Does Applesauce Cake Need Refrigeration? Tips for Storing and Preserving

Sabrina Dawson

does applesauce cake need to be refrigerated
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Applesauce cake, a delightful and moist dessert, has been a favorite in many households for generations. Its rich flavor, combined with the subtle sweetness of applesauce, makes it a perfect treat for any occasion. However, a common question arises when it comes to storing this delectable cake: Does applesauce cake need to be refrigerated? This blog post delves into the various factors that influence the storage needs of applesauce cake and provides a comprehensive guide on how to store it properly.

The Basics of Applesauce Cake

Applesauce Cake with Hot Rum Sauce

Ingredients and Their Impact on Storage

The primary ingredients in applesauce cake typically include:

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Applesauce
  • Oil or butter
  • Baking powder or baking soda
  • Spices (such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves)

Applesauce, being a key ingredient, not only adds moisture to the cake but also acts as a natural preservative. This is because apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that helps maintain the cake’s structure and moisture.

Moisture Content

One of the main reasons cakes spoil is due to their moisture content. Cakes that are too moist can become breeding grounds for mold and bacteria if not stored correctly. The applesauce in the cake adds a significant amount of moisture, which needs to be managed properly to ensure the cake remains fresh and safe to eat.

Factors Influencing Storage Decisions

Applesauce Cake Recipe (with Hot Rum Sauce) | The Kitchn


Temperature plays a crucial role in determining whether to refrigerate your applesauce cake. Here are some temperature-related considerations:

  • Room Temperature: Most cakes, including applesauce cake, can be stored at room temperature for a short period. Typically, a well-covered cake can last 2-3 days on the counter.
  • Refrigeration: Storing the cake in the refrigerator can extend its shelf life by several days. However, refrigeration can sometimes dry out cakes if they are not properly covered.
  • Freezing: For long-term storage, freezing the cake is an excellent option. Properly wrapped, an applesauce cake can last up to three months in the freezer without losing its quality.


Humidity can affect the texture and longevity of the cake. In humid climates, the cake might absorb more moisture from the air, which can lead to spoilage. Conversely, in dry climates, the cake might dry out more quickly.

Covering and Wrapping

Proper wrapping is essential to maintain the cake’s freshness. Here are some effective methods:

  • Plastic Wrap: Tightly wrapping the cake in plastic wrap helps prevent it from drying out and protects it from absorbing other odors in the refrigerator.
  • Aluminum Foil: This can also be used to wrap the cake, offering additional protection against moisture loss.
  • Airtight Containers: Placing the cake in an airtight container provides an extra layer of protection, ensuring it stays moist and fresh.

Room Temperature Storage

Applesauce Cake

Short-Term Storage

If you plan to consume the applesauce cake within 2-3 days, storing it at room temperature is generally safe. Here are some tips:

  • Keep It Covered: Always keep the cake covered to protect it from dust, insects, and other contaminants.
  • Use a Cake Dome: A cake dome or a cake keeper can be an attractive and effective way to store your cake on the counter.

Monitoring Freshness

Regularly check the cake for signs of spoilage, such as mold or an off smell. If any signs of spoilage appear, it’s best to discard the cake to avoid any risk of foodborne illness.

Refrigerating Applesauce Cake

Applesauce Cake Recipe | King Arthur Baking

Benefits of Refrigeration

Refrigerating applesauce cake can significantly extend its shelf life. The cool temperature slows down the growth of mold and bacteria, keeping the cake fresh for a longer period.

Proper Refrigeration Techniques

To refrigerate the cake properly:

  1. Cool the Cake Completely: Before refrigerating, ensure the cake has cooled completely to room temperature. Placing a warm cake in the refrigerator can lead to condensation, which can make the cake soggy.
  2. Wrap It Well: Use plastic wrap or aluminum foil to cover the cake tightly. Alternatively, place it in an airtight container.
  3. Label and Date: If you bake often, labeling and dating your cakes can help you keep track of their freshness.

Impact on Texture

One downside of refrigeration is that it can sometimes dry out cakes. To mitigate this:

  • Add a Moisture Barrier: Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the cut surface of the cake to reduce moisture loss.
  • Serve at Room Temperature: Before serving, allow the cake to come to room temperature. This can help restore some of its original texture and flavor.

Freezing Applesauce Cake

Easy Applesauce Cake

Long-Term Storage Solution

Freezing is an excellent option if you want to store the cake for an extended period. Properly stored, an applesauce cake can maintain its quality in the freezer for up to three months.

Freezing Process

To freeze the cake:

  1. Wrap Tightly: Wrap the cake in plastic wrap, making sure it is tightly sealed.
  2. Add a Layer of Protection: Wrap the plastic-wrapped cake in aluminum foil or place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
  3. Label and Date: Clearly label the cake with the date it was frozen to keep track of its storage time.

Thawing the Cake

When you’re ready to enjoy the frozen cake:

  1. Move to the Refrigerator: Transfer the cake from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight.
  2. Bring to Room Temperature: Allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving to ensure the best texture and flavor.

Special Considerations

Easy Sourdough Applesauce Cake [with sourdough discard] - The Pantry Mama

Frosted vs. Unfrosted Cakes

The storage method can also depend on whether the cake is frosted or unfrosted. Frostings, especially those made with dairy, may require refrigeration to prevent spoilage. Here are some tips:

  • Unfrosted Cakes: These can be stored using any of the methods mentioned above.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: If your applesauce cake is frosted with cream cheese frosting, it should be refrigerated to prevent the frosting from spoiling.
  • Buttercream Frosting: Cakes with buttercream frosting can typically be stored at room temperature for a couple of days but should be refrigerated for longer storage.

Seasonal and Regional Variations

In warmer or more humid climates, you may need to refrigerate your cake sooner than you would in cooler, drier climates. Always consider your local environment when deciding how to store your cake.

Tips for Maintaining Freshness

Old-Fashioned Spice Applesauce Cake [vegan] - Traditional Plant-Based  Cooking

Use Fresh Ingredients

Using fresh applesauce and other ingredients can help extend the cake’s shelf life. Fresh ingredients are less likely to spoil quickly.

Keep It Sealed

Keeping the cake well-sealed prevents it from drying out and protects it from absorbing odors from other foods.

Avoid Frequent Temperature Changes

Try to avoid moving the cake in and out of the refrigerator frequently, as this can lead to condensation and moisture loss.

Common Questions

A Sunflower Life : Old-Fashioned Applesauce Cake

Can I Leave Applesauce Cake Out Overnight?

Yes, you can leave applesauce cake out overnight if it is properly covered. However, it should be consumed within 2-3 days if stored at room temperature.

How Long Does Applesauce Cake Last in the Refrigerator?

Applesauce cake can last up to one week in the refrigerator if it is properly covered and stored.

Can I Freeze Individual Slices?

Yes, you can freeze individual slices of applesauce cake. Wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer bag. This makes it easy to thaw and enjoy single servings as needed.


Deciding whether to refrigerate applesauce cake depends on several factors, including how quickly you plan to consume it, the climate you live in, and whether the cake is frosted. While room temperature storage is suitable for short-term freshness, refrigeration and freezing offer longer-term solutions to keep your cake delicious and safe to eat. By following the proper storage techniques outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your applesauce cake remains moist, flavorful, and enjoyable for as long as possible.