Can I Freeze a Fully-Decorated Birthday Cake?

Good Questions

Q: I want to make a birthday cake for a friend. Problem is, her birthday is not for two weeks, but I'm seeing her tomorrow.

Is there a way to freeze a fully-decorated birthday cake so that it will thaw into something beautiful? Are there certain cake or icing recipes that work best (my friend loves carrot cake).

Sent by Carolyn

Editor: Carolyn, the short answer is yes! Many cakes freeze very well even after being decorated. In fact, the icing can even help preserve and insulate the cake — it will stay moister after being frosted. Many baking companies ship fully-frosted cakes after freezing.

Having said that, I would choose a moist, dense, and rich cake that will stand up well to freezing. Carrot cake is actually ideal. And its traditional icing — cream cheese frosting — is also ideal for freezing. It is sturdy, with plenty of fat, and it will do better in the freezer than a more delicate meringue-based icing. Buttercream also freezes well.

The best way to freeze a cake is to bake the layers as usual, let them cool completely, and then ice them. Then clear out your freezer and put the iced cake on a tray in the freezer — completely unwrapped. Let it freeze until solid — at least four hours. Then remove and wrap securely in plastic wrap and a final layer of aluminum foil.

Readers, any tips or suggestions for Carolyn? Maybe some recipes?

 

Related: Graffiti Recipes: The Secret Carrot Cake of Pasanen

(Image: Recipe: Apple Carrot Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Topping and Molasses Cream Cheese Icing - Faith Durand)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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