Stress Less Thanksgiving: Bake Ahead & Freeze Desserts and Bread How-to Guide
Please enjoy these previous posts in the Stress Less Thanksgiving Series.
Stress Less This Thanksgiving Season
Stress Less Thanksgiving Free Printable Planning Guide
Stress Less Thanksgiving Free Printable Planning Guide Part II
Stress Less Thanksgiving Planning Guide Notebook
Stress Less Thanksgiving: Make Ahead & Freeze Chicken Broth; Chicken & Biscuit Dumpling Recipe
Stress Less Thanksgiving: Make Ahead & Freeze; Printable Recipes Cornbread & Cornbread Dressing
Bake Ahead & Freeze Desserts and Bread How to Guide
What you need to know to successfully bake ahead and freeze desserts and breads. Sweet breads will freeze just like cakes. For the purpose of these instructions, I refer to wrapping with plastic wrap. However, you may use aluminum foil or other freezer containers designed for vacuum sealing out any air. When air gets to items in the freezer, ice crystals form which damages the product. If you happen to own freezer to oven lidded bakeware, go ahead and freeze in that.
Cakes: All types and shapes of cakes freeze quite well. Cakes with a custard filling, however, do not freeze well as the custard tends to break down and make the cake soggy.Most cake layers will keep up to 3 months in the freezer. If you have space in your freezer and access to boxes, stack the individually wrapped layers in a box to avoid damage. (We tend to sling things around when conducting frozen food searches sometimes)
- Cool layers completely after baking.
- Wrap each layer individually using a good quality plastic wrap, taking care to not have any exposed cake.
- Wrapping with two layers of plastic wrap is best.
- To thaw the cake, unwrap first. Thawing the cake with the wrapping on will create a moisture inside of the plastic and make the cake soggy.
- Cakes, and cupcakes should typically thaw at room temperature in several hours.
- Frost and decorate as usual and enjoy!
Pie: Most pies will freeze well with the exception of custard. Again, custard breaks down and becomes soggy, do not attempt to freeze. Protect your pies in the freezer by placing an aluminum pie plate over the top before wrapping with plastic wrap. If you have boxes available, place in a box before putting in the freezer. Only freeze cooked pies. You may want to also wrap with aluminum foil after wrapping with plastic wrap to avoid the pie from inheriting any freezer smells.
- If freezing a fruit pie, do NOT slit the top crust before freezing.
- Allow fillings to cool completely in all types of pies before freezing.
- You will only want to freeze the filling and the crust.
- Pie crusts freeze well, cooked or uncooked.
- Once you thaw the pie, you can make any toppings such as meringue.
- It is important to place the pie in the freezer in an upright and level position, at least until it is frozen solid.
- Thaw in the refrigerator, which should take about 4-6 hours for most pies.
- Do not store frozen pies in the same freezer with fish as they will take on the fish odor into the flavor of the pie.
Breads: Most breads freeze really well, including recipes with or without yeast.
- Remove bread from the oven just before it starts to brown.
- Cool and freeze as quickly as possible. The quicker you can get the bread into the freezer, the more fresh it will taste when served. Use a fan if necessary.
- Wrap well with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw at room temperature which can take several hours.
- Bake to heat and brown then serve.
We hope you have been enjoying this Stress Less Thanksgiving series. We are certainly having fun with it! Still to come, Crockpot and Microwave dishes for Thanksgiving Day!
This is great info – I like to be able to freeze and thaw to save time. I love your series – so many great ideas for the big menu plan! ~Renee
Freezing ahead is such a time saver! Thanks, Renee
This is a great time saver. I love freezin ahead pies and cakes and breads. Rally cuts down on holiday stress.
geesh! Look at that spelling! LOL! OOPS
Internet shorthand :-0
Yes, it sure does save time and allow for less stress when it is cooking time for the big meal!
Great ideas here, Shirley! I’ve also frozen Christmas cookies before…the ones I froze did very well!
Cookies sure do freeze well also! Freezing dishes ahead is such a time saver, isn’t it!
I love foods that I can make ahead! Thanks for all the great tips. Looking forward to your crock pot dishes.
Alli, it has been so much fun to work on. My husband has enjoyed all the good food he gets to ‘test’ also 🙂 The crockpot dishes are really good!
Thanks for the tips. Throughout the year I freeze many things, but have never frozen a dessert. Sounds like something I could safely try before the big holiday!
Yes, most desserts freeze well when done properly. It is a nice way to relieve the stress of having so much to cook for Thanksgiving!