My cakes get really mouldy/sticky within days if I don't refrigerate them during rainy season or when it's too hot. My cakes pass the skewer test before coming out of oven. This has happened for most of the recipes I have tried.

I try to make my cakes with lesser sugar and wholewheat floor instead of white floor. My temperature knob is wrecked - takes twice as long to bake. Has any of it got anything to do with my cake rotting sooner?

Any thoughts?

  • 6
    Isn't that normal in a hot, humid environment? – derobert Oct 31 '13 at 17:52
  • What I meant is that my home-made cakes rot significantly faster than breads and cakes bought from shops so much so that I'm scared of presenting my neighbours with a cake unless it is a completely pleasant weather. Is that normal? – Swati Priyadarsini Nov 2 '13 at 4:00
  • That we may be able to help with—could you edit the question to add in your recipe? – derobert Nov 2 '13 at 4:01
  • 2
    Also note that commercial cakes or breads may contain natural or synthetic preservatives, which can significantly extend shelf-life. – SAJ14SAJ Nov 2 '13 at 10:13

This is completely normal. Cake is a perishable item, much like almost any prepared food. It will spoil if left out unprotected.

Although during the baking process, almost all bacteria and molds that are present in the batter will be killed or reduced to trivial numbers, there are still countless mold spores present in the air.

The cake can also absorb water from the air if it is very humid (you mentioned the rainy season).

If the cake does absorb water (as opposed to drying out and getting hard), it will present a hospitable environment to the mold spores that settle from the air, and they will begin to grow. Very warm conditions only help to accelerate this process.

This is essentially the same process described in the answer to this question: Is bread that can go mouldy better than that which does not?

Two of the best sources for shelf life agree that an non-refrigerated cake should last 1-2 days. These sources probably assume prevailing conditions in the US, including air conditioning in the summer. They are also looking at quality; cakes are also subject to staling.

  • 1
    I can vouch for this. Shelf life for almost all of our products is reduced by 2+ days during monsoon season. – SourDoh Oct 31 '13 at 22:44
  • Pardon my noob question, but what is the reasonable time for cakes to stay fresh if they are not refrigerated during normal weather? – Swati Priyadarsini Nov 2 '13 at 6:58

When I use less sugar in recipes, my cakes also turn mouldy within 2days max!! So maybe sugar helps in preserving cakes

  • Sugar does not help against mold, but it does help against microbes if used in sufficient quantity. – rackandboneman Apr 5 '17 at 8:14

Sugar helps to preserve cake. What you would need to reduce are the invert sugars or glucose, as they tend to increase the moisture of the cake and can make it prone to mold attack when the surrounding temperature increases.

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