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Baking a cake can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be time-consuming and stressful, especially when you’re trying to prepare for a special occasion like a birthday or wedding. Fortunately, there is a solution that can make the process of making a cake much easier and less stressful: freezing your cake layers.

Freezing your cake layers ahead of time can save you time and effort, allowing you to do all your baking in bulk and have a ready supply of cake layers for months to come. In this post, I will explain how to freeze cake layers, why this is now my go-to process, and provide tips for successful cake freezing and decorating.

How to Freeze Cake Layers

The process of freezing cake layers is relatively simple. Once you have baked your cake layers, allow them to cool completely. Then, wrap each layer individually in plastic wrap. I prefer to cover them in at least 3 layers of plastic wrap, alternating directions. Label the layer with masking tape and write the flavor of the cake and the date it was baked. Place the layer in the freezer laying flat on a shelf. Once fully frozen, it will be very hard to the touch. At this point, you may vacuum seal the layer if you are trying to get the longest shelf life. If you plan to use your frozen cake round within 6 months, then the multiple layers of the plastic wrap should be sufficient.

When you’re ready to use a frozen cake layer, simply remove it from the freezer and begin assembling your cake. I prefer to make a buttercream frosting for all of my cakes as it tastes great and is easy to throw together. After testing both ways, I prefer to always assemble and decorate my cake right after pulling the layers out of the freezer. If you apply your crumb coat and then start decorating, you will notice that the frosting comes out much cleaner, and does not get mixed with little crumb bits.

I also like to insert plastic straws from the top down, going through the layers. I primarily do this only when I plan to bring the cake to a different location. The last cake I made was a two-layer birthday cake for my niece. Since I live in Arizona, we have crazy drivers and temperatures that heat up rather quickly. Neither of these makes transporting a cake easy. With the added straws, the cake stays together much easier and I am less stressed about ruining the Barbie cake I made for her haha.

Transporting Tip: Put a dollop of frosting underneath the bottom layer of the cake as this will prevent it from sliding off of your cake board. AND… using plastic straws or small wooden dowels through your cake layers will make the entire cake sturdy to survive the trip.

Why Freeze Cake Layers?

There are many benefits to freezing cake layers. First and foremost, it can save you time and effort. Instead of baking a cake from scratch every time you need one, you can have a ready supply of cake layers on hand. This can be particularly helpful if you have multiple events or occasions coming up, as you can do all your baking at once and then focus on decorating when the time comes.

Freezing cake layers can also help ensure consistent quality. When you freeze a cake layer, it stops the aging process, which can help preserve the cake’s texture and flavor. This means that when you thaw the cake layer, it will taste just as fresh as it did when you first baked it.

Finally, freezing cake layers can make decorating a cake much easier. When cake layers are frozen, they are firmer and more stable, which can make them easier to work with when frosting and decorating. This can be particularly helpful if you’re trying to create intricate designs or decorations on your cake.

Emergency Tip

Oh no, did you run out of time baking your cake or ran into a cake catastrophe? If you have been doing cakes for all of your family events, sooner or later you will run into a pinch. Maybe your cake accidentally got burned, or the dog knocked it onto the floor while it was cooling. If anything like this ever happens, just know that it is OKAY. These things happen to every at-home baker. What I am going to do is give you a little tip that will save the day.

Surely you already know that you could run to the grocery store and pick up a pre-made cake. The issue is that those cakes clearly taste like you ran to Walmart to pick up a cake. Usually, if you are baking cakes for your family, you want something that tastes homemade. I recently discovered that many cake shops will sell frozen cake rounds. This is a game-changer. If you are in a pinch and need a few cake layers, try searching “Cake decorating shop near me”. Whatever pulls up will most likely sell frozen cake rounds, and if they do not, they definitely will know who does.

While this little trick has saved the day before, I still prefer to make and freeze my own cake layers. Below you will find my go-to recipe for making chocolate cake rounds. This recipe is a favorite because it tastes amazing, and it is really hard to mess up.

While one of the ingredients is a box of cake mix, do not let this fool you into dismissing this recipe entirely. Many professional cake shops will use a premixed powder similar to what you find in a cake box mix, and then will add other ingredients to it. These cake boxes contain perfect ratios of ingredients to ensure your cake comes out moist and perfect. I then add in a bunch of other ingredients to make the flavor and texture perfect. No one will have any clue that you used a cake box mix as one of your ingredients, because we are using all of the other ingredients that would normally be used in baking a cake from scratch. We just get to swap out cake mix for baking powder and away we go.

Please give this recipe a try. Once you taste it, this will be the recipe you always go back to for making a chocolate layered cake.

Ready When You Are: Frozen Cake Rounds

The perfect recipe for making a chocolate cake round that you can keep fresh in the freezer for up to 6 months.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 20
Calories 253 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Electric Stand Mixer Kitchenaids are my favorite
  • 1 Measuring Cup For dry ingredients
  • 1 Measuring Cup For wet ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon
  • 1 Teaspoon
  • 2 8" cake pans

Ingredients
  

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup coffee Let it cool before adding to the batter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup melted butter unsalted
  • 3 large eggs Brown cage-free is preferred
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350º
  • Make your coffee and melt the butter in the microwave
  • Line your cake pans with parchament paper.
  • Rub butter or lard on the inside of the pan and on top of the parchment paper
  • Pour a little flour into the pan and shake it around until it fully covers all of the bottom and sides. Tap the sides to remove excess and discard
  • Add all dry ingredients to the bowl of your mixer
  • Using the paddle attachment, mix until the ingredients are combined
  • Add in the remaining wet ingredients and mix on low for 1 minute
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue mixing at a medium speed for two minutes
  • Pour cake batter into your pans and place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out nearly clean
  • Let the cake cool for five minutes and then remove it from the pan by flipping it upside down onto a cooling rack
  • After 30 minutes your cake layer will be cool enough to wrap in 3 layers of plastic wrap
  • Place a piece of masking tape on the wrapped cake and write the flavor and date it was baked
  • Freeze the cake layer and use it within 6 months

Notes

Do not overfill your cake pans! Cake pans vary in depth, so it is important to never fill your cake pan past 2/3 full or you risk it overflowing while it bakes.
This method of freezing will work on other flavors of cake too
This recipe will also make three 6″ rounds or two 8″ rounds
If you do not want to use coffee, you can replace with water. Coffee is used in chocolate recipes because it pulls out the flavors of chocolate making it richer. You will not be able to taste a coffee flavor in this recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 109gCalories: 253kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 4gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 345mgPotassium: 143mgFiber: 1gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 237IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Chocolate, Dessert, Easy Prep
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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