Freezing A Fully Decorated Cake

Decorating By p106_peppy Updated 11 Apr 2005 , 9:19pm by SquirrellyCakes

p106_peppy Posted 8 Apr 2005 , 9:56pm
post #1 of 20

As some of you may know, I'm making a cake for my grandparents aniversary, However, the date of the party is about a week after I fly home, so I was going to make the cake and freeze it.

So... I'm wondering how well do frozen cakes hold up?

If I do buttercream or ganache icing, will it crack when frozen?

Will fondant get soggy?

If I did I layer with mouse in it, will it separate or anything?

How can I keep it from getting a freezer taste?

Anything else I should knwo?

19 replies
AngelWendy Posted 8 Apr 2005 , 11:24pm
post #2 of 20

I hope that someone with more experience will answer you, but I have been reading the forums obsessively and I will share what I've learned that may help. What I've read here is to never decorate the cakes you freeze because the moisture will be a problem. I think you have to separately wrap each layer in plastic wrap and then foil, and freeze them that way.

You can make your buttercream ahead of time by about a week or two and keep it airtight refrigerated. Royal icing flowers can be made up ahead of time and kept at room temperature in air tight container once they have dried. Those last several months like this.

I'd say make the separate parts and store separately and then when you get home thaw the cake layers still wrapped until completely thawed (at least four hours, but more like a day for large layers like 16" or sheet cakes). Then decorate each layer with the crumb coat, buttercream, and/or fondant. Do additional decorating as you want on top of that. Decorate each layer individually.

Assemble it a few days ahead of time and if the temperature isn't too high you can keep it on the counter in a box or cake keeper. If you have to travel with it, don't do the stacking or tiering until you get to the location.

Best wishes,
~Angel Wendy

tcturtleshell Posted 9 Apr 2005 , 3:52am
post #3 of 20

You can freeze a cake with buttercream. If you use dark colors as decoration on your cake they can bleed once you've taken it out of the freezer.

I wouldn't freeze ganache. It will melt after taking it out of the freezer.

You can not freeze a cake w/ fondant on it or refrigerate a cake with fondant on it.

I'm sure you could freeze that mousse but wouldn't it get watery when you take it out of the freezer?

I think you should just bake your cakes ahead of time, crumb coat them. Wrap them in a few layers of saran wrap, then in tinfoil, then in a trash bag. They will stay fresh for months.

I need some more info from you. Are you saying you are going to carry the cake on the plane with you? I would be afraid to do that. Why not just make your cake when you get there? All you would need would be the recipe for cake & icing. I'm sure someone there would have pans for you to use. Maybe you can carry tips, bags, coloring etc. in a suit case or a carry on bag.

I hope I could help you some. icon_smile.gif

tcturtleshell Posted 9 Apr 2005 , 3:56am
post #4 of 20

I didn't explain myself good enough about the crumb coat. Don't use BCI use apricot glaze or sugar syrup. Then you can freeze.

I personally wouldn't freeze a decorated cake. That's what the stores do! When they melt everything looks gross! And they do bleed big time!

SquirrellyCakes Posted 9 Apr 2005 , 4:58am
post #5 of 20

Ganache, even when just refridgerated, loses its nice sheen, Like other said, even though some folks do freeze fondant, it is not a good idea, the appearance isn't the same and it can get slimey.
Personally I wouldn't ever freeze that kind of filling either.
Buttercream is your safest bet and like you were warned, some colours may bleed out once defrosted.
I don't really like freezing an iced cake, if I don't have to. But of the two buttercreams, the one that is half butter half shortening, freezes best, mainly because when it thaws out, it is very similar to the unfrozen product. The other buttercream - the all shortening one, can be frozen but I find it gets a bit of a dried texture and the icing, if done in rows of stars for example, tends to break off in rows when you cut it and can be a bit messier.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

p106_peppy Posted 9 Apr 2005 , 5:21am
post #6 of 20

sory, I should have been more clear. I'm a student, I go to school in ontario, my grandparents live about 30 minutes away.

