I'm a newbie baker/decorator. I bake my cakes 2 days before I need to decorate them and then I take them in to my office on a Monday (approx 4 days after I bake them).
Can someone please share their steps to storing (freezing)/icing a cake? I just want to know if there are pros to freezing a cake as opposed to just storing it in the fridge. Also, if I choose to freeze my cake, am I suppose to freeze it iced or uniced?
Any thoughts/suggestions are appreciated.
Personally I try not to freeze cakes, I think it dries them out. I bake and decorate them the day before they are needed so they're as fresh as they can be. For wedding cakes I will bake them on Thurs night and decorate them on Friday for Saturday. Just my opinion though...
I freeze all my cakes and have never had a problem. I wouldn't have time to do them the day before I need them. I use box mixes, doctored, and find they are very moist when thawed.
I bake my cakes, cool completely, wrap in at least two layers of saran wrap (getting out as much air as I can) and at least one layer of foil, and put in freezer. The day before I need them, I thaw them in the fridge still wrapped - if they thaw too quickly (i.e. taking them straight from the freezer to teh countertop), they can get "gummy" with the condensation. The morning I want to decorate, I take the thawed cakes out of the fridge (still wrapped) and leave on the counter for maybe an hour. I do unwrap them and sometimes leave them sit for about a half hour just to get rid of any remaining condensation. Sometimes, I don't do that and just unwrap the cakes and start to level and tort. Excess condensation is usually gone by the time I level, tort, and fill the cakes, so they are in perfect shape for decorating.
I have refrigerated them after decorating if I have used a perishable filling, and I take the cake out of the fridge maybe an hour before serving, so it's not cold to eat. I have never frozen an iced cake, though I know others do it. I always decorate right before I need the cake, so there's no need to freeze it after it's iced.
This is how I do all of my cakes:
I bake 3-5 days in advance, flip onto wrapped cake board, trim and level the cake, and torte if needed. I loosely cover the cake(s) with plastic wrap and freeze. Sometimes the cakes are completely cooled when I place in the freezer, and sometimes they are still a bit warm.
When I'm ready to decorate, I get it out of the freezer and let it sit while I make and color icing, fill bags, etc. - probably around 20 minutes sitting out. I like to ice and decorate while still partially frozen. I find freezing makes the cakes very moist (though freezing for very long periods of time might possibly dry them out), and it helps keep stray crumbs at bay.
I used to ice completely frozen, but had a few cakes get cracks in the icing when I did that. So I've gone to just icing them while partially frozen, and it works great! I don't refrigerate after decorating unless it has a perishable filling or cream cheese icing - my buttercream recipe contains no milk or butter.
I used to be a "I never freeze my cakes!" person, until volume forced me to give it a try. When wrapped and thawed properly, I find the cakes to be moister and better tasting after coming out of the freezer. I bake a week, no more than 10 days, prior to the event (when I have lots of cakes to do. If it's just one or two cakes, I bake on Thursday for a Saturday wedding.
I'll still wrap the cakes and put them in the freezer, even just for a couple of hours ... makes them moister (as prev mentioned) plus they are just easier to work with when they are slightly frozen. They dont' take long to thaw ... from a few minutes to a couple of hours, depending on the size of the cake.
I was a non-believer ... until fellow CC'ers showed me the freezing way!
Thanks to everyone that posted a response to my topic/post. I will begin incorporating some of these methods.
Have a great weekend!