Problems With Refrigeration And Condensation

Business By buttercup1016 Updated 20 Jan 2015 , 10:46pm by bella

buttercup1016 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
buttercup1016 Posted 20 Jul 2013 , 2:27pm
post #1 of 23

I know there have been many threads, but I can't seem to find what I'm looking for so please bear with another post! I recently started my own retail bake shop, after running an at-home business for several years. I know there is much debate over the issue, but I have always refrigerated my cakes for best results - the fondant really sets up nicely and keeps the cake sturdy and fresh. I live in Florida, so when the cake is removed for delivery there is always some condensation but this has never been a problem at all. Just let it evaporate naturally and voila!


My home fridge keeps my cakes very cool and very dry. Problem is, now I am using a commercial refrigerator and the cakes are getting tremendous condensation while inside the cooler. Some have large water droplets, some have such a covering of moisture that the fondant actually melts and drips into a mess - and this is all before they are even brought out to room temp! I have tried boxing them luck. Basically I cannot use the refrigerator at all unless I want my cakes to get ruined inside.


I have had repair specialists look at the unit and tell me it is running perfectly. Cooling, draining, etc. Nothing can be "fixed" because nothing is broken. Has anyone else ever had this problem? It's like there is just so much humidity in the air inside the fridge. I am hesitant to invest in a different unit because I'm afraid the same thing might happen.


Any advice? Please!!

22 replies
maymay0829 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
maymay0829 Posted 20 Jul 2013 , 5:16pm
post #2 of 23

AI also use a commercial fridge but nothing you have describe happens.... I usually box and then use a plastic bag over the box. I immediately turn on the fan to dry it out as soon as its comes out of the fridge. Hope this helps.

howsweet Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
howsweet Posted 20 Jul 2013 , 6:41pm
post #3 of 23

I think that's a pretty common problem. Regular refrigerators may have some sort of humidity control or something. I believe you can buy commercial units that control humidity. I know someone with a walk in told me his was humidity controlled.


One would think the repair guy could have explained about it...

maybenot Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
maybenot Posted 20 Jul 2013 , 11:09pm
post #4 of 23

I believe that low humidity commercial refrigerators are the exception, not the rule.  I don't know if you can have a high humidity refrigerator retrofitted to decrease humidity.  If not, probably the only solution is to box &/or wrap all cakes when they're put in the fridge.

jenmat Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jenmat Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 1:39am
post #5 of 23

Yes, that happened to me all the time. I ended up getting 2 residential refrigerators and called them my "dry" fridges. They only hold finished cakes and everything is perfect. 


Otherwise I think those "cases" with the windows are very low humidity. When watching some cake shows I saw that quite a few people had all their finished cakes in those glass front cases for storage. I bet any money those are low moisture. 


Someone once said you can retrofit a commercial fridge to have the fan run constantly. If you do that it will reduce humidity a bunch. But it voids your warranty, and I've always been worried that in the process they would break the fridge. But it may be worth the shot. 

buttercup1016 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
buttercup1016 Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 2:47pm
post #6 of 23

Thanks so much for the feedback. I've found someone who is letting me store a finished cake in his commercial unit for a few days as a test run. If I find the same problem, I am going to look into doing the residential "dry fridge" makes sense!

Rosie93095 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Rosie93095 Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 3:04pm
post #7 of 23

Hey buttercup- what is your shop name? I am in Ocala!

dahir Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
dahir Posted 28 May 2014 , 1:57am
post #8 of 23

Did you ever find a solution to your refrigeration problems? I've been going through the same thing's here.

buttercup1016 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
buttercup1016 Posted 28 May 2014 , 1:23pm
post #9 of 23

ASorry Dahir, no luck on my end. I've found that all commercial fridges are simply a LOT more humid. I wasn't able to find anything on the commercial level that kept anything dry. I now use my commercial fridge for storing my ingredients and I have three residential fridges used solely for finished cakes. The residentials work perfectly. Good luck!!

jenmat Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jenmat Posted 28 May 2014 , 7:12pm
post #10 of 23

Yes, I did. I have 2 "dry" fridges that are upright non-commercial fridges in my garage. They have enough space for 3 wedding cakes. Residential is THE way to go! Get em used on Craigslist!

loriemoms Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
loriemoms Posted 28 May 2014 , 7:31pm
post #11 of 23

ACommercial fridges do not have condensers in themso they will produce more moisture. Turn the temp up higher if you are just storing cakes. 45 degrees or so. This prevent the cake from getting too cold. I also put in an anti moisture bag like damp rid. It works great you also need to keep the room its in liw humidity. I put in a dehumidifier that drips into the grease trap so no dumping. Hope this helps

dahir Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
dahir Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 12:11am
post #12 of 23

Thank's for the info. I  have a older Hobart which I currently use for all my cakes but it's on it's last leg and not sure how much longer it will last. I guess I'll try the damp rid as well as the home refrigerator. Would you mind sharing which Brand you purchased?

