To refrigerate or freeze

Made a 2 layer chocolate cake yesterday for Sunday. Is it best to keep it refrigerated until then, or should it be frozen and defrosted.

  • Posted by: ATG117
  • February 6, 2013


ATG117 February 6, 2013
Thanks so much. I thought the dehydration issue might be what was lurking here. I actually learned this from other hotline posts--something I truly never knew previously. The bake ahead, usually not my style. But I've been trying to do more of it lately. Makes entertaining a bit easier.

boulangere February 6, 2013
That's a great question. If a cake has been iced (meaning each layer brushed with simple syrup, then icing, etc.), the simple syrup and icing together essentially preserve the cake from staling and therefore extend its shelf life. Once icing has been applied, you can consider it "sealed," and refrigerate it. Refrigeration basically prevents the icing from spoiling at room temp, but is also a naturally dehydrating process, so it is important that you apply simple syrup to each layer. Once in the refrigerator, the cake will be good for certainly 4 or 5 days, as long as it has not been cut. Once it has been cut, all you need do is fold a piece of plastic wrap and press it against the cut edges because there is no need to cover the icing, and you certainly don't want to mar it in any way. I suggested that you go ahead and freeze your cake for a couple of days simply for insurance, since you had no need to cut a slice out of it before Sunday. Unless you really need something to go with a cup of coffee. For breakfast ;0)

As for baked but un-iced layers of cake, the two best places for them are either at room temp, meaning you plan to ice then within a day or so, or in the freezer. Don't ever refrigerate an un-iced layer of cake because of dehydration issues mentioned above.

And huge kudos to you for planning WAY ahead for a Sunday celebration!
ATG117 February 6, 2013
Thank you! Just out of curiosity, do you have a rule for this. For instance, x number of days in advance and freeze. X number of days, leave on counter vs fridge etc.
boulangere February 6, 2013
It might be a good idea to freeze it and move it to the refrigerator on Saturday.
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