How Long Does Fruit Cake Last?

Fruit cake is a yummy, celebratory cake typically served at significant events, such as weddings or holidays (especially Christmas). But it’s not your “average” cake in any sense of the word, even when it comes to storage times.

Stored at room temperature in a cool and dry place, fruitcake can last up to four weeks/one month. In the refrigerator, fruitcakes will last up to six months, and up to one year in the freezer. Proper storage is key to unlocking the most extended shelf life.

Hey, there! I’m Michelle – welcome to my post! I’ve been a home baker for the past ten years. I have made a wide range of cakes throughout my baking days, including fruitcakes. I know the absolute importance of knowing how long a cake lasts. After all, nobody wants to end up with a bellyache.

Want to know how long fruit cake lasts? Find the answer below!

How Long Does Fruit Cake Last? The Truth

How long a fruit cake lasts depends solely on where it’s stored. Let’s take a closer look at the three storage options for fruit cake.

1. Room Temp – Up to Four Weeks/One Month

Most cakes can only survive at room temperature for a couple of days. So, you might automatically assume your fruit cake has to be refrigerated, or else it will go bad. But that’s not the case!

As surprising as it may be, fruit cakes do not need refrigeration. Left at room temperature in a cool and dry place, fruitcakes can last up to four weeks/one month. That’s all thanks to the trifecta of sugars, ingredients with low moisture, and high-proof spirits (when used).

2. Refrigerator – Up to Six Months

If you’re not planning to eat your fruit cake within the four-week timeframe, you can always opt for the refrigerator. When stored in the fridge, fruit cake can easily last up to six months before it starts to go bad.

3. Freezer – Up to a Year

For those seeking to seriously prolong the shelf life of their fruit cake, the final option is the freezer. In the freezer, fruitcakes can last up to a year when properly stored. 

How to Store Fruit Cake

Like any other type of cake, proper storage will be critical to ensuring the shelf life of your treat. Here are a few tips to keep your fruit cake in tip-top shape for as long as possible.

1. At Room Temp, Store in a Cool and Dry Place

Room temperature is the best storage area for fruit cake. It will be less prone to drying out and retain the bulk of its texture and flavor.

That doesn’t mean you should leave it sitting on your countertop, though.

When storing at room temperature, it is crucial to keep your fruit cake in a cool and dry place, such as a kitchen cabinet or pantry. 

Too much exposure to the sun can lead to early spoilage. If the fruit cake comes in contact with moisture or liquids, it can get ruined, too. That said, be strategic with where your fruit cake sits.

2. Always Store in an Airtight Bag or Container

Whether you store your yummy fruit cake in the pantry, fridge, or freezer, always place it inside an airtight container or resealable freezer bag. Otherwise, your fruit cake will dry out – and who wants to eat a dry fruit cake? Yuck.

Now, some people might say it’s perfectly fine to wrap the fruit cake with aluminum foil and plastic wrap. If that’s all you have, then go ahead and use it.

However, when it comes to fruit cake storage, I like to have the added protection of a container or resealable bag. That way, I know – with confidence – that no air is seeping inside, reaching my fruit cake and drying it out.

4 Signs of Spoiled Fruit Cake

Although relatively unlikely, even perfectly stored fruit cakes can go bad. With that in mind, I always recommend checking for signs of spoilage before eating any baked goods. Here are the most prominent indicators that your fruit cake has gone bad.

1. Rock Hard Texture

Fruit cake isn’t known for being soft, fluffy, and moist like a chocolate cake. In fact, it’s pretty dense. That doesn’t mean it’s hard, though.

If you take a slice of your fruit cake and notice that it feels more like a brick than a fruit cake, it’s time to get rid of it. Not only is the cake going bad, but you won’t have a delightful time eating it. 

2. Mold 

Another clear sign that it’s time to chuck the fruit cake? Mold. Mold presents itself as colorful spots that may or may not be accompanied by fuzz. If you see any odd colors or fuzzy patches on your fruit cake, get rid of it ASAP.

3. Rotten Smell

Fruit cake is made with, well, fruit (although it’s typically dried or candied). So, if it’s gone bad, it won’t have a pleasant smell. Think about the last time you took a whiff of rotting fruit – not so pleasant, is it? The same is valid for fruit cake.

4. Sour Flavor

The same fruit that causes the nasty odor will also cause a sour, disgusting flavor. If you don’t notice any other signs of spoilage, try tasting the fruit cake. If it’s sour and odd-tasting, toss it in the trash. You don’t want to end up sick!


While plenty of people joke that fruit cake lasts a lifetime (and they could very well be correct), I don’t recommend holding onto your fruit cake like an heirloom. Use it within four weeks if at room temp or a few months in the fridge. Oh, and check out these FAQs real quick!

How long will fruitcake last unrefrigerated?

When left at room temperature in a cool and dry place, fruit cake will last up to four weeks/one month. Ensure your fruit cake is correctly stored in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag. 

Can fruit cake last 100 years?

There is evidence that a fruit cake could last up to 100 years. However, I don’t recommend storing your fruit cake for years on end and trying it out. While it might be perfectly fine to eat, I think you’d be taking a significant risk – in the flavor and health department!

Does fruit cake get better with age?

Like a fine wine, it’s said that fruit cake gets better with age. Again, I don’t suggest waiting for 20+ years. The “golden” number is three months. So, go ahead and stash your fruit cake in the fridge for three months and give it a taste. You’ll notice intenser, more vibrant, and savory flavors!

Fruit Cake is No Ordinary Cake – It Has Quite a Long Shelf Life

Needless to say, fruit cake isn’t like any other cake out there. And while some might think it’s OK to eat this cake for several years after it’s made, I suggest sticking to these guidelines: one month at room temperature, six months in the fridge, and up to a year in the freezer.

How long do you keep your fruit cake? How do you store it? Share below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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  • Edward Bockstruck

    I follow my grandmothers fruit cake recipe from the 1930’s. As a kid you were dying waiting for that package to show up in the mail with that fruit cake in it along with so many other treats. That cake at a minimum was weeks old. Usually flavored with brandy but sometimes whiskey. The recipe made the Spokesman Review back then. I start making them in the beginning of November and storing them in the kitchen cabinets soaked in brandy. Wrapped in cheese cloth and then plastic wrap in an aluminum pan with a lid. Then transfer them to the fridge after 3 or more weeks and soaking them again in brandy. The fruit smell just explodes in the air. Sweet and fragrant. You know if one turns. And to be honest. It has never happened to me. My wife is 11 years younger than me and I had to convince her and teach her it was ok. I guess she never had the same experience as me. I grew up as a kid in the 70’s and 80’s. I just opened mine tonight to check them. Fruity and vibrant. Will started enjoying them here soon.