My home is in new brunswick though.

I need to make the cake in advance because I'm not going to be arround right before their aniverary party.

I think the cake I wanted to make would be a two tiered chocolate cake, with a glossy chocolate frosting/filling. I was thinking either chocolate buttercream covered with chocolate clay, or a chocolate mouse filling covered in ganache. And decorated with a chocolate bow and ribons, with gold luster dust.

The buttercream I use is pure butter, milk, vanilla, powdered sugar, and cocoa.

the mouse I make uses both whipped cream and egg whites.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 9 Apr 2005 , 5:46am
post #7 of 20

Well, I wouldn't freeze the mousse filling. The fondant bow and such would be ruined from freezing, but you could make those ahead and just have someone else place it on the defrosted cake. For a really shiny or glossy icing, well freezing is going to ruin that effect.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

p106_peppy Posted 9 Apr 2005 , 5:55am
post #8 of 20

forgot to ask:

How can a keep a big cake from getting freeser burnt and getting a bad taste?

I was thinking I'd just put it in a cake box and then seel the box by wraping it with saran wrap, but the cake is going to be too tall for that, I think.

How would I go about preparing it for the freezer?

AngelWendy Posted 9 Apr 2005 , 6:37am
post #9 of 20

You have to wrap each layer individually with saran wrap and then foil to prevent freezer taste. You won't be able to stack or tier it and then freeze because you can't freeze fondant without problems in thawing, nor can you usually fit a tiered cake in a freezer nor wrap each part individually that way.

If you have time try freezing a sample smaller cake and see how it works. In fact, that's what I need to do for my wedding in a couple months because I need to freeze layers ahead of time, too.

Best wishes!

AngelWendy Posted 9 Apr 2005 , 6:41am
post #10 of 20

I definitely learned something in this thread! I did not know you could freeze a buttercream iced cake at all! I'm going to have to try it and see how it works. Does it affect the flavor much at all? I'd like to be able to do a buttercream coat on my wedding cakes and freeze that way and just have the fondant covering and finishing decorations to do after thawing.

Angel Wendy

SquirrellyCakes Posted 9 Apr 2005 , 4:53pm
post #11 of 20

Angel, actually you would be better off freezing it without the buttercream crumbcoat and then doing that just before you cover the cake with fondant. Now some folks will not freeze a cake that will be covered with fondant eventually, due to moisture, but I don't find it to be a problem. Make sure your cake is good and dense and firm, then wrap. You basically are putting on the buttercream to act as a glue for the fondant, so this is why you really want it to still be not set before applying the fondant. I am talking about regular fondant.
The original reason for using buttercream under the fondant is for the glue factor. A frozen crumbcoat will be a dryer one and so not as effective.
Some people do let their crumbcoat set before applying the fondant, but this is not the traditional method.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

AngelWendy Posted 9 Apr 2005 , 10:49pm
post #12 of 20

Thank you, Squirrelly Cakes! I didn't realize that buttercream under fondant was mostly for the glue factor. if you were making wedding cakes way ahead of time, would you coat them with anything before freezing? Would you sugar syrup coat them or apricot preserve coat them or just wrap the plain layers very well and freeze???


cindycakes2 Posted 9 Apr 2005 , 11:04pm
post #13 of 20

I made 1/4 double layer sheet cake for a childs birthday, and due to unforseen circumstances on the day of the party, the party was delayed for one week. Having the cake already made and decorated, the only option at that time was to freeze it. It was wrapped in several coats of saran wrap and then in aluminum foil and placed in deep freezer. The following week, early in the morning of the party, we pulled the cake out and unwrapped it, completely, and let it thaw on the counter. It tasted as fresh as the day it was baked and decorated, and the decorations were all intact and looked good. However, we were VERY careful wrapping it and selective where it was placed in the deep freezer. I also did not have any deep colored there was no bleeding of colors. I've sinced used this method in a pinch and it has turned out very well, but I haven't frozen longer than one week. Good Luck if you try it.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 1:43am
post #14 of 20

