How far ahead of time can I bake a cake?

Most cakes may be baked ahead of time for birthdays, weddings, or other special occasions. Here are some pointers to help you figure out how many days ahead of time you can create a cake.

Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are a few pointers to keep in mind when determining how far ahead you can prepare a cake.

There are affiliate links in this post. I earn money as an Amazon Associate by making qualifying purchases.

While it is not too hard, there are a few elements to consider when determining how early you may create or bake a cake.

Instead of jumping in with a one-size-fits-all response, it’s a good idea to go through several things that will help you evaluate how early you can build a cake for yourself.

Questions to ask yourself first:

These questions can assist you in determining when you may bake your cake:

  • When will you be serving the cake?
  • Is this going to be a decorated cake? If that’s the case, how long will it take? Is it a time-consuming project that will take many days, or is it simply a fast birthday cake that will take an hour or two to decorate?
  • Is it simply that you want to create it ahead of time since you won’t have time to do it the day of or the day before the event? (This is often the case, and it is a perfectly valid cause.)
  • Are you entirely opposed to freezing baked goods?

These are all factors to think about before deciding how far ahead of time you can bake your cake, and we’ll go through them and what they imply for your cake timetable.

Determine when you’re going to serve the cake:

You’ll obviously need to know when you’re going to serve the cake. Is it going to be next week? In a matter of days?

My general rule of thumb is that if you won’t be serving the cake within three days of baking it, it’s preferable to freeze it and thaw it a couple of days before serving.

I am a huge fan of freezing cakes, but if you don’t want to do that, make it a few days ahead of time.

It is not required to freeze a cake if it will be served in a few days.

We’ll go through freezing cakes in more detail later. For the time being, merely decide when you’ll serve the cake.

Are you going to need to decorate the cake and how involved will that be?

This is a difficult question for many individuals. Depending on how intricate the cake design is, decorating it might take several hours to many days.

If you want to serve the cake within a few days after baking it, there is no need to freeze it. It may sit out at room temperature for many days and be embellished.

Clearly, if the cake has a perishable filling, it must be cooled throughout.

If you’re like me and want to get a head start, freezing your cake layers is a requirement. Choose your decorating timetable and the number of days required to adorn the cake.

If it’s a big project and you know you’ll need a number of days to decorate it, simply thaw it the night before.

If your timetable indicates it will just take a few hours to decorate, either thaw it or bake it the night before.

Some of my cake designs would take many days to complete while I was selling cakes. The cakes would be filled and settled one day. The next step would be to cover it with ganache and fondant, followed by the real decoration.

But none of it involved the actual baking of the cakes, creating the frosting, and making the embellishments.

My point is that if you have a large design, you need a strategy to assist you decide when you can make your cakes.

If it’s a simple birthday cake and not a large cake project, you’ll probably just need a few of hours to decorate it, so don’t add days to your project timeframe.

Do you just want to pre-bake the cake layers to save time later?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Indeed, here is where I am most of the time on this list. I prefer to plan ahead of time. It’s actually for my own sanity. I don’t work well under duress.

I prefer to make my cakes ahead of time, then freeze them until I need them. It just saves time, and I highly suggest it. You can’t tell they’ve been frozen if you freeze them right.

See this article for my best cake freezing tips: How to Freeze Cakes & Cupcakes.

Are you against freezing cakes, or worried about freezing them?

Those who believe they should ALWAYS freeze cakes have contacted me, as have others who are passionately opposed to freezing cakes.

To begin, you are not need to freeze cakes. There is no need to freeze the cakes if they will be served within a day or two. Just make sure they’re tightly covered so they don’t dry out.

If you are firmly opposed to freezing cakes, it is also acceptable. But, I must inquire: Have you tried it? Do you mean more than once?

I don’t simply mean freezing your wedding cake’s top layer and defrosting it a year later. That’s disgusting, and most of the time it’s not a fair depiction of what a frozen cake truly tastes like.

I’m simply suggesting you should try freezing cakes the RIGHT WAY and see how it goes. I’ve done it several times, and it’s a huge time and sanity saver since you won’t be able to work ahead without it. Days before the event, you’ll be baking your socks off.

If you wish to give it another go, you may discover my instructions for freezing cakes at this link: Cake Freezing Instructions

Rule of thumb for freezing cakes and how far in advance to make them:

Note that if you won’t be serving the cake within three days after baking it, it’s better to freeze it and then thaw it a couple of days or the day before you’ll serve it.

Four days is stretching it, and five days is not ideal.

