ATomorrow is my best friend's birthday and I have to be there with the cake at 4pm. I'm making a strawberry cake with chocolate frosting because her mom said that's what she wants. I need to know if I should bake the cake now or tomorrow, and how soon after should I frost it? Does it need to be refrigerated? Please and thank you for your answers!
AI bake my cakes a week ahead and freeze then ice the day before.
For starters, I would have asked this days ago. If you plan on getting up at a reasonably early time tomorrow (or today rather?), I would have baked the cake a few days ago. I'll bake the cake and refrigerate it if I'll be working on it within a day or two, or freeze it if I won't get to it for longer than that. I try to stay away from baking and decorating the same day, just so that I know the cake is fully cool and set after baking. It also gives you more time to focus on the decorating part. It breaks up your time as well, not filling you're *whole* day with cake making/decorating. Bake your cake(s) one day, clean up, get your decorating stuff out and in order, plan what you're going to do for the decoration (although this is usually the first thing that I do before I even start a cake...just because that's how I work), then the next day come with a clean slate, stack and crumb your cake and decorate. I try to stay away from keeping it last minute. If it's the freshness of the cake and not wanting to serve a dry cake, it won't be. Make sure it's well wrapped and you'll be fine. I always double wrap my cake layers on a board with saran wrap and I've never had a problem.
I hope the cake turned out!
I never bake and decorate on the same day, as other people have said allow yourself some time and do this over a couple of days. A fresh cake is so soft it's a lot harder to finish and decorate.