Can you freeze vegan cake? [Complete Guide]

  • Author: Ben
  • Date: April 8, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

If you intend to keep it in good condition before later removing it, freezing a vegan cake isn’t much different from handling a non-vegan cake. To cover the range of questions we get asked about storing and keeping vegan cakes as tasty as possible, we have divided up the sections below to cover the most popular topics. So, let’s find out, can you freeze vegan cake and our top tips if you do!

How To Store Cakes

Vegan sponge layers, vegan butter, and buttercream filling are common parts or ingredients of a cake.

When these are presently unfrozen and sitting in a cake box or on a plate on the kitchen counter, they are vulnerable. Mostly you have to worry about air movement inside the kitchen and moisture levels too.

Depending on how humid the local environment is, the moisture levels may or may not be as much of an issue. Also, smaller homes may have more occupants, which increases the moisture levels present.

If you have cakes out on the counter in various stages of readiness and moisture hurts your cake making, then you may want to invest in a dehumidifier.

For how long a vegan cake will last once prepared, a sponge that includes vegan butter within its delicious ingredients can keep fresh for up to 4-5 days. When your cake making includes vegan oil, then it may extend the cake’s life by a day or two.

Uncut Cake Storage While Fresh

An uncut cake is a little easier to keep fresh for longer, with fewer risks of it drying out.

Wrapping the cake in clingfilm and placing it inside a food-safe bag protects it from the air and moisture hanging in the air. Storage in a dark area avoids sunlight or overly strong LED lights from destroying the texture and lovely flavor.

If you’re worried about damaging cake decorations such as frosting, then another option is to go ahead and use a cake box. Then use cling film to wrap it thoroughly to seal it in.

Cut Cake Storage While Fresh

A cake that you or someone else has already enjoyed a slice or three from is harder to keep fresh.

The best solution is to similarly wrap it in clingwrap but to seal over the exposed internal cake sponge and layered filing separately. If the cake has icing and there is some spare icing available, then applying some of it to the exposed sides is excellent at sealing them from the air.

As a result, the vegan sponge shouldn’t dry out as quickly.

Failing that, ensure that clingwrap covers the exposed area in an airtight manner. This gives the cake the best chance to remain fresh and yummy for longer.

Wrap your vegan cake in clingwrap to keep it fresher for longer

Should Vegan Cakes Be Stored in the Fridge?

Vegan cakes tend to remain fresh for longer than non-vegan ones because of the different ingredients used in their preparation. This makes refrigeration less necessary.

If you are interested in vegan baking check out our article on whether eggs are vegan and alternatives for baking without them. Also, how to ensure you make your cake the vegan way.

Storing a freshly made cake in a cool, dark place away from sunlight will offer it the best chance for temporary longevity. However, sometimes you lack a good spot for it, don’t have spare counter space in a small kitchen, or live in a humid environment that cakes don’t appreciate!

In which case, a fridge can store a vegan cake as a last resort (freezing is the better option if you cannot simply keep it near to room temperature instead).

Storing in a cake box and wrapping with clingfilm is still required. We’d recommend using copious amounts of clingwrap to protect from the effects of the fridge’s interior.

The risk with fridge storage is the sponge becoming overly dry, which is why it is the least optimal storage option.

Refrigerated cakes need time to recover once removed from the fridge. The sponge will expand once the clingfilm is removed and the cake adjusts its temperature closer to its surroundings.

Allow 30 minutes or longer for family-sized cakes to return to their normal appearance.

Freezing Cake Layers

A frozen sponge is good in the freezer for 4 weeks. Not usually longer than that.

This is perfect if friends or family suddenly descend unannounced and you need to find something to feed your vegan guests, (as well as satisfy your own midnight munchies!).

Cake layers are generally easier to handle compared to preparing a full cake and freezing it when it’s known that they’ll be getting frozen. Also, finding a place for an entire cake and ensuring it doesn’t get damaged is harder.

Wrapping clingfilm around individual cake layers, then sliding them inside a plastic bag with a seal on it is the right approach. It makes them easier to handle than working with a complete cake.

How to Defrost a Cake

Defrosting a whole cake requires up to four hours, depending on its size.

Removing the cake from the cake box and taking off all the clingfilm allows it to reach room temperature sooner, otherwise, it will thaw unevenly which you do not want.

Find a darkened, cool location to place the cake while it is proceeding through the defrosting process.

If you have frozen your vegan cake, you will need to allow for at least 4 hours for it to thaw

How to Defrost Cake Layers

Individual vegan cake layers defrost quicker than entire cakes. There is also greater control over the outcome, which not all cake makers realize.

A prepared cake that gets frozen and subsequently defrosted is at risk of accidental damage, defrosting unevenly, and the icing losing its crispness.

However, when strategically using frozen cake layers, they can be worked with while they’re still defrosting.

Adding buttercream or other fillings between each layer, plus a fruit or icing topping to the cake is often simpler when still partially frozen. Certainly, there is less chance of accidentally losing part of the sponge due to carelessness or unsteady hands.

If you were thinking of adding a fruit glaze to your vegan cake, check out our article on the best vegan gelatin replacement so you can achieve the outcome you desire.

For cake connoisseurs who aren’t as young as they used to be or have a medical condition, and suffer from shaky hands, switching to using frozen vegan cake layers will make life easier. It will allow you to follow your passion for longer.

When to Slice Through the Cake?

When you plan to cut the cake into sensible portions, some people prefer to do it before freezing rather than after removing the cake.

The risk with pre-cutting the cake is it creates many more surface areas where moisture can potentially get inside the sponge. We see this as an unnecessary risk!

It is usually best to remove the frozen cake or cake layer, give it time to get halfway through the defrosting process, and then cut it at that point.  

Doing it this way protects the cake, but also yourself too. Cutting into a frozen cake risks the knife sliding off the uppermost layer. That’s potentially dangerous… Instead, cut a partially defrosted cake gently by feeling your way before applying pressure.

This way, you’ll know it’s sufficiently defrosted to safely cut it into attractive portions for the family.

Is Your Freezer Good Enough for Cake Making?

Older freezers suffer from being unable to maintain a steady, sub-zero temperature. Because of this, the internal freezer temperature fluctuates. While this won’t affect many frozen foods, cakes are more delicate.

The process of being frozen and slightly defrosted as the freezer’s internal temperature rises, and then frozen again can cause ice crystals to form. These can be observed either inside the cake before it’s removed and fully defrosted or on the inside of the cake box or plastic bag surrounding it.

If this is the case for you, then it could impact the cake’s taste once it is removed for consumption. Furthermore, it may deteriorate sooner while still inside the freezer too. In this situation, it is best to avoid freezing vegan cakes until the freezer is replaced with one that performs better.

Can You Freeze Vegan Cake?

Yes, you can, despite not having the typical ingredients which are found in their non-vegan counterparts, a vegan cake can be frozen and still taste delicious. Follow our top tips above and you can always have vegan cake in the freezer, ready to go should company turn up. Or if you want a little treat for yourself.

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