How to Store and Freeze Cakes
Knowing how to store and freeze cakes can be a huge game changer when it comes to preparing delicious cakes ahead of time for parties or events.
Let’s take my Biscoff Caramel Cake for example. This cake includes a Biscoff cookie crust, cream cheese cake layers, caramel filling and a Biscoff buttercream. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to make all those elements in one day?!
Why This Works
- Make cakes ahead of time. Making a three tiered layer cake with delicious filling and frosting takes time! But knowing how to store a cake, how to freeze a cake — or better yet, how to freeze a decorated cake — can be a huge time saver!
- Break up the process. With desserts that have a few elements you are making (cake, filling, frosting, etc.), it’s much easier to make the cake ahead of time, make the filling the next day, and then make the frosting the day of. Breaking up the process can help make the process much less overwhelming!
Supplies for Storing Cakes and Freezing Cakes
- Plastic Wrap: The plastic wrap helps the cake layers stay fresh and can keep them from producing condensation.
- Aluminum Foil: Using aluminum foil will be an additional step depending on the length of freezer time.
- Cake Layers: Make sure the cake layers are completely cool before prepping them for storing in the fridge or freezer.
- Fridge/Freezer: Depending on how long you are wanting to store you cake layers, you’ll use the fridge or freezer.
How to Store and Freeze Cakes
- Let your cake layers cool completely. When making cakes ahead of time, the best thing to do is let the cake layers cool completely before you start prepping them to store. If you tried wrapping cake layers that weren’t fully cooled, the remaining heat/warmth from the cake layers would produce condensation, which would affect how the cake layers are stored and their texture.
- Once completely cooled, wrap the layers. Grab the plastic wrap and wrap each cake layer individually in plastic wrap. I like to do two layers just to make sure the cake is wrapped completely. (If you want to level the cake layers before wrapping and storing them you can. If not, you’ll just need to level them prior to stacking.)
- Store. Store the cakes in the fridge or freezer (depending on your storing time) on a flat surface.
Tips for Storing Cakes in the Fridge
Store the cakes on a flat surface. If you have an uneven surface, the soft cake will get indented or bend as it’s chilling.
Store cake layers wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. I double wrap the cake in plastic warp to ensure it’s completely covered. This reduces the risk of the cake layers drying out and limits the condensation. If you are only storing them for a day or too, no need to use the aluminum foil.
Store in the fridge for 1-2 days. If you are making the cake layers a day or two ahead of time, you can store them wrapped in the fridge just fine. I wouldn’t have them in the fridge for longer than 2 days before completing the cake. If you want to make the cake layers more in advance, then you’ll want to freeze them. (See the freezing cake tips below!)
Tips for Freezing Cakes
Store the cakes on a flat surface. The same with storing in the fridge, if your cakes are frozen on an uneven surface, they’ll relax over those bumps or uneven surface. You want the cake layers to remain flat.
Properly wrap the cakes. If you are storing the cake layers in the freezer for less than 7 days, you can wrap them in plastic wrap. (I still would double wrap them in plastic wrap just to be sure they are completely covered.) If you are freezing cakes for longer than 7 days, add an additional layer of aluminum foil. This will help reduce the change for any kind of freezer burn and will keep the cakes fresher.
Use within an appropriate time frame. For best results and freshness, I would recommend using the frozen cake layers within 2-3 months. Write the use by date on the outside of the aluminum foil as a reminder.
Store in freezer safe container for additional freshness. If you are planning on storing the cake layers in the freezer for a few months, you can add an extra layer by storing the plastic-wrapped, aluminum foil-wrapped cake layers in an airtight, freezer safe container or Ziplock bag(s). Make sure it’s the right size so you don’t have to squish the cake layers in.
Storing and Freezing Buttercream
- You can make the buttercream ahead of time too, if needed. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- Remove and let thaw in the fridge. Re-beat the buttercream to create the light, fluffy consistency.
