Cake on cooling rack

Letting a cake sit out at room temperature to cool is only one of several ways that allow the cake to lose enough heat so that frosting doesn't slide off. Despite its seeming simplicity, cooling your cake incorrectly can result in cake layers that break apart all over your countertop, or cakes that become soggy and crumbly.


Use an ample amount of oil or butter when you grease and flour your cake pan so the cake comes out of the pan more easily and doesn't fall apart.

If you're in a rush, cooling in either the refrigerator or the freezer cuts down the cooling time, as long as you have enough space. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it's safe to place hot food directly in your refrigerator as long as it's set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

  • Let layer cakes cool on wire racks and take them out of the pans. Let angel food cakes sit upside-down for about 15 minutes to cool off slightly.
  • Place cake layers on a plate and leave an angel food cake in its pan, upside-down.
  • Set the cake layers of angel food cake, unwrapped, on a shelf in the refrigerator or the freezer until they cool completely, then proceed with frosting as usual.