HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Aug 13, 2010 08:16 AM

cakes that taste better after a few days?

I love to bake but sadly most of the cakes that I bake taste great the first day and maybe the 2nd but after that they get kind of dry and noone wants to eat them anymore..

I know that some cakes like cheesecakes and pecan pies taste better after a day or two what more cakes taste better after a few days? and what is the best way to store cakes?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I make a lemonade cake from cooking light that tastes better after a couple of days and I think the clementine cake is better after a couple of days. Here are links to both


    The lemonade cake should be refrigerated if you are going to keep it a couple of days. The clementine cake I just cover and leave on the counter

    1 Reply
    1. re: folprivate

      2nd the clementine cake. i make nigella lawson's every christmas.

    2. Pound cake -- I always find that it tastes better the next day, esp. cold from the fridge.

      Tiramisu -- I think these hold up pretty well also.

      Upside down cakes -- any kind of upside down cake (e.g. Pineapple upside down cake) usually are good after a few days because the layers of sponge cake are soaked from the fruit topping.

      Stores cakes either at room temp or in the fridge. If you don't have a cake saver, use an inverted large bowl. If the cake has whipped frosting, store the same way (covered) but in the fride. Store things like the pound cake tightly wrapped.

      1. Claudia Fleming's fabulous Guinness Stout Ginger Cake from The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern tastes better after a day or two of age and stays nice and moist for several days. The stout deepens the spice flavors, but doesn't taste like beer. This works well in a 9- or 10-inch springform pan, BTW.


        1. Carrot Cake (if you use a moist recipe and a hygroscopic sweetener like honey). Tres Leches Cake, Honey Cake.

          13 Replies
          1. re: sbp

            definitely carrot cake and tres leches!!!!

            1. re: junglekitte

              I love tres leches cake but I find it gets kind of disgusting after a few days. The cake gets ultra soggy. The whipped cream starts to taste sad.

              Anyway ... the 1980-ish Barcardi rum cake. If there was an ever trashier cake, I don't know about it ... but I loved that stupid cake. I should maybe make it again to see if the memory is as good as the reality.

              1. re: rworange

                Hmm maybe it's your recipe? I find mine is good day 1, 2, and 3. :) Usually there's no more after that anyway!

                1. re: junglekitte

                  oh, the harvey wallbanger cake is pretty trashy too.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    There's a clean version of it on the King Arthur flour site, though:

                    I haven't made it, but remember stumbling upon it and saving it for future reference.

                  2. re: junglekitte

                    Nah. Never made it. I always buy it. However, no matter where I've bought it, it just doesn't hold up well.

                    Maybe post your recipe?

                  3. re: rworange

                    Rum cake, where have you been! That was the cake I begged my mother to make for every one of my birthdays growing up. The adults thought it was quite funny that I, at age four, far preferred rum cake over chocolate. It wasn't until I was an adult that I found out she got the recipe from the box the rum was packaged in.

                    The topping on the cake was so very good and crunchy. I keep swearing I'm going to make it myself, but I haven't yet. Maybe this year.

                    1. re: onceadaylily

                      oh, make the rum cake. it is quite easy, actually -- and more delicious than most chocolate cakes i've ever had, too.

                      i've just used the bacardi recipe. <rw! that ain't no trashy cake!>. and don't forget its cousin, the "harvey wallbanger" cake! http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2...
                      <hotoynoodle, why are you a wallbanger "hater"? ;-)>

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Oh, I will. Looking back, I am sure that my parents were as happy to have an excuse to buy rum as I am today. I can just see all those mothers standing in the liquor aisle, and saying, "Well, I *was* thinking of making a cake this week . . ."

                        1. re: onceadaylily

                          "and it is so much more thrifty to buy a larger bottle, as the per ounce unit price is less. and of course, i'll be needing it for future baking." <ahem>

                          1. re: onceadaylily

                            I never thought of this, but it also is a good way to use up any unwanted liquor you might have ... and don't say there is no such thing ... I bought a bottle of this disgusting Portuguese anise-flavored liquor. The cake probably would have toned down the booze enough to make it palitable.

