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How To Freeze Cakes

Posted 15/02/2007 by Liz Hinds

breakfast scones

Why not treat yourself to a good old-fashioned baking day? Fill your freezer with cakes and scones that can be quickly defrosted when your maiden aunt calls to tell you she’s dropping in for tea this afternoon. Or your child announces at bedtime that he has to take a cake in for the school fête tomorrow.

Most cakes can be frozen. Six months is the average keeping time although Fruit Cakes which improve with ageing, will keep longer; iced cakes, on the other hand, lose some of their quality after two months.

If you want to prepare an iced cake in advance for a special occasion, freeze it unwrapped until the icing is firm. Then wrap in double foil and film – with the extra protection of a container if there is intricate decoration – and store. It is usually preferable to freeze the un iced cake and decorate it after thawing, although cakes covered in butter-cream are an exception to this rule as butter cream freezes well. We’ll look at wedding cakes later on.

Basic Rules

  • Use natural essences rather than artificial flavourings
  • Reduce the quantity of essences or spices slightly as their strength will increase
  • Ensure the cake is completely cool before you freeze it
  • If you’re Making a Sponge or other layer cake, freeze the layers separately (or interweave with cling film or greaseproof) and don’t fill with jam before freezing
  • Pack the food carefully, excluding as much air as possible
  • Use proper freezer bags available from supermarkets as thinner bags don’t protect the cake as well against freezing damage
  • Fatless whisked sponge cakes do not freeze well

Allow a large cake to cool before wrapping it in foil, sealing the edges as well as you can, and putting it in a freezer bag or several layers of cling film.

Bake Scones or small cakes in the usual way before freezing in polythene bags in useable quantities. You might like to wrap slices of fruit cake in greaseproof or cling film before freezing in a bag, creating a useful store to keep for packed school lunches.

Thawing

Thaw plain and small cakes in their packaging at room temperature; iced cakes need to be unwrapped before thawing to prevent the packaging sticking to the icing. Lightly cover a large iced cake before thawing, overnight, in the refrigerator.Cooking scones from frozen, wrapped in foil, at 200ºC (180ºC Fan Oven / 390 F / Gas Mark 6), for 10 minutes, will refresh them nicely.

Biscuits

Biscuits also benefit from re heating if baked before freezing, but you might prefer to freeze them unbaked. They will keep well for about 6 months, although rich mixtures i.e. those that contain at least ¼ fat to flour, are best.

Uncooked dough can be shaped before freezing, or formed into a roll ready for slicing into cookies when needed. They can be cooked from frozen but remember to allow an extra 7-10 minutes cooking time. Thawed, cooked biscuits can be crisped in a warm oven for 5 minutes.

Uncooked Mixtures

Freeze before cooking, putting the mixture in an airtight container. Alternatively line with greased foil the tin in which the cake will eventually be cooked. Fill it with the mixture and allow to freeze uncovered. Remove the frozen mixture from the tin, wrap in foil and cling film, before returning it to the freezer.

To thaw the mixture, leave at room temperature for 2-3 hours then use as fresh. If the mixture has been pre shaped, it can be unwrapped and returned to the original tin for cooking in the usual way (but for longer).

Wedding Cakes

It used to be traditional to keep a layer of wedding cake for the christening of the first child but, these, days, with so many couples choosing to wait before having children, it’s more usual to save it for the first wedding anniversary celebration. A frozen fruit cake will keep well for this length of time – and even longer.

Before freezing remove any loose ornaments, ribbon or other decoration. Then put the cake, uncovered, into the freezer until the icing is frozen. After that you’ll need to wrap it very well, beginning with a layer of cling film to make it as airtight as possible. Follow that with at least two layers of thick foil, and another layer of cling film to finish it off.

The icing should keep for a year but, longer than that and, you may prefer to chip it off, leaving the marzipan ready for re icing. With a freezer full of goodies, you’ll never be stuck for a tea time treat!

And Finally…

Did you know you can also freeze homemade biscuits? Find out how by reading our feature Cookies To Keep In The Freezer.

