Dry Frozen Cake.....what Did I Do?

Decorating By KakesbyKris Updated 25 Jun 2010 , 2:45pm by Melvira

KakesbyKris Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 2:09am
post #1 of 14

Before now I have never had more than 1 or 2 cakes a week, so I always bake fresh. Next week I have 4 all for Fri and Sat. I have read all the posts about freezing and the sworn testimony of how it makes it better. So I decided to try it out on the family before a customer. After the 1st bite, DH asks what went wrong. That it was so dry, it looked like I worked for a cake to put in the trash. icon_cry.gif My kids aren't cake snobs yet and will eat it luckily.
I am fairly new to scratch baking and usually use doctored mixes( I add 8 things to my mixes so I figured might as well make it from scratch.)But I have made this recipe before to huge reviews, so the only thing different is the freezing and it was cooled, tightly wrapped and only in overnight.
I was hoping to start baking this weekend and freeze for more decorating time but now I am scared to. I don't want dry cakes. No one wants to eat styrofoam no matter how great it looks.
Any advice would be great!!
If it matters it was a chocolate butter cake and I torted it before freezing each level individually.

13 replies
leily Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 2:22am
post #2 of 14

I am a little confused, so did you freeze a scratch cake or a doctored box mix?

KakesbyKris Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 2:31am
post #3 of 14

Scratch cake. Sorry for the confusion.

mygirlssweet Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 2:54am
post #4 of 14

I never have this problem and I always freeze my cakes. I also only bake from scratch. Did you wrap your cake really well with wrap? After my cake is cooled, I level, wrap VERY well with stretch wrap and then I put it in a bag tightly closed. My cakes tend to be TOO moist so I am confused as to why ours would be dry. Try again and see what happens.

leily Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 3:07am
post #5 of 14

Can you give us more detail on exactly how you prepared your cake for freezing (was it cool or warm? how was it wrapped)
Also, how did you thaw it (did you keep it wrapped, was it covered...etc..)

cheatize Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 3:14am
post #6 of 14

Yes, details please. Were there any unusual occurences during the mixing or baking process?

indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 3:21am
post #7 of 14

I'm with leily in being curious on the thawing process.

I've read how some people unwrap their cakes to thaw and I can't figure out why. When we remove frozen bread from the freezer, we don't open the loaf and spread the slices of bread out on the counter to thaw. Because the bread slices would get dry and stale. We leave them enclosed in the plastic wrap(per).

Cake should be handled the same way.

KakesbyKris Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 3:39am
post #8 of 14

I cooled completely then torted and double wrapped tightly in saran.Nothing different about the mixing, baked at 325, used the baking strips, 8" pans 2" high, Wilton pans. I hope to buy better ones soon. Thinking about it one did come out with some cracks on top, just one, isn't that already a red flag for dryness? I don't think I left them in any longer than usual. I did unwrap and crumb coat before completely thawed. Read in the posts that many preferred do to it that way since it made for easier icing.

I truly appreciate all the detective work and help!!

And can I say "WOW" Indydebi is giving me advice!! I am a cakegroupie of yours. You are a rockstar. Love your buttercream! icon_biggrin.gif

myslady Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 12:46pm
post #9 of 14

Did you taste the cakes before you put them in the freezer
How did you measure your ingredients
How long was the cake frozen for

cakegrandma Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 1:04pm
post #10 of 14

When I wrap and freeze I put my cakes into a clean trash bag and wrap the bag around the cakes to keep it secure. Maybe your cake was overcooked to begin with? I wrap and freeze all the time and from scratch or box the only time I have had a dry cake is when I over baked them.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 1:20pm
post #11 of 14

Freezing stops everything from happening to your cake. It is like suspended animation. If your cake was wrapped well, then it was dry going in. As with everything in baking, there are so many things that can go wrong. But, in this case, it probably wasn't the freezing.

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 1:26pm
post #12 of 14

(Not trying to start a debate or condemn anyone; just passing along some info that many people may not know yet.)

Unfortunately, trash bags are not food safe.

These two links have a lot of good info on the subject of acceptable food storage items. Most people aren't going to get sick from a one time use of it, but over the long term of being exposed to the chemicals that can be leeched out, people could develop diseases, such as cancer.



indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 1:28pm
post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by matthewkyrankelly

Freezing stops everything from happening to your cake. It is like suspended animation. If your cake was wrapped well, then it was dry going in. As with everything in baking, there are so many things that can go wrong. But, in this case, it probably wasn't the freezing.

I would tend to agree with this.

I also wrap/freeze my cakes when they are still slightly warm. Here's the science-logic in why I do that ......

The steam you see escaping from a cake is moisture. When I wrap the slightly warm cake in saran, I am sealing that moisture in, instead of letting it escape. When steam cools, it becomes water .... when water freezes, it becomes ice. When ice melts, it becomes water.

These littel ice particles in your frozen cake will thaw and return to water, which is how the moisture is added to the baked cake (you'll see lots of threads in which CC'ers advise "freezing adds moisture"). These water particles are not enough to make the cake soggy ... but are just enough to add some moisture.

Because I'm putting the cake in the freezer with the moisture still locked in, the cake isn't dry going in and it won't be dry coming out. This is why I always freeze my cakes at least 4 hours or more before starting the icing/decorating process.

Melvira Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 2:45pm
post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by Barbaranne

Unfortunately, trash bags are not food safe.

I'm not sure if I'm confused or misreading, but I THINK she meant that she wraps them securely in food wrap and then puts them ALL TOGETHER in a bag. In other words to keep from having 14 layers floating around in the nooks and crannies of the freezer? Am I correct in reading it that way? If that were the case, using the trash bag should be just fine, right? Or am I just reading into it what I WANT to see. Hehehe. I've done that before. icon_rolleyes.gif

I agree that freezing makes them nice and moist, but one problem I've found is that if the layer of cake is TOO warm when you wrap it, you can cause the plastic wrap to sort of shrink down and disfigure your layer, so to speak. I've had it happen, and it didn't "go back" after it thawed. So you just have to be a little mindful of that possibility. I actually let the wrap stay a little loose so it doesn't shrink up on me. Just give it a tiny bit of lee-way. It still stays moist because I make sure it's fully covered!

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