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26 July 2011

To Freeze or Not To Freeze: Cake Batter


This is an ongoing debate, a lot of sources say you should never freeze cake batter since baking is all about chemical reactions, but, and this is from my personal experience, I've found that you CAN freeze cake batter and still get optimal results.

To Freeze Cake Batter:

Option 1:  Place the fully mixed cake batter into either an airtight container or a zippered storage bag that has had as much air as possible removed from it; label the container with the name of the recipe and the date*.  When ready to bake,  allow to thaw in the refrigerator enough to portion into either a prepared cake pan or cupcake wrappers, then bake as directed in the recipe**. 

Option 2:  Line cupcake/muffin tins with wrappers, then fill as normal.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze until the batter is frozen solid. (But don't wrinkle the liners, the wrinkles will remain when you bake the cupcakes!  Guess how I know that?)  Once frozen, remove the wrappers from the tray and place in a zippered storage bag.  Remove as much air as possible from the bag; label with the name of the recipe and the date*.  When ready to bake, either allow to come to room temperature or bake from a frozen state, allowing an additional 5 to 7 minutes of baking time.

Option 3:  Place the fully mixed batter into the prepared cake pan, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, then wrap again with aluminum foil; label the wrapped pan with the name of the recipe and the date*.  When ready to bake, allow to thaw slightly in the refrigerator, then remove the plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and bake as directed in the recipe**.

*Cake batter can be frozen for up to 3 months (according to my experiments using an airtight container!); however, for optimal taste and appearance, bake as soon as possible.
**Baking times may need to be extended by several minutes in order to account for the still semi-frozen cake batter.

Bonus Tasty Tip!!
If you plan to use your frozen cake batter to make cupcakes, give one of these methods a try for filling the cupcake wrappers, while minimizing the mess:
  • If you use a zippered storage bag as your freezer container, allow the cake batter thaw completely in the refrigerator, then snip off the bottom corner of the storage bag and pipe the batter into the individual wrappers.
  • If you use an airtight container to freeze the cake batter, allow the batter to thaw in the refrigerator until it has the consistency of soft ice cream, then use your ice cream (or a cookie dough) scoop to portion the batter into the individual wrappers.  Depending on the size of the scoop you use, you may have to do several trial runs to determine how many scoops will yield a full cupcake.

Mmmm....tasty!

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