                            1. re: rworange

                              I'll keep that in mind the next time the boyfriend's old roommate comes to visit, bearing his token 'gift' of a bottle of jagermeister.

                          2. re: alkapal

                            totally not! my mom's cake was so good!

                  4. I prefer to store all cakes in the refrigerator and serve them on the cool side. They must be stored airtight.

                    The almond bundt cake on the label of the Solo brand almond filling can (or on their website) is better the next day and stays that way for a very long time. I once lost a container with several slices at the back of the fridge for over a month, and it still had excellent flavor.

                    Cakes with a lot of moisture, like applesauce or carrot cake, keep very well. Ditto those with alcohol.

                    46 Replies
                    1. re: greygarious

                      Just a caveat re refrigerated cakes. Cakes made with lots of butter, if served cold, will taste dry. The butter is still in a solid state. Found that out the hard way with a coconut cake.

                      1. re: sbp

                        That's not my experience with pound cake, which (if nothing else) is certainly not lacking in butter content.

                        1. re: sbp

                          I've read that but I find they're denser, not dry. I like butter cakes refrigerated.

                          1. re: chowser

                            It's not actual dryness, but a perception of dryness. What I notice with cold pound cake is more like a slight coating on the roof of my mouth and the crumb feels harder.

                            1. re: sbp

                              pound cake cannot properly be served cold. period.

                                1. re: souschef

                                  pound cake must be wrapped in saran wrap, then in foil, and left on the counter for the maximum two-three days that it is available at premium tastiness. if it is not eaten in three days, then y'all are sick folks (because you don't know good eatin')!

                                2. re: alkapal

                                  "pound cake cannot properly be served cold. period."


                                  I think pound cake (cold) with ice cream is divine.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    i stand by my point. the cold kills the delicate flavor. add ice cream if you wish, but serving a COLD cake is blasphemy.

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      Any time I am offered cake as one of the options for dessert at a restaurant I ask about the temperature at which it is served. If cold I decline it. I once asked a waiter to nuke a cold chocolate cake; he almost refused, saying it would collapse. I told him to do it anyway. A lady at my table was skeptical about what I was saying, so she tasted the cake before and after it got its molecules all shook up. She was amazed at the difference.

                                      Cold cake? Not for me. Blasphemy indeed, and a case for public flogging.

                                      1. re: souschef


                                        That's a mighty strong absolute stance to take. What about cheesecake? I prefer cheesecake to be just a bit below room temp (~60F), but will be more than happy to have a "cold" cheesecake straight from the fridge. Warm cheesecake for me is blasphemy.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          you're changing the subject. nice try.

                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            Really? How so?

                                            souschef said the following:

                                            "Any time I am offered cake as one of the options for dessert at a restaurant I ask about the temperature at which it is served. If cold I decline it."

                                            To which I simply asked about cheesecake as a point of query.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              cheesecake is really a baked custard, where cheese predominates -- it is not a "cake" in the sense that we're talking about re serving cakes "cold."

                                              obviously, you can have your cake anyway that suits you, but it won't render its best flavor. it is the same principle with cold cheese. (as an analogy -- in a weird way --think of "highest and best use" for property.).

                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                No dice, alkapal.

                                                The OP specifically incl. "cheesecake" in the original query:

                                                "I know that some cakes like cheesecakes and pecan pies taste better after a day or two what more cakes taste better after a few days?"

                                                So, I think using cheesecake as a data point certainly seems fair.

                                                That said, whether you like cakes cold or warm, or whether one considers cheesecakes to be "cakes" ... at the end of the day it's really academic.

                                                After all, as long as I get my cake and eat it too, it's all good, right?

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  "After all, as long as I get my cake and eat it too, it's all good, right?"

                                                  As long as it pleases you that's all that matters. I think we'll forego the public flogging!

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                    but this was a subthread about pound cake, not cheesecake. so, buena suerte, mi amigo.

                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                      True, but let them eat cake any way they desire, even if it is cold pound cake, so long as it is not served that way to my pal alka and I.

