Forum: Cakes & Cake Decorating

Making cakes in hot climates

Can you give me some help – cake decorators! A lady posted on my facebook page that she was living in a hot climate and trying to make fondant iced cakes for her customers. She wanted to know how long a buttercream and fondant creation could stay out of the fridge and still remain edible – as she had tried putting it safely in the cool – but of course the fondant then got moisture over it on removing it from the fridge. She was worried about the buttercream being inedible if she continued to store in a box in her living quarters. What does everyone who lives in sunny climates do? Thank you for your help in advance!…..:) Kx

Karen MacFadyen - London UK - http://www.facebook.com/cakecoachonline http://www.cakecoachonline.com

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Nikki Belleperche ...

I live in Southern Ca where it gets quite toasty in the summer! If a cake is too big for me to store in the fridge then I make sure that I am frosting it the day before delivery and that there are no perishable fillings. But storing fondant covered cakes in the fridge shouldn’t be a problem. Any condensation on the cake will dry as it reaches room temp. Just make sure not to touch it or you can leave fingerprints!

Sugar&Spice by NA ...

I personally put it in a cooled room as I put the air conditioning on, even when the client takes it home i tell him to do the same, until eaten, I personally avoid putting it in the fridge after applying fondant on it, hope that helps:)

fishabel ...

I also avoid putting fondant cakes in the fridge but I saw the other day someone in a hot climate put one into a fridge in a box and put some baking soda in with it to absorb any moisture. Never tried it myself but its a thought..

suze ...

I just had this same dilemma as I made a fondant covered cake with ganache underneath. I also had a layer of royal icing on part of the cake too. Many people said do not place in the fridge & others said you have to with the ganache. Living a sub tropical climate I decided to store my cake in the fridge, uncovered and took some advice I read on a forum and placed it under a fan for 10 mins just before serving to dry out any condensation. It worked perfectly – fresh cake, no condensation and even the royal icing layer stayed crunchy. Leaving it uncovered is most important. Once cut I experimented by covering a slice and the icings went sticky!

Karen MacFadyen ...

Hi Suze – can you explain more about your comment – once cut I experimented by covering a slice and the icings went sticky. What did you cover the slice with? Do you mean you did not attempt to put the slice in the fridge at all, but leaving it out in the sub tropical climate the icing went sticky? Let me know – as I would love to share this information…..:) Kx

3DSweets ...

I’ve kept cakes for up to a week with no ill effects. (I live in North Carolina where we do hot and humid pretty intensely in summer, though not quite of the tropical variety.) Specifically, I’ve kept an unrefrigerated cake covered in ganache & fondant, uncut, for three days. Once cut it was fresh for a couple of more days before it started showing signs of staleness (though my teenage son didn’t mind). The cake was a very stable one, not too moist, and the fillings were all shelf-stable buttercream. I’ve also kept a fondant covered cake (no ganache) with buttercream filling for a day before cutting, and it stayed fresh another three or four days. Also, I do cover the cut face of the cake with plastic wrap (the part that shows the layers) but not the fondant part.

I never refrigerate my fondant cakes; the condensation makes the fondant sag and leaves the surface … funny-looking. I now have a dehumidifier and I am hoping to try to refrigerate a cake and place it upcloseandpersonal to the machine to see if it dries quickly enough to prevent marring the surface.

Jenniffer White ...

I put fondant cakes in the fridge every week and I don’t have any problems. There will be some condensation upon removing it, but in an hour the fondant will dry right back out. I have in the past, put a garbage can liner over the cake and taped the opening to a cake board (think of it as a ghost costume for the cake. Put the bag on before the cake is cooled, remove it just as you take the cake out of the cooler and I have 0 problems with condensation.

To answer the actual question though I think depends on the type of icing underneath that fondant. I think ganache or shortenin based buttercreams would last longer than other icings.

Karina Jakku ...

I live in tropical north queensland where it humid nearly all year round. I never put my completed work in the fridge due to the condensation. I have a very sturdy butter cream recipe that calls for copha and royal icing powder to stiffen it. Or i use a ganache. I work and store my cakes and cupcakes in an airconditioned room:)

suze ...

