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Congratulations! You baked a cake! You could eat it all in one go (and this is a judgement-free zone), but if you want to store it for later and are wondering how, we’ve got the answers. This advice works for any kind of cake: layer cake, sheet cake, pound cake, quick breads, and even cupcakes, and we’ll break it down into into frosted and unfrosted, cut and uncut cakes.

But, First: Do I Need to Refrigerate My Cake?

Most of the time, the answer is no. Most cakes, frosted and unfrosted, cut and uncut, are perfectly fine at room temperature for several days. Refrigeration is only necessary if your kitchen gets very hot during the day, if you’re making a cake that won’t be served for more than three days, or when cake includes a fresh fruit filling or topping, or whipped cream frosting.

If you do refrigerate, wrap unfrosted cakes in plastic to protect them from absorbing any weird fridge smells and to protect them from drying out, and then unwrap it to warm up on the counter before serving. For frosted cakes, chill the cake uncovered for 15 minutes to harden the icing, then wrap it in plastic wrap.

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The Best Way to Store Cake Layers

Wrap these tightly in plastic wrap, top, sides, and bottoms, so the plastic is touching the sides of the cake (that is to say, don’t just drape the plastic over the top). If you don’t have plastic wrap, opt for a plastic zip-top bag. Store these wrapped cakes on the counter at room temperature, and they’ll keep for about a week before starting to stale on you. Oil-based cakes tend to keep a day or two longer than butter-based ones. To keep cakes for longer than a week, try freezing them.

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The Best Way to Store Frosted Cake

The frosting acts as a protective barrier for the cake, so there’s no need for plastic wrap here. Cover it with a cake keeper or an overturned bowl to protect it from dust, pet hair, and other things in the air. A frosted cake can be kept at room temperature for four to five days.

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The Best Way to Store Cut Cake

As soon as you make a cut, moisture begins to escape and causes the cake to get stale more quickly. If you can, cover the sliced edges with more frosting to protect the cake from moisture loss. Otherwise, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the sliced side and make sure it sticks. Then proceed with covering and storing the cake as you would for the uncut version. Cut cake keeps for a little less time, about three to four days at room temperature.

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