                                                      Seriously though, cake served at the wrong temperature is one of my pet peeves. I am an avid baker, and frequently am asked to take birthday cakes (usually chocolate) to parties. When I arrive with the cake I am ALWAYS asked if it should go into the fridge. GAH!!!

                                            2. re: ipsedixit

                                              Easy response - I don't like cheesecake, so it matters not to me how it's served :)

                                              Much as I love cheese, I really dislike cheesecake. It has a heavy texture that I have difficulty with.

                                            3. re: souschef

                                              Nuking anything baked is the cardinal sin to me. Ruins the texture.

                                              1. re: wekick

                                                When served cold the texture of chocolate cake is in fact already ruined. Nuking it makes the texture more acceptable. It's all relative. Try it sometime. I like chocolate cake to sit out for several hours before I eat it.

                                                I make a lot of chocolate cakes, and it annoys me when I see someone eating a cake I made when it is cold. Makes me think my effort was for nothing as you cannot taste it at its full potential when cold.

                                                1. re: souschef

                                                  Have you ever made the chocolate cake from le Crillon (Maida Heatter's recipe)? You refrigerate it overnight and let it come to room temp before eating it. Refrigeration is necessary to set it (it's nothing but butter, eggs, and chocolate) but at room temp later, oh my goodness. (I've never seen you mention Maida Heatter, not a fan? She basically started the rage for chocolate mousse-type and fancy cakes in the US in the middle 70's. Her recipes are your kind of precise - except for not having ingredient weights.)

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    I have not made Maida's recipe, but that sounds exactly like RLB's Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte, which I have used as a base for 2 wedding cakes and several anniversary cakes. I usually enhance the flavour by adding raspberry purée. You have to close your eyes while eating that cake. Check it out in TCB.

                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                        Hotel de Crillon 8 oz choc, 8 oz butter, 1 c sugar, 4 eggs, brownie method, water bath 1 hr 15 mins at 325 (I think it takes a bit less), cool completely to room temp, refrigerate, let come to room temp.
                                                        Choc Oblivion 16 2/3 oz choc, 1 c sug, 6 eggs, génoise method, 8" springform, 425 deg oven, bake 15 mins?
                                                        The RLB is tempting bcs no butter.

                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                          My Cake Bible says 1 cup butter, not 1 cup sugar. It has no sugar.

                                                          And water bath.

                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                            Oops I read it wrong. So it's "lighter" because of no sugar. Must try. Is the baking time sufficient?

                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              Yes, the baking time is sufficient.

                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                I know, RLB recipe, why did I even think of questioning it...resistance is futile...

                                                    1. re: souschef


                                                      I'm curious, do you like WARM chocolate cake?

                                                      Or are you like Goldilocks and prefer your chocolate cake not too warm and not too cold, but just in the middle somewhere (e.g. room temp)?

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        I don't "like" warm chocolate cake. I love warm chocolate cake, especially with warm chocolate sauce and whipping cream.

                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                          Whipping cream not whipped cream, now you're talking.

                                                      2. re: souschef

                                                        If you eat it slowly and let it come to temperature in your mouth for a few seconds, you can feel the butter and flavors emerge. Your body is warm enough to bring it to temperature quickly. Nuking baked goods destroys them, imo. Plus, they get hard so quickly. I hate eating desserts in restaurants that have been nuked.

                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                          If there's anyone on this earth I would trust to nuke a dessert properly, it's souschef.

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            Than you buttertart <bowing deeply> !

                                                          2. re: chowser

                                                            I should specify that nuking is a last act of desperation. I am always prepared to wait for my chocolate cake to come up to room temperature.

                                                            A while ago I posted a recipe for a chocolate hazelnut fig cake (picture is my current avatar). It is a very dense cake with no discernable taste when cold, and does not warm up quickly in your mouth. I hate it cold, but at room temperature it is my favourite cake, bar none. Make it and you will know exactly what I am going on about.

