cakesdivine Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 3:58pm
post #1 of

Hello friends and colleagues! My name is Angela Pineda. My tips for the most moist cakes ever was published in Cooking Pleasures magazine in December of 2004.

I want to share this tidbit with you. I developed this method about 15 years ago, but back then the medium I had to use was either foil or regular plastic wrap. Both can be used in this method but only if my preferred medium, Glad Press'n Seal is unavailable to you.

Items needed:

Any cake recipe - scratch or boxed (If boxed use Duncan Hines - they are the best)

Glad Press'n Seal wrap - freezer or regular will work.

Use super cold eggs and super cold water unless your scratch recipe calls for something else (Hershey's scratch chocolate cake requires boiling water in its recipe).

Prep your pans using any flour/oil mixture spray (do NOT use the old fashioned shorting/flour method as this leaves a very tough skin on your cake). Line bottom of pan with parchment paper (very important).

Bake cake at 325 degrees until just done to touch (spring back method) or toothpick test.

While cake is baking place enough Press'n Seal on your counter or table, sticky side up to cover your cake(s).

Once cake is done baking, remove it from oven and IMMEDIATELY dump cake onto Press'n Seal wrap. Wrap the cake to seal in all the steam. Then place cake in freezer. Allow to freeze overnight.

Contrary to popular belief freezing is NOT the enemy to baked goods, in fact it is quite the opposite, but as with anything, you cannot leave it in the freezer forever, 2 weeks tops to keep the product fresh.

Any cake left to cool on a cooling rack on the counter will loose 2 things: flavor and moisture. Steam is the element that contains both these factors. Let the steam escape and there goes your flavor and moisture.

When you are ready to decorate your cake allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes before icing. Cake will be semi frozen. Use a crumb coat first - especially with chocolate cakes, then ice normally or cover with fondant.

Cake will fully defrost within 30 minutes and the cake will be incredibly moist and flavorful!

***Note*** using foil or regular plastic wrap can cause the following issues. Foil will almost always misshape the warm cake, so only use if you have no other option. Be wary of regular plastic wraps, some will melt with the heat of the cake and others will shrink terribly misshaping the cake during the freezing process. Both do not seal in the steam as well as Press'n Seal wrap.

121 replies
Wendoger Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 4:06pm
post #2 of

Well thanks for that wonderful tidbit!!!!

goldenegg Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 4:08pm
post #3 of

ooOOOooo i'm definitely gonna have to try this, thanks cakesdivine!

rachel-b Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 4:09pm
post #4 of

Thanks for sharing!

ByrdieGirl Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 4:16pm
post #5 of

Great tip!!! Some of my cakes need a little help in the moisture area! Thanks again!!

carmenid Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 4:24pm
post #6 of

Thank you!

What about cupcakes? any tips on how to make the cupcakes moist? mine are always dry and look over cooked. I have heard different things that I can do like baking at 325, mix the batter by hand instead of using kitchenaid or any electric mixer, don't mix the batter too much, etc...is this true?? anything else you can add to the list? I need all the help I can get! icon_smile.gif

cakesdivine Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 4:28pm
post #7 of

I do the same thing with cup cakes but do this. Lay out enough to dump the cupcakes on. Leave space between cakes. The take another sheet of Press'n Seal much larger to individually shape & seal around each cake. The seal the edges up and place with cup cakes bottom side down into freezer. You can do them top side down if you want a flat surface on your cupcake or if making them into bon bon cakes.

pkinkema Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 5:32pm
post #8 of

Thanks, Angela! I read just last week about wrapping a cake while it was warm--and I've been thinking about it since.

Your explanation makes great sense. I have a white cake recipe that I believe is the best in the world--but occasionally it is very dry. Can't figure if I have overbeat the egg whites, overbaked, etc.

