Can cake be left to cool on a rack overnight?

I baked a cake this evening for a birthday tomorrow. It just came out of the oven and I would very much like to go to bed sooner than later. Is it ok to cool overnight? I've seen advice elsewhere online to cover it with a tea towel (some people said that didn't work and the cake dried out) and I've seen advice to wrap it up in plastic wrap when I take it out of the tin and leave it out (or refrigerate it). Any thoughts?

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MMH
MMH March 16, 2017

Don't do it. Left alone it will be very dry. Covered the moisture will condense and leave it soggy.

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Windischgirl
Windischgirl March 17, 2017

Depends on the type of cake (does it have butter or oil in it? They will stay fresher; genoise is more delicate and tends to dry out anyway). But this is what our grandmothers did all the time before modern refrigeration. I turn the cake out of the tin after about 10 minutes, leave the cake on a rack and drape a tea towel over it. Wrapping a hot cake in plastic will cause it to steam, and then...mush. If your house is hot, it might dry out...but you can counter that with a layer of jam, a brushing of flavored sugar syrup, and/or frosting.

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Catherine
Catherine March 18, 2017

It was the mayo cake that was up on the front page a few days ago. I turned it out of the pan after 10 minutes on to a rack and let it cool for an hour before I wrapped it in plastic and put it in the fridge. It was perfectly fine in the end :)

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