Making cake batter is one of the easiest recipes to double or even triple to save time and effort in the long run. It doesn’t require any extra prep time and if you have the ingredients to make extra, the only other requirement is a bigger bowl.
Just because you can make 2 or 10 batches of cake batter at once doesn’t mean you have the time or equipment to bake them all.
If you don’t want to make your cake right away, can you freeze cake batter? Yes, you can freeze cake batter, and it is a good way to store extra batter. You can freeze cake batter directly in the baking pan, in air-tight freezer-safe bags, or in cupcakes and mini cake shapes.
In this article, you’ll learn multiple ways to store cake batter safely, whether you’re preparing a single cake ahead of time or batch prepping multiple cakes.
Can You Freeze Cake Batter?
You can freeze cake batter and it’s a relatively simple process. Your cake may not be quite as perfect as it would have been if you had baked it immediately, but the differences should be slight and mostly unnoticeable.
The biggest difference will be in the rise and texture. Frozen cake batter may not rise as high, especially if you use baking soda rather than baking powder.
Baking soda reacts as soon as the liquid is added to the dry ingredients. Freezing it after the reaction happens and before it is baked will reduce the ability to make your cake rise, resulting in a shorter, more dense cake.
Baking powder is a double-acting agent, reacting once when it is added to the liquid and then again when exposed to heat. By separating this process you may lose some height, but at least the second reaction will add a boost. Recipes with baking soda will be more vulnerable.
As you can see, the success of freezing cake batter will vary slightly based on the type of cake you’re making.
Another important thing to remember is to never over-mix your cake batter. This is important whenever you’re baking a cake, but it becomes even more critical when you’re freezing batter.
Can You Freeze Batter with Egg in it?
Yes, you can freeze cake batter with egg in it. Though eggs themselves don’t hold up well in freezing, once they’re blended into a cake mix they are entirely safe to freeze and won’t impact the result of your baked cake in any way.
How to Freeze Cake Batter
Freezing cake batter isn’t difficult, but there are a few ways you can accomplish the task depending on how long you’re planning to freeze the batter and how you plan on using it when you’re ready to bake it.
Method 1: Freezing Cake Batter in the Pan
If you’re only going to be freezing your cake batter for a short time, you may find it easiest to prep the baking pan and pour the batter in, freezing it so that it’s ready to bake without any further muss.
This works best with disposable aluminum baking pans because they aren’t at risk for breaking or cracking in your freezer, can expand if necessary, and won’t be required for other uses while your batter is frozen.
The major downside to freezing cake batter in the pan is that large portions take longer to freeze. The longer your batter takes to freeze, the more risk there is to the quality of your cake once it is baked.
If you’re baking a wide, short cake, this probably won’t be much of a problem, but this method is not recommended for thick, deep cakes.
To freeze cake batter in the pan, follow these easy steps:
- Line, flour, or grease the pan as you would normally to bake it.
- Pour in your cake batter.
- Place a layer of plastic wrap on the very surface of the cake batter to protect it from air exposure. Then use aluminum foil to cover the entire pan carefully.
- Place the pan on a baking tray and freeze it for 3–4 hours before removing the baking tray to ensure it is solid.
You may want to place something flat and sturdy on top of your cake pan to prevent it from being squished or the foil protection from being punctured by other items in your freezer.
Method 2: Freezing Batter in Freezer Bags
If you don’t have a good pan to tuck away in the freezer, you can always use freezer bags – or airtight sealable bags that can withstand freezing – instead.
To do this, simply transfer your cake batter to a freezer-safe bag. With the bag mostly sealed, lay it flat on your counter and spread the batter out so that it completely fills the space, lays flat, and has no air bubbles. Before freezing, make sure the seal is complete.
Lay the bag flat on a baking sheet and freeze it for 1–2 hours. Once it is completely frozen solid you can remove the baking sheet and stand the bag upright to save space in your freezer.
It is always a good idea to label your bag so that you know what kind of cake batter is inside and how long it has been in the freezer. You can even write baking instructions on the bag to save yourself from finding the right recipe.
Method 3: Freeze Cake Batter as Cupcakes or Mini Cakes
If you’re planning on turning your cake batter into cupcakes or mini cakes, you can easily freeze them pre-portioned in their pans or papers. They will thaw more quickly than a full frozen cake pan and, because they’re more condensed, they may rise better.
Line your tin with papers or lightly flour or grease as you normally would prepare for baking. Fill the tin with your cake batter and place it on a large baking sheet for added stability.
Place the entire tray uncovered in your freezer for 1–2 hours to allow the batter to freeze thoroughly. If you have space, you can leave the cupcakes or mini cakes in the pan, but you will have to carefully cover them with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
This can be tricky and it makes your pan inaccessible for any other baking you might do, so it’s usually best to remove the frozen batter from the tins and transfer them to a freezer-safe bag.
How Long Can You Freeze Cake Batter?
The longer your batter is frozen, the more you will notice differences in quality, notably the rise of the cake and how dense it is.
If possible, it is best to freeze cake batter for no longer than a week to ensure best quality. It will remain useable for up to 3 months but any longer than that and the quality will be noticeably poor.
