Freezing Cakes

Read our helpful hints & tips for freezing cakes, including how to freeze cakes, the best types of cakes to freeze and how to defrost cakes. Learn more.

Ever thought of baking a cake ahead of time? Just think of the time, energy and stress you can save yourself by getting your baking done well in advance of a special occasion. But is it possible?

Thankfully it is. It’s easy to freeze cakes in the freezer and then defrost before your event. They can even keep for up to three months in the freezer! Then all you need to do is dollop on some decadent icing and decorate to your heart’s content just before the event when you’re in party prep mode.

So, if you’re ready to make baking and party planning a breeze, here’s what you need to know about freezing cakes.

Can you Freeze Cakes?

Whether you’re making a quintessential Victoria sponge, treating your friends or family to a classic carrot cake or going all out with a chocolate birthday cake, it is possible to freeze cakes. And if your cake has multiple layers, you can freeze them separately ready for decorating when the time is right.

It can be a super helpful thing to do when you’re baking for a big event and you know your time will be precious in the lead up to it. And you can also freeze cake after the event too, if there’s any leftover of course! It’s a great way to cut down on any unnecessary food waste. 

Can you Freeze Cake Icing?

Yes, it is possible to freeze cake icing, but for the best (and the tastiest) results you should try to make it fresh if possible. You can always opt to freeze your cakes and then simply whip up some icing once your sponges have defrosted.
You can’t freeze and defrost a fondant covered cake as the moisture in the freezer makes the fondant sticky. Buttercream on the other hand freezes very well for cakes that have already been decorated. For example, if you have a leftover birthday cake, you can cut and wrap individual slices then defrost a slice at a time whenever you want to enjoy that special birthday taste!
If you want to freeze buttercream on its own that’s possible too. You can do so in a piping bag so it’s ready to use once defrosted or in a sealed container to whip back up after it has defrosted.
Cream filled cakes can also be frozen for up to a month. But for the best results, we recommend simply freezing the sponge and filling with fresh cream and decorating once defrosted. 

How to Freeze Cakes
Picture - wrapping cake for the freezer
Picture - Date label on cake

To freeze your cake effectively, make sure you do the following:

Bake and Cool:  Once you’ve baked your cake or cake layers, it’s so important to let it cool fully before you even think about wrapping and freezing. If you don’t, you’ll trap in excess moisture from the steam.

Wrap: If you have a single cake or you’re working with cake layers, once the cake has cooled you can begin the process of wrapping. It’s best to double wrap using clingfilm (use eco clingfilm if you have it) and then foil. You don’t want any odours or tastes from anything else in your freezer to seep into your cake. With cake layers, for the best results make sure you wrap and freeze them separately. 

Label: We recommend that you write the type of cake and the use by date on a label and attach it to the foil.

Freeze: The recommended freezing time for cake is three months or less. Any longer than this and it will start to lose its taste and texture.

Cakes that you can Freeze

The majority of cakes can be frozen for up to three months. Cakes that are packed with flavour including lemon drizzle cake, carrot cake, chocolate cake andfruit cake freeze very well and will retain their flavour for up to three months.
If you want to freeze a cheesecake for example, the good news is that it is possible. But it’s best to only leave it for around a month in the freezer. The same goes for any cakes topped with Italian or Swiss buttercream.

How to Defrost Cake

It is super simple to defrost your cake, and you have a couple of options. Either in the fridge or at room temperature.
Defrosting in the fridge takes a little longer at around eight hours, but often it’s better to let your cakes defrost at a slower rate. If you do decide to defrost at room temperature, it will usually take around two to three hours.
Whichever option you choose, simply take your frozen cakes out of the freezer and pop them either in the fridge or on a wire rack in your kitchen so they can defrost. Wait until they have completely thawed out before serving. You might think that you should unwrap them from their clingfilm and foil, but it’s not necessary to unwrap before thawing. If you’re defrosting at room temperature, you can do so unwrapped, but your cake will start to go stale if you leave it out for too long. For cakes that should be stored in the fridge, like a cheesecake, always defrost in the fridge. 

More Handy Baking Tips

Now you know how to freeze cakes, you’re well on your way to perfecting your party planning. And why not check out our other tips and tricks to wow your guests with your beautiful bakes, from making your cakes moist to knowing how to perfectly melt chocolate

And check out our baking powder, vanilla extract and baking soda to take your bakes to the next level!

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