I'm definitely gonna try your method next cake!

cocobean Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 6:43pm
post #9 of

pinkema, thats sounds like you make a scratch white cake. There is a really good scratch white cake recipe (that I have made) in the Whimsical Bakehouse book that has really great flavor but is terribley dry and crumbley. I've never made it twice eventhough, it had great flavor, because of the dry crumblie texture. Maybe I'll have to try THAT recipe again and use the above method ALSO, with that. My wasc (doctored mix) cake is always so moist that I wouldn't need to wrap it. Although, I do always freeze my (wasc) cakes after they have cooled from the oven. It deffinately does make them even more moist! So after all that said I am going to try SCRATCH cakes again with that method! icon_cool.gif One last thought though, it will be very expensive using the Press and Seal wrap. icon_confused.gif

cakesdivine Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 6:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cocobean

One last thought though, it will be very expensive using the Press and Seal wrap. icon_confused.gif




Acutally, it really isn't much more of an expense. I can get about 10 1/4 sheet cakes out of one roll and the roll here is only $2.69 at Walmart. Round 8" cakes I can get 20 or so. To me since the moist cakes is what I am known for (and my icing recipes that complement the cakes without being super sugary or crusty) it is an expense minimal to get the clients by word of mouth.

MacsMom Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 6:54pm

I took a cake from the oven, wrapped it in foil, and immediately put it in the freezer last week. When I went to take it out it sank more than I have ever seen a cake sink! The other cake that was baking alongside it was perfectly fine - I left that one out on the counter. icon_confused.gif

SHogg Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 7:00pm

I'll have to try this next time. I'm always up for trying a new idea. Thanks for sharing. icon_razz.gif

TC123 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 7:02pm

Thank you so much for sharing with us here! (And congrats on being published!!!) I can't wait to try your tips. My cakes come out moist, but I'd love to get them the "moistiest" they can be!!! icon_razz.gif

Thanks again!

cakesdivine Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 7:21pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacsMom

I took a cake from the oven, wrapped it in foil, and immediately put it in the freezer last week. When I went to take it out it sank more than I have ever seen a cake sink! The other cake that was baking alongside it was perfectly fine - I left that one out on the counter. icon_confused.gif




first of all using foil is a hit or miss proposition to begin with. Also, if the cake isn't fully done, if it is even a minute under fully cooked your cake will fall no matter what. Also if you mixed it for too long it will do the same thing. You must make sure the cake is fully baked and use Press'n Seal. It really will work wonderfully!

cakesdivine Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 7:24pm

Oh, one more thing...this does not do well with angel food cakes due to the nature of the cake. If your cake has only meringue as it's binder this process will not work!

stlcakelady Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 7:34pm

I also use the wrap and freeze technique. I have found that the moisture is trapped inside and, you're right, it helps a ton! I've never had a dry cake. One thing though, what's with the cold water and cold eggs? I always bring mine to room temp. Can you explain it?

abslu Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 7:36pm

Yet another good use for the press'n'seal!! Thanks for all the tips, I'll definately put them to good use. I usually let the cake sit for 10 minutes before wraping w/ plastic wrap then foil, but I do have issues with the foil denting the corners/sides of my cakes. THANK YOU!!!

whisperingmadcow Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 7:37pm

I am sure I am doing it wrong, but if I don't let my cake sit in the pan for about ten to fifteen minites and cool off, I am always missing the bottom/top of the cake, or the corners don't come out with the cake. I am sure the cake continues to bake due to carryover heat which causes the dryness. Are you taking the cake out of the pan, or just covering the pan?

tyty Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 7:42pm

I too would like to know why the cold eggs?

ShopGrl1128 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 7:47pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

Hello friends and colleagues! My name is Angela Pineda. My tips for the most moist cakes ever was published in Cooking Pleasures magazine in December of 2004.





Hola Angela:

Welcome to CC and thank you soooo much for being so kind and share your secrets.
I've experimented so many scratch recipes already I lost count.

I'll try your technique on my next attempt!

God Bless.

DDiva Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 8:05pm

Angela is 100% correct about this method!! I learned about it from Scott Clark Woolley years ago. He has the instructions in his book 'Cakes by Design'. If you don't need the cake pan again right away you can leave the cake in the pan, cover it and pop it into the freezer.

Angela is also right about using plastic wrap. Plastic wrap from the grocery store will melt. I use commercial plastic wrap for this and have never had a problem. Caution: if you wrap the pan too tightly the plastic wrap will shrink and cause the cake to compress. When leaving the cake in the pan, I do a loose wrap.

