Our tips for freezing and thawing baked goods will make your holiday baking so much better. Use these tips any time of the year but don’t forget to use them for holiday gifts from the kitchen. Gifts from the kitchen are great but baking for days can be exhausting. Use these tips to bake ahead then thaw and cook when ready.
This information is part of our series on Holiday Baking and Cooking. Also see:
Supplies for Freezing Baked Goods
The first thing you need to be able to freeze and store your holiday baked goods is the right supplies. These things will help you save your baked goods properly so that they taste freshly baked on the day you enjoy them.
A few Baked goods which freeze well:
- Quick Breads
- Snack Cakes
- Yeast Breads
- Regular Cakes
All of these different baked goods need various methods of freezing to ensure freshness and flavor when it’s time to eat them.
An important tip to remember is to never freeze any of your baked goods that are low fat or fat free. They will become very dry and or gummy when thawed.
Tips for Freezing and Thawing Fully Made Cakes
The hardest baked goods to freeze are fully made cakes, cheesecakes and pies. These require specialty containers to ensure that they don’t get too much frost. It is important to also thaw them properly for best results. If you completely frost and prepare a cake you can still freeze it. It takes a little more work, though. Use parchment paper or freezer paper oiled up really good with spray oil that is flavorless like corn oil or you can also use Crisco. Then wrap the cake tightly with the freezer paper, wrap that with plastic wrap, freeze until solid and then put the entire container into a tin or hard freezer safe box to protect it from other things in your freezer. Unwrap completely before thawing.
Tips for Freezing and Thawing Cheesecakes and Pie’s
These have very high moisture content, but can be frozen if you are careful. Most cheesecakes are made in a spring form pan. You can freeze directly on the spring form or you can make a round of hard cardboard (or buy one at the craft store). If using cardboard, the best way to do it is to wrap the cardboard with foil. Slide the cheesecake onto the foil-wrapped cardboard; you can spray some spray oil on it first to help remove it later. Then wrap with plastic wrap (bottom and all), spraying oil on the top layer too. Wrap with multiple layers, freeze fully, and then place in a harder container to protect. Unwrap completely to thaw in refrigerator. When almost completely thawed, put back on spring form bottom or other serving platter for serving. For fruit-covered cheesecake, make that at the time of serving for added freshness.
Tips for Freezing Fruit Pies
We advise that you make and serve your cream pies fresh as they do not freeze well. You can freeze pie crusts in their tins and bake from frozen. To freeze a fully baked fruit pie, place it in the freezer uncovered, freeze, and then pop it in a freezer bag. To serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or thaw on the counter for three to five hours. Open the seal on the plastic bas so that the moisture from freezing can escape to avoid a mushy crust. You can freeze unbaked pie crust the same way. Just don’t slit the crust, unwrap, slit the crust and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 Fahrenheit and bake for 45 more minutes.
The other items mentioned above can be frozen very easily. Begin by bringing to room temperature, then cool in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes. Finally wrap with freezer paper or parchment paper, and then pop into a freezer bag. You can freeze these items for six months. To thaw, just take out and put on the counter. Baked goods with eggs should be thawed in the refrigerator.
Tips for Freezing Cookie dough
You can freeze cookies dough for up to six months. Make lots of cookie dough in advance and separate it into ‘serving’ sizes that you intend to bake. Freeze in a long bar like for slicing the cookies off for baking. You can also freeze in balls such as for peanut butter cookies which start out as balls before pressing down to bake. Thaw the dough completely then prepare and bake as usual. Always unwrap the frozen dough completely before thawing.
Cookie Recipes we love:
- Old Fashioned Tea Cake Christmas Cookies
- Peanut Filled Peanut Butter Cookies
- Easy Chewy Gingersnap Cookies
- Brown Sugar Cookies
Tips for Freezing Raw Yeast Dough
Shape the dough after the first rise into the shape you will bake it in. A ball for a roll, three balls for a clover roll, a log for a bread loaf, and so forth. After shaping the dough, freeze on a pan in the freezer, then pop into freezer bags. You can also wrap the dough in parchment or freezer paper, then pop into a larger freezer bag to keep more in one bag. To prepare, thaw in the prepared baking pan that you want to cook the bread in. It will rise as it thaws. You can start in the fridge the night before or you can do it within 3 to 5 hours the day you plan to bake. Bake as usual according to your instructions.
Tips for Freezing Baked Cookies
You can also freeze fully baked cookies. Use a freezer safe container and put a single layer of fully cooled cookies on the bottom, top with parchment paper, adding layers topped with parchment paper until the container is full. Add a final layer of parchment, and then seal the container. To thaw, just remove cookies to a serving platter and let thaw for about 2 or 3 hours the day you want to enjoy them.
Tips for Freezing Quick Breads or Muffins
Allow the bread or muffins to completely cook after baking, then wrap tightly in freezer paper, parchment paper, or foil first. Then wrap with plastic wrap tightly and put inside a freezer bag. The extra steps will ensure that your bread is moist and delicious after thawing. To thaw, unwrap and thaw on the counter for 2 to 3 hours, or in the fridge overnight. Wrapping in foil is especially good with coffee cake. You can thaw in the foil, then toss in the oven to warm.
Bread Recipes We Love:
- Amish Cinnamon Sweet Bread
- Easy Made From Scratch Banana Bread
- Apple Banana Oat Nut Muffins
- Bread Machine Dinner Rolls
Freezing and Thawing Baked Goods
Knowing how to properly freeze, thaw and prepare baked goods gives you the opportunity to prepare in advance for busy baking seasons or special events you have planned. Use this information to freeze Christmas cookie dough in advance of an event you may have planned. Want to give fresh baked bread as a gift from your kitchen? Now you can without having to stand in the kitchen for two days making and baking. You can freeze a cake before a special birthday so you have more time to enjoy family. Most of the baked goods mentioned will store for up to three months and and some for up to six months which gives us time to prepare in advance especially for holiday baking.