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is it better to chill or freeze a cake before cutting?

Thank you to all who gave me great advice for my previous question. Now, I'm making a 3 tier carrot cake and a regular victoria sponge cake that need cutting and putting onto trays and wrapped for my customer. The last time I made the carrot cake it was quite crumbly when cut, my guess is because it was fresh plus my walnuts and grated carrot was quite coarse. I will make those finer next time but would it help get a cleaner cut to chill or freeze and for how long?
Any help from you amazing people is very much appreciated!

asked by Karen Jacobs 3 months ago

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2 answers 410 views
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PieceOfLayerCake

PieceofLayerCake is a trusted source on baking.

added 3 months ago

I always always always bake a cake the day before I'm going to work with it. I then wrap it well (emphasis on well) and chill it overnight. You'd only need to freeze it if you're going to store it for more than a couple days. Some people find partially frozen cakes easier to work with, but I find a well refrigerated cake much easier...and there's less of a chance of having to saw through some frozen bits. After decorating, chill again to set but always bring it back to room temperature before serving.

Something else I've found when making carrot cake is to make it pretty minimal, and then include a walnut component in the layers (I'm partial to a simple walnut praline). It makes slicing easier.

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added 3 months ago

In my bakery, we cut and fill the cakes frozen. Then let the cake rest until it is completely thawed and ice the exterior. If you ice the exterior frozen, as the iced cake defrosts, the icing could crack, marring what is supposed to be a smooth finish. It's fixable, but a pain. I've always found that carrot cake and red velvet are the most crumbly to work with, especially if cutting them. Those are the few times where I actually use a crumb coat.

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