This is a tip I have seen in lots of recipes and have seen mentioned on here a few times, but I can't seem to find a post that tells why you do it and what it does for your cake? I know this is a no-brainer, but it's new to me. TIA!
Welcome to CC. I just baked a cake this morning; wrapped it warm in plastic wrap and placed in freezer, I'm going to take it out tonight to fill and sit overnight, ice and decorate tomorrow. Doing this locks in the moister and you get a moist and delicious cake. I've baked up to a week in advance and froze up to a month and no one could tell the difference; it was just as moist and flavorful as if I made it fresh. I always get rave reviews.
I have read not to put it in the freezer warm or you get ice crystals. I don't freeze my cakes...but that's the benefit of wrapping them while they cool out of the pan? I never have gotten it...seems everyone knows about it but me so I can't find any info on it!
HEre's my VERY un-scientific reasoning, deriving just from some 3rd grade science and a little common sense.
When a warm cake is sitting on the counter, we see steam escaping from it.
What is steam? It's moisture. Moisture that is escaping from the cake.
So I wrap my cakes while slightly warm to trap that steam/moisture in my cakes.
And when steam cools, it turns to .... anyone? anyone? Buehler? Buehler?
And when water freezes, it turns to ....... ice crystals.
And when the cake is thawed, those ice crystals turn to ....... water.
ANd that water adds moisture to the cak.
Now it's not enough water that the cake is going to get all soggy. If that's all it did then so many bakers wouldn't be freezing cakes. But those teeny tiny little crystals make a big differenc.
Anyway .... that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
I have had amazing results with warm wrapping my cakes.
Some worry about putting something hot in the freezer for fear of bacteria growth in other foods, but I guess I am lucky. I was given an extra freezer that now lives in our garage for the sole purpose of storing my breads and cakes. I generally place my hot wrapped cakes into the empty freezer thus not warming anything else.
I've seen concerns about ice crystals. I simply brush the ice crystals off of the cake prior to frosting. I have never had an issue.
I suggest letting the iced cake sit for 4 or 5 hours to allow the moisture to balance prior to serving.
Give it a try.
I wrap when warm, but put them in the freezer when thoroughly cooled. I don't put ANY hot or warm food in the fridge or freezer.
I wrap all my cakes warm-hot. Then I stack the 2nd cake on top also wrapped. They stay super moist and its helps once I'm ready to stack since they had time to settle on top of eachother
Indydebi is right. The freezer is your friend. By wrapping in plastic wrap you are trapping in the moisture. Freezing halts the staling process while refrigeration only slows it down.
Any moisture that is trapped in your cake while in the freezer will crystallize. Water does that. It will not harm your cake.
One theory is that the crystals are sharp and make micro-incisions in your cake. This can make the cake more tender.
The key to freezing is excellent wrapping and good thawing.
Always thaw before unwrapping to avoid condensation. Condensation is pulling extra moisture from the air to the cold cake. This is what can cause a cake to get wet.
There are no pathogen issues with putting a warm cake in the freezer. This will simply cool the cake faster. The issue with putting a warm cake in the freezer is raising the temp in the freezer and possibly thawing foods that were already frozen.
APutting warm foods in the either the fridge or the freezer will have absolutely no effect on the other foods.
This is not my opinion. This is an engineering fact. Anyone that works on freezers or fridges will tell you the same thing.
Please go on a food safety course.
AI wrap warm cakes in Saran, then foil (maybe this is overkill but it's how I've always done it). I try to do most of my baking the first day or two of my work week, my cakes aren't usually in my cake freezer more then a week-I have frozen cakes for a few weeks. When I pull my cakes out to start working on them I let them sit on the counter for a while to defrost a bit while still wrapped, this causes the majority of the condensation to form on the outside of my foil.
I wrap mine and then place them into plastic containers to cool!
Really traps in moisture by putting it in the container..... and you don't have to worry when you bake a late night cake (we've all been there!!) about staying up to wait until it cools!
Hi .... I am relatively new to cake decorating, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. I usually allow my cakes to cool & then wrap & freeze for a day or two before carving/decorating - I have never had a problem. This week however, due to time constraints, I cooked my cakes, allowed them to cool & wrapped them and allowed them to settle over night. I have now just unwrapped them to level, ganache & decorate to find that they are very very moist, almost soggy. Has anyone else experienced this? and if so, if I allow the cakes to dry out a little at room temperature will they be okay? I am concerned about the level of moisture & potential mould growing under the ganache/fondant. I'm feeling that it may be safer to re-make the cakes and start again ... Thank for any assistance! :)
I cringe every time I read people encouraging others to wrap warm cakes.
Packaging cakes (uniced) while still warm may cause condensation of moisture inside the package, which will promote the growth of mold spores present. The problem can possibly be alleviated through changed Aw (water activity) of the cake through major formula modifications. Refer to AIB Technical Bulletin Volume VII, No. 9, September, 1985 for suggestions. https://www.aibonline.org/
the idea is to hold foods at the correct temperature so when temperatures change we're supposed to move them from one temperature to the next as quickly as possible for safety's sake -- there are time constraints with serious consequences -- if a person needs to add moisture to a baked item then we need to find a different method if we want to promote the best/safest practices -- for example a simple syrup splash will add moisture without compromising safety --
You may also read that it's best to flip cake pans over onto your extremely clean counter or a cookie sheet (not onto a rack) and allow to cool this way - because steam rises - it goes back inside the pan and into the cake, returning the moisture to the cake - instead of steam escaping into your kitchen where it's not doing the cake any good.