Baking is such a rewarding hobby.
Every cake you bake will taste all the sweeter knowing that it was you who created this delicious slice of heaven.
However, baking can be a tricky thing to master, and even the most experienced baker can encounter the odd disaster.
Particularly when it comes to either removing the cake from its tin or when it comes to icing it!
As we all know, your cake will be hot when you take it out of the oven.
It will need proper time to cool before you can remove it from your tin, otherwise you run the risk of the cake falling apart during the removal process.
Especially if you have things like fruit inside the batter itself!
A cool cake will also be essential for icing, as otherwise the icing or buttercream frosting will melt and fall right off your cake as a sloppy mess on your kitchen counter.
Today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about the average time it will take for your cake to cool, and even look at ways you can speed up the cooling process.
How Long Should You Wait Before Icing Your Cake?
You should always wait until your cake has completely cooled before you attempt to add any icing or frosting to it.
The average length of time it will take your cake to cool to room temperature will be between 2 and 3 hours, depending on whether you leave the cake in the cake tin itself.
If you wait for 30 minutes and then turn the cake out onto a wire rack, this can help to cut down on the time it takes for your cake to cool.
It shouldn’t take longer than an hour for your cake to cool this way.
It’s also worth noting that the amount of time it will take for your cake to cool will be dependent on the type of cake that you are trying to cook.
Understandably if you have a larger cake, this will take even longer to cool down.
A larger hot cake will need a couple of hours to cool down, whereas smaller muffins won’t need as long.
If you have selected a type of cake that needs a layer of frosting before it can be served, then you will need to wait those crucial hours.
It will be a much better quality frosted cake if you wait the hours needed.
It will be much easier to frost a cold cake than one that is still hot from the oven!
Why Should You Wait For A Cake To Cool Before Icing It?
It is always important to ensure that your cake has had the chance to cool completely before you attempt to ice it.
This is because a hot or warm cake will cause your icing or frosting to melt.
No matter how much icing you try to whack onto your cake, it will slide straight off.
And you will have difficulty rescuing the icing to use on the cake itself later on!
To avoid any mishaps in the kitchen, you will need to wait for that crucial 2 to 3-hour period to ensure that your cake has had a chance to cool properly.
You can of course turn out your cake onto a wire rack to cool quicker.
However, make sure to wait for at least half an hour first so that the cake won’t fall apart.
You can also use other tricks to help it cool down quicker – we will cover these in more detail down below.
Does A Cake Cool Quicker On A Wire Cooling Rack?
Yes, turning your cake out onto a wire rack will help it to cool quicker.
This is because it’s not trapped inside the metal or silicone mold, which will be trapping that heat inside the cake rather than letting it escape.
Similar to how when you go for a walk and wear a hat to trap in that all important heat, the cake tin will be preventing the heat from escaping your cake.
Make sure to wait at least 30 minutes before you turn out your cake onto a wire rack.
If you try to remove the cake too soon from your tin, this can cause it to break, and fall apart.
Make sure to leave your cake tin on top of your stove or heat safe countertop when you first remove it from the oven.
Then after 30 minutes, you can gently slide a butter knife around the sides to prevent it from sticking.
You can place the wire rack upside down on top of the cake tin, then turn it over, so the wire rack is the right way up and the cake tin is upside down.
Gently tease the cake tin off your cake, and it will hopefully be in one piece.
Now you can leave your cake for around an hour, or until it has cooled completely.
It will then be ready for you to add the icing or frosting of your choice!
How Can I Cool My Cake Down Quicker?
If you can’t wait for the cake to cool at room temperature, you can use the refrigerator method instead.
This will help your cake to cool down quicker, so that you can get icing quicker.
Make sure that you remove the cakes from the cake tins first before you place it in the refrigerator.
Allow the cake to cool at room temperature for around 30 minutes, then gently slide a butter knife along the edges of the cake to make it slide out smoothly onto a cooling rack or a plate.
You can then place this cooling rack complete with the cake into your refrigerator.
Your cake should take much less time to cool down this way.
A cool cake will be essential for icing, as otherwise the icing or frosting will slide right off, and you’ll have to make more to use.
Using the refrigerator method can cool a cake quickly, instead of leaving it at room temperature.
You can also use a similar method by placing your cake in the freezer for several minutes.
You will need to ensure that you wrap your cake with aluminum foil or something to protect it from freezer burn rather than place the cake directly into the freezer drawer.
So there you have it!
You now know that the time it takes for cake to cool down will vary depending on the type of cake that you have baked.
Larger cakes can take numerous hours to cool down, especially if they are left in the cake tins themselves.
If you turn out your cakes onto a wire cooling rack, this can help to cut down the time it takes for them to cool.
Make sure to use a butter knife to carefully remove them from their tins first, otherwise that heat will still be trapped in the cake.
You can also use other methods to cool them down, such as placing your cake in a refrigerator, freezer, or a blast chiller if you have one to hand.
However, you will need to make sure that you remove the cake you are wanting to chill from the cake tins beforehand, otherwise it will cling to the metal material and be very difficult to remove.
Once the entire cake has had time to cool completely, you can then add your chosen icing or frosting to it.
So you can easily create the gorgeous cake that you are after without having to worry about the frosting running off the sides!