To Freeze or Not To Freeze?

There seems to be a pervasive myth out there that cake goes ‘bad’ quickly & that leftovers don’t keep. Constantly people ordering cake seem absolutely terrified that it may not all be eaten at the event. Of COURSE, you want everyone to enjoy it and wipe it out! But it seems the fear is more of what to do with the leftovers & wasting all the cake…& money.

Myth buster – if kept refrigerated, cake is good for several days, even a week or more. The key is keeping oxygen out of the CAKE part of it. The buttercream or fondant seals the tender cake inside protecting it from drying out and getting stale. But when it’s cut, the exposed section can quickly dry out and get crusty.

Epic Tip – What I like to do is take a piece of plastic wrap and press it against the cut portion of the cake, sealing it in up to where the icing starts. Each time you eat more of it, replace the plastic wrap. I know my family has eaten on a single cake for more than a week using that method and it was still just as delicious as when the last piece was devoured. If there is a box or a storage container to encase the whole cake, even better.

But what if you don’t want to eat it all immediately? How can you store it for an extended period of time, maybe for a future occasion?

It’s a tradition for many couples to keep the top tier of their wedding cake & enjoy it on their first anniversary. It’s supposed to be good luck! But I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories. Freezing cakes is terrible & ruins them, right? No! Actually, it’s just fine.

In fact, in my experience cakes can even taste better after being frozen, much like spaghetti sauce tastes better the next day after all the flavors have melded. Freezing seems to meld the cake flavors. Our couples RAVE about their anniversary cakes, even after the cake has been frozen for a whole year!

The proper technique for freezing a cake is important, but even MORE important is how you thaw the cake and bring it to serving temperature. Done improperly, a delicious cake can turn to mush.

To freeze a cake: first get the cake good & cold, either by refrigerating for a long time or even popping it in the freezer unwrapped for an hour or two. You want the icing to be good & hard, and as dry as possible. Once it’s nice & cold, wrap it in plastic wrap, loosely is fine, keeping the oxygen out is the key. It’s actually fine to leave it like this to freeze, although a double wrap is a good idea if plastic is all that will be on it. I do recommend you place the wrapped cake in a cardboard box. Cardboard is great because it will absorb a lot of moisture & humidity, which is the enemy of cake.  You also want to protect against any odors the cake may absorb. (Fish in the freezer anyone? Yuck, fishy cake)

Place the box or double-wrapped cake in the freezer, as high up as possible. NEVER underneath any meats or other items that may soak it if the freezer fails. Here’s where people have a hard time—don’t disturb the cake! LOL! Sneaking a piece out of it over & over will result in degradation of quality every time it’s defrosted and refrozen.

Keep the cake frozen until it’s time to serve it all.

To thaw a frozen cake: the time is near to eat that delicious cake waiting patiently in the freezer. Beware! If you pull it straight out to room temperature, it’s going to sweat profusely, causing a lot of condensation which can literally break down the cake & turn it to soggy mush; especially since it’s encased in plastic.

The key is to defrost it SLOWLY & in stages.

Stage 1: At least 24-36 hours before you plan to serve the cake, take the whole box out of the freezer and place in to a refrigerator. Just leave it wrapped in the box like it is. If it’s a large cake, you may want to move it to the refrigerator a couple days in advance. You want the whole cake to defrost slowly to refrigerator temperature.

Stage 2: Once it is refrigerator temperature, take it out of the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving for a small cake, and 2-3 hours for a larger cake. Unwrap it immediately, so the plastic won’t stick to the icing when the icing softens up. Place it back in the box if it had one, or for this step I highly recommend having a cardboard box handy. Keep the cake in the sealed box and then bring it out to display, or serve, once it’s warmed up enough for the butter to be nice and creamy. Butter is hard as a brick when it’s cold.

And there you have it! Not a single slice of cake wasted or thrown away!

But why have you heard that frozen cake came out gross and disgusting? Most likely, it was a freezer failure, not a cake failure. Summer thunderstorms are notorious for popping breakers and people don’t know the freezer is off until everything inside is ruined. Or sometimes the electricity can be off for a long time. Especially in the summer, where the frozen cake can not only defrost quickly, but actually get hot. It’s going to ruin it. Just toss it. Be sure to check your freezers after every storm and power outage! DON’T open the door, if you can avoid it, to keep the cold sealed in as much as possible.

The QUALITY of the cake being frozen is also important. Delicious, made from scratch cake using real butter and fine ingredients is going to taste better to begin with, and freeze better than low quality mass-production cake. If you freeze bad cake, it’s still going to be bad cake! To ensure that doesn’t happen — order your special cake from us!

Call us at 877-711-CAKE (2253) or email us at

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