Thank's so much for the info.

bella Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
bella Posted 13 Aug 2014 , 4:34am
post #13 of 23

ADid you purchase freezerless refrigerators for your cakes? I'm looking for residential refrigeration as well, need to purchase at least two, and was wondering about the freezerless fridges....

jenmat Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jenmat Posted 13 Aug 2014 , 5:12pm
post #14 of 23

Yes, I have one freezerless fridge, I think we got it from Sears. The other is a traditional 2 door upright with the freezer on top. 

Check the depth of the freezerless. Some of them have a bumpout on the bottom that makes it really hard to get bigger cakes in and then you can only use the top half. We were able to unscrew all the shelving in the door and take off the bumpout so we have a little more room now. But it still narrows at the bottom. 

ellavanilla Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
ellavanilla Posted 13 Aug 2014 , 6:30pm
post #15 of 23

this is timely information. I was a few hours from purchasing a reach in, myself. I guess I will look at a regular fridge. 

-K8memphis Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
-K8memphis Posted 13 Aug 2014 , 8:57pm
post #16 of 23

Amy ascend commercial fridge is bone dry -- it's just a big rectangular box - no freezer -- my other com fridge I had in my bookstore was also dry -- however both of them have condensers ;)

maybenot Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
maybenot Posted 18 Aug 2014 , 1:04am
post #17 of 23

I have a Kenmore [Sears] 16.7 cu. ft. freezerless fridge.  It's dry and has removable shelves.  95% of the cakes I make will fit in it nicely.

bella Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
bella Posted 18 Aug 2014 , 4:05am
post #18 of 23

AI purchased a fridgidaire refrigerator, no freezer. I think it's 16.7 cubic ft. Has a lot of shelves, no drawers or crispers, perfect! Was just delivered, so sitting empty since it's a Sunday. Will test it out next weekend. Best part is I found it at sears outlet. There are a few dents on side, but they still offer regular warranty.

acakeintime Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
acakeintime Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 2:34am
post #19 of 23

Hi.  I may be too late for this thread but I thought I'd throw in my experience with the humidity issue.  I have a custom cake shop - 99% fondant work - in New York. I DO NOT recommend my solution, but here it is:  I solved the humidity issue by running a good quality heater in the walk in. The humidity stays in the 60's-70's. Yes, it makes the refrigeration unit run too hard, but the necessity of having the ability to refrigerate outweighed the need to extend the life of my unit.  So far, 3 years running (I do shut off the heater for 2-3 days a week) and minimal issues. If the weather is very warm outside, the fins on the unit will freeze and require defrosting in the form of hot water. Strange, but true!

ladyonzlake Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
ladyonzlake Posted 28 Nov 2014 , 5:57pm
post #20 of 23

I'm not sure if this is too late but I'd like to share my experience.  I have a licensed home based business (7 years in business) and I have a True Commercial reach in refrigerator and a basic home refrigerator.  I use my home one the most because it is dryer.  My commercial one even with buttercream cakes creates too much moisture.  If I have to use it I will box my cake and place or wrap the box with heavy duty super large trash liner and it works perfect. 


With all of my cakes especially in the summer I remove my cakes from the refrigerator and keep them in the cardboard box sealed for 4 hours prior to delivery and this helps keep them dry until I delivery them.  The box acts like a cooler letting the cakes warm up slowly so no condensation occurs.  


Before doing this I have had many cakes ruined as I use royal icing on them for stenciling and also airbrush some of them and the colors would about panic!  


Now with the above method I can even leave my sugar flowers on the cakes and they don't wilt...everything works out wonderful.

Pammycakes29 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Pammycakes29 Posted 20 Jan 2015 , 10:07pm
post #21 of 23

AI'm having the exact same problem! I find that the home refrigerators keep my fondant cakes perfectly fine, but the commercial fridge I bought is destroying all of my fondant?! If anyone has found a commercial brand fridge that works with low humidity or any other solutions please let me know! Thanks

bella Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
bella Posted 20 Jan 2015 , 10:46pm
post #22 of 23

AI ended up buying a fridgidaire freezerless refrigerator. Along with my other non commercial fridge, the two work for the amount of cakes I make.

Quote by @%username% on %date%