Does Carrot Cake Spoil? How to Properly Store Carrot Cake!

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Carrot cake is one of those cakes that I don’t feel guilty when biting into. While making a carrot cake during the holiday season, I wondered how long can my carrot cake actually last. I wanted to find out how fast can carrot cakes spoil, so I decided to do some research about the shelf life of carrot cakes.

As a general rule, carrot cake can spoil within 2 days if it is left out at room temperature. Carrot cake can last for about 5 days when stored in an airtight container. A carrot cake can last for about a week once sealed and refrigerated. Once frozen, carrot cake can last for up to three months.

Carrot cake is a fantastic way to sneak a bit of nutrition into your dessert, without sacrificing its heavenly taste. If you’re planning on baking a carrot cake soon, and you’re looking for ways to store it and keep it from spoiling, you’ve come to the right place! Here you’ll learn the difference in shelf life between frosted and unfrosted carrot cakes.

How Long Does Carrot Cake Last?

As a whole, a carrot cake can last for about a week if it has not already been frosted. It will last for about two or three days if it has been frosted. Either way, the carrot cake needs to be sealed in an airtight container for it to retain its taste and freshness.

Generally, carrot cake does a great job of maintaining its flavor, but you may start to see some issues creep up around five days after it’s been baked if it hasn’t been stored properly.

Carrot cake with frosting does not last long. It’ll start to spoil within 2 days if not careful!

The cream cheese frosting that gives carrot cake its delicious taste is exactly what causes your cake to lose its freshness over time. This is because cream cheese can melt within a few hours if it’s not properly stored.

*By the way, I always wanted to be able to store my cakes the right way but I never found a good container that could fit my large cakes. However, I recently came across an Extra Large Cake Carrier/Storage Container That Holds up to 12 inch 3-layer Cakes. This carrier was perfect for storing my large cakes. You can check out this Cake Storage Container on Amazon here!

The nutritious boost that comes from the carrots may also become an issue if you haven’t taken care to properly store your cake. Fruits and vegetables are prone to spoil if they’re left in the heat for too long. I try to be extra careful when I’m baking with fruits and vegetables.

Does Carrot Cake Spoil? Does it Go Bad?

As a general rule, carrot cake can spoil if it is not stored properly. If left at room temperature, carrot cake can go bad within two days. You will start to notice a change in smell and texture once it begins to lose freshness over time.

Most cakes like chocolate and vanilla-based cakes do just fine when they are left out for a little bit. However, when you are creating a cake with cream cheese frosting and carrots, you need to take extra precautions against spoilage.

When baking with dairy-based products like cream cheese, you need to be aware that spoiled dairy can make you sick if you aren’t careful about properly storing your finished product.

The last thing I want is a sick dinner guest that became ill after eating my cake! I love baking and sharing my creations with family and friends, so this would be a nightmare for me!

That’s why knowing how to properly store carrot cake is so important!

*Side Note: You might also want to know how to Store Your Cake Batter The Right Way. I wrote an article about Storing Cake Batter The Right Way, which you can check out here!

How to Store Carrot Cake Properly?

Carrot cake must be completely cooled in an airtight container for proper storage. Use a cake container or other plastic airtight container for food storage to prevent the cake from oxidizing. Place it in a climate-controlled refrigerator, and it will stay fresh for a week.

Counter TopSealed ContainerRefrigeratorFreezer
Can last for 2 days if left out at room temperatureCan last for 5 daysCan last for up to a weekCan last for up to 3 months

If you’re planning to eat your cake within a week, your best storage method is the refrigerator. Just like other cakes, exposure to air will cause it to start losing its quality, so you’ll want to use an air-tight container. By storing your carrot cake in the fridge, you’ll be able to take it out and enjoy it for about a week.

If you’re baking your carrot cake ahead of time and need a storage option that will last longer, the freezer is your best bet. It will last about three months when stored in the freezer. If you’re using this method be sure you have not frosted it!

Cream cheese frosting does not hold up well when it comes to long-term storage.

Don’t forget to wrap your cake in plastic wrap before you place it inside your storage container. This will prevent freezer burn while helping it maintain its quality.

*By the way, you might also want to know Does German Chocolate Cake Spoil. I recently wrote an article that talks about The Right Way to Store German Chocolate Cake to Make It Last, which you can check out here!

How Can You Tell if Carrot Cake is Bad?

You can tell carrot cake has gone bad if it begins to give off a pungent smell. You will start to notice a change in texture once it begins to lose freshness over time. Mold will start to appear on the surface and on the inside while the cake will become dry and crumbly in appearance and taste.

You’ll be able to tell if carrot cake has gone bad pretty quickly and without much debate. Desserts featuring cream cheese frosting are incredibly delicious! However, cream cheese is one of the fussiest ingredients to work with when it comes to expiration.

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting that needs to be stored in a fridge!

Cream cheese is a dairy product and will spoil just like any other dairy product without proper refrigeration

I’ve had times where I’ve accidentally left cream cheese out for too long, and I ultimately had to throw it out because it separated and spoiled within just a few hours.