The other risk of freezing your cake batter is flavor changes. The natural flavor of your cake will start to fade after 3–6 months, depending on the type of cake. It may also start to pick up flavors and odors from your freezer the longer it’s in there.
How to Thaw Frozen Cake Batter
If you’re planning on baking a cake with frozen cake batter, always allow it to thaw overnight in your fridge. It must defrost slowly or it may break down.
If you’ve frozen your batter as cupcakes or mini cakes, transfer each piece of frozen cake batter into the pan they will be baked in before they start to thaw.
If they thaw without being placed in their tray, the batter will recombine awkwardly and you’ll lose the portioning work you’ve already done. If there are paper linings involved, you’ll have a frustrating mess to deal with.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow them to thaw in your fridge overnight.
Never try to defrost cake batter quickly in your microwave. This will start the cooking process and completely destroy the normal texture, moisture, balance, and rise of your cake.
Allow it to thaw completely in your fridge and then, if possible, take your batter out and allow it to come to room temperature before baking.
How to Store Cake Batter
Once you’ve made your cake batter, there are many reasons you may not be prepared to bake it immediately. Maybe your oven’s already in use, or you want the cake to be fresh out of the oven after dinner.
While it’s best to bake your cake immediately, if it’s not best for your schedule, you can easily store cake batter for short periods in your fridge. Some recipes even require you to chill your batter before baking, depending on the type of cake.
So if you need to store cake batter for the short term – but you won’t be trying to freeze it – how do you go about it?
Can You Refrigerate Cake Batter?
If your cake calls for whipped egg whites, it must be baked right away. It will not turn out properly if it is chilled before baking.
Cake batters without whipped egg whites can be refrigerated, as long as your recipe doesn’t specifically state otherwise and you store it correctly.
If you plan on using your batter the same day or at most the next day, you can leave it in the mixing bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. There is little chance the batter will dry out in less than 24 hours.
If you want to refrigerate your cake batter for longer than that, it’s best to transfer it to an airtight sealable bag.
There will be less air exposure and a tighter seal in an airtight bag, so your batter will be better protected against the harsh conditions of your fridge and outside odors and flavors.
If you’re making a delicately flavored cake and you have other strong-flavored items in your fridge, you may also want to place the bag into an airtight container for added protection.
It would be disappointing for your white chocolate mousse cake to be onion scented!
How Long Does Cake Batter Last In The Fridge?
Cake batter that is loosely covered with plastic wrap will be safe in your fridge for up to 24 hours. In an airtight bag or container, you can keep your cake batter chilled for up to 3 days.
Before your ready to bake it, and depending on the recipe instructions, consider taking your batter out of the fridge 15 minutes to half an hour before you’re ready to bake it. Leave it sealed and allow it to come to room temperature.
If you’re in an extreme hurry, you can bake cold batter but it may need a few extra minutes in the oven.
Does Cake Batter Go Bad?
Yes, cake batter will go bad. As soon as liquid is added to your dry ingredients it creates a welcoming environment for a range of different types of bacteria.
It can lead to food poisoning or your batter may start to ferment. This will happen more quickly in a warm kitchen. If your batter is kept cool, bacteria will find it harder to survive.
If you’ve refrigerated your cake batter it will stay safe longer but will still eventually start to grow mold. Try to always use your cake batter within 3 days at the most, unless it is frozen.
How Long Can You Leave Cake Batter Before Baking?
As soon as cake batter is mixed, it starts to leaven, which is the process that allows your cake to rise. If it is not baked immediately, it may not rise properly. It may rise in the center but not as much around the sides, or it may become denser overall.
The longer it is left, the more noticeable these differences will be. Many people don’t mind or even notice a cake that doesn’t rise perfectly, so this may not be a problem for you.
If you’re not planning on using your cake batter immediately, consider refrigerating or freezing it if it will be more than an hour.
If your batter is covered tightly it can sit on your counter, provided your kitchen is not too hot, for a short time, but it is at risk of being contaminated by bacteria, so you want to chill it or bake it as quickly as possible to keep it safe.
Can You Freeze Cake?
Yes, you can freeze almost all cakes, unless the recipe specifically tells you not to. You’ll want to be sure that they are well wrapped and protected in your freezer, especially until they are frozen solid. For best results, thaw and enjoy your cake within 3 months of freezing.
For more guidance, check out our guide to freezing pound cake and easily use the same instructions for any almost type of cake you need to freeze.
Can You Freeze Cake Mix?
You can freeze dry cake mix, but the ingredients should last just as long in your pantry. If you’ve got a box of cake mix, it’s best to leave it sealed and stored in your pantry until you’re ready to use it.
If you have combined the dry ingredients for your cake from scratch, you can store them in freezer-safe bags or containers in your freezer if that is most convenient for you.
Can You Freeze Muffin Batter?
Yes, you can freeze muffin batter. Muffins are typically denser than cupcakes and don’t rely on rising as much, so they freeze well and there is little to no noticeable difference.
For best results, transfer your muffin batter to a freezer-safe bag and flatten it out into a thin layer. This will freeze quickly and thoroughly.
When you’re ready to bake muffins, allow the batter to thaw overnight in your fridge. Cut the corner off one side of the bottom of your bag and using it as a piping bag to fill your muffin tin or liners with no mess!