I want to make my cake layers this weekend but will not decorate until next Friday. Can someone tell me the best way to freeze these layers so that they will be as fresh as possible next week? Also, isn't it possible to frost the layers in a partially frozen state or would that not be advisable? Thanks in advance for your assistance.
If you double wrap your cake layers in plastic wrap, then foil you will have no problem with the cake texture altering. I find freezing actually makes a cake more moist. I buttercream while the cake is still frozen, But I use smbc. I think others who use american buttercream say not to frost while frosting or you will get air pockets as the cake thaws.
This is how I freeze mine: I wrap them in two layers of plastic wrap, put them on a cardboard round (so that they sit flat), and then put them in a ziploc bag. You can find extra large ziploc bags these days and I find that they work really well.
As far as frosting while frozen, it kind of depends upon your buttercream recipe. I tort and fill my cakes while they are still pretty well chilled, but then I wait until they are room temperature to frost them so that the buttercream doesn't harden.
I got a great tip from CC which was bake the cake layers, cool, then frost [if using bttercream] the filling and a quick crumb coat (I only cover the side where the cakes meet) and then wrap in plastic wrap a few times, and one layer of foil. If you let the cake sit out at room temp for a couple of hours (or a full day for 10" or larger) it works out great.
Personally, I freeze all my cakes. If I bake the day I decorate, I freeze the cake. It seals in the moisture and keeps the cake tasting fresh.
For example, last year I taught 6th grade and took scraps (no icing) from my freezer to the teachers. They thought I had just baked that morning. They were in my freezer for 10 days. When I told them, of course they were shocked.
I do cover them with saran and foil when they are cooled or frozen, if I'm not using them right away. Therefore, freezing is a good thing in my book.
As far a icing my cakes and freezing or icing when they are frozen - I don't. I don't like the condensation.
It is simply a personal thing that will work best for you. I did a few different things before I chose this method.
I freeze ALL of my cakes. I wrap them in 2 layers of saran while still warm and then 2 layers of foil and place them immediately in the freezer while still warm. The condensation of the warm cake meeting the chilled air in the freezer makes the moisture go directly into the cake. The day I need to decorate, I take them out of the freezer that morning and leave them completely wrapped. When I get home from work, I unwrap them and begin decorating. The cakes are unbelievably moist and I have left cakes in the freezer for up to 3 months and everyone thought they had been baked that day. I never decorate the cake while it is still frozen due to the condensation causing air pockets. Good luck.