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    How to freeze cake to keep it moist and delicious

    Aaron Hutcherson

    THE WASHINGTON POST – I hate to say it, but there is such a thing as too much cake. As a person living alone who dislikes wasting food and sometimes has to bake for work – a rough life, I know – the problem of excess dessert has come up more than once.

    With cookies, I can bake off only a couple balls of dough at a time to check if I’ve gotten the recipe right where I want it to be. When it comes to pies, it’s much more likely that I’m able to enjoy the full tin over the course of a few days or up to a week. But when it comes to a standard-size layer or Bundt cake? I can only go so far before the cake is past its prime and I have to call it quits.

    But when you’re confronted with more cake than your household can consume, there’s an easy solution: the freezer.

    “Freezing cakes feels like a dirty word to some people, but it is the core of being able to offer quality,” cake artist and instructor Penny Stankiewicz said.

    Whether unfrosted layers, loafs or Bundts, completely decorated and frosted cakes that have already been cut into slices, or anything in between, the steps are all basically the same: Cool the cake completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and pop it in the freezer.

    Whether unfrosted layers, loafs or Bundts, completely decorated and frosted cakes that have already been cut into slices, or anything in between, the steps are all basically the same: Cool the cake completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and pop it in the freezer. PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST

    In all of our cake recipes, there already specific instructions for how to freeze un-frosted cake layers for later, so I’m focussing on cakes that have been fully assembled. Here’s what you need to know so you can bake your cake and eat it (all), too.

    Not all cakes are created equal when it comes to suitability for freezing. Austin, Texas-based pastry chef and restaurant owner Tavel Bristol-Joseph said that cakes high in moisture and fat are best suited for a trip to the freezer and back, such as carrot cake and Caribbean black cake in particular. Pound cakes and standard layer cakes work well, too. Freezing lighter angel food cake can be more risky, as it could become too dry. But if it’s only for a short period of time, such as a week or so, Stankiewicz doesn’t think that quality will deteriorate too much.

    There’s also some debate when it comes to curds often used as fillings. Bristol-Joseph said that they are OK to freeze, but Stankiewicz said it’s “not going to come back very nicely” once defrosted. The two agree that it’s probably not a good idea to freeze ganache. The first issue is appearance, as any moisture chocolate comes into contact with in the freezer could lead to discolouration. And the second is texture: Once frozen, ganache will “never go back to that super soft suppleness”, Stankiewicz said. “At the end of the day, it’s still going to be delicious, but it’s not going to have that creaminess and that deliciousness that it had on the first go.” In terms of frostings, Bristol-Joseph said that cream cheese is the best for freezing because it expands and contracts along with the cake through the freezing and defrosting process. Another perk of cream cheese frosting: When freezing and defrosting a whole cake or cake tier, any dints, dings and other damage can easily be repaired with a heated spatula.

    Buttercreams – American or meringue-based – buttercreams are also well-suited for freezing, though Bristol-Joseph noted that any blemishes aren’t as seamlessly fixed. But butter freezes more solidly than cream cheese, making frozen buttercream less fragile to begin with. Lower down the list are fondant and royal icing, because cracks in fondant are harder to hide and royal icing will take on the colour of whatever it touches.

    According to Stankiewicz, the one frosting that you want to completely stay away from is seven-minute frosting: “It’s not going to last in the refrigerator very long, and it’s definitely not going to last in the freezer.”

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