I have been reading a lot of people saying lately not to refrigerate cakes at all, especially before icing. I don't have air conditioning, and from start to finish, it usually takes me a few days to do a cake since I work a full-time job during the day. My kitchen has been 85-90 degrees most evenings this summer. I am wondering, do those of you who DON'T refrigerate have homes with A/C on not?
Yours is one of the situations where you do need to refridgerate your cake. Before frosting I would recommend freezing it. Here is what I do..I bake, cool, torte, wrap each layer seperately then wrap all the layers together per tier then freeze at least overnight. When ready to use I take the layers out and fill, crumbcoat and then let sit out on the counter for at least 3 hours to let it settle and come to room temperature. Then I smooth the buttercream again and cover with the final coat, whether it's buttercream or fondant. Now this is where you would want to refridgerate. Let it set up again, crust up nicely or let the fondant get a bit more stiff and then add your embellishments. Chill again until time to deliver. Watch for blow outs and gas bubbles (buttercream issue for the former and fondant issue for the latter) and be careful of using colored royal icing. Both buttercream and fondant will have condensation (which will evaporate) and that will make royal icing run as well as possibly loosen any decorations held on with royal. I've never had a problem with decor held in place with buttercream (on a buttercream cake) or with water/gum glue on a fondant cake. Last summer the shop I work out of lost A/C twice and once was with a buttercream cake and once was with a fondant cake so I've had to use the fridge a time or two before tho' I really prefer not to do so. In your situation I would certainly do so.