How to store a decorated buttercream wedding cake overnight?

Decorating By Nanacholito Updated 12 Dec 2013 , 6:12am by BatterUpCake

Nanacholito Posted 14 May 2012 , 11:23am
post #1 of 15

Hullo forum! I've never posted on the forums but I sit on the couch most nights reading through them and wishing I were motivated enough to make what you talented people do.

I decided to make my own wedding cake- chocolate with swiss buttercream frosting, and have done a test etc. My (silly) problem is I don't know how to store the cake overnight once it's been decorated without ruining the buttercream frosting? Do I leave it overnight in the fridge uncovered? Will that make it dry? I'm afraid I may not be able to ice it in the morning but if it makes the cake dry I'll wake up in the early am and do it.

It's a 3 tier and I may have to travel with it stacked because I have to be in my dress and set up the venue etc. so I'd prefer to have her all frosted and ready to go the night before. Any help? I've read a lot of people stack when they get to the venue so I hope this is all okay.


14 replies
CakeLadySKB Posted 14 May 2012 , 1:10pm
post #2 of 15

Here's an informative video I found at YouTube that answers your questions:

unctoothlady Posted 14 May 2012 , 1:39pm
post #3 of 15

All of my tiered cakes go into a corrugated cardboard box that is the same size as the base. I cut one side of the box making a drop down door so that the cake can be slid into the box then I tape the 'door' back up. Works like a charm!

Nanacholito Posted 14 May 2012 , 2:17pm
post #4 of 15

Thanks for the replies icon_smile.gif
I'm having some trouble with the idea of leaving a cake out on the counter unprotected overnight though. Is it really okay to just use buttercream, frost and leave? The eggs and butter in the frosting are okay? Eek!

FromScratchSF Posted 14 May 2012 , 3:13pm
post #5 of 15

Sorry, but I got thru about 30 seconds of that video and had to turn it off because the woman said at least 3 incorrect things, all while pointing at Wilton products that wouldn't spoil in a nuclear holocaust.

Meringue buttercreams, as well as American buttercream and cream cheese icings, are shelf stable. They absolutely can be left on the counter at room temperature. Meringue buttercreams for several days. American buttercream, depending on the recipe, can be literally *forever* and it won't rot (Crisco + powdered sugar). They will not spoil, they will not turn into Cherynoble, and you will not get anyone sick "because they have dairy in them". That's just flat wrong. The cake will mold before your buttercream will. And I've actually never personally seen a cake rot or mold, and believe me I've had cake sit on my counter for days.

However, it makes transport much easier if your cake is cold. Not only does it make it more stable because your tiers won't shift or slide around because the buttercream gets rock hard, but it also makes it much harder to dent or mar when you are loading, unloading etc. The only thing you have to be careful of is meringue buttercreams crack much easier then American buttercreams, especially if your cake shifts in transport or your cake board isn't stable enough, and in all the cakes I've transported here in San Francisco (home of really bad drivers, millions of tourists getting lost, pedestrians with death wishes, cyclists that try and make you crash, pot holes the size of Volkswaggons and massive hills), I've only had one cake slightly crack at the base. The venue was over an hour away at a winery on top of a mountain. I think the cake was fine until I got to the driveway, which was an 8% downgrade on dirt WITH freakin manmade dirt speedbumps. But I was able to completely fix it on site.

I box all my cakes, then wrap in a garbage bag to prevent them getting that refrigerator funk that real butter picks up so easily. But your home fridge might not fit a 16" or 18" box. If not, don't worry about it, just make sure you take everything else out of it (especially any fruits or veggies) and put it all in an ice chest or something, and make sure you clean it well first.

And you CAN, and most of us do, refrigerate fondant cakes.

Good luck to you, I also made my own wedding cake and was SO glad I did! Not only did it spawn a new career but people to this day still rave about how my wedding cake was the best cake they've ever had at a wedding.

AnnieCahill Posted 14 May 2012 , 5:15pm
post #6 of 15

I also made my own wedding cake. Yes you can leave it out on the counter! Everything I do overnight gets left on the counter, unless I really need for it to be solid/ice cold for transport.

Nikkikole22 Posted 27 Apr 2013 , 3:02am
post #7 of 15

Hi there, I just made a 2 tiered 25th wedding anniversary cake, very simple with white buttercream frosting and silver fondant hearts per request. Now i'm wondering if I should leave it out on the counter until tomorrow afternoon, or put it in the fridge? Can you help me? Thanks

icer101 Posted 27 Apr 2013 , 4:01am
post #8 of 15

I personally would leave it on the counter. Cool room of course.

denetteb Posted 27 Apr 2013 , 4:03am
post #9 of 15

Same as their replies above, you can just leave it out unless there are fillings that need to be refrigerated.

CakeBaby89 Posted 25 Aug 2013 , 3:42pm
post #10 of 15

I just ran across this thread and had a question...If I make a buttercream covered cake and put it in the refrigerator overnight before I deliver it the next day...When it starts to come to room temp (say at the venue) won't it start to sweat? I have had a couple cakes do that in the past..but don't know how to prevent it..I also had a fondant cake I put in yesterday morning before I delivered it last night and by the time I got to the venue the fondant was somewhat soft and sticky..

BatterUpCake Posted 25 Aug 2013 , 3:57pm
post #11 of 15

I would refrigerate it simply because refrigerated cakes transport better. That being said I would definitely invest in the SPS system (google and watch youtube video) Swiss and Meringue buttercreams are stable due to the sugar ratio. Besides the fact that the eggs cook when heating them to 160 degrees for swiss and 240 for Italian. It has to do with PH and AW (water) levels in your finished products. And in my opinion American Buttercream contains butter...not Crisco. Yucky. But many people do make it with Crisco and seem to like it so to each their own.

Qld Cake Diva Posted 12 Dec 2013 , 5:31am
post #12 of 15

NO, don't leave a cake covered with butter out overnight.  In the video she was talking about icing made with shortening, which can be left out.  But proper buttercream, made with butter needs to be in the fridge.  Good luck!

BatterUpCake Posted 12 Dec 2013 , 5:54am
post #13 of 15

No it doesn't. The amount of sugar in the icing renders the butter stable

FromScratchSF Posted 12 Dec 2013 , 5:58am
post #14 of 15


Original message sent by Qld Cake Diva

NO, don't leave a cake covered with butter out overnight.  In the video she was talking about icing made with shortening, which can be left out.  But proper buttercream, made with butter needs to be in the fridge.  Good luck!

Wait, you afraid that cake from 2012 might still be on someone's counter? In that case yeah I probably wouldn't eat it either. Other then that, your post is wrong.

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