Quick Question Re: Making Cake Batter Ahead Of Time?

Decorating By christine1103 Updated 28 Aug 2009 , 6:31pm by sarahokie

christine1103 Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 2:36am
post #1 of 14

Can I make cake batter tonight, store it in an air tight container in the fridge and then bake them tomorrow?

I have one cake in the oven now and would love to get all the batter made so I can clean up the mess and not drag it all out again tomorrow. It's too late to wait and put another one in this evening...

Thanks for your help!

13 replies
renee2007 Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 2:46am
post #2 of 14

yep. thumbs_up.gif I've done it before... no problem icon_smile.gif

christine1103 Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 2:49am
post #3 of 14

Thanks Renee2007....I'm sitting here at the computer just waiting for someone to tell me it's ok....YEAH!!! Thanks for taking the time to reply!

artscallion Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 2:56am
post #4 of 14

Not so fast....Depends on the recipe...copied from a post I made last week on this subject...

"...this DOES NOT WORK for all cakes! This, specifically WILL NOT WORK for cakes that use baking soda alone, as opposed to the ones mentioned here that use baking powder.

Baking powder uses heat to activate its leavening actions. So it can generally be prepared ahead without fear. One caveat is that most baking powder available today is 'double acting'. This means that in addition to the leavening that is activated by heat, it also contains a leavening element that is activated by liquid. So as soon as it is mixed with liquid, leavening happens.

So with double acting baking powder, it will only give you the benefits of single acting baking powder if you make it ahead of time and don't bake it right away. Your cake will rise, but not as much as it would have if you had baked it right away.

If you normally use single acting baking powder anyway, delayed baking will change nothing.

Baking soda, on the other hand, ONLY reacts when mixed with a liquid. It must be baked right away or all the leavening will happen before baking, causing bubbles to form and rise to the top of the batter where they escape into the air. No second leavening will happen when heating occurs.

Baking soda alone is generally found in recipes where another acidic ingredient is present, such as chocolate, cocoa (non-dutch processed) buttermilk, etc"

queenfa Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 3:15am
post #5 of 14


Thanks.Been confused for a while but you broke it down.A slightly unrelated issue,why would WASC be crumbly and falling apart while cutting?This what happens even after several attempts.

pattycakes55d Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 3:27am
post #6 of 14

just wondering if we can leave the baking soda out and put it in at the last moment before baking???

artscallion Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 11:42am
post #7 of 14
Originally Posted by pattycakes55d

just wondering if we can leave the baking soda out and put it in at the last moment before baking???

That would be something to test, pattycakes. My only thought as to why it might not work is that one of the reasons you whisk it into the dry ingredients is so that it gets really evenly distributed. This is what gives you all those really evenly distributed tiny pockets of air in your cake. If it is not evenly distributed through the batter, you get random large bubbles where the grains of soda accumulate.

If you try to really evenly distribute the powder in the liquid batter, all while it's beginning to react to this liquid, I'm afraid you might end up mixing the bubbles right out. But that's just my guess. Still worth a test, I'd say.

My recommendation would be to mix your dry ingredients ahead and mix your wet ingredients ahead, but store them separately to mix at the last minute.

cutthecake Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 12:07pm
post #8 of 14

"My recommendation would be to mix your dry ingredients ahead and mix your wet ingredients ahead, but store them separately to mix at the last minute. "

That's what I would do, and have done frequently. All the measuring is done, and you just have to combine two bowls of ingredients when you're ready to bake.

I even use this method for pancake batter the night before so it's ready to go in the morning.

Rylan Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 6:32am
post #9 of 14

It depends on the recipe.

JanH Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 10:10pm
post #10 of 14

Cake batter can be refrigerated for several days. If not needed for a longer period, freezing the batter is recommended.

Whatever works for you, it's all good. icon_smile.gif

Here are threads with more info on refrigerating/freezing cake batter:
(Includes the science of baking powder.)





BlakesCakes Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 2:06am
post #11 of 14

Back in early December---yes, December 2008--I had a ton of French Vanilla WASC left over from a holiday cake. I froze the batter and.............a few weeks, when I ago got worried about being short a few servings on a carved cake, I decided to experiment with it.

I really didn't want to make up another batch of batter, so I defrosted the FV WASC in the refrigerator overnight, brought it to room temp, and baked it up--just enough for a complete ball pan and 6 cupcakes. I figured I would only lose 45 minutes in time if the experiment didn't work.

While the ball halves were cooling, I tried a cupcake & had DH try one, too. I didn't tell him ahead of time that it'd been made from batter that had been frozen for 8+ months.

The verdict............great cake! No hint of being frozen or of being "old". The only difference I could see was that the crusts on the cakes were a bit more sticky than normal. They leveled, torted, and iced normally.

This IS NOT my preferred way of doing things, but in this case, it saved my butt & my $$. I'd used DH French Vanilla mixes in the WASC.


missmeg Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 3:24pm
post #12 of 14

I'm a believer of freezing unused cake batter icon_smile.gif. I do it all the time. Typically I'll add the defrosted batter to "fresh" batter to get the overall volume I need.

I have also done what you are asking - make all the batter up the night before, then bake the next day. I highly recommend that you quickly re-mix it (after bringing it to room temperature) before pouring into the pans.

majka_ze Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 3:42pm
post #13 of 14

I have to repeat after some PPs - it depends on the recipe. Many cakes will be OK, but imagine this:

Almost all my cakes are sponge cakes, without any baking powder. The leavening there is made through the beaten egg whites. I hope nobody would let this batter sit a single hour! If I had to do it, I would add need to re-beat the batter and add baking powder. The cake would be slightly different, but still OK.

sarahokie Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 6:31pm
post #14 of 14

SHOOT! I wish I would have read this last night! I wouldn't have had to clean my kitchen again this morning. I did do the mix the dry and mix the wet separately trick to cut down on some of the time and mess, but man it would have been even better to have just had to pour it in the pan and pop it in the oven. I'll have to keep this cool trick in mind.

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