Once the frosting on your carrot cake has started to melt and separate it’s time to throw it out. This is a clear indication that you’ve either forgotten to store it properly, or it’s past its prime.

*By the way, if you are interested in knowing how to get Stuck Parchment Off of Your Cake and how to Prevent It, I recently wrote an article about Removing Stuck Parchment Paper, which you can find here!

Does Carrot Cake Need To Be Refrigerated?

Carrot cake does need to be refrigerated. If not properly refrigerated, the cream cheese frosting in the carrot cake will begin to melt as it sits out. Since most carrot cakes include dairy ingredients, they will need to be placed in the refrigerator inside an airtight container.

Carrot cake slices in an airtight storage container!

If you’re planning on eating your cake later in the day, it’s a good idea to place it in the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy it.

However, if you’re planning to eat your carrot cake an hour after you bake it, you won’t need to place it in the fridge. Once it cools and you have frosted it, it should last about two hours at room temperature before your frosting starts to melt.

Can You Freeze Carrot Cake?

Unfrosted carrot cake can be frozen in order to preserve its freshness. Wrap the carrot cake in plastic wrap before storing it in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn. Frozen carrot cake will last up to three months with proper storage.

Yes, you can definitely freeze carrot cake as long as it hasn’t been frosted. Whenever I bake several cakes ahead of time, I like to store them in the freezer.

The main thing to remember when freezing your cake is to make sure you take that extra step to wrap it in plastic wrap to keep its freshness preserved. This might sound ridiculous at first, but it really does keep the cakes fresher for longer!

*Side Note: You might also want to know How To Tell When Your Banana Bread Is Done. I recently wrote an article that talks about The Right Way of Fixing Undercooked Banana Bread. You can check out this article here!

Can You Make Carrot Cake Ahead of Time?

As a general rule, you can make carrot cake ahead of time. When making carrot cake ahead of time, place it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also store the carrot cake in the freezer for up to three months in order to keep it fresh.

The method you choose ultimately depends on when you plan to enjoy it. You can store carrot cake in your fridge for about a week if you take proper measures to safeguard it against drying out.

A concern you may have is what happens after you take it out of the fridge. I definitely don’t like the taste and texture of a cold, hard cake, which is exactly what happens if you try to eat it right out of the fridge. Carrot cake needs to warm up a bit before you can truly enjoy its taste and texture!

Make sure to store your carrot cake in the freezer without frosting!

A good rule of thumb is to leave it out for an hour or two. I find that this allows it to naturally warm-up, and lets the cream cheese frosting soften up a bit.

The mouthfeel of carrot cake happens to be one of its many distinctive qualities. Because of this, it is important to give it time to warm up, so you and your guests can enjoy this timeless classic!

While I like to do my mixing by hand, I much rather prefer using a Stand Mixer instead. I recently wrote an article that talks about the 3 Best Stand Mixers that bakers can buy in each stage of their baking journey. After reviewing a few stand mixers, the Best Overall Mixer was the KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer. You can check out this stand mixer on Amazon!


Do I need to refrigerate unfrosted carrot cake?

You do not need to refrigerate unfrosted carrot cake unless you plan to keep it for longer than two days. If you’re not eating it right away, you should place your cake in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. This will keep the carrot cake fresh for about seven days.

How to store carrot cake before frosting?

Before frosting a carrot cake, it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a week. Tightly wrap the carrot cake with a layer of plastic wrap before placing it in an airtight container if you are storing it in the freezer. This will prevent it from getting freezer burn.

How to store carrot cake overnight?

Carrot cake should be placed in a plastic wrap or airtight food storage container when stored overnight. You can keep the stored carrot cake on the countertop or place the carrot cake in a part of the refrigerator that is not prone to fluctuating temperatures, such as the front.

How to store carrot cake with cream cheese frosting?

As a general rule, carrot cake that has already been frosted must be cooled completely before storage. Store it in a plastic cake container or plastic food storage container in the fridge for up to a week. The cold will keep the dairy ingredients in the frosting fresh for longer.

How long does carrot cake with cream cheese frosting last in the fridge?

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting can last about one week in the fridge if it is properly stored. The freshness will start to fade and the cake may dry out if it is stored any longer than a week in the fridge. Store carrot cake and cream cheese frosting separately for a longer-lasting cake.

Does carrot cake have carrots in it?

As a whole, carrot cake is usually made out of chopped carrots mixed into the cake batter. The carrots soften during the baking process and give the cake a soft texture. When baked, carrots will turn sweet which makes them a perfect addition to this dessert.

To Summarize…

If you’re like me, you probably have a bit of a sweet tooth. As much as I love pastries, cakes, and cookies, I know I have to be careful to not overindulge in these deliciously sweet treats (especially around the holidays)!

Carrot cakes have been in my family for generations and give us bakers a way of not feeling guilty when eating a dessert! I hope these tips help you store your carrot cake properly for you to enjoy at a later time!

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My name is Fainna! I've been baking desserts ever since I was 10 years old with my grandma passing her baking wisdom down to me with every passing day. I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful here at my little Baking Nook!

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