I also use parchment in the bottom of every cake pan...even tube pans. It guarantees that the cake is coming out of the pan.

jlsheik Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 8:07pm

I always....always everytime...with no exception, wrap my cakes in foil imediately after they come out of the oven and let them cool to room temp.
I only have had chocolate cake drop just a tad but not enough to worry about.
I will try the freezing thing....it has to work, there is no where for the moisture to go but into your cake!
Welcome to the forum, cakesdivine...I am sure you have more secrets, feel free to share!!!
Happy baking,
Laura

cakesdivine Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 8:22pm

Wow, Okay - on the issue of leaving in pan...Make sure you use a spray like Bakers Joy or Crisco for Baking to coat your pan sides thoroughly! Now USE PARCHMENT! It is IMPERATIVE! This keeps the hot cake from cracking. You can use waxed paper too but parchment is best! DO NOT LEAVE IN PAN! Dump the cake onto the Press'n Seal sticky side up (towards cake) Use a cooling rack in your freezer so the cold air circulates bottom to top.

As for the cold water & eggs, this aids in the moisture retention, much like a chewy cookie needs a cold dough to start, it evens out the baking process.

Nix the foil! It will only misshape your cakes. The reason for freezin'...LOL! instead of setting on the counter even wrapped fresh from oven is a frozen cake is easier to ice, decorate, carve, & or level than a wet, cool cake. The moister the cake the harder it is to work with!

ShopGrl1128 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 8:57pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine


Nix the foil! It will only misshape your cakes. The reason for freezin'...LOL! instead of setting on the counter even wrapped fresh from oven is a frozen cake is easier to ice, decorate, carve, & or level than a wet, cool cake. The moister the cake the harder it is to work with!




I have a question: what type of BC do you normally use to ice your cakes?

My BC recipe is 3/4 Crisco +1/4 unsalted butter.
I iced a semi frozen cake once and as I was icing it the BC became all watery and I had to stop and let the cake come a room temperature to avoid this for happening.

TIA,

forthwife Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 9:11pm

Thanks for the post!

Mike1394 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 9:13pm

Why not just use a recipe that yields a moist cake? Instead of using trapped steam to give you the moistness you desire.

Mike

cakesdivine Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 9:16pm

I just posted my buttercream recipe. You will get sweating at some point during the defrost, but it usually doesn't happen until after the cake is fully iced. Icing a cake should be a rapidily done task, if you move too slowly you will have a problem, not only with the icing forming condensation prior to the cake being fully iced but then you have the huge crum factor, especially with chocolate cakes, it can tear up hugh chunks if the cake is defrosted fully when you try to ice it after using the most moist cake method.

After you ice the cake allow it to fully defrost and the sweat to naturally dry before decorating, or if covering with fondant, do so immediately after icing, actually after you ice it before covering with fondant refrigerate the cake so the icing is set, then cover with the fondant.

cakesdivine Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 9:20pm

I have yet to find a cake scratch or other, that yields the amount of moistness this method produces. Not to mention, it traps in the flavor as well. When steam is created in the cooking process (no matter what the food) when steam escapes so does some of the flavor. Now granted in most foods that is going to happen because you want to eat the food hot so the flavor loss is minimal.

It is a far better method than brushing with simple syrup (yuck) or liquor.

Steffen74 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 9:33pm

I have also always frozen my cakes and agree that it make them truly moist and delicious. I used to wrap them hot until I read in another forum about a year ago that this is dangerous, as the moisture trapped between the plastic and the cake is a breeding ground for bacteria, and this is the reason one should always, without exception, cool cakes before wrapping them. Not trying to challenge, and I have no scientific leaning, just offering what I have read.

Has anyone else heard this? I would love for someone with a scientific background to tell me for sure that this is in fact a safe procedure...

Mike1394 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 9:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

I have yet to find a cake scratch or other, that yields the amount of moistness this method produces. Not to mention, it traps in the flavor as well. When steam is created in the cooking process (no matter what the food) when steam escapes so does some of the flavor. Now granted in most foods that is going to happen because you want to eat the food hot so the flavor loss is minimal.

It is a far better method than brushing with simple syrup (yuck) or liquor.




I don't know if all those pastry chefs over the last 200 yrs, or so are wrong about syrup. It can add a certain flavor level to a cake. Are you saying you disagree with the method?

On finding a scratch recipe that will yield moistness, just create one of your own.

Mike

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