Can I bake cakes and freeze to be used later? If so, how should I package them? Then, would I just lay it on the counter until it thawed out? Does it change the taste any? Or would I just be better off baking new cakes when I want to decorate one?
Yes, you can bake a cake and then freeze for later use! In fact, many bakers bake ahead of time and freeze cakes not just for the convenience, but because they claim it makes the cakes more moist.
Once the cake has cooled completely (never put anything warm/hot in the freezer!), wrap in a couple layers of plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. You may want to place it on a sheet pan in the freezer for support until it has frozen solid.
When you're ready to thaw, remove the cake from the freezer and completely unwrap. Let it sit on the counter to thaw. For most cakes, about 30 minutes at room temp is all you need.
I usually use freezer wrap before the plastic. Don't want the freezer taste.
I almost always freeze my cakes for a couple of days and up to a week before I use them. Have not really ever let them thaw before filling and crumb coating.
I think this is one of the most asked questions on this site and I don't know why people are afraid to freeze a cake when we freeze everything else!!! I have to admit though that I asked the same question at one time!!
Freeze Freeze Freeze !!! While everyone has their own opinion on whether to freeze or not, when to freeze (right out of oven or let cool) how you wrap them to freeze (saran only, freezer wrap, zip locks, foil).. it is totally a personal thing and what works for you and what you feel comfortable with. I freeze mine almost directly out of the oven (still warm) after wrapping in saran only. I have them in there up to a week or week in a half before if need be. I have a freezer and a fridge dedicated to my cakes so I don't have to worry about them absorbing other flavors.
I also ice mine right out of the freezer. Actually I take them out and get everything ready on my table to ice and go for it. So they sit there maybe about 5-10 minutes. I don't know if I could frost a cake not half frozen anymore!!! I am a purist but I also believe that it helps my flavor by doing all the above.
Good luck with whatever you decide and whatever method you use!
Thanks everybody!! Now that I think about it, I bet it would be alot easier to crumb coat it still frozen.
I too am a firm believer in freezing, although I freeze after my cakes have cooled a bit. Whenever I've wrapped 'warm' it seems like ice crystals form on the cake and I'm not crazy about that. Wrap very tightly. And crumb coating and filling is a breeze when they're frozen. I layer my buttercream and refrigerate between coatings so the cake actually thaws a bit. I also keep in the fridge because my buttercream uses only real butter and it needs to stay solid.
Never had a problem with bulges or bubbles and when it comes to room temp I've never had a 'too soft' situation with fondant or gum paste decorations. Plus they taste fresh and moist. The bakery I worked for always had a 'baking day' where they'd do nothing but bake the week's upcoming cakes and freeze them until day of delivery. We'd always have extra batter and freeze emergency cakes for when someone would call at the last minute. Don't fear the freezer!
here is another topic that has been posted in the last couple of days with more info on freezing cakes
I freeze every cake I do at least overnight. I let them cool completely, torte them and then wrap the layers in Press and Seal twice. I don't use foil since it tends to leave marks in the cake. The next day I fill and crumbcoat right out of the freezer and then let them sit for at least two hours to settle and come to room temperature. This helps prevent buldges, since whatever filling that's going to sploosh out will do so during the settling period and then you can smooth it, and blow outs (cold cake coming to room temp can create gas bubbles that then pop) and, if using fondant as your last covering, it can keep from bubbles showing up in your fondant due to a cold cake coming to room temp. It's not fool proof but everytime I've had buldges/blowouts/bubbles it's because I've rushed the settling and coming to room temp step. HTH. Cat
ok I read the other link and they all agree to freeze and then crumbcoat..