You don’t hear many people talking about storing cake batter since it’s not a common thing to do. When most people make the batter, it’s put in the oven right away so it can get the best baking results.
Yes, baking it right away is ideal, but sometimes life gets in the way and you can’t follow your plans to bake it. If this ever happens to you, don’t worry too much as you’ll most likely be able to store it for later.
Although you might not think it, a lot of cake batters can be quite forgiving and you don’t always have to bake them immediately after mixing everything. The amount of slack you can get from your batter depends on what’s in it of course, so you’ll be more likely to get away with storing a basic batter rather than something that’s a little more complex.
It’s generally recommended to bake the cake batter straight away since it gives the best results, but you can do a few things that can add a few hours, days, or weeks to your cake batter’s lifetime.
How Long Can Cake Batter Sit Out Before Baking?
The length of time that cake batter can sit out at room temperature is largely dependent on the type of batter being made, the leavener being used, the temperature of the room, and so on.
We can’t say exactly how long your cake can sit out for, but we can give a general answer.
You shouldn’t leave cake batter out at room temperature for any longer than an hour. Cake batter that contains ingredients that spoil quickly, such as eggs, milk, or buttermilk, will be at risk of going bad. If you are to store your batter for a while, make sure to store it covered in the refrigerator.
This timing applies strictly to a safety standpoint. You don’t want lots of harmful bacteria to start growing in your cake batter, do you?
Another thing you might be wondering is how long the cake batter can sit out whilst maintaining its rising ability. Over time, cake batter will slowly lose its ability to rise, whether it’s through the loss of air that’s beaten into it, or the chemical leavener just isn’t going to do the job to rise it.
If you’re not planning on baking your cake right away, it should go in the fridge to help it last a bit longer. This will prevent bacteria growth and may help to trap more gas and maintain the chemical leavener for longer.
Can Cake Batter Be Refrigerated?
The refrigerator is the perfect way to preserve most foods, so you’ll be glad to know that it does an effective job of keeping your cake batter in good condition.
Cake batter can be refrigerated overnight or up to 48 hours to maintain its freshness and ability to rise. Once ready to bake, the batter can either be allowed to warm up for 30 minutes or baked straight from the refrigerator.
Although the refrigerator is great for storing your cake batter, it’s by no means going to completely stop it from losing any air that’s been beaten into it. That precious air that’s keeping it tall and mighty will slowly escape the longer it sits, so it’s better to bake it sooner rather than later.
Another thing to consider is that your chemical leavener, whether it’s a baking powder or baking soda, will eventually become ineffective and won’t rise the cake much.
Keep in mind that the batter needs to be covered in order to stop any potential drying of the surface. You can do this with some form of lid if you have one, or you can just use plastic wrap to tightly cover it.
All in all, it can be refrigerated, but the longer you leave it, the more disappointing the results will be. If you can’t bake the cake right away, try to only store it in the fridge for a few hours (or up to overnight) in order to still get good results.
Can Cake Batter Be Frozen?
An ideal way to store anything long term is to use your freezer. This is great for freezing any form of cake, whether it’s a cupcake or a full cake batter.
Cake batter can be frozen in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to three months. Once ready to use, the batter should be allowed to defrost in the refrigerator or at room temperature before baking.
Although it’s a relatively effective way for storing your batter, it’s not perfect. After all, cake batter is best baked as soon as it’s mixed, so there’s bound to be at least some problems along the way.
Before you go ahead and freeze your batter, remember that it’s not 100% likely to bake in the same way. It might not rise much or at all, and it’ll therefore be flat and dense, or it might be perfectly fine. It all depends on the type of cake, leavener, time, and how it’s stored.
For example, cakes that have plenty of air added to them through beaten eggs won’t work very well in the freezer. The batter is likely to lose all the air that was beaten in and it will, therefore, have a closer texture and isn’t guaranteed to rise very well.
Cake batter that contains oil (generally the premade mixes) can freeze quite well. The oil, paired with the chemical additives in the mix help to stabilize the cake batter and make it last slightly longer.
An alternative method is to bake the batter and freeze the cooled cake in slices, ready for use whenever they’re needed. This ensures that you’ll still get a decent cake when you need it.
How To Freeze And Defrost Cake Batter
There are a few different ways you can effectively freeze your cake batter. The way you do it is completely up to you.
To freeze the cake batter, you’ll want to get a few freezer-safe ziplock bags or some plastic wrap. Let’s have a look at my two preferred methods:
- Ziplock Bag Freezing
This method is very simple and just involves getting a thick, airtight freezer bag (or two) to put your batter. You can also use a completely airtight plastic or glass container if you prefer.
I personally like to freeze my cake batter in multiple smaller bags, so they defrost fast, but it’s up to you what you do..
Simply pour the cake batter into the ziplock bags and get any excess air out before tightly sealing them up. If you’re worried about leaking, you can put another bag around that one. Once it’s full, you can freeze it until you’re ready to use it.
When it comes to baking it, you should leave it to defrost in your fridge until it’s fully thawed and back to the same consistency as it was originally. Make sure to move the batter around in the bag to make sure that everything is evenly distributed and thawed.
At this point, you can either open the zip of the bag or cut off the end and pipe the batter into the cake tray, ready for baking. You can either bake it whilst it’s still cold from the fridge or let it get to room temperature first. I’d recommend letting everything thaw at room temperature if the batter was frozen in small ziplock bags. This means that it will thaw quickly and be ready to bake in no time.
- Cake Tin Freezing
Another method you can try if you don’t want to pour your batter into ziplock bags is to simply freeze it in the cake tin.
If you’re doing this, make sure to thoroughly grease the baking tin before pouring in the batter, wrapping it in plastic wrap, and freezing.
You want to make sure that you’re wrapping the cake tin tightly in order to prevent freezer burn from ruining the batter.
From here, you can just leave it in there until you’re ready to use it.
When you want to bake it, take it out of the freezer and put it in your fridge around 24 hours in advance (the timing varies depending on how thick it is). Alternatively, you can leave it out at room temperature for a few hours for a faster thaw.
After it’s completely thawed, you can bake it as normal (it may take slightly longer to bake if it’s still cold).