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How Do You Cool a Cake Fast?

By on July 13, 2022

If you’ve made a cake but need to get it cooled, iced, decorated and served up for your guests promptly then you might need to ask yourself: How do you cool a cake fast?

There are a number of ways you can speed up the cooling of a cake. You should take it out of the tin and place it on a cooling rack. You could also place the cake in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes to cool it quickly.

How to Cool a Cake Fast

Below, we have outlined how to go about speeding up the cooling of a cake. We’ve explained each step to take in lots of detail and a few things to be wary of:


Remove from the Cake Tin

The cake tins will retain plenty of heat once they’re removed from the oven which is why it’s a good idea to get the cakes out of the hot tins as soon as possible.

Before you do so, however, allow the cakes to sit in the tins for 10 minutes or so. This will allow the cakes to settle before you pop them out of the tins. If you’re impatient and pop them out of the tins instantly, you’ll find the cakes will crack and crumble.

Place on a Cooling Rack

As the name suggests, a cooling rack is designed to cool things. The cake should be placed directly onto the cooling rack. The reason a cooling rack works so well (versus a plate or chopping board) is that it allows air to circulate under the cake.


It can be a good idea to place some kitchen towels under the cooling rack to collect any crumbs that might break off from the cake.

Make sure your cooling racks are placed somewhere with plenty of circulating air – even near an open window. They won’t work if you push them into a dark corner of the kitchen.

Cut it Open

If you’re planning on spreading icing, jam or curd in the centre of your cake as a Victorian sandwich, then cut the cakes in half now so that they can cool much quicker. It will allow heat to escape from the centre almost immediately.

As before, it’s a good idea to leave the cake to cool naturally for 10 to 15 minutes before you do cut it open otherwise you risk the whole cake collapsing and crumbling.

Opt for a sharp cake slicer or use a serrated knife to avoid ripping the sponge. Slow and steady is the right approach to take when cutting a warm cake in two.

Put it in the Fridge

If you’re really pushed for time then you can place a cake in the fridge to cool down. You can even use the freezer!

If you’re going to do so, then only leave it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so. If you leave it in the fridge for too long it will dry out and you’ll be left with a cake that has an undesirable texture.

The other thing to remember is that a fridge will cool the exterior of the cake really quickly but the centre may still be warm. Insert a metal skewer into the centre of the cake to test whether it has fully cooled or not.

Can You Put Hot Cake in the Fridge?

Yes, you can put a hot cake into the fridge. However, you should let it cool a little at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. You should also only leave it in the fridge for up to 15 minutes to cool it.

Cooling Cakes FAQs

If you’ve still got more questions about cooling cakes, then these additional FAQs might help you out:

How Long Does It Take to Cool a Cake?

Cooling a cake at room temperature on the worktop takes between 2 and 3 hours for an average-sized cake. Of course, this will be impacted greatly by the flow of air in the kitchen and the temperature of the room.

Can You Ice a Hot Cake?

No! This is not a good idea. Whether you want to decorate your cake with a glaze, buttercream or royal icing; doing so when it is hot will cause your icing to melt and slide off the top of your cake.

Summary

Ultimately, a combination of the above four cooling methods will be the best way to cool a cake quickly. Wait 10 minutes before popping it out of the cake tin and onto a cool rack. After another 5 minutes, slice the cake open to release any hot air from the centre.

If you’re really pushed for time then you can pop the cake into the fridge for 15 minutes to speed up some of the cooling time. You won’t want to fully cool a cake in the fridge, however, as it will lose moisture and become dry.

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