Whether you’re freezing a whole cake or just slices, preserving it in the freezer is a simple process. Freeze cake to prepare in advance of a party, an event or occasion or to save the cake to have on special anniversaries, such as the first anniversary after a wedding. With a few tips and simple tricks, you can freeze cake and save it for a later time without running the risk of freezer burn or alteration to the taste or texture of the sweet treat.
How to Freeze Cake
To freeze cake properly, begin by allowing it to cool at room temperature for a full six hours, at minimum, on a wire cooling rack rather than inside the baking pan. Place the cake on the rack or a makeshift cooling area to allow air to flow beneath it and properly cool it. If the cake is still warm when it’s wrapped, the heat will trap the condensation that forms against the plastic wrap or foil, causing it to get soggy and eventually form freezer burn if you place it directly in the extreme cold.
To extend the shelf life of cake for as long as possible, it should be stored in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out and going bad when it’s exposed to open air. The best way to store cake is to first wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and then place it inside a self-sealing plastic bag or container. Using this method will allow the cake to lock in moisture and stay fresh in the freezer without the risk of developing freezer burn.
Freezing Cake Slices or Pieces
Try slicing the cake into individual proportions; then tightly wrap and store them in a sealing bag. This allows you to remove only one slice at a time from the freezer, while leaving the remaining slices inside. When cake is brought up to room temperature repeatedly, especially from a frozen state, it will cause the cake to go bad more quickly than if it stays at a steady temperature.
Frozen Cake Ideas
Try freezing your cake if the treat needs to be prepared in advance of an event or if the cake needs to last longer than a week. Keep in mind, however, that some frozen cakes don't transport well; they begin to thaw when left outside of the freezer for too long.
For a frozen cake that will transport well, try making an icebox cake. An icebox cake is made of cookies like chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies or graham crackers layered with whipped topping that may be mixed together with other flavored ingredients, including pudding, icing, fruit, jam, or sauces such as fudge or caramel.
Another easy frozen cake idea is to add ice cream between layers of cake along with thick, chocolatey fudge. An ice cream cake can be made in advance, and it will keep for up to two weeks without losing much of its flavor. When making ice cream cakes, remember to use a stable icing like cream cheese or buttercream that can be easily colored and will not shift or smear much after being frozen. Other icing options like whipped cream or whipped topping don't freeze as solidly and are more susceptible to smudges. Ice cream cakes often don’t travel well ‒ the filling can melt and run if left outside of the freezer too long. Keep this sweet treat close to home.
Molly is a freelance journalist and social media consultant. In addition to Leaf.tv, Molly has written for Teen Vogue and Paste magazine. She is the former assistant editor of the Design and Style section of Paste magazine. View her work at www.mmollyharris.com.