Freezing a cake is a great way to save it for later eating. It doesn't matter if you froze the cake whole or in layers, you can defrost it in basically the same way. Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours to thaw, then leave it on the kitchen counter so that it comes to room temperature.
Method 1 of 2: Thawing a Whole Cake
Step 1. Consume the cake within one year
If you've saved your wedding cake, you can have it on your couple's first birthday. Do not exceed this deadline. The taste and quality will deteriorate after a year.
If you want to ensure that the quality and taste are good, consume the cake within six months (if not for a wedding)
Step 2. Place the covered or wrapped cake inside the refrigerator for at least 24 hours
Start the defrosting process in the refrigerator. Keep the cake in the wrapper it's in, because if you try to stir it, you can spoil it.
You can leave it in the fridge for up to two days before eating. After that, it will go rancid
Step 3. Place the whole cake on the counter
After defrosting in the refrigerator, take it out an hour before you plan to eat it. That way, the cake can come to room temperature before you take the first bite.
Keep it in the package it's in while you leave it on the counter as well
Step 4. Remove the packaging to eat the cake
If you've packed the cake well, it will have several layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Gently remove the plastic or aluminum, as they may have stuck to the cake in places.
If the outside of the cake doesn't have frosting, you can iron one now while it thaws
Step 5. Decorate the cake
If using it at a party or as a table decoration, apply a frosting and smooth it out using a knife. Decorate the cake as you like, after all, it will be smooth, as you cannot freeze it with any decorations.
- If you froze the decorated cake, the icing is probably all crushed. You may have to scrape off the icing and save the cake. Apply a new coating, smooth it and finish with granules or something else to hide the error.
- Other decorations can stain, such as sprinkles. If that's the case, you can blend the colors into the new overlay to create a nice effect.
Method 2 of 2: Thawing Cake Layers
Step 1. Consume the cake within two months
You can freeze layers of cake for much longer, but the quality will start to deteriorate after a few months. It is still safe to eat the cakes after a year of freezing.
Step 2. Place the wrapped or covered layers in the refrigerator overnight
As with whole cakes, the layers will thaw better if they are in the fridge. However, individual layers will likely thaw faster than whole cakes, so 12 to 16 hours should be enough (instead of 24).
Consume cake layers within two days. After that, they will become rancid
Step 3. Spread the icing on the cake right after taking it out of the fridge
You don't need to let the cake heat up on the counter before icing. It will warm up while you move it. In fact, it's even easier to apply the icing to a cake that was frozen, as it won't crumble as much as fresh ones. After applying the icing, add any decorations you like, such as shapes made with a pastry bag, sprinkles or chocolate chips.
- It might still be slightly frozen in the middle if you're decorating it on the counter.
- You might even be able to get the icing on without chipping away and forming a layer of crumbly cake.
Step 4. Do not take the cake out of the freezer and place it directly on the counter to thaw
If you leave a frozen cake out, it will go soft. Don't try to speed up the process by simply dropping the cake on the counter.