(And please keep in mind that this is my perspective based on what has worked for me in the past; I’m sure other cakers have other ideas.)

FAQs & Tips:

Can I make a cake the day before?

Absolutely, just be sure to keep the cake covered until serving so it doesn’t dry out. If the cake contains perishable icing or filling, keep it in the refrigerator; otherwise, store it at room temperature, carefully covered.

See this link for further information on how to keep a cake.

Can I decorate a cake two days in advance?

In general, yes, as long as it is properly stored. But, make sure that the cake is freshly made and that you did not prepare it days before decorating it. A cake should be served within 3-4 days after being cooked, otherwise it will be out of date.

Note that if you need to bake the cake sooner, you may always make the cake layers, freeze them, and then thaw them a few days before serving so you have time to decorate it.

How early can I bake a cake for a party?

You may prepare a cake a few days ahead of time. If you need to prepare it sooner, freeze the cake layers and thaw them the day before or a couple of days before the celebration.

How far in advance can I make a wedding cake?

Wedding cakes take a long time to manufacture and assemble. The cake must be served fresh, thus it is preferable if it is served no later than three days after it is cooked.

If the cake layers need to be cooked sooner, bake them first and then freeze them. These may then be defrosted a few days before the occasion to provide you time to decorate them.

Can I make a cake three days in advance?

In general, yes, as long as it is properly preserved. Three days is probably the most I’d offer a cake at an event or party since the cake begins to lose its freshness beyond that.

If you need to prepare the cake sooner, freeze it and thaw it the day before or a couple of days before the occasion.

  • Cake Mix vs. From Scratch (The Great Debate)
  • What Became to My Cake?
  • Equipment Need to Begin Making Cakes
  • How Long Can You Keep a Cake in the Fridge?
  • How Long Will Cake Batter Keep?

Remember to Pin it for Later!


Can I make a cake 3 days in advance?

If you don’t need to frost your cake until the day of, bake it at least 2-3 days ahead of time. Nonetheless, you must keep it with care. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and keep it in an airtight container to prevent moisture loss.

How long does a cake stay fresh after baking?

A cake will often only keep fresh for three or four days before the moisture is taken out and the texture gets dry. Once a cake has been frosted, it will stay in the fridge for a little longer since the frosting maintains the moisture in the sponge.

How far in advance should a cake be ordered?

One to two weeks in advance is the optimum time to order your cake. One to two months is a courteous order period for complicated cakes and big orders, particularly for in-demand bakers who may need to prepare ahead for your cake prep time and ingredient preferences.

How far in advance can I bake a cake and freeze it?

serving. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Cakes should not be frozen for more than 3 months for the best flavor and texture. You may keep it for 4 or 5 months, but the fresher it tastes the sooner you serve it. When you’re ready to thaw: One day before decorating, remove the wrapped cakes from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator.

Can I bake a cake 5 days in advance?

Cake making

Cakes may be cooked up to two days ahead of time and kept in the fridge or at room temperature firmly wrapped in plastic wrap. Cupcakes may be cooked a day ahead of time and kept in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature (frosted or unfrosted).

How do you keep a cake moist for 3 days?

Covering the cake in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, is a superior method to keep it. This keeps moisture in the cake and prevents air from drying it out. Cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container. Avoid keeping cakes in the refrigerator for more than a few days, even if they are properly wrapped.

How do you keep a cake fresh after baking?

How to Keep Cakes Flavorful and Fresh
When totally cool, store. Cakes with dairy frostings or fillings should be kept refrigerated.
Keep in a big dish or under a cake cover.
Unfrosted cakes may be frozen.
Cakes with icing should be frozen.
Let cakes to thaw at room temperature.
Jun 28, 2017

Is it better to put a cake in the fridge or leave it out?

Should Cake Be Refrigerated? In most circumstances, refrigeration should be avoided. Unless your cake contains perishable ingredients that might spoil, such as cream icing, fresh fruit, ice cream, mascarpone, or whipped cream, it’s best served at room temperature.

How do you keep a cake fresh for 5 days?

Layers should be stored in a zip-top plastic bag.

Store the wrapped layers in a zip-top plastic bag on the kitchen counter for up to five days, but keep the cake in a cool, dry spot away from direct sunlight.

Will a cake last 5 days in the fridge?

In general, cake may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It’s preferable to eat it within 3-4 days after refrigerating it, since the quality and taste may begin to deteriorate beyond that. Keep an eye out for symptoms of deterioration (mold or strange texture, for example) and destroy the cake if it is no longer edible.

Rate this post