19 Responses to “How To Freeze Cakes”

  1. Scotty says:

    I found the information I was looking for no problem – great to be able to put your mind at ease over a freezing question. My query was ‘can I freeze iced fruit slices’ – Yes I can now.

  2. elena says:

    I am making a sponge birthday cake covered in sugarpaste for granddaughters birthday but am going on holiday four days before party. Can I freeze the cake or will it keep ok till party

  3. Judy says:

    I have a chocolate and a sponge layer from my daughter’s wedding cake from last weekend. Neither have been cut into and are iced. Is it safe to freeze them as they are away on honeymoon until the end of the month.

  4. Nikke says:

    I was wondering if you can freeze a fondant covered cake? And for how long?

  5. CakeBaker says:

    @ Nikke – Better to freeze before covering with fondant really.

  6. momof4 says:

    I am planning on doing my baking ahead of time this year for christmas instead of at the last minute…my question is, can a jelly roll some call it swiss roll, cream roll…..store in the freezer? Thanks

  7. Jan says:

    My daughter was married 5 years ago. A tier of her wedding cake has been in the freezer ever since. It is a fruit cake, heavily laced with brandy. It was cut into but has been squared off. It is iced. Is it worth having the icing and marzipan removed and having it redecorated for her son’s Christening?

  8. IceIceCakeBaby says:

    @Jan. You can give it a try. It’s normal to remove the icing before freezing or storing a cake. Because you are thinking of removing and re-icing, you should get a chance to test a bit and see whether it’s still OK.

  9. debbie says:

    Is it okay to freeze my daughter’s wedding cake. It is sponge and has been iced – they are away on honeymoon for 2 weeks and it seems a shame for them to miss all the cake! Many thanks.

  10. Cakes by me says:

    Debbie – it’s not really advisable to freeze an iced cake. You could try taking the icing off and storing somewhere cool (nb.fondant icing will store – buttercream won’t!) while freezing the actual sponge. But obviously the icing will not look so great when you try to put it back on to eat it!

  11. E says:

    Hi, i sometimes freeze my tubs of margarine.If i make a cake once it has thawed out, can i then freeze the cake???? just crossed my mind!

  12. CakeBaker says:

    @E Many of your favourite cake recipes are suitable for freezing. Firstly, make sure that your cake has cooled thoroughly, then wrap the cake twice in clingfilm and foil (put cardboard between cakes if you are freezing several layers). Remember not to ice

  13. Lynne says:

    Can one freeze moulding chocolate or is it better to keep it in sealed containers? How long does it last as decorations on a cake? (Not taking into account little hands and mouths that are always hungry for sweet treats!)

  14. Linda Christine Ives says:

    Hi. I want to make a big batch of scones for freezing. I’m filling them with Lemon curd and creme fraiche. Can i safely do this with the filling? Thank you

  15. CakeBaker says:

    @Linda Christine Ives – it’s not a good idea to freeze creme fraiche. Why not freeze the scones and add the curd and creme fraiche when needed?

  16. cherub says:

    As I have a lot of iced christmas cake left over can I freeze it and what is the best way of doing this, or is it best just kept in an airtight container?

  17. Teresa says:

    My son is doing GCSE Food tech of which he has to design and make a cake for his choosen Target group, which is GLUTEN FREE cakes…..He is researching most things about Gluten but we wanted your help in “can a gluten free cake be frozen? Thank you for your help oh the cake will be made from scratch not a premade mix…. Teresa

  18. Lyn Dunham says:

    Hi I’ve een asked to make a birthday cake for a friend. I’m planning on doing the best ever chocolate cake recipe as I’ve used it before and always delivers excellent results. My question is as I’m.thinking .of going away for a.long weekend if I was to freeze the sponge when defrosted would it still be as moist and fluffy as it was fresh baked?

  19. Sam says:

    Brill! I google searched sponge cake storage and got this! One of the best sites I have come across in a while. I didn’t even think of freezing biscuit dough, and the fact I can make up batches of cake mix and freeze them for up to 6 months is going to take a monumental task down to a manageable stress free enjoyable experience.

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