Freezing crumb-coated cakes?
Posted: 02 February 2013 01:00 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m new to this forum, but I’m looking forward to getting some expert advice! 

I?m going to be making a 3-tier wedding cake (plus a 2-layer 9X13” sheet cake) for my daughter?s wedding, which will be in seven weeks.  It will be Rose?s chocolate butter cake from TCB, filled and frosted with mocha Mousseline buttercream.  If possible, I?d like to get some of it done in advance, so here?s what I?m thinking.  Please tell me if there is any reason (or reasons) why this wouldn?t work or why it might have a detrimental affect on the cake.

I plan to bake the cakes about 2-3 weeks in advance.  I figure it?s going to take me a few days to get all the layers baked.  After cooling, I plan to syrup each layer and refrigerate, well wrapped.  Then I?d like to fill, assemble and crumb-coat each 2-layer cake and freeze them until about 3 days before the wedding.  Then I?d thaw them in the fridge (wrapped) for about 24 hours.  Two days before the wedding I would do the final coat of frosting and piping, then refrigerate to let them firm up.  The day before the wedding I would assemble the tiers and put the whole cake (and the sheet cake) back in the fridge so they?ll be firm when I pack them up for delivery, which will be the next day around noon. 

Is there any reason not to fill and crumb-coat before freezing the cakes?  In my internet searches I?ve found people who say it shouldn?t be done, and others who say it?s fine. (I froze a piece of my “test” cake, fully frosted, for almost 2 months, and it tasted fine when I thawed it and let it come to room temp.)

Thanks so much in advance!

Laurie

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Posted: 02 February 2013 01:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi Laurie!  Welcome to the forum! 

From what you are planning, I see no reason you couldn’t fill/crumbcoat and then freeze your cakes.  I’ve done the very same things for some wedding cakes I’ve made and I’ve found they are just fine!  Keep in mind, some of the larger cakes can take a very long time to thaw.  The only caution I would provide is to ensure your filling/frosting choices are suitable for freezing…not all are.  If you are using a Mouselline buttercream, you will be just fine!  You are probably ok to not even refrigerate the syruped layers—just keep well wrapped at room temperature and fill/frost and refrigerate then.  I will add that I sometimes have issues with the mouselline adhering when I’ve refrigerated the cake—sometimes it needs to be warmed or it will start to separate—hard to explain but I think the fat solidifies and the liquids separate and it’s like a curdled buttercream that happens while I’m frosting the cake (not because it was mixed that way)—so be cautious of your cake temperature.  Good luck and please share some pictures of your results.

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Posted: 02 February 2013 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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You’re very nice to be undertaking such a big project for your daughter’s wedding!

All sounds good, as Sherrie says as long as you are using a Rose buttercream or ganache (i.e., freezable) for the outer layer. 

re: chilling the cake before crumb coating, I find it easiest to syrup, then chill thoroughly, then allow the cake to sit out for a little while so that the interior is still cold and firm but the exterior has warmed a little.  That way the interior is firm enough to help keep the larger layers from breaking or splitting when you handle them, and the exterior is cool, but not too cold to frost.  I haven’t timed the sitting out period, but it’s probably something like 30-90 minutes depending on the size of the cake. 

If it were me, I would go further than crumb coat before freezing, I would frost and decorate completely, and even insert the straws and mark the tiers for stacking, then freeze uncovered until firm, then cover airtight (both plastic and foil).  The reason is that then you will be able to relax more and tend to other things in the days leading up to the wedding.  I would then defrost in the fridge for a couple of days (especially the largest tier might need a couple of days).  I would also choose to transport the tiers unstacked and then stack them on the table they will be presented on. 

Good luck!

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Posted: 02 February 2013 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Sherrie & Julie,
Thanks for your welcome and for your advice.  I?m really glad to learn that I shouldn?t try to frost a well-chilled cake with IMBC.  I think the instructions I?ve read to do that must be referring to ABC instead of IMBC. 

If I decide to go the crumb-coat and then freeze route (and I hadn?t really thought about doing the whole shebang before freezing, but it?s a tempting idea!), I should probably let the 12? cake thaw in the fridge 48 hours and then sit out for an hour or so before frosting.  The 9? and 6? tiers might be ok to defrost for 24 hours before coming out of the fridge.

Although transporting the assembled cake is a scary thought, I?m afraid I?d be too nervous waiting to do it on site.  I bought a 16? X 16? X 16? carton from U-haul and I plan to make the cake base to fit inside it with very little wiggle room.  I?ll slit one side of the box so I can lower it and slide the cake in from the side, then tape the side of the box back in position.  I plan to use a ?? dowel through the center of the cake that will hold all the tiers together (I hope!).  The top end of the dowel will be tall enough to be caught in the middle of where the box flaps intersect.  I?m hoping that will keep everything stable.  After I put the cake on its final resting place I can remove the dowel.  I?m making gumpaste roses that will be arranged on the cake after it?s in place, so the little hole from the dowel shouldn?t show.

I do have some worries about disassembling the cake for cutting/serving.  I thought I would let the straws (supports) sit about 3/16? above the cakes, so it would be easier to insert lifters (of some sort!) without marring the cakes; also so the buttercream wouldn?t stick to the bottom of the cake being removed.  I?m putting satin ribbon around the base of each tier, which should cover the gap.

Again, thanks so much.  It?s so great to be able to share questions and information.
Laurie

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Posted: 02 February 2013 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi Laurie,

I should clarify that most of the problems I had with the mouselline is when I’ve tried to do a final coat over the chilled crumb coat.  I can’t speak for applying the crumb coat to a chilled cake.  I’ve often used clear plastic large storage containers for cake travel.  I put the cake on the lid (usually supported with my large cutting board underneath (it’s 16” x 16”) and put the container over top (inverted).  I can see the cake as I’m lowering the top and I can visibly check on it during transport/etc.  So far it’s worked well but it does take up more room in a fridge.  I think your box idea will work well, too!  Have fun and with the attention and planning you are doing, I’m sure this will turn out well for you!

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