There’s nothing quite like eating a cake fresh from the oven; it’s warm and comforting and seems to have a much sweeter taste. However, sometimes, you might want to ice the cake, in which case, you’ll need to let it cool first. Other times, the cake might be too hot to eat straight away so you’ll be wondering how to cool a cake fast.
The best way to cool a cake quickly is to take it out of the oven and put it on a cooling rack for ten minutes. If you’re really in a rush there are some other things you can do like giving it a quick blast in the fridge.
It’s incredibly important to allow your cake to cool before adding any icing or toppings. In this guide, we’ll give you some tips on quickly cooling your cake so you can decorate and eat it in no time!
Why Do You Need To Let Cake Cool Before Decorating It?
We probably are not the first ones to tell you that it’s so important to allow your cake to cool before you add icing or other toppings. But a lot of people aren’t aware of the reason behind this.
The primary reason not to put icing, chocolate or anything else onto a warm cake is that the heat will melt your toppings. This moisture will get into the cake and create nothing but a runny mess; nobody wants that.
What’s more, when you use icing on a warm cake, there is a risk that you’ll damage the cake. When cake is hot, it is much more fragile and far more likely to break as you spread and dollop things on top.
What’s The Ideal Length Of Time To Cool A Cake?
If you aren’t in any kind of rush then it’s best to allow full cooling time for your cake. This will ensure that it cools evenly and you’ll have no problems when it comes to icing.
We would recommend allowing the cake to cool for at least an hour at room temperature. If you can leave it for a couple of hours, that’s even better. Once you have done this, you should then place the cake into the fridge for a further thirty minutes. It will then be properly cooled and ready to decorate.
But What If I’m In A Hurry…How Do You Cool A Cake Quickly?
There isn’t always time to wait around for hours for your cake to cool. Perhaps you’re throwing together a celebration cake at the last minute or maybe you have guests arriving imminently and you’re in dire need of refreshments. Whatever the reason, there are ways you can cool your cake much more quickly.
Use A Cooling Rack And Fan
One of the best ways to cool a cake quickly is to pop it onto a cooling rack. You’d do this when cooling a cake anyway but rather than leaving it for an hour or more, you could get away with only cooling it for ten minutes. But how is this possible?
With the addition of a fan, of course. By directing cool air that circulates around the cake, the heat will escape much faster. However, it’s important not to cool the cake too quickly.
When hot cakes cool down, they will lose a certain amount of gas which can cause them to shrink. A good cake won’t lose too much shape or size but it will change and if you speed up the cooling process too much, this process is exacerbated and you’ll end up with something less than desirable.
Cut The Cake Into Layers
If you don’t mind having a layer cake then this is a great method that will drastically speed up the cooling process.
It involves allowing the cake to cool for around ten minutes on the rack before cutting it into layers. You’ll place these layers back on the rack and owing to their smaller size, they’ll take less time to cool. Where a whole cake might take more than an hour to cool on the rack, your layers could take half this time, depending on their size.
Use The Fridge
We wouldn’t suggest using the fridge method unless you are really pushed for time. As we have already mentioned, cooling a cake too quickly can cause it to deflate and ruin the texture so this should be reserved for an emergency.
You will still need to cool the cake on the rack for around ten minutes. Then cover the cake to protect it from other smells in the fridge and place it inside for no longer than ten minutes at a time.
Once ten minutes have passed, you can check the temperature of the cake using a thermometer. If it’s still not properly cooled, give it another few minutes but constantly keep your eye on things.
Tips For Successful Cooling
While the above methods will work well for cooling cake fast, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before starting.
- Think about the type of cake you’re cooling, Things like sponge cake should be taken out of their baking pan as soon as possible. Failing to do so will result in the base becoming soggy. These cakes are much lighter so won’t need to be cooled as long as something like cheesecake.
- Before you cool the cake, make sure that it is fully cooked all the way through. The last thing you want is to cool it down and cut it only to discover that it actually needs to go back into the oven.
- After allowing the cake to cool for a few minutes in the baking pan, be sure to take it out. As we have mentioned, sponge cakes will become soggy if you don’t do this but regardless of the type of cake, having the sides exposed will help it to cool more quickly.
- While some people believe that cooling the cake in the freezer is a good idea, we wouldn’t recommend this. While it will cool the cake, the process will be uneven and could cause the cake to deflate.
If you’ve been wondering how to cool a cake fast then we have some great tips. The best way is to allow the cake to cool on a cooling rack with a fan directing air at it. However, if you’re in a real snip for time, you could use your fridge but doing this requires careful attention to avoid the cake losing too much gas too quickly and deflating.
Where possible, it is best to leave your cake for an hour, potentially longer, before you begin to add any kind of icing or decoration.