Baking delicious desserts at home can be a great experience if you know what you're doing. Let's say you want to make a crumb-covered cake but don't know how to store it overnight. Do you wrap it in plastic? Is it better to leave your cake untouched? We've done plenty of research and are here to help out.

The best way to store a crumb-cake overnight is to wrap it with saran or plastic. Usually, this doesn't need to be extensive, and you can place a loose piece over your entire dessert.

That said, you don't always need to cover a crumb cake, as its thin layer of buttercream acts as a barrier to preserve it before it is served.

As we begin, we will cover all things crumb cake and discuss how you should store one overnight. Whether you're an expert baker or just starting, we're here to answer all your questions. With that said, let's get right into this post below!

piece of honey cake with plum and walnut on kitchen table, How To Store Crumb-Coated Cake Overnight

What Is The Best Way To Store A Crumb-Covered Cake?

In general, the best way to store a crumb-covered cake is to place it in the refrigerator to settle. You can do this once you finish coating your dessert, ideally allowing it to sit overnight.

Homemade rustic pie with carame

As we mentioned, you can use a piece of plastic to loosely wrap your cake, although this isn't always needed. Your cake has a thin layer of buttercream that will protect it from drying out, so extra plastic is more like added security.

However, the length of time you keep a crumb cake in the fridge will also affect how you need to prep it. For example, if your cake is only in the refrigerator one night/day, there's no need to wrap it.

On the other hand, if your cake sits in the fridge for a few days, we think extra plastic is a good idea.

Do I Have To Put My Crumb Cake In The Refrigerator Overnight?

If you want your cake to settle nicely, it's best to place it in the fridge overnight or immediately after you finish it. Generally, a crumb-coated cake will need to firm a bit before you can serve it, hence the need for refrigeration.

With that said, if you're short on time, one or two hours in the fridge may be sufficient. The priority is to let your dessert chill after you coat it with crumbs, whatever timeline that is.

Suppose you don't let your cake settle and firm in the refrigerator; expect serving it to be difficult. Your cake could even crumble (no pun intended) entirely if you don't refrigerate it, so this is a crucial step.

Should I Refrigerate Cake Before Crumb Coat?

Display of confectionery with cakes and sweet pies

You often want to refrigerate a cake once you crumb coat it. That is because your cake will be essentially ready to serve/decorate at this point, so the fridge is a great place to keep it for a few hours.

Remember, the layer of buttercream on a crumb cake acts as a protective barrier, so your crumbs will stick to it. Even if you decide to wrap your dessert with saran or any plastic wrapping, you shouldn't run into shedding crumbs.

However, if you prefer to coat your cake with crumbs post-refrigeration, that's not necessarily bad either. Every baker is different, so whatever you think is best is what you should do.

Betty Crocker recommends baking your cake, placing it in the fridge for 2-3 hours, adding a crumb layer, and waiting for an additional 30 minutes. From there, they suggest icing/decorating your cake however you want.

How Long Does It Take For A Cake To Set?

As we mentioned earlier, the ideal time for a cake to settle is between two and three hours. Again, this can depend on how you make your cake and its size, so you could wait a bit longer.

Let it sit overnight if you want to ensure your dessert is completely ready for the final decorating stage. Giving your cake enough time to settle fully will let you finish it without issues, so that's our recommendation.

However, you don't want to let your cake sit in the fridge so long it starts to lose its flavor and texture, so too much cold isn't always good either. If you don't need to serve your cake for a few days, this is when using a plastic wrap or container is a good plan.

Many bakers choose to put their cakes into airtight plastic containers rather than using saran, which may be an option to consider. Everyone is different, so there's not only one way to accomplish this.


This cake container is plastic material, has a carrying handle and locking cover, is freezer and top-rack dishwasher safe, measures 13 7/8"L x 13 5/8"W x 8"H, and is made here in the USA.

Check out this container on Amazon.

Can I Serve A Crumb-Coated Cake Immediately After Making It?

fresh and homemade apple crumble cake

No, it's generally not a great idea to serve a crumb-coated cake right after making it. As we covered, your dessert will need time to settle. Think of this as your cake's "hardening" stage, which will ensure it doesn't topple over the second it's time to present it.