                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                              There's nuking and there's nuking. Sure, an H-Bomb of a chocolate cake at full power for 3 minutes will destroy it. But a tactical strike - 30% power for a minute, give or take - and there's no appreciable degradation of quality.

                                                            2. re: souschef

                                                              Unfortunatly I've had my share of cakes, pies and bread ruined by a microwave and don't care to revisit that. We recently had a cake tasting in preparation for a wedding at a bakery that only uses butter sugar and eggs -no mixes. We were admonished to make sure the cakes to room temp and they were. I used to work in a food/flavor lab and this is the common wisdom. We also had a bunch of different icings to taste. We made our choices and put the samples in the frig. We got them out later and they were even better cold. Some flavors were more intense. Think of the difference of taste between warm and cold fried chicken, warm or cold salmon or warm and warm/cold pizza. I get it that flavor compounds are released from fat at warmer temps and the mouthfeel changes but I think you can taste other flavor compounds better at lower temps ( although not ice cold).
                                                              As far as microwaving who knows what that does to delicate flavor compounds either by actual change in the molecules or loss by evaporation.
                                                              The reason it changes the texture of baked goods is it basically steams them-This is very bad for pie and bread or anything with crispness, but permanently removes moisture form all baked goods. In any case I don't think you can say a chocolate cake is ruined by being cold. It may change the taste but some may prefer that.
                                                              To each his own -MW if you like but not mine please.

                                                              1. re: wekick

                                                                Funny you mention icings, but I have the very same problem with buttercream - I hate it cold.

                                                                My point about nuking as an act of desperation seems to have been missed. I asked to have it done once at a restaurant at a business dinner, when I could not wait around for it to warm up. One of the ladies at the table asked if it mattered so much, so I asked her to taste the cake before and after. Her response was that I really knew what I was talking about. I do not routinely nuke cakes at home. That would be disrespecting the chocolate, as would serving the cake cold.

                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                  I know that's what you were on about. Where's the recipe for the chocolate fig cake? My birthday is this Friday and I'm looking for something special.

                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                    I'm not sure what they used for their cakes. We were choosing a bakery for a wedding and the bride actually chose another bakery.
                                                                    At home I most often make my grandmothers chocolate cake. It calls for cocoa powder-initially that was Hershey(years ago when hershey in a silver can was exotic) but now I like to change and try different cocoas that are available. I'm liking Askinosie single origin cocoa at the present time but there are quite a few to choose from. KA has the double dutch and Penzeys is good.
                                                                    For the frosting I make a ganache. I like Callebaut-not a fan of Guittard.
                                                                    My favorite cake(almost a fudge) recipe for chocolate is Julia Child's Boca Negra. Foolproof too.
                                                                    We are lucky in Missouri to have 2 micro batch single origin chocolate makers-Patrick and Askinosie. I can actually buy Patric at the farmer's market but I don't use that for cake. Askinosie has really great white chocolate and a milk chocolate that I haven't tried yet. I'm not normally a fan of milk chocolate.

                                                                    1. re: wekick

                                                                      I like Callebaut too, but have recently discovered Felchlin, which I prefer in some cases. For tried and true recipes I tend to stick with Callebaut.

                                                    2. re: sbp

                                                      I've never had cold pound cake but I can imagine it being hard refrigerated. I meant a regular butter cake but I see that you said made w/ lot of butter so that would include pound cake. I can imagine the crumb feeling much harder with a refrigerated pound cake but I can't imagine turning down a good butter cake, cold or room temp but then again, I eat frozen butter cookies all the time, right out of the freezer.

                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                        This has been one thing my husband and I cannot agree on (but not the only thing!). He wants his cake cold. I think refrigerating a cake ruins it. When the fats are hardened it takes away from the the mouth feel, hence it takes away from the taste. We end up with some cake saved on the counter and some in the fridge. The only cake I'll refrigerate is his birthday cake.

                                                        1. re: Axalady

                                                          Cakes which use oil for far instead of butter don't give you that mouthfeel when cold.

                                                          1. re: sbp

                                                            Agreed. Carrot cake (made with oil) is heavenly when served cold the day after it's been made. mmmmmm... :)