How Long Does Pound Cake Really Last? [Fridge Vs. Freezer]

Pound cake is a classic recipe that nearly everyone enjoys from time to time. It’s simple and easy to create and fun to play with flavors.

However, it is a dense type of cake that’s hard to finish in one sitting, unless you have a lot of people over.

Even if you have a large family, you might end up with some leftovers, and with the pounds of ingredients that go into this cake, you want that cake to last.

Pound cake can last for 4 to 5 days at room temperature. However, with proper storage, it can last up to a week in the fridge and indefinitely in the freezer.  Pound cake should always be kept in a dry area to keep it from becoming “mushy.”

However, you don’t want the cake to dry out, so it’s best to cover it with foil or plastic wrap to maximize its shelf life.

How Long Does Pound Cake Last Outside Or On The Shelf?

Most baking experts recommend storing a freshly baked cake on the shelf at room temperature. 

This seems counter-intuitive since the fridge is usually our go-to to keep things fresh. Storing a cake in the fridge could alter the texture and flavor of the cake.

However, most cakes, whether freshly baked or from a commercial cake mix, are shelf-stable and can be left on the counter to cool overnight.

As long as you have properly sealed the cake in either plastic wrap, foil, or an airtight container, it should last between four to five days at room temperature.

How Long Does Pound Cake Last in The Fridge?

If storing pound cake on the counter is not an option, or you prefer to store it in the fridge, pound cake will stay good in the fridge for around seven days, which isn’t too much longer than storing it at room temperature.  

In general, a store-bought cake will last about 1-2 weeks in the fridge. This is an option for those who might not have a ton of shelf space or for cakes that contain frosting or filling made with dairy products or eggs, like buttercream, whipped cream, or custard frostings or fillings.

As always, remember to seal the cake in foil, plastic wrap, or in an airtight container for the best results. 

How Long Does Pound Cake Last in The Freezer?

If you have made too much cake or would just like to keep your cake a little longer than a week, freezing is an option.  

Freezing allows you to keep your cake fresh for about four to six months. If the cake is frosted, freezing will only keep them fresh for about three months.

However, just like in the fridge, freezing cake does alter the quality of the cake after a certain amount of time, particularly after six months.  

If you are using an already frozen cake, such as Sara Lee’s pound cake, the shelf life and quality do not go down over time. In fact, already frozen cakes, last about a year if properly stored in the freezer.   

What is The Best Way to Store Homemade, Store-Bought, and Frozen Found Cake?

Homemade Cake

The best way to store homemade and store-bought pound cake is to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap; be sure and secure the top, sides, and bottom of the layers.

This will keep on the counter at room temperature for about 5-7 days.

You can also use a cake keeper or cake stand with a lid. If you use a cake keeper, you don’t have to worry about using plastic wrap.

To keep a pound cake slightly longer, you can refrigerate it. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. You can even frost the cake before refrigerating it.

Cakes that are frosted refrigerate well because the frosting helps keep the moisture of the cake in. For frosted cakes, chill the cake uncovered for 15 minutes to harden the icing, then wrap it in plastic wrap.

If you need to keep them longer, you can freeze them. If you are freezing freshly baked pound cake, first wait until it is completely cooled (usually about an hour after baking it).

Like storing it in the fridge or on the counter, you need to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap rated to be used in the freezer, although freezer bags work as well.

To keep it moist, wrap the still-warm cake in a layer of plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and put it in the freezer. (The water from the cake’s residual heat should keep the cake moist in the freezer.) Write the date on the cake so you will know when you put it in the freezer.

Store-Bought Cake

Store-bought cake freezes in just the same way. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Always write the date you place it in the freezer to keep track of expiration dates.

If the cake is frosted, creamy frosting freezes best, but fluffy and whipped cream frosted cakes tend to stick to wrappings like plastic wrap. To prevent sticking, freeze the cake for an hour before wrapping it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

For cakes that have fillings, like custards or fruit, freezing is not a good option. They will become soggy when thawing. The same goes for any cake batter that you have.

Frozen

Already frozen pound cakes can be kept in the freezer according to the directions on the package. For example, Sara Lee pound cake can be kept in the freezer for up to a year.

How Long Will Different Types of Pound Cakes Last?

A Stock’s pound cake will last up to three days in an airtight container on the shelf. However, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil or a heavy-duty freezer bag, you can extend the shelf life of your pound cake in the fridge up to a week.

This will prevent the cake from drying out.  Stock’s pound cake freezes well and can be kept up to a year in the freezer, however, most pound cakes tend to be best for 4 to 6 months in the freezer.

A chocolate pound cake can be kept on the counter at room temperature tightly sealed in plastic wrap or in a covered cake plate.  A cut cake will last anywhere from 3 to 4 days at room temperature.

If kept whole, the cake will last up to five days at room temperature. Wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container, chocolate pound cake can last up to 1 week in the fridge.  

Chocolate pound cake also freezes well.  Using aluminum foil or plastic wrap, or even both, wrap the pound cake tightly, and store the cake for 4 to 6 months.

