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How to Store Cake Batter for Later Use | So It Stays Fresh

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There are times when I’m making a cake that I only need a small amount, and part of the cake will not be eaten before it becomes stale. So, when those situations occur, I make two layers and freeze one until I need it. But, the thought occurred to me, can you store cake batter for later use?

Cake batter rises better when it is fresh and has just been mixed, but if you cannot use it all at once, it can be stored in the refrigerator for one to two days or in the freezer for up to three months.

Generally, cake batter rises better when it has just been mixed, but if you can’t bake it right away, it should not be left unrefrigerated for more than an hour. After that, it should either be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, depending on when you plan to use it.

How Long Does Cake Batter Last?

Cake Batter Being Whisked in Blue Bowl

Cake batter can remain good for only one hour unrefrigerated, up to two days in the refrigerator, or up to three months in the freezer. Just keep in mind that the length of time from mixing until baking should be as short as possible because as the time passes, so does the effectiveness of the action of the baking powder or other leavening agents in the cake. In a nutshell, the longer the wait, the flatter the cake.

How Long Can Cake Batter Remain at Room Temperature?

Cake batter should not be left at room temperature for more than one hour. Because most cake recipes contain ingredients that spoil rapidly such as eggs and milk, if cake batter is not baked within one hour, it should be put into a covered container in the refrigerator.

How Can You Store Cake Batter?

Cake batter that will not be baked within one hour can be stored in one of two ways, in the refrigerator or in the freezer.

If you plan to bake the cake batter within the next two days, the batter can be placed covered into the refrigerator until needed.  However, if you do not plan to bake the cake batter within two days, it can be placed into a freezer-safe container or freezer bag and frozen for up to three months. It will probably be usable after being frozen for longer than three months, but the taste and texture will not be as good after that length of time.

How Do You Store Cake Batter in the Refrigerator?

The best way to store cake batter in the refrigerator is in the mixing bowl covered by foil or plastic wrap. However, if your refrigerator is as packed as mine usually is and a mixing bowl just will not fit, the batter can be placed in the refrigerator in any covered container such as plastic or glass.

Cake batter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. After the two days are up, the cake batter should be baked or discarded. If you don’t plan to bake the rest of the batter within two days, it should be frozen right away and not after it has sat in the refrigerator for two days.

When you are ready to bake the refrigerated cake batter, it should be allowed to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.

How Do You Store Cake Batter in the Freezer?

If you have cake batter that will not be baked within 48 hours, it can be frozen by using one of these two methods:

  • Freezer-safe containers such as plastic freezer boxes – Pour batter into one or more freezer boxes, label, and place into the freezer until needed. By using more than one freezer box, the batter will take less time to thaw.
  • Freezer bags – Pour the batter into one or more freezer bags. By using a large freezer bag or more than one smaller bag and flattening the batter before freezing, the batter will take less time to thaw when ready to use.

The frozen cake batter should be used within three months for the best results.

When you are ready to bake the frozen cake batter, it should be completely thawed in the refrigerator and then allowed to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.

How Do You Bake Cold or Frozen Cake Batter?

Refrigerated

  1. To bake a cake from batter that has been refrigerated, take the batter out of the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes. 
  2. After the cake batter has been out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, either beat by hand with a spoon or whisk for about 50 strokes, or beat with a mixer for about 2 minutes on medium speed. 
  3. Then pour into the baking pan and bake as instructed.

Frozen

  1. To bake a cake from batter that has been frozen, take the batter out of the freezer and put it into the refrigerator to thaw. This will take one to two days depending on the size of the container.
  2. After the cake batter has thawed, take it out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  3. When the batter has been out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, either beat it by hand with a spoon or whisk for about 50 strokes, or beat with a mixer for about 2 minutes on medium speed. 
  4. If the cake batter was frozen in a freezer bag, after thawing it can be removed from the bag by cutting off a corner of the bag and squeezing into a bowl to be beaten before baking.
  5. Then pour the batter into a baking pan and bake as instructed.

If you do not allow the batter to sit at room temperature before baking, it may be necessary to add 3-5 minutes to the baking time for it to be done. Keep in mind that cake batter that has been refrigerated or frozen will not rise as well as freshly made cake batter and will probably be denser than a freshly made cake.

Why Does Batter Not Rise as Well After Refrigerating or Freezing?

Woman Removing Cake From Oven That Didn't Rise Well

Baking soda and baking powder react in a batter when the liquid is combined with the dry ingredients. But, if the batter is then refrigerated or frozen after the initial reaction takes place but before it is baked, the reaction will not happen again or there will not be as great a reaction as the first and this lack of reaction will not create the ability to make the cake batter rise as it bakes, which produces a cake that is shorter and denser in texture.

Final Thoughts

Even though you can certainly refrigerate or freeze unused cake batter for a limited time so that it is not wasted, the results will not measure up to freshly made cake batter. It will not rise as well and the cake will probably not be as light as you would like and will be denser. The degree to which it will rise will be reduced as the length of time since made increases.

My recommendation would be that if you don’t need the entire cake at the time you originally make the batter, go ahead and bake all the batter in separate cake pans and just freeze the cake or cakes that you don’t need. A cake taken from the freezer and thawed will taste just like a freshly baked cake and the texture will be the same as fresh. Why risk having cake batter that will not rise and will be dense when baked when you can go ahead and bake the batter and freeze it and have what will appear to be a freshly made cake whenever you want it?

Thanks for stoppin’ by!

Jelly Grandma

For more, check out How To Fix Undercooked Cake (That Is Too Moist).

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