Did you make a cake that was a bit too big for your party or special occasion? Or maybe you made it in advance and stuck the leftover cake in the freezer to enjoy later?
It’s common to freeze food items when you make more than you need. More often than not, you can stretch the life of your food and not lose much quality. But what about when you defrost too much cake and need to refreeze the leftovers? Can you refreeze without damaging the cake, or is it too late?
The short answer is yes, you can refreeze a cake you’ve already defrosted. However, for best results, you shouldn’t freeze decorated cakes. The decorations will undoubtedly get damaged in the freezer, and not all frostings hold up to freezing very well, but there are steps you can take to retain its flavor and quality.
How Can You Refreeze Cake?
Freezing a cake is a simple process as long as you know what steps to follow. The last thing you want is to defrost your cake only to find it sparkling with freezer burn. So, follow these steps to ensure your cake’s quality remains ideal.
1. Bake and Cool Your Cake
You must let your cake cool completely before freezing it. When a cake first comes out of the oven, it’ll release steam for quite a while as it cools. If you put a warm cake in the freezer, you’re just asking for ice crystals to form. Ice crystals will ultimately cause your defrosted cake to come out mushy.
2. Cut and Wrap in Plastic Wrap
Cutting the cake into individual cake slices will make defrosting much quicker. It’ll also make it easier only to defrost what you need. However, no rule says you do or don’t have to pre-cut your cake. Simply wrap each piece in Saran wrap. Again, you must allow the cake to cool completely before wrapping it up, as the cling film can cause the cake to stick if it’s still damp.
3. Wrap in Aluminum Foil
After you’ve secured the cake in plastic wrap, wrap it in a layer of aluminum foil to give it a second layer of protection. The foil will help keep moisture from seeping in. Don’t press too hard and try not to wrinkle the foil, as you might get streaks or tears in your cake. Write the type of cake on top of the foil, so you don’t forget which is which.
4. Box It Up
Once you’ve wrapped up the cake, place it in an airtight container. If you want, you can put a label on the lid with the cake’s name, so you don’t have to fuss with opening containers. Don’t freeze the cake any longer than three months for the best results.
How Do You Thaw Cake?
When it comes time to thaw your cake out, it’s best to let it come up to room temperature on its own. Running it under hot water or heating it in the microwave could cause it to become mushy. On the other hand, if the cake is too moist, you’ll have trouble decorating it.
Note: It could take up to 24 hours for your cake to thaw completely, so be sure to take it out of the freezer well in advance of when you’ll need it.
How Do You Refreeze Cake?
Fortunately, refreezing a cake is as simple as freezing it. Simply package it up in plastic wrap and foil, then store it in an airtight, freezer-proof container. Don’t forget to label your package, though, so you’ll know exactly which cake is in the packaging.
When refreezing cake, you can store it for another three months, maximum. However, it’s always best to try and only defrost what you’ll need, which is why it’s wise to portion out your cake when you freeze it initially.
Here are some of the common questions asked about refreezing cake.
How many times can you refreeze cake?
You can essentially refreeze cake as many times as you’d like. However, you risk a decrease in quality each time you allow it to thaw and refreeze. Although the risk of any foodborne illness is incredibly low, it’s also a concern you should be aware of.
How long is a thawed cake good?
A thawed cake will stay good in the refrigerator for about two days after thawing. After that, it’ll begin to go stale. Unfortunately, once the cake starts to dry out, you won’t be able to recover it. That’s why portioning your cake when you freeze it is beneficial.
If you only thaw what you’re sure you’ll eat, you’re less likely to risk waste.
Can you freeze a decorated cake?
You can freeze a decorated cake. However, because you don’t want to destroy the decorations, you won’t be able to wrap it up the same way you would an undecorated cake. The best way to freeze a cake you’ve already decorated is to store it unwrapped in a freezer-proof container. It
How do you know when cake is bad?
There are several tell-tale signs of a bad cake. The first is crumbliness. Many cakes will dry out and become very crumbly when they start to go stale. Not only does this make for an unpleasant texture, but it also causes a mess.
Another clue that the cake may have gone bad is the flavor of the cake. First, you’ll notice a very distinct stale flavor. And, last, if you see mold on your cake, that’s a sure sign it’s time for the trash.
Can old cake make you sick?
A stale cake is unlikely to make you sick. Certain types of cake might be more at risk for bacteria than others. However, if a cake has genuinely gone off, it could cause a foodborne illness.
Mold, bacteria, and other germs can grow on a cake, especially if you leave it out at room temperature for an extended period. Always refrigerate your cake once you’ve thawed it to minimize your risk.
If you’re not big into baking, freezing a large cake so you can take it out as needed is a great choice. The refreezing process is simple if you follow the proper steps to freeze and thaw foods initially. Take care to use the steps listed here, and you’ll be on your way to having months’ worth of cake stored in your freezer in no time.