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 to Store Fruit Cake
- 4 Signs of Spoiled Fruit Cake
- Fruit Cake is No Ordinary Cake – It Has Quite a Long Shelf Life
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.
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