How to Freeze a Decorated Cake
- Let the buttercream set. Once you’ve finished decorating your cake, flash freeze it in the freezer for 30+ minutes until the buttercream is set.
- Wrap the cake. Once the buttercream is set (meaning you can touch the frosting and it doesn’t move or dent), wrap the cake tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap. If you are storing the cake for longer than 7 days, then wrap in an additional layer of aluminum foil.
- Store in the freezer or fridge. Store the decorated and wrapped cake in the fridge for 1-2 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- Properly thaw. Remove the cake from the freezer and let thaw in the fridge overnight while still wrapped. Yo can remove the aluminum foil, but keep the plastic wrap on. The next morning, remove the cake from the fridge and unwrap and store in a cake box or airtight cake container so the cake won’t dry out.
How to Thaw Cake Layers
- Remove from the freezer and let thaw in the fridge. When freezing cake layers, you always want to remove the cake layers from the freezer and let them thaw in the fridge. This makes the thawing process slower, which is better for the cake layers. I usually remove the cakes from the freezer and let them thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Always thaw while still wrapped. When the cakes thaw, condensation forms. If you thaw the cakes while they are still wrapped, the condensation will form on the wrapping instead of on the cakes.
- Let them thaw for appropriate time. Cakes will take about 8 hours to thaw in the fridge, so that’s why I recommend thawing overnight. Layer and decorate the cake with chilled cake layers for an easier process.
How to Store Leftover Cake
You’ve made your delicious cake and everyone loved it! But you have a few slices left. Here’s the best way to store leftover cake:
- Cut. Cut the rest of the cake into individual slices.
- Wrap. Cover each slice in plastic wrap.
- Store. Store the wrapped cake slices in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you want to freeze the slices, wrap them in an additional layer of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 1 month. Let thaw in the fridge overnight while still wrapped.
Cake Freezing and Storing FAQs
Yes you can! Freezing cake is a great way to make cake ahead of time. You can freeze individual cake layers, cake slices and fully decorated cakes. All you need is plastic wrap, airtight containers or Ziplock bags and a fridge or freezer! See the above for best tips!
Let the cake layers cool completely before wrapping them in plastic wrap. I would double wrap them to ensure best results. If you are storing for 1-2 days, store in the fridge. If you are storing for longer, store in the freezer. If you are storing in the freezer for longer than 7 days, wrap the cake layers in an additional layer of aluminum foil.
When removing the cake layers from the freezer, place them in the fridge to thaw overnight. Keep them still wrapped. The next morning, remove them from the fridge until they come to room temperature or are still barely chilled.
Yes you can! To freeze a decorated cake, flash freeze for 15-20 minutes until the buttercream is firm. Remove and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Then store in the freezer for up to 7 days. If you want to freeze the cake for longer than 7 days, wrap in an additional layer of aluminum foil. The decorated cake will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Remove from the freezer and let thaw in the fridge overnight. Keep the wrapping on. The next morning, remove from the fridge and uncover. Store in a cake box or cake container to keep the cake from drying out. Let come to room temperature before serving.
Definitely! To freeze buttercream, store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Remove and let thaw in the fridge. Remove from the fridge and let come to room temperature. Place the buttercream in a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy again.
Depends. If the filling and/or frosting contains a dairy product, you’ll need to refrigerate the cake. If not, you are fine to store the cake at room temperature. However, any type of cake will last longer if stored covered or in an airtight container in the fridge. Cake will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for 6-7 days.
Yes you can! Learning how to store and freeze cakes can be helpful in making cake in advance. You can make the cake layers, fillings and frostings days and even weeks in advance. Follow my best practices and tips above for the best results!
If you are freezing an entire cake, remove the cake the night before and let thaw in the fridge overnight. Keep the cake wrapped. The next morning, remove the cake from the fridge and remove the wrappings. Store the cake in a covered container or cake box to keep the cake from drying out until you are serving it.
Now that you know how to store and freeze cakes, it’s time to make one!