Cakes are one of the universal desserts. They come in so many varieties that even people who don’t like desserts have a favorite type of cake that they love.

Knowing how to cool your cakes is an important part of making complex cakes. So, as a home baker trying to improve their baking prowess, or as a bakery worker, you might have the question, “How do I cool a cake overnight?”.

Here we will provide you with all the information you require for building a solid understanding of cooling your cakes in a manner that preserves the quality of your cake to the maximum.

Reasons for Cooling Your Cake Overnight

There are many great reasons for leaving your cake to cool overnight. The following are the most compelling ones that bakers find most important.

To Help with the Icing Process

Icing a cake can be very difficult if it hasn’t cooled down well enough. Even at well below room temperature, a cake will not want to take on the icing. It will melt and run down the sides from the slightest increase in heat.

Cooling it down overnight will make sure that the cake will hold onto the icing and other decorations.

Makes Building Complex Cakes Easier

As there are a wide variety of cakes that you can try making by yourself, the complexity and difficulty of making them can make the process very challenging for you.

Baking your cakes and cooling them overnight allows you to have everything ready and all the hard work out of the way. It will let you plan ahead and make the process of building complex, layered cakes easier.

Helps to Set Your Cake for Cutting and Layering

If you try to slice your cake and it hasn’t properly set yet, you risk damaging your cake. Cooling it overnight will set it well, which will allow you to cut it cleanly.

Saving Time on the Day, You Entertain Guests

Suppose you have invited over some friends and family members on a special occasion, and you want to serve a cake for dessert after a delicious meal.

By baking and cooling down the cake the night before, you will save yourself the stress on the day when you will be busy cooking and making conversation with your guests.

For Giving Your Kids a Surprise Birthday Cake

It’s quite natural for parents who have baking chops to give their young ones a special homemade birthday cake. If you try to do it on that special day, they will surely know what’s going on.

Surprise Birthday Cake

But, if you bake the cake after their bedtime the night before, you will be able to put frostings and decorations in a short time and give them an amazing surprise. 

Common Problems with Cooling Cakes Overnight

The most likely question you have right now is, ‘Can’t I just leave the cake on the counter overnight?’. Well, sadly, you can’t. There are a lot of problems associated with this. The most common ones are –

They Can Go Rancid:

Cakes generally contain high volumes of dairy products, such as milk, cream, butter, and even cheese. If not properly stored, they can become rancid and spoil your cake very quickly.

The Cake Will Become Very Dry

Moisture is essential to the quality of a cake. Any water molecules in your cake will slowly evaporate and make the cake dry if left out in the open.

They Develop a Sticky Layer

Improperly packing them with plastic wrap can cause a sticky layer on top of the cake. The plastic wrap can also stick to the cake and take out chunks of it when peeled off.


If left out in the open, the cake may attract flies, roaches, and other bugs. They can contaminate the cake with various germs and bacteria.

You Can Get Ants

Your house might have ants hiding in places you don’t know about. Ants can get into your cake and completely ruin it if not stored carefully.

How Do I Cool a Cake Overnight | Different Methods?

Cool a Cake

Here are two methods you can use to store and chill your cake overnight.

Method 1: Store Overnight Using Plastic Wrap

  • Finish baking the type of cake you want
  • Take the cake out of the oven and rest it in its pan for 15-20 minutes
  • Use a thin, flexible knife to remove the cake from its baking pan
  • Rest the cake for 30 minutes to an hour on a wire cooling rack
  • Measure out enough plastic wrap for the size of your cake
  • Take a small knob of cold butter
  • Lightly rub the butter on the plastic wrap where it will touch the cake
  • Chill the buttered plastic in the refrigerator
  • Take out the chilled plastic wrap and tightly wrap your cake with it
  • Put the cake in the refrigerator overnight to cool

Method 2: Cooling in a Large Container

Use this method if you aren’t comfortable with putting our cake in plastic wrap, and you have a large flat-bottomed bowl or a container with side walls higher than the cake’s height.

  • Bake your desired cake
  • Let it cool in its baking pan for 15-20 minutes
  • Carefully release the cake from the corners of the pan and flip it on a plate to set it loose
  • Cool it on a wire rack for 1 hour and let it come to room temperature
  • Take your container and lightly rub a small amount of butter on the bottom surface
  • Put the container in the freezer for 20 minutes and let the butter set a layer on the bottom
  • Take out the container
  • Place your cake carefully in the container so that it doesn’t touch the sides
  • Put a lid on your container or close the top with some plastic wrap
  • If you don’t have a container that’s tall enough, you can slice the cake in half by its height and place it in two containers
  • Put the container in the refrigerator overnight

By using either of these methods, you will be able to cool down your cake overnight without much of the complications mentioned before.

If you are using the second method and need to use two containers, make sure to be extra careful while slicing the cake. You can chill your knife in the freezer to make the cut cleaner.


With this discussion, we believe that we have adequately answered your question of “How do I cool a cake overnight.” Try out any of these methods yourself when you need to and increase your skills as a baker.