Craftsy recommends giving a crumb cake at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator or until it's firm to the touch. They also suggest allowing a buttercream cake to settle for roughly the same time but at room temperature.

Icing does make a difference in how a cake responds to immediate serving, so you may be able to try this depending on the recipe. Regardless, we think it's good to refrigerate a crumb cake for at least a few hours, but it isn't always required.

How Long Does It Take To Bake A Crumb Cake?

You can usually expect a crumb-coated cake to take around 45-60 minutes to prepare. Although every recipe will call for different bake times and refrigeration, you want to allow plenty of time.

For example, one recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction recommends nearly two hours of prep/baking time, while another crumb cake recipe from The Country Cook only says you need 40 minutes.

Moreover, you will need to give your dessert time to harden. This can range from 30 minutes to overnight, so your cake may not be ready right away.

Are Crumb-Coated Cakes Hard To Transport?

If you have to bring a crumb-coated cake to a different location, this can be tricky. Considering your cake is messy by design, you need to find a container to keep it in.

Like the option we shared earlier, it's good to put your crumb cake in a sealable, sturdy container for refrigeration and transport. Ideally, you'll want to find an option that locks, so it isn't game over if you hit a bump or the cake shifts.

Furthermore, you might want to have a friend or family member rest your crumb cake on their lap inside the container while you're driving. Then, you know your dessert is safe from toppling over in the back seat.

Again, accidents happen, but there are a few things that you can do to try and prevent anything major.

How Long Can A Crumb-Covered Cake Sit Out?

In general, a crumb-covered cake should last 3-4 days if you leave it out. However, this applies to those keeping their cake in a room temperature setting, like a kitchen or air-conditioned event space.

A crumb cake tends to hold out for a while if it's cool, so this is perfect for those wanting to serve it at a family dinner or special occasion. Additionally, having your crumb cake in the refrigerator the night before you plan on serving it can help it stay fresh for longer.

Again, you don't always need to wait that long, but we recommend it for extended storage periods.

How Long Will A Cake Last In The Fridge?

Open fridge full of foods at night

Depending on your cake is made/what frosting it has, this can impact its overall shelf life. Typically, if a cake has buttercream or a ganache topping, it will remain fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days.

On the other hand, if your cake has custard, cream, cream cheese, or fresh fruit, don't expect it to last more than two days. As we mentioned, every dessert has a different recipe, hence a different shelf life.

However, it is always a good plan to refrigerator your cake when you aren't eating or serving it. Doing this can prevent it from spoiling or becoming soggy.

Regardless of your cake's icing/ingredients, try putting it in an air-tight container, refrigerated or not.

Can I Store A Crumb-Covered Cake In The Freezer?

Although putting a crumb-covered cake in your freezer may sound like a good idea, this isn't what we recommend. In general, crumb cakes don't need to be super hard to decorate/eat, so freezing one can result in a less flavorful dessert.

Furthermore, freezing baked goods, regardless, tends to mess with their consistency, hence why fresh baked is always so tasty.

Even if you don't plan on eating your dessert for a few days, the refrigerator is your best bet.

To Finish Up

piece of honey cake with plum and walnut on kitchen table

Whether you love making crumb-covered cakes or haven't attempted one, knowing how to store one overnight is crucial. From what we found, you want to place a crumb cake into the fridge overnight, either wrapped in plastic, in a container or simply on a plate.

One of the interesting things about this dessert is that it doesn't always require the fridge, although we do suggest letting it harden for at least 30 minutes in the cold.

Regardless, make sure to follow the recipe for dessert as it is written, and don't be afraid to let your crumb-covered dessert sit on the counter for a few days while you enjoy it!

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related kitchen posts below!

Can You Bake Two Cakes At The Same Time? [Inc. Pies And Cheesecake]

How Many Cake Mixes For A Half Sheet Cake? [And Full Sheet Too!]

One comment

  1. Hi! Thanks for the advice so helpful. I have a question, if I Crumb coat a cake and apply the final layer of buttercream and leave it in the refrigerator over night, will I be able to pipe a border on the cake the next morning and have it stick? Or will I have a problem with it? Or should I just apply the final layer and the borders the next morning? Please help, will really appreciate the advice.
    Take care

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