Freezing Unfrosted Cake Layers

Decorating By hynest Updated 28 Nov 2010 , 1:13am by bayouladyred

hynest Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 5:05pm
post #1 of 23

I am wondering if I allow the cakes to cool first and then wrap and freeze. Or do I wrap and freeze as soon as it comes out of the oven. Also wondering how long they can stay frozen? I have never baked and then froze cake layers for using at a later date. icon_redface.gif Kinda nervous of the outcome.

22 replies
confectionsofahousewife Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 5:19pm
post #2 of 23

I cool and then wrap. Putting a hot cake in your freezer can lower the temperature in your freezer and could cause bacteria to start to grow. If I am going to freeze for more than a couple days I wrap the cakes really well in saran and then in foil to make sure they don't get freezer burn or take on any smells from the freezer. I'm not real sure how long you can freeze cakes for. I have used ones that have been frozen for a month or so and they still tasted fine to me. Perhaps someone else can speak to that. HTH

LeckieAnne Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 5:20pm
post #3 of 23

I wrap mine in glad press-n-seal freezer wrap while they are still warm. Cakes come out of the freezer wonderful and moist.

leah_s Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 5:29pm
post #4 of 23

housewife is absolutely correct. Putting hot food in a freezer is a big no-no from a food safety and sanitation point of view.

Frozen cake will keep for months is properly wrapped.

In fact I'm willing to bet that every cake you ever bought at a bakery in your entire life has been previously frozen.

kerri729 Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 5:42pm
post #5 of 23

ALWAYS cool completely, never put a warm cake in the freezer, bacteria can start to grow. I have frozen extra cakes I bake for 6 months or more, and as long as you have them wrapped well, they will taste fine. Just leave the wrappings intact as you thaw them, so condensation forms on the outside, and not on the cake.

DianeLM Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 5:56pm
post #6 of 23

The best way I have found to wrap cakes for long term storage is to let cool, wrap in one layer of plastic wrap, put in the freezer until frozen solid. Then, add more layers of plastic wrap and return to the freezer. It's easier to get a good, tight seal when the cake is hard and frozen rather than soft at room temp.

millermom Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 6:06pm
post #7 of 23

I love to keep extra 6" rounds in my freezer for when a birthday pops up. I have one ready that I can grab and decorate for a perfect gift! icon_smile.gif

hynest Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 8:43pm
post #8 of 23

I really appreciate all the great advice! Working monday to friday makes it really hard to bake and decorate all in 2 days. Never knew about the bacteria growing from putting warm cake in the freezer! Learn something new everyday..... Thanks very much!icon_smile.gif

DianeLM Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 8:55pm
post #9 of 23

It's true for all foods, not just cake. Not only is there danger of bacteria growing in your warm cake, but all the other food in the freezer is at risk as well as the warm food elevates the temp in the freezer.

LeckieAnne Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 9:57pm
post #10 of 23

Does it hurt something to wrap the cake while still warm? I don't put them in the freezer 'till later (actually just to save from having recool the freezer $$ - didn't know about the bacteria -- but I do wrap them while warm. That's ok, right?

AllyR Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 12:59am
post #11 of 23

I let mine cool, wrap in multiple layer of plastic wrap, then foil, then LABEL! (I put the size, flavor, and date). The suggestion above to wait to do the addiitonal wrapping until frozen solid is a great idea!

To defrost, I take it out and LEAVE it wrapped! That way all of the moisture goes back into the cake. Be sure to make sure it is completely defrosted before you decorate or you will have lumpy fondant (I have done this before icon_smile.gif )

Good luck!

mamawrobin Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 1:27am
post #12 of 23

I cool mine completely then wrap twice in plastic wrap. Then I wrap in foil and put it in a gallon zip lock baggie.

pacable Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 1:40am
post #13 of 23

how about thawing? Do you thaw in the fridge or out on the counter?

millermom Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 2:34am
post #14 of 23

I actually crumb coat mine frozen, and then let it thaw while it is completely sealed with the frosting. It has to sit longer to crust and be ready to smooth ice, but I get a really moist cake that way, and it is easier for me to work with the frozen cakes since I can handle them easier.

monet1895 Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 4:15am
post #15 of 23

Do you all level before you freeze?

DianeLM Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 4:19am
post #16 of 23

I thaw on the counter. Unless it's necessary for stability reasons after they're decorated, my cakes never go in the frig.

I level before I freeze and I leave the parchment from the bottom of the pan attached until after torting.

denetteb Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 4:37am
post #17 of 23

I let cool to room temp then wrap in saran wrap or a zip lock or a storage container depending on the size of cake or if cupcakes or minis. No need to get carried away with multiple layers of wrapping. On the Wilton site some cakers did an experiment and put a layer in the freezer tightly wrapped and another with NO wrapping and 1 and 2 weeks later they came out just fine. Nice and moist. So I would cover to keep it clean and seal it but that is it. I also crumbcoat when still frozen. I don't do fondant so can't say how that affects it. As far as leveling, I use a nail and homemade strips and don't have to level. As far as how long to freeze, I often freeze for a week and have done it for more but don't really keep track of how long. I don't have a big extra freezer so don't have room to freeze for really long periods of time.

millermom Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 2:48pm
post #18 of 23
Originally Posted by monet1895

Do you all level before you freeze?