Hi Karen – When I sliced the cake and covered it I did put it back in the fridge as an experiment. I had read varying opinions on covering the cake with a towel or in a cake box etc before placing in the fridge. So I placed a cut slice in a Tupperware container and also under some cling film with the same result – sticky icings. Once I put them back in the fridge uncovered for a while the fondant started to dry out again. So I placed some cling film on the cut cake surface only and stored the left overs in the fridge until eaten, which wasn’t very long, it was very delicious according to all! When I was originally placing the fondant on the cake it started to go a bit sticky as it was a warm day and putting it in the fridge dried it out. I would not like to eat a cake with ganache or buttercream for that matter that had not been in the fridge in our climate! I will certainly be putting mine in the fridge again, next week in fact. The first cake was an iPod cake for my son and I have another to bake for the party that could not be held on the same day!! I am just a home cook. The more professional bakers with cool rooms or air conditioned rooms wouldn’t have the same issues. Cupadeecakes also puts hers in the fridge and like she says the condensation does dry out after a while. I put mine under a fan for a while which speeds the drying process up. I have heard it can also depend on the make of fondant you use too. I used black for the iPod cake which can be extra tricky. I have frozen a few pieces as another experiment. Have read lots of yes you cans & no you can’t on that one too. Will let you know how the results of that! Hope that helps!

Karen MacFadyen ...

Years and years ago I was a Tupperware rep! I had always been taught at the time that it was totally good for storing just about anything – and that was also what they taught you to tell their customers. Then I did my City & Guilds Sugarcraft and was astonished to be told not to use the massive plastic cake storers, that have the flat base and a large plastic deep lid to cover the cake – for any fondant iced cake. The reason being that the airtightness (is that a word?) caused the fondant to become sticky. I found this to be true – and whilst Tupperware cake storage is probably great to keep a fruit or madiera cake moist – once the buttercream and fondant was added – the fondant did become sticky because of the air – very efficiently trapped into the airtight sealed Tupperware. So perhaps it is not so much the storing in the fridge – but more the airtight container – that causes a condensation problem that cannot be cured by a fan or waiting for it to clear. I will certainly point any of my followers from Facebook to these pages – as these answers are so comprehensive – and also I am guessing people just have to do what works

suze ...

I defrosted my tests slices from the freezer with interesting results. I placed them uncovered in the fridge and just like when you take fondant out of the fridge it gets sticky as it meets room temperature the same happened, condensation appeared on the fondant as it rose to meet the fridge temp. Whilst it did dry out once the cake temp equalised with the fridge it did not completely dry to the original quality, a result of being frozen. Same goes for the royal icing, it retained about 50% of it’s crunch. The cake obviously froze well and what surprised me was how well the ganache froze and retained eating quality. I would not want to present a whole fondant covered cake to impress a crowd after being frozen but for preserving eating quality for the family once a cake has been cut it was very successful! My final verdict is for a hot climate put fondant covered cakes in the fridge if you don’t have a cool room, expecially if there is ganache or buttercream underneath the fondant but keep it uncovered. Don’t forget the fan trick to dry up condensation. I’m wondering if how long you actually keep it in the fridge affects it as well but for me it is generally only overnight before being presented and cut and then a day or 2 after. I will freeze anything that wont be eaten within this time. I will be baking the 2nd cake tomorrow. Hope it goes as well.

zahra ...

Thank you all for excellent advice. i live in Texas so this stuff is priceless

Bliss Pastry ...

I live in Florida in a very hot and humid older home, condensation is an issue for sure. I still prefer all my cakes to be refrigerated because it makes delivery more safe. I do put dry ice in my delivery box to keep the cake condensation free and usually the places the cakes go to are not as humid inside as my house, any condensation does dry up but yes it can leave small pit marks on your buttercream and fondant. Very small. Probably no one but the decorator would even notice. It’s part of living in the heat and if anyone ever questions it just explain that. It’s a scientific fact that can’t be avoided completely.