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How to bake in advance: freezing cakes and cupcakes

Making cupcakes ahead of time and freezing your cakes is a great time saver for the busy home baker.

If you’ve ever wanted to be the baker who miraculously produces a perfect cake stand of baked treats at a moment’s notice, help is here!

You may not be familiar with freezing when it comes to cakes and cupcakes, but it is easy to do and can save you plenty of preparation time.

While we always bake fresh in our stores and haven’t tested the recipes in our cookbooks for freezing, lots of our home bakers have reported success when it comes to freezing their own baking so we thought we’d share some helpful tips with you here.

Baking cupcakes for children’s parties, catering for big events and even supplying cakes for weddings can be made all the more easy with the aid of a freezer. Cakes can be whipped out of the freezer and defrosted in just a few hours and, providing they are well protected from the icy depths of the freezer drawer, many baked goodies will chill quite happily until needed.

A little careful preparation can go a long way when it comes to maintaining the texture of your bakes and we recommend that you allow cakes to cool completely before freezing.

Condensation can cause the sponges to go a little soggy, so it’s important to let them cool thoroughly so that any excess moisture can evaporate.

Freezer burn is the enemy of frozen sponges and wrapping your cakes up for the cold will help to prevent them from drying out under the harsh conditions. Sponge layers for larger cakes can be wrapped individually with lots of cling film or foil and sturdy polythene or re-sealable bags are great for storing cupcakes.

When the day of reckoning has arrived and you’re ready to defrost your sponges, allow a few hours for them to come up to room temperature slowly before frosting and serving. If you are baking cakes or cupcakes for an event, it is worthwhile baking up a test batch or two so you can be sure your cakes will survive the cold.

If possible, try baking the recipe fresh and separating it into two lots. Test half the batch on the day of baking to sample the cakes at their best and try the other half after it has been frozen and defrosted. This way, you can be sure the recipe will withstand the freezing process and turn out the texture and flavour you desire before you commit to a large batch. And let’s face it, we love any excuse for a taster!