other customers have found the same thing without telling me... 🙁 EEK!


Hello goldengoose25

Like you I bake Jane Hornby's vanilla cake all the time and love it. The cake moulded because it was simply kept far too long and you mustn't have fears about offering it again. The cake has a good five day shelf life although how it is stored will make a big difference. If it's kept in the fridge it will last longer. The yogurt certainly will have contributed to some of the problem but in this case I would say it was definitely as a result of the cake being way past it's keeping date. Denser cakes such as madeira or cakes with very high sugar content keep better. Even then it would depend on baking and handling conditons, the type of filling inside and storing.
You haven't done anything wrong and there is nothing wrong with the recipe. Perhaps encourage your friends to eat your delicious vanilla cakes sooner than eleven days?? x


Thanks for the reassurance miwl! What would you say the shelf life is for Pauls choc cake? (sorry this is probably already on here somewhere)


Again it can vary. David has stated their recipe has a shelf life of five days. However if you add a teaspoon of glycerine it can double that! Now I don't use glycerine on Paul's cake and have received feed back from friends and family to say it is good for ten days when kept in the fridge. Unfortunately it never lasts that long in or house for me to verify. I can well believe it because of the very high content of sugar contained in the recipe. I also produce extremely inebriated cakes which does help with the shelf life. As an alternative to Paul's recipe I have used the mud cake recipe in my blog here:

How to Make Chocolate Mud Cake

The recipe was donated to me by member headrabbit and appears on the site with his permission to be used by PBSS members. The recipe was donated to him by someone in Australia. It is a long shelf life chocolate cake recipe which is used for wedding cakes or for celebrations cakes which require lengthy decorating time. It's all in the blog! Yes the informationis already on the site but as you know trawling through takes time and the search doesn't always throw up fruitful results. Don't worry though, the more times it is asked will increase a more positive search result. Apart fromt that it's always nice to chat with you! x
ps found David's answer, scroll down the page to see it here:

Lengthening the shelf life of cakes


Hi goldengoose25,
I used a well know cake mix that I have never used before ( why I changed I don't know now) and it was for a friend's wedding cake. Unfortunately my friend discovered mould on this cake also but I have never had this problem in the 4 years I have been making cakes. I am absolutely mortified. The cake was ganached as usual and was less than a week old . The cake mix is one that is apparently used by professionals but the chocolate cake I made from scratch was fine. I am really worried about the mix (which I bought a lot of!)and am wondering whether to get in touch with the manufacturers.

The mix I normally use stays fresh for at least 2 weeks (it's always eaten by then).

I won't be using anymore of the new mix though!


Hello christineadamssky-com

Was the cake mix Craig Millar by any chance?

I recently changed to CM to save time baking from scratch and now have the problem again - it's fine when the cake is first cut, and then moulds after 1-2 days! Seems to be fine when I use the sample pots that cake-stuff supply, but when the cake is made from the bulk box (which is kept in a cool cupboard with a clip lock on the bag) we have this mould problem 🙁

Anyone else have problems with Craig Millar Madeira cake mix?