Let’s be honest, who has time to bake anymore?
No matter what the event is, be it a birthday party, graduation, engagement dinner – there simply isn’t enough time. Our lives have become so busy that when these occasions arrive, we usually just grab something from the grocery store.
Especially when making cakes for birthdays, it requires a lot of time to make. But wouldn’t your life be easier if you could somehow make your cake months in advance? A very simple, straight-forward solution would be to put the cake in the freezer.
The question is, can you freeze pound cake? Yes, you can freeze pound cake to preserve it. Simply cool your cake, wrap it tightly, put a label on it, and store it in the freezer. In the freezer, pound cake will last 2 to 4 months but it is best to consume within 3 to 4 weeks after freezing.
In this article, we will have a look at different ways to freeze pound cake, how it affects the flavor and texture, and look at a few tricks to make your life even easier.
You will never have to bake a cake at midnight again and every event will be a lot less stressful from here on out. Let’s get started!
How to Freeze Pound Cake
When freezing pound cake, there are three types of wrapping you can use; GLAD Press ‘n Seal (or a similar product), plastic wrap, or wax paper.
No matter which you use, you will need to cover it with aluminum foil as well so you can write information on it.
Steps For Freezing Pound Cake
1. Once your cake is baked through, allow the layers to cool completely. Some people wrap their cakes while still warm, but a big rule in the food industry is to never wrap and freeze hot foods – so we’ll just stick with that.
2. Once your cake has completely cooled, wrap the cake in a first layer using your preferred wrap. Make sure your cake is wrapped tightly and that no moisture can enter or exit – you might need to wrap it multiple times with some types of wrapping.
3. Next, you can wrap the cake again in aluminum foil.
4. Write the details of the cake on the foil. Include the following information:
- What type of cake it is, e.g. vanilla pound cake, red velvet cake, sponge cake, etc.
- The date the cake was baked on.
- The use-by date which is usually 2-4 months after the date the cake was baked.
- You can also write the occasion you want to use the cake for so it is easier to remove the batch when the time comes.
Place the cakes in a freezer with a temperature of about 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius).
“Dos” and “Don’ts” When Freezing Cakes
For extra tips on freezing cakes for best results, let’s look at a few “dos” and “don’ts”:
|Wrap cake layers individually. This will prevent them from sticking together and breaking when thawing.||Do not refrigerate your cakes before freezing as it dries them out. You would be better off leaving it to cool at room temperature.|
|Wrap your layers as tightly as possible to prevent moisture from collecting on the cake surface.||Do not wrap cakes in foil only. Some aluminum foils give off a grey color on lighter colored cakes or a metallic taste on the cake surface.|
|You can place the wrapped cake in an air-tight container to prevent the cake from being disfigured or other smells penetrating the layers.||Do not freeze pound cake in a freezer that smells like other food. The smell will be absorbed by the cake and the taste will be altered.|
Freezing Decorated Pound Cakes
You may or may not want to freeze decorated or iced cakes. It depends on what’s most important to you.
As cakes freeze and defrost, certain cakes’ shape and texture change a lot, thus if that cake has decorations on it, your hard work might be ruined.
When you freeze cakes that have already been iced, we can’t deny that it does help retain the moisture in the cake and helps prevent the cake from drying out, but it is entirely up to you.
You might want to experiment and test this with your recipes, as different recipes will affect the outcome.
Alternatively, buttercream frosting can be pre-made and frozen for 2-3 months and thawed when ready to be used. You can also place your frosting in the refrigerator for 1 week before using it.
When you are ready to decorate your cake, simply defrost the buttercream icing and decorate your cake. This is probably the simplest solution when it comes to decorated cakes.
Effects of Freezing on Pound Cake
Freezing helps trap the existing moisture in the cake, unlike refrigeration which dries it out. Therefore, when you thaw the cake, do not place it back into the refrigerator and you will definitely have a moist cake.
The taste will also not be affected as long as you store it in a freezer that doesn’t have any other smells roaming around.
As previously mentioned, some foils tend to give it a different color and taste on cakes, so also avoid using them directly on the cake surface.
Unfortunately, as with any type of food, if you store it for longer than 3 months, the texture and taste will inevitably change. You might find that the cake is less flavorful or that the texture is crumbly and course.
We recommend using your frozen cakes within 1 month after they have been frozen as it helps prevent any aspect from being compromised. However, cakes can be stored safely for 3 to 4 months.
Tips & Tricks
Check out a few more ideas to help you freeze pound cakes with best results:
- The shape of the cake doesn’t affect the freezing process; however, the size of the cake will affect the freezing time. The larger and thicker the layers, the longer they will take to freeze.
- Freezing the layers individually helps with reducing the crumbs when you eventually decorate your cake. It also helps you to defrost exactly the amount of layers you need. If layers are frozen together, they will also sometimes stick to each other and break apart when defrosting.
- We find that leveling the cakes before freezing just reduces the amount of work come decoration day. However, you can level the cakes after freezing. Cake scraps can be frozen separately in a container for later use.
- Label your cakes. This helps you easily identify the type of cake you are looking for in the freezer. It also helps with FIFO (first-in, first-out) or stock rotation, so you can use the oldest cakes first.
- Wrapping the layers on cake boards (like these cake boards from Wilton) will help with stacking cakes in the freezer.
Health and Safety
Make sure your freezer is in proper working condition so the layers can freeze as quickly as possible as well as not defrost if the freezer gets too warm. Constant freezing and defrosting of food can cause the food to become extremely hazardous.
This might seem like an obvious one, but the amount of time we have heard of cakes going off in the freezer is more than one would expect.
The cakes must be prepared in sanitary conditions.
You want to ensure there is: no cross-contamination with ingredients other than what is needed in the recipe, clean equipment, and clean storage conditions. Otherwise, you might have problems with bacteria and mold when thawing your pound cakes.
If cakes are properly stored in the freezer, they can last anywhere between 2-4 months. Keep in mind that the longer they are frozen, the more flavor they will lose and the more their structural integrity will be affected.
The best time to use frozen cakes is around 3-4 weeks after freezing them.
How Do You Freeze Pound Cake Slices?
The process is the same as that above; you just have a different shape to wrap. Wrap each slice tightly and place it into a freezer-safe storage container to freeze. The same goes for cupcakes or Bundt cakes.
When Do You Add in Simple Syrup?
Do not add your simple syrup to pound cake before freezing it. It will cause ice crystals to form, which will cause freezer burn on your cake. To prevent this from happening, rather thaw the cake layer and then add lukewarm syrup.
How Do You Defrost Cakes?
Cakes thaw quickly, which makes them perfect to decorate on the day of the party or event.
They should not be completely defrosted, rather slightly thawed on a plate at room temperature, away from any direct sunlight. This makes the layers much easier to work with as it reduces the amount of crumbs during frosting.
Do not remove the layers of plastic wrap, wax paper, or foil from the cake as moisture will collect on the surface due to condensation. This will cause your cake to be sticky and nearly impossible to frost nicely.
Can You Defrost or Reheat Cakes in the Oven?
We strongly advise against trying to defrost or reheat a cake in the oven – or the microwave for that matter. Rather let the cake defrost in the refrigerator a day or two before needed.
If you must have it warm, we have a guide to help you reheat cake so that you do not lose the moisture or texture of your delicious treat.
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