Freeze Cakes To Use Later - Result Is Sticky And Crumbly?

Decorating By cloetzu Updated 6 May 2010 , 5:45pm by cloetzu

cloetzu Posted 20 Apr 2010 , 8:57pm
post #1 of 19

Hello Everyone!

I need to make a 3-4 tiered cake and dont' have much time to work on it before the event so was thinking about make the cake and freezing it until I need it. then icing and decorating the day before the event.

I've tried this before but haven't had good results. I found that the cake got sticky or crumbly within minutes of taking it out of the freezer so i couldnt' ice or even crumb coat without destroying it (taking big chunks off)... wondering if anyone has any tips? I wasnt' even able to finish crumbcoating before the problem started....

If i get past this problem, can I 'fill' the cakes and then freeze (fill with whipped ganache)? if so how much time do I need to allow to thaw once decorated (i.e. before I serve)?

I use box mixes as is (have found no difference 'alterning' them with pudding or sour cream as many have suggested here when it comes to the sticky/crumbly issue after freezing)... I bake, let cool and then once completely cooled I cover well in plastic wrap then put into a ziplock bag to freeze.

18 replies
catlharper Posted 20 Apr 2010 , 9:01pm
post #2 of 19

I always add an extra egg and sometimes pudding to doctor up the cake mix and make it more dense. As soon as I take it out of the freezer I fill and crumbcoat it before it has time to thaw. I have noticed that with my less dense cakes, like my butter cake, I can have crumbling issues but mostly this works.

mamawrobin Posted 20 Apr 2010 , 9:27pm
post #3 of 19

icon_confused.gif I always freeze my cakes and I've never had these issues. I usually fill and ice mine while still cold so maybe that's why?

jolmk Posted 20 Apr 2010 , 9:54pm
post #4 of 19

You could try filling and crumbcoating then freezing. Day before the event ice and decorate.

indydebi Posted 21 Apr 2010 , 12:43am
post #5 of 19

HOw are you freezing them? How are they "sticky" within "minutes" of coming out of the freezer? Are they still wrapped in saran during the thawing process?

I wrap my cakes in (commercial grade - buy it at Sam's) saran wrap. Usually one layer of saran does it. WHen ready, I take 'em out of the freezer and throw them on the counter to thaw. Don't remove the saran until you are actually ready to work with them.

I would work with mine while the cakes were still partially frozen, especially the bigger ones.

I bake straight from the box, no extra anything and never had this problem.

cakesdivine Posted 21 Apr 2010 , 1:45am
post #6 of 19

If you let it defrost too much before you level, and crumb coat then you will have issues. Also if your BC is too stiff it can also tear at the cake, but that is any cake not just one that has been frozen. Partially frozen is the best way to deal with a cake.

mandirombold Posted 21 Apr 2010 , 6:34pm
post #7 of 19

I have the same problem. I use a densed up cake mix. I have tried all of these thing and would rather not freeze. but it does sound like your BC is 2 stiff. Make sure ur icing with thin BC.

cloetzu Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 7:37pm
post #8 of 19

thanks for the advice!

the problem I'm having is that the top of the cake is soft and sticky pretty much right from coming out of the freezer.... so the stiffness of the buttercream could be an issue but even with thinned buttercream it would still be a problem....

it doesn't sound like most of you have this issue so I'm not sure what is going on....

as I mentioned, I bake the cake, do NOT level, rather while still a bit warm 'push down' on the bump and then once completely cool, I wrap in in plastic wrap and then put in a ziplock bag and pop into the freezer.

it's almost like the cake comes out 'wet' from the freezer... everything freezes fine in the freezer - I don't have any problems with anything
else ;(

maybe I'll try again....

cloetzu Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 7:40pm
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

HOw are you freezing them? How are they "sticky" within "minutes" of coming out of the freezer? Are they still wrapped in saran during the thawing process?

I wrap my cakes in (commercial grade - buy it at Sam's) saran wrap. Usually one layer of saran does it. WHen ready, I take 'em out of the freezer and throw them on the counter to thaw. Don't remove the saran until you are actually ready to work with them.

I would work with mine while the cakes were still partially frozen, especially the bigger ones.

I bake straight from the box, no extra anything and never had this problem.




So you actually 'thaw' them before you fill work with them? hmmmm.... i thought the idea was to use while frozen .... hmmm.... now i really want to try this again... icon_smile.gif I just take them out of the fridge, remove the saran wrap, put on counter, get my stuff together and then start to try to ice... but as I said the top of the cake is 'sticky'... not sure what is going on....

indydebi Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 8:48pm
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloetzu

I just take them out of the fridge, remove the saran wrap, put on counter, get my stuff together and then start to try to ice... but as I said the top of the cake is 'sticky'... not sure what is going on....




Definitely leave the saran on while they thaw. The condensation will form on the outside of the saran, plus it helps retain the moisture that's already in the cake.
------------edited to add----------------
If you freeze loaves of bread, think about how you thaw those. You don't remove all of the bread and spread it out on the counter to thaw. you leave it in the plastic wrap until it's thawed. Same with your cakes. thumbs_up.gif
-------------------------------------------

This will make a BIG difference to you.