Sara Lee pound cake a dessert that is kept only in the freezer, not on the counter or in the fridge. However, thawed cake can be kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

A cream cheese pound cake should not be kept out on the counter due to the cream cheese in the recipe.

However, in an airtight container a cream cheese pound cake will stay fresh in the fridge for about 1 week. This cake can be frozen if wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and stored for up to 3 months.

How Will Different Toppings Affect How Long Cakes can be Kept?

Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream frosting can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks before use. 

Remove it from the refrigerator at least an hour before using it, so it will warm to room temperature. It can also be frozen for extended storage.

A cake decorated with buttercream can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

To refrigerate a decorated cake, place it in the refrigerator unwrapped until the frosting hardens slightly. It can then be loosely covered with plastic.           

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting must be kept refrigerated, but it can be kept for up to 2 weeks before using it.

Cakes frosted with cream cheese frosting must be stored in the refrigerator to prevent melting and curdling.

The frosting will firm up when chilled but will soften quickly when it sits at room temperature.  Cream cheese frosting can also be frozen; however, it does change the texture.

Fresh Fruit Topping

Fresh fruit topping must be stored in the fridge and should only be added within a few hours of serving. 

Fruit Topping Pound Cake

Fresh fruit continues to ripen even when stored in the fridge and its juices will begin to soak into the cake.

If you use a cooked fruit topping that does not contain eggs, you can store the cake at room temperature for up to 2 days. 

Ganache

A cake covered with ganache should be stored at room temperature or colder. If it is exposed to warm temperatures, it will begin to soften.

A cake topped with ganache can be frozen, but it may lose some of its shine when thawed out.

Glaze and Syrups

A cake with a glaze or syrup topping should not have to be refrigerated unless there is a filling that requires it, like custard. 

Allow the cake and glaze to cool before covering for storage.

For already frozen pound cakes, like Sara Lee, the company does not recommend refreezing any of their products once thawed.  They do recommend storing the thawed cake in the fridge for up to five days.

How Do You Properly Defrost a Pound Cake?

The best way to thaw a frozen pound cake, or any cake, is to let it thaw in the fridge for about 24 hours before serving. Keep them in their wrapping as they thaw, so the condensation that forms while defrosting forms on the wrapping and not the cakes.  

Frozen Pound Cake

This process should take about 8 hours in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature on your counter for about an hour before you plan to eat it.

If the cake is frosted let it come to room temperature for two hours before serving.

Cakes with whipped cream toppings or fillings should be thawed in the refrigerator for three to four hoursAnother way is to thaw the cake on the counter for about 8 hours.

However, the biggest disagreement is over defrosting pound cakes in the oven. Some experts say never to reheat a pound cake in the oven, while others recommend reheating in the oven to have a warm piece of cake and to avoid throwing off the moisture level of a pound cake.  You want to reheat the cake slowly and carefully.

If you like your pound cake warm, you can place your cake on a foil-lined baking sheet and start it in a cold oven. Bring it up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, but make sure you take it out just when it’s warm, not hot or toasted; you only want it warm, not baked twice. This should only take about 8 to 15 minutes at the most.

ItemExpiration-FridgeExpiration- FreezerExpiration-Shelf/counter
Opened Store-bought pound cake1 week4-6 months +2-3 days
Unopened Store-bought Pound Cake1-2 weeks4-6 months +4-5 days
Homemade Pound Cake1 week4-6 months +1-2 days
Frozen Store-bought (Sara Lee)N/AUp to 1 yearN/A
Stock’s pound cake1 week4-6 months1-3 days
Chocolate Pound cake1 week4-6 months3-5 days
Cream Cheese Pound Cake1 week3 monthsNA

How Do you Know if Pound Cake is Bad or Spoiled?

The best way to tell if your pound cake has spoiled is to smell and look at it. If any mold has appeared on the cake, toss it in the garbage. 

Don’t eat the parts that aren’t moldy because you will still run the risk of getting sick. The toxins and bacteria can spread to the other parts of the cake.

If the cake has frosting, any dramatic change in its creaminess can indicate spoilage. If you can’t tell from the outside of the cake, cut into it and inspect it thoroughly.  The texture will also give you a hint of the cake’s freshness.

If it is dry and hard to the touch, it is best to toss the cake. On the other hand, if the cake is mushy or slimy, toss it.

You may also notice a change in the smell of your cake. If your cake appears okay and you’re not sure if it’s good, take a quick sniff. If it has a funky or sour smell, it’s better not to take the risk of eating it. It probably won’t taste good either.

Final Considerations

All in all, pound cake is a versatile dessert that if properly stored, can last for quite a while. 

For best results, depending on your chosen topping and filling, leaving the cake on the counter is just fine in order to preserve the dense texture and flavor of the ingredients. 

However, if you really do just have too much cake on your hands, freezing is not a bad option… Although I’ve never met someone who has leftover cake for more than a day or two. 

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