Hi there. Well personally I would coat it with either the sugar syrup or the apricot glaze, for one thing, when the cake defrosts, it makes it very easy to then just ice it.
How far ahead are you having to bake the cakes and what kind of a cake are you going to make? A cakemix, a from scratch?
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

AngelWendy Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 7:27am
post #15 of 20

How far ahead are you having to bake the cakes and what kind of a cake are you going to make? A cakemix, a from scratch? - by SquirrelyCakes

I think you're talking to me in response to my comment. I already answered and then closed the page before posting it. Oops!

I'm thinking of trying the Chocolate Explosion cake posted on the Recipe Request Forum the other day. It was a devil's food box cake mix with added pudding, sour cream, and chocolate milk and chocolate chips. I think that would be good. We want a very rich chocolate cake. Have you tried that?

I'm not positive when we're going to have the wedding, though! It may be in June or July or might be Sept/October. Sigh. We have to get that planned. The cake is the part I have the most planned, actually. I have a lot more practicing to do - to learn how to stack cakes, how to use fondant, and choose the exact recipe. Also have to practice my gumpaste and make some orchids, and practice freezing/thawing cakes.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 6:20pm
post #16 of 20

Angel, the best thing you can do is experiment and try out the method so you will be comfotable with it. Haven't tried that recipe, but have done one similar. If you are talking about a regular stacked cake, it should be fine. Again, if you cover a cake with fondant, you need a good dense cake that can support the weight of the fondant and the weight of the other cakes. The dowelling and boards support the other cakes, but only if the cakes are dense enough to support the dowels. Even a small fondant covered cake, weighs a lot. Likely why it was originally used to cover fruitcake. So if your cake is a really lightweight sponge cake, well it just cannot handle the weight.
But you are really wise to experiment ahead of time and then you will know what to expect.
Huga Squirrelly Cakes

p106_peppy Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 8:40pm
post #17 of 20

I have a nother question that I don't think has been addressed:

Does candy clay act the same as fondant? or will it freeze well?

SquirrellyCakes Posted 11 Apr 2005 , 2:19am
post #18 of 20

Well, you know I never have frozen it and I will tell you why. Generally with freezing chocolate, well it is more likely to crack and break and so since candy clay is chocolate with corn syrup added, well I thought that the cracking would be an issue, also I suspect when it defrosts it would likely have an oil issue or a slime issues. Now that is really just a guess.
I know you can make it up several weeks ahead and you are told by Wilton to store it at room temperature, sealed in a bag or container.
I would say that your best bet would be to do a small trial cake and see what happends after it has been frozen for at least the time frame you have in mind for another cake. I say this because there is a difference for how a certain type of iced cake turns out when frozen for a week or two or for a month.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

Rainbow Posted 11 Apr 2005 , 3:45am
post #19 of 20

I have tried the Chocolate Explosion cake and it is very rich and chocolately. I frosted it with chocolate buttercream and poured ganache over the top. Very rich, but oh, so yummy. I have frozen it and it freezes well too. The one I froze didn't have any ganache on it just the chocolate buttercream. I made two 10" rounds. icon_biggrin.gif


SquirrellyCakes Posted 11 Apr 2005 , 9:19pm
post #20 of 20

Yes, I don't find that freezing a buttercream iced cake effects the taste as long as it isn't frozen for a really long time. What I do find it that it does effect the texture of the icing and this is more noticable when you cut it. A character cake, done with stars for instance, when done with the all shortening recipe, the stars tend to break off in a few rows, sort of crumbly. Still tastes fine, just a bit messier and the icing is a bit drier than when it hasn't been frozen. Why I know this is that I have a friend who frequently freezes her iced cakes and this is what happens when you cut them.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

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