I use the bake even strips, and hardly ever need to level, but if I am going to torte, I do that before freezing, and put cardboards between the layers to freeze.
If I am carving, I carve the general, rough shape, and then freeze. When I take it out, it us MUCH easier to carve and smooth out the shape frozen! (just refining it)

hynest Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 5:21pm
post #19 of 23

wow - you guys are great! Love all the baking tips. Does anyone know more about the bacteria if you put hot items in your fridge. I can't tell you how many times I have put a hot pie or similar baked items in the freezer to cool down quickly. I had no idea I was starting a breeding ground for germs.

denetteb Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 9:55pm
post #20 of 23

I know America's Test Kitchen has done some work on the cooling down options when freezing hot items. And they specifically said to not put hot things directly in the freezer. Think about it, if you place an oven hot cake next to a container of ice cream what will happen? The ice cream will partially melt. The same thing would happen to meat or anything else. Then the melted protion will have to refreeze so the quality would be affected also, in addition to any other problems.

brobinson185 Posted 26 Mar 2010 , 3:08pm
post #21 of 23

I always wondered how to freeze a cake. Thanks for all the tips. thumbs_up.gif

cakesdivine Posted 26 Mar 2010 , 4:07pm
post #22 of 23
Originally Posted by confectionsofahousewife

I cool and then wrap. Putting a hot cake in your freezer can lower the temperature in your freezer and could cause bacteria to start to grow. If I am going to freeze for more than a couple days I wrap the cakes really well in saran and then in foil to make sure they don't get freezer burn or take on any smells from the freezer. I'm not real sure how long you can freeze cakes for. I have used ones that have been frozen for a month or so and they still tasted fine to me. Perhaps someone else can speak to that. HTH

Actually this is a bit of a misnomer...The temp in a good freezer will still remain well below the 40 degrees required to inhibit bacterial growth, also, because the cake just came from an oven and all the bacteria will be eliminated during the baking process there shouldn't be any issue with the temp dropping to promote any growth. If you cool it on the counter first three things happen 1) Steam escapes allowing the moisture in the cake to evaporate leaving the cake somewhat drier than anticipated 2) Steam escapes taking with it much of the flavors that are infused (vanilla, chocolate, etc...) and 3) allowing a cake to slowly come to a cool in the open air subjects it to airborne bacterial & mold elements, the cake cools too slowly, and is allowed to be at an unsafe temperature MUCH longer than if it were refrigerated or placed in the freezer.

Now we all know that a cake's major element of preservative is sugar so the potential of it being unsafe is infinitesimally small to begin with. Mold takes a good 3 to 4 days (if a box mix a good 7 days due to the preservatives) to even rear its ugly head and only happens when exposed to air first, and all baked goods are suseptable to mold period, no matter how they were originally processed.

Anyone who has taken a food safety course is taught that the faster you bring hot foods to a safe temp the better!

I wrap mine right out of the oven in Glad Press N'Seal. Make sure you line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to prevent the cake from cracking when you dump the cake onto the wrap. Seal as tightly as possible without misshaping the cake. Slide onto a cake board and put it in the freezer. It is best to have a separate dedicated freezer for your cakes. This way there isn't any other product being subjected to lowering temps. Yes I do have a separate freezer, If you don't have one, make sure that most of your frozen foods are either placed in a cooler on ice until the freezers temp is brought back to at least 32F degrees or 0 celcius. If you are selling cakes from your home kitchen or even just doing them as a hobby it is still wise to have a thermometer in your freezer and refrigerator to make sure they are holding their temps.

I have kept cakes as long as 30 days in the freezer and they taste a great as the ones I removed the very next day after baking. Freezing can be your best friend, it is the defrosting and refreezing that can compromise your products freshness. Freeze only once but if you absolutely have to refreeze only do so the one other time. If it defrosts a second time and isn't used, trash it or eat it yourself because it won't taste or be as fresh and flavorful anymore.

Just a note to reiterate...I do NOT advise placing hot items in a freezer with other food items along side! You really should have a dedicated freezer to use this method! If you don't then invest in a large cooler that you can put your frozen items on ice. It usually takes about an hour for the freezer to bring itself back to a frozen temp of 32F/0C degrees once a hot cakes are placed inside. Can be sooner if a small cake, if a freezer full of cake then an hour to an hour 1/2.

bayouladyred Posted 28 Nov 2010 , 1:13am
post #23 of 23

Yes, Leah you are correct. Having worked in a bakery years ago. It was the norm to bake different sizes of cake and freeze them. And there was no precaution taken to prep them. They were baked cooled and put into the freezer. icon_smile.gif

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