Freezing an iced and decorated birthday cake

(6 Posts)
Beamae Mon 22-Jul-13 12:26:26

I'm definitely a beginner when it comes to baking. Last year I spent the day before my twins' birthday in a sweaty frenzy, baking one ruined cake after another and ended up rushing out to Tesco just before closing, buying two cakes and scraping the icing off to ice them myself. It was super stressful.

This year I was thinking of starting now, a month in advance. I've ordered a number 2 shape baking tin and two silver boards to ice the cakes on. What I want to do, but am not sure how to, is to bake, ice and decorate the cakes at a leisurely pace, allowing for many failed disasters, and then to freeze them.

Has anyone got any advice?

Firstly, is there a foolproof beginners cake recipe that freezes well? I don't think we particularly need any fancy cake. It could just be a vanilla sponge? Or one vanilla one chocolate sponge? Does that kind of cake freeze well?

Secondly, what kind of icing should I be aiming for to freeze?

I am taking the coward's route and will be buying ready made decorations online. I'm not sure what yet, whether they would be edible or not. Would I put these on the cakes before freezing so that they set into the icing? Or do I wait to defrost the cakes and then stick them on?

And lastly, how do I defrost them? Just on the counter, the day before? Or in the fridge?

Thanks in advance. That's a lot of questions to answer!

StainlessSteelCat Mon 22-Jul-13 12:50:56

Plain cake recipe : weigh eggs (in shells), then weigh out same amount of butter/marg, self raising flour and sugar. Cream butter and sugar together, add eggs and beat in one by one, then mix in flour. If you want vanilla cake, add tsp vanilla extract when you add the eggs. If you want chocolate, remove a tablespoon (or 2) of flour from weighed out amount, replace with same number of tablespoons of coca powder. Bake at 180C for ... well, I'd start checking after 20 mins for new shape tin, it might take up to 45 mins. I've not used those number tins, but I'd guesstimate using a 3 egg recipe per tin (ie weigh 3 eggs, then use that weight for other ingredients).

That should freeze fine for a couple of weeks, up to month max. Just make sure you cool the cake completely then wrap so it's air tight (cling film and foil, then a bag). Defrost over night not in fridge, so take it out the night before you want to decorate.

I wouldn't freeze icing, at least not on the cake. Butter cream does freeze well, but you have to whip it a bit again before using. I've never tried freezing other icing ... I would imagine it wouldn't work too well, I've never seen it recommended.

To decorate, cover with butter cream and then add your bought decorations on the day, or the evening before. Cover with tin (or up turned pan, or loosely with foil) until wanted. If you want fondant, you can buy ready rolled fondant. Cover cake with layer of something sticky (butter cream or warmed jam) and lay fondant on top, smooth down and cut off excess.

Alternatively, practise a few times with both cake and icing - I have yet to make an inedible mistake wink

Beamae Mon 22-Jul-13 14:31:49

Haha. We did eat the mistakes from last year. One was flat and dense, one looked like a volcano.

Is 180 a non fan temperature?

Thanks for the tips!

StainlessSteelCat Mon 22-Jul-13 15:43:43

180C is what I use in both fan and non fan - though I might use 170C in fan if I'm feeling conscientious.

LoveSewingBee Tue 30-Jul-13 19:21:15

Use Betty Crocker marble cake mix (Tesco). I find that the BBC website has some very good icing recipes. You can also decorate with shapes pressed out of rolled out (coloured) marzipan.

The Betty Crocker mixes are pretty much fool proof. They do need quite a few eggs though. You can test freshness of eggs by putting each egg just before use in a deep bowl with water. If it sinks to the bottom and remains there then it is fresh. Also make sure that the eggs are room temperature when you use them.

I would not freeze an iced cake, but you can easily freeze the cake itself and defrost it a day before the birthday to decorate. The Betty Crocker ready made icing (Tesco/waitrose, etc) also tastes good, it comes in a number of flavours.

LeaveTheBastid Tue 30-Jul-13 21:07:40

Do not freeze an iced cake, especially if you are using fondant! It'll drip colour as it comes back to room temperature and look like a big sticky shiny mess. Same goes for putting fondant in the fridge.

Bake and freeze the cakes by all means, but never an iced cake. My heart drops when I hear of people doing this grin

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