Because of the easiness of it all, I really like to keep homemade cake mixes on hand. But not all of our favorite from-scratch cakes can be had out of a mix.
But that favorite from-scratch cake batter can be frozen! It’s just like freezing cookie dough to be baked later for the ease of it (or from the lack of an oven at the moment). I’ve read about freezing cake batter and I’ve seen it in bakery supply catalogs, but I’ve never tried freezing it myself until Junebug was having problems with hers and asked about it over on the Chickens in the Road forum.
Freezing cake batter is a great way to always have cupcakes on hand, if you really want something but not a whole something. Freezing the batter ahead of time would work great when you have a large outing planned to save on the preparations–make and freeze the batter a month or so ahead, bake the cake(s) the day before, and not worry about them the day of. You also don’t have to worry about them breaking in the freezer the way I’ve had pre-baked then frozen cakes break from someone mishandling them when trying to find something.
Caitlin spent the night a few weekends ago, so we used my latest experiment idea to play in the kitchen. We were able to play with some new-to-her gadgets, have something sweet to eat, and freeze some batter for later.
Both of us thought carrot cake (after I explained to her what it was) sounded good. The cream cheese frosting sold her on it, really. I combined a few different recipes together to fit what I had on hand and what we liked.
We mixed the cake batter (and baked a few mini cakes to eat immediately!), then continued on with the experiment.
To freeze for later:
You can either put the batter into the pans you’re going to bake them in later or put it into a freezer bag.
We filled twelve mini cakes with the batter, wrapped with plastic wrap and sat them in the freezer. The remaining batter was put into the freezer bag.
Because of a higher sugar content, batters will take longer to freeze than other foods. This particular batter took more than 12, but less than 40 hours to freeze. I checked at 12 hours and it was still just a little soft. I was away from home that day and I didn’t check them again until the following day when they were frozen. Commercially frozen batter goes through an extremely cold freezer with air circulating so it is able to be frozen at a much quicker rate than we can do at home.
When the batter in the pans are frozen, take them out of the pans and place in freezer bags (make sure you mark them!) to be baked later.
To bake cakes frozen in pans:
Place however many cakes you’d like into the pans they were initially frozen in. (My pan was lopsided when I put them into the freezer!)
Put into a cold oven, turn the oven on to temperature indicated and add 20-30 minutes extra to the baking time–this allows the batter to thaw.
To bake batter frozen in a bag:
Remove bag from freezer and allow the batter to thaw completely. You can either snip the corner of the bag and squeeze the batter into your pan or open the bag and spoon the batter out. Bake in a preheated oven for the original time indicated.
The cakes made from the frozen batter turned out just as moist as the cakes from the un-frozen batter and rose just as well, too!
I personally don’t know how long batter will last in the freezer–I’ve seen 6 months everywhere I’ve read, but this experiment was over just a 3 day stretch. The freezer bag of batter and a few minis are still in the freezer. If I can stay out of them, I will report back after 6 months!
Or I guess I could make more