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How to Make Stale Cake Soft: 3 Ways!

Stale cake? No problem. With my simple method on How to Make Stale Cake Soft again, you'll never have to have stale cake again!

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Hi Bold Bakers!

One thing I pride myself on is that I try to never waste. I may have a full fridge and packed freezer but at least I’m always able to pull a rabbit out of my hat! From freezing ingredients like cookie dough and cupcakes, you never know when leftover baked goods will come in handy.

Often times I find myself with leftover odds and ends, and my most favorite of all to keep around is cake! I love to make my Best-Ever Chocolate Cake or my Vanilla Birthday Cake on a regular basis just to have it on hand in a baking emergency.

Once the cakes have cooled I wrap them up really well in plastic, label them, and pop them in the freezer. After they’re frozen they’ll keep in the freezer just fine for up to 1 month. Then whenever I’m craving something sweet — or don’t have the time to bake a new cake — I just take it out.

All you have to do is let it thaw out as normal. Then from there, I have a way to rejuvenate the texture so the cake taste like it was just baked!

How to make stale cake soft again, close up decorating.

Top Tips on How to Make Stale Cake Soft:

1. Back Into The Oven!

Take an oven-safe dish and fill it with water. Turn your oven on to low heat (325°F or 160°C) and allow the water to heat up until the oven is filled with steam. Then place your cake on an oven-safe tray and pop it in the oven above the steam bath.

Allow the cake to have about 5 minutes in the steamy oven. And just like that, it will look and taste as good a freshly baked cake. This can be done with a cake that is not frozen but has been left out for a few days as well. Just when you think it’s gone a bit stale, this is a fantastic trick. No cake should ever go uneaten again!

2. Steam It!

Place a steamer into a large pot on the stove and fill with water until it ALMOST reaches the base of the steamer. Bring the water to a steady simmer and carefully place in the cake. Turn off the heat and leave the cake in the pot with the lid on for 10 minutes or so until the cake has softened and is as good as new. Carefully remove from the steamer and allow to cool before frosting and serving.

3. Microwave it!

This is a really fast, fuss-free method. Moisten 2 pieces of paper towels. On a microwave-safe plate lay down one piece of the dampened paper towel, then place your stale cake down, followed by the second piece of damp paper towel on top covering the surface of the cake. Then, microwave for two 20-30 second intervals. If you feel like you need more time then go for it. This method will trap moisture in and refresh your stale cake to so it’s as good as new.

Did you like this baking tip? I have lots more short videos just like this one that will help you get baking confidently in the kitchen. Get more Bold Baking Basics.

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Deepa Padmanabhan
Deepa Padmanabhan
4 years ago

Hi Gemma, greetings!
Little worried that a brand name like you is suggesting redoing a stale cake …i think baking should be healthy and although aging improves taste ( which is only up to the tongue) it is never ever good for health.. Aged cookie dough sand stale cakes are firstly made of all purpose flour which is anyway refined and secondly carcigenic….
Disappointed that a famous name like yours with so many followers is suggesting horrendous unhealthy options!!! 🙁

1 year ago

I overcooked a fruit cake and it was hard and stuck in our throats. I tried your microwave method of refreshing and it took 4x 30 second blasts to transform it. Thankyou !

Valerie Holland
Valerie Holland
3 years ago

Gemma thank you for this valuable advice. There’s only two of us & we don’t need to be eating a complete cake. This way I can freeze half & when ready defrost, steam, frost & enjoy the rest as if freshly baked. Such a great safe way of eating one of your delicious recipes.

Carol Dreyer
Carol Dreyer
7 months ago

Those are great ideas and I will try it tomorrow with a dry cake I have available!

Sabine M.
Sabine M.
1 year ago

Dear Gemma,
Your response was eloquent and kind despite how strongly you were approached. I appreciate the way you handled this. I hope you have a wonderful day or night, whenever this comment finds you.
2 years ago

Very informative

2 years ago

My wheat flour cake turn out really hard that I can’t even slice. I dont want to throw it. Can you please tell me if there is any way to bring back its moisture.
Placing two dampened towels on both sides will work?
3 years ago

I love this recipes and thanks for share with us.

Pune Valentine Flowers

Amazing. Love it. thanks for recipes

3 years ago

Thanks For Sharing

Same idea is possible in eggless too ?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.


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