Do you let cool in the pans or on a cooling rack?
Do you wrap it up in plastic wrap and foil? Boxes?
Do you refrigerate after cooling?
At what point do you chill the cake for crumb coating/buttercream crusting/fondanting?
I want to get away from freezing cakes but don't want to compromise losing too much moisture.
I have always cooled mine on wire racks covered with wax paper then covered in crumb coat and decorate the next day. But I have one book that suggests to refrigerate overnite and decorate the next day. I really don't know what the "norm" for unrefigerated cakes are. But I use no milk in my frosting and I make sure my cakes stay in a cool dry place overnite after crumb coating. I hope this helps.
Just curious ... why do you want to get away from freezing? Did you have a bad experience or something?
Do NOT refrigerate your layers at all. If you bake one day and decorate the next, just wrap your cooled cake layers well and leave out at room temperature. Refrigerating your layers will dry them out. (Same with breads BTW)
If you need to bake in advance and then freeze your layers than let them cool for 10 minutes in the pan, invert onto racks and cool. Wrap in plastic, and aluminum foil and freeze.
If you are a "scratch" baker and use butter in your recipe I don't recommend freezing........spoken from a bad experience with my usually awesome yellow butter cake. It HATED the freezer. In fact, out of all my recipes, my classic white wedding cake is really the only one that I can freeze successfully for about 10 days without noticing a difference in the final product. Can't speak for boxed recipes, I don't use them.
Edit to add~ If you NEED to refrigerate because of a perishable filling or icing, you could use a simple syrup on your layers before filling/icing, this will help to keep your cakes moist even after refrigeration.
Hi, I don't freeze my cakes every week. But if I have more than 2 cakes for a week, then I freeze.
Normaly, I bake the cake two days in advance. For saturday, I bake on thursday. I let my cakes cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then turn it over to a cooling rack. I always bake my cakes in the morning. so I let it cool completley on the wire rack. When its cooled, put it on the cake board. Then cover it with saran wrap. And in the night I torte and fill and wrap it properly with saran wrap and leave it to settle over night. Then next day I crumbcoat and cover it with fondant and do the decorations. If I have a model go on a cake, I make that a week ahead and leave it to dry completely. I never put my cakes in the fridge!
Some of the best advice I've tried has been (from here on CC!!) to take a cake from the oven and immediately wrap it in Saran Wrap, then freeze it for about 45 minutes. The point was made that the escaping steam in the usual cool-on-the-counter method is actually escaping moisture. After the 45 minute freezer time, take the cake out, allow to return to room temp., then crumb coat and frost as usual. That has made a huge difference in my stumbling-along efforts to learn. The first comments made for the past few cakes has been, "How do you get your cakes so moist???"
Great advice. NEVER refrigerate a cake unless you have used a filling that must be refrigerated. (And work on making similar fillings that don't have to be refrigerated.) I plan to bake a few days in advance in order to have time to freeze all my layers prior to assembly. If someone asks me "Do you freeze your cake?" I always answer "Yes, I cetainly make every effort to do so. If you know what you're doing and have the proper freezer, it makes the cakes so much better!"
Thanks for all the advice.
Debi-No, nothing happened that makes me want to get away from freezing, I just want to be able to make a moist cake without using the freezer. It's a mental thing...to be a better baker, I must be able to make moist cakes without the help of a freezer. It's purely an issue I have with myself LOL
I might take a weekend off and bake 3 test cakes: room temp, refrig., freezer and see which i like best. Freezing is more convenient, I just wanted to know what everyone else does if they don't freeze.
Freezing is convenient... I used to have a no freeze policy until my chef told me that in order to do the amount of production I would need to in a bakery to make money.. u gotta bake ahead and freeze.. Now of course I'm not talking about baking all your cakes on the 1st of the month and then thaw as needed.. i generally plan to bake earlier in the week. If I don't have time to freeze (lack of planning on my part) I wrap tightly.. in saran.. and I do mean tightly.. like if it's still in the pan (my preference I wrap the entire pan.. its called a banquet wrap or cater wrap at my school
Baking at home, I would not refridgerate in a standard refridgerator. They do dry things out. But in a larger production kitchen, it is the only way to go, but it must be a walk-in cooler. They have a much higher moisture content. In fact, it makes the cake moister...no wrapping with plastic wrap, etc.
I have two walk-in coolers, one high moisture for the baked cakes, and one low moisture for the decorated cakes. Every cake in my photos was refridgerated.
We often bake 500+ layers of cake each week. We would be spending all our time wrapping and unwrapping if we did not refridgerate the cakes.
What about freezing a completed cake with BC icing? I read in a previous forum (that I can't find) that you can do this. I have someone who wants me to make a simple cake (only two colors-- white and navy blue) for next week. I will be out of town and was wondering if I should accept the order and make before I leave, wrap it well and have her put it in the freezer?!? Or should I just not accept the order? It would have to be in the freezer for 6 days.