Are you a cake enthusiast who loves to bake and freeze your creations for later use? If so, you may have heard about the practice of brushing cake layers with simple syrup before freezing.
But does this really help keep your cake moist and fresh? In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of this technique and answer some common questions about freezing cakes.
So grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!
Do I Brush Cake With Simple Syrup Before Freezing?
The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. Some bakers swear by the practice of brushing cake layers with simple syrup before freezing, while others avoid it altogether.
The idea behind brushing cake with simple syrup is to add moisture and flavor to the cake, which can help prevent it from drying out during the freezing process. However, if not done correctly, it can also cause ice crystals to form and lead to freezer burn.
If you do decide to brush your cake layers with simple syrup before freezing, it’s important to follow some guidelines. First, make sure the syrup is not too hot when you brush it onto the cake. It should be cooled to room temperature or slightly warm.
Secondly, don’t overdo it with the syrup. You want to moisten the cake, not soak it. A light brushing of syrup should be enough to add flavor and moisture without making the cake soggy.
It’s also important to note that not all cakes benefit from being brushed with simple syrup before freezing. Cakes that are already moist and dense, such as pound cakes or carrot cakes, may not need the extra moisture. On the other hand, lighter cakes like sponge cakes or angel food cakes may benefit from a light brushing of syrup.
Why Freeze Cake In The First Place?
Professional decorators often freeze their cakes before frosting and decorating them. This is because freezing helps the cake hold its shape and prevents it from crumbling under the weight of the frosting and decorations. Freezing also makes it easier to slice the cake into beautiful pieces when it’s ready to serve.
Another reason why people freeze cakes is for preservation. For instance, it’s a long-standing tradition for married couples to freeze the top layer of their wedding cake and eat it on their first anniversary for good luck. This custom dates back to a time when weddings were celebrated with liqueur-soaked fruitcakes, which were preserved naturally by sugar and alcohol. Nowadays, freezing the top layer of the wedding cake serves as a vestigial ritual, but it’s still a popular tradition among many couples.
However, freezing cakes is not without its challenges. For instance, frozen cakes can lose their quality over time, even if they are well-wrapped and kept at a consistent frozen temperature. Additionally, some cakes may not benefit from being frozen, especially if they are already moist and dense. Therefore, it’s important to consider the type of cake you are freezing and whether or not it will benefit from being frozen before doing so.
What Is Simple Syrup And How Does It Work?
Before we dive into whether or not to brush cake with simple syrup before freezing, let’s first understand what simple syrup is and how it works.
Simple syrup is a mixture of sugar and water that is boiled until the sugar has dissolved. It’s commonly used in cocktails and iced beverages, but it’s also used in baking to add moisture and flavor to cakes.
When you brush cake layers with simple syrup, the syrup seeps into the cake and adds extra moisture to it. This can help prevent the cake from drying out during the freezing process. Additionally, simple syrup can add flavor to the cake, as it can be infused with various ingredients like fruit, herbs, and even alcohol.
However, it’s important to note that adding too much simple syrup can make the cake soggy and cause ice crystals to form during freezing. That’s why it’s crucial to use a light brushing of syrup and to make sure it’s not too hot when applied to the cake.
The Pros Of Brushing Cake With Simple Syrup Before Freezing
There are several benefits to brushing cake with simple syrup before freezing.
Firstly, it adds moisture to the cake, which can help prevent it from drying out during the freezing process. This is especially important if you plan on freezing the cake for an extended period of time. The syrup helps to lock in the moisture and keep the cake fresh.
Secondly, brushing the cake with simple syrup can add flavor to the cake. Depending on the type of syrup used, it can enhance the flavor of the cake and make it more enjoyable to eat.
Thirdly, applying simple syrup before freezing can save time when it comes to decorating the cake. If you brush the cake with syrup before freezing, you won’t have to wait for it to thaw before decorating. This is especially useful if you’re short on time or need to decorate a large number of cakes at once.
Lastly, brushing cake with simple syrup before freezing can help to create a more even texture throughout the cake. The syrup seeps into the cake layers and helps to create a consistent texture throughout, which can be especially beneficial for layered cakes.
The Cons Of Brushing Cake With Simple Syrup Before Freezing
While brushing cake with simple syrup before freezing can have its benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider.
One issue is that the added moisture from the syrup can cause the cake to become too dense or soggy. This can be especially problematic for cakes that are already moist, as mentioned above.
Additionally, if the syrup is not applied evenly or if too much is used, it can cause the cake layers to stick together. This can make it difficult to separate the layers when it’s time to assemble the cake.
Another concern is that brushing the cake with syrup can add extra time and effort to the baking process. Some bakers may not want to take the extra step of making and applying the syrup, especially if they are short on time.
Finally, as mentioned earlier, if the syrup is not applied correctly or if too much is used, it can lead to freezer burn. This can ruin the texture and flavor of the cake, making it less enjoyable to eat.
Tips For Freezing Cake Without Simple Syrup
If you prefer to skip the step of brushing your cake with simple syrup before freezing, there are still some tips you can follow to ensure your frozen cake stays fresh and delicious.
Firstly, make sure your cake is completely cool before wrapping it for freezing. Any excess moisture from steam can cause freezer burn and affect the texture of the cake.
Next, wrap your cake tightly in plastic wrap, making sure to cover it completely and seal all edges. You can also use resealable plastic freezer bags for added protection.
Label your cake with the type of cake and date it was baked, so you know what you’re reaching for when it’s time to defrost.
When you’re ready to eat the cake, remove it from the freezer and defrost it in the fridge until it’s completely thawed. Partially frozen cakes are easier to decorate as they produce fewer crumbs, so you can start frosting as soon as the cake is partially thawed.
Remember not to refreeze a cake once it has been thawed, as this can affect its texture and flavor. If you have leftover slices of cake that you want to freeze individually, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store them in a resealable freezer bag.
By following these tips, you can freeze your cake without simple syrup and still enjoy a delicious treat whenever the craving strikes.