I will do a preliminary leveling before I freeze it, but do final "fine tuning" while still partially frozen, if needed. I find this helps to get a really nice level cake. thumbs_up.gif

Loucinda Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 10:37pm
post #11 of 19

I had the same issue when I tried it. Even after thawing the cake, when taking the saran wrap off, the top sticks to it and is all gummy. I literally had to take the spatula to it and scrape off the sticky/gummy part before icing it. That is why I don't freeze. I am not good at it. icon_confused.gif

crishna Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 4:32am
post #12 of 19

help i am doing my first topsy turvy and froze my cakes, but i didnt know that i couldnt cover frozen cake with fonfant and now my cake is all wet and sticky. how do i fix this help

ramacake Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 5:04am
post #13 of 19

I freeze every single cake that I bake. I have never had any of the problems you are referring to. My cakes are all wrapped in saran wrap, or glad wrap. When I take them out of the freezer, I trim off all the brown on the white cakes. The only ones I trim the brown on are all the light colored cakes. Chocolate, spice, carrot, etc., don't get trimmed. Then I level the tops and fill them, then place on the appropriate boards, then re-wrap real well in more plastic wrap and l let them set overnight. Then the next day I ice all of them and decorate.

The only part that might seem a little sticky is the brown coating on the tops. But when you level the tops, that gets rid of any stickiness.

And I never "push" down on the humps, maybe thats what is causing the cakes to crumble. Maybe you're overbaking or your oven is too hot. I bake at 325.

What brand of cake mix are you using??? I ONLY use Pillsbury and Betty Crocker. And I mix those together. Three of each brand mixed together for each batch. (a total of 6 mixes) It takes a big bowl!! For white batter, 3 pillsbry white and 3 betty crocker white. I do add a small amount of almond flavor, and I use a carton of liquid egg whites and 4 whole eggs. Then the amount of oil and water called for on all of the boxes.

I have done this for almost 40 years and have never had any problems. There is another brand available out there that shall remain nameless, that I would never use. Been there, done that, hate them!!! Hope this helps a little!!!

crishna Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 3:46pm
post #14 of 19

i use betty crock, but its the fondant that condensed. actually got worst this mornig my middle tier crumbled and now am makeing another. can i carve the topsy turvy look from one cake instead of three

southernswthrt Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 9:23pm
post #15 of 19

I have frozen my cakes before, and while they haven't been bad, they're definitely not as good as the ones that I don't freeze. I wrap them very well in plastic wrap then in aluminum foil. I thaw them fully wrapped for several hours before I fill and decorate them.

The cakes that have been frozen seem like they're heavier and drier (still moist but not as moist) than the ones that aren't. But I have to say they're still better than a cake my company ordered from a local bakery, so I guess it's not that bad! I too have the problem of the outside of the cake being "gummy" even though I let all condensation build up on the wrapping when they're thawing.

I will continue to freeze cakes in time crunches, but definitely prefer to make them fresh.

jolmk Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 9:40pm
post #16 of 19

Are you flipping your cakes over? I always flip when I ice so the bottom of the cake is now the flat top. The top of the baked cake is cut off to level and that side is either the bottom or middle. Just trying to figure out which side of your cakes you are referring too. icon_confused.gif

cloetzu Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 9:01pm
post #17 of 19

...as far as the description goes, someone put it well, when it thaws, the top , top as it is baked, is 'gummy' - that's a better word then 'sticky'....

jolmk - the top that i'm referring to is the top as it is baked... and yes that is the side that folks usually flip over to make the bottom... the bottom of hte cake (bottom as it is baked) isn't anywhere near as sticky as the top but it too is a bit sticky.... so flipping it does help but sometimes i don't want to flip it - especially when I'm carving a cake and I want the bump in the middle as part of the design.... if I cut it off to level, flip and then use the bottom as the top (no filling) then I've lost a lot of volume that I may need for the design... for example for my unicorn cake (seen here: http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1619661 ) I did not add a filling, instead just use a large pan and used the 'bump' in the middle of the top of the cake as part of the heigth/volume I needed to carve the head..... because I knew that i needed the volume and that I have had problems freezing I baked the cake in the morning, iced in the afternoon and then added the fondant....

If the only way to work ahead and to be able to freeze cakes is to level the top and flip I guess I'll have to cut and level and add a second layer even if i hadn't planned on it in these cases... which also means a filling too...

with the cakes I need to make for the bridal shower there is no carving so I'm going to try freezing again and make a smaller sample to test it next weekend... i'll bake and freeze on the weekend and then thaw the following weekend (Friday) - leave out over night on the counter (is this correct/how I should do it), add the filling and crumb coat (Sat) and put in the fridge over night, then add icing the next day (Sun).... I hope it works!!

jolmk Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 1:53am
post #18 of 19

How long do you let your cakes cool before removing from the pan? If I let my white cake cool in the pan to long the bottom edge will get soggy, then it peels off when I try to ice. I let my cake sit out uncovered until it feels almost dry, then freeze. Sorry this is happening to you.

Jo

cloetzu Posted 6 May 2010 , 5:45pm
post #19 of 19

I usually let my cakes cool in the pan until just warm - meaning I can easily touch them and they are not hot. I then turn over onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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