How far in advance can you make a cake

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Published: Mar 21, 2019 · Updated: May 8, 2022 by Kara · This post may contain affiliate links · This blog generates income via ads

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In most cases, you can bake a cake ahead of time for birthdays, weddings, or other events. Here we’ll go over some helpful tips so you can know how many days in advance you can make a cake.

While there isn’t a one size fits all answer, there are a few tips to know that’ll help determine how far ahead can you make a cake.

how far in advance can you make a cake How far in advance can you make a cake

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Jump to:
  • Questions to ask yourself first:
  • Determine when you’re going to serve the cake:
  • Are you going to need to decorate the cake and how involved will that be?
  • Do you just want to pre-bake the cake layers to save time later?
  • Are you against freezing cakes, or worried about freezing them?
  • Rule of thumb for freezing cakes and how far in advance to make them:
  • FAQs & Tips:
  • Other posts you might like:

Although it’s not super complicated, there are a few things to keep in mind before you determine exactly how early can you make or bake a cake.

Instead of just jumping in and giving a one-size-fits-all answer, it’s helpful to go through some things that will help you determine for yourself, how early you can make a cake.

how far in advance can you make a cake 1 How far in advance can you make a cake

These are all things to consider before determining how far in advance you can bake your cake and we’ll go through these and what it means for your cake timeline.

My general rule of thumb is if you won’t be serving the cake within three days of baking it, then it’s best to go ahead and freeze it, then defrost it a couple of days before you’ll serve it.

I am a big believer in freezing cakes, but if you don’t want to do that, then just bake it a couple of days ahead of time.

It’s not necessary to freeze a cake if you’ll be serving it in another couple of days.

We’ll talk a little more about freezing cakes later. For now, just determine what day you’ll serve the cake.

If you plan on serving the cake several days from the date you bake it, you don’t need to freeze it. Several days is fine for it to sit out at room temperature and be decorated.

Obviously though, if the cake has a perishable filling, it’ll have to be chilled through.

If you’re like me and want to get a head-start and work ahead, then freezing your cake layers is a must. Figure out your decorating timeline and determine how many days you’ll need to decorate the cake.

If it’s really involved and your timeline says you’ll need a couple of days to decorate it, then just defrost it the night before you need to start decorating it.

If your timeline says it’ll only take you several hours to decorate, then just wait to defrost it, or just bake it the night before.

When I was selling cakes, some of my cake designs would take several days to accomplish. One day would be filling and settling the cakes. The next would be to cover it in ganache and fondant, then another would be the actual decorating.

So none of that even included all the other stuff like actually baking the cakes, making the icing and making the decorations.

My point is, if you have a big design, you need a plan that’ll help you determine what day you can bake your cakes.

If it’s not a big cake project and more of a simple birthday cake, then you’ll probably only need a couple of hours to decorate it at most, so you don’t need to add days to your project timeline.

I like to bake my cakes ahead of time, freeze them, then defrost them when I need them. It just saves so much time and I recommend it. If you freeze them correctly, you can’t tell they’ve been frozen.

For my best tips on freezing cakes, see this post: How to Freeze Cakes & Cupcakes

First, you don’t HAVE to freeze cakes. If you’ll be serving the cake in a day or two, there’s just no need to freeze them. Just make sure they’re wrapped really well so that they don’t dry out.

If you’re adamantly against freezing cakes, then that’s okay too. I have to ask this question though… Have you tried it? I mean more than once?

I don’t just mean freezing the top tier from your wedding cake and defrosting it a year later. That’s really gross and most of the time that’s not actually a good representation of what a cake that’s been frozen actually tastes like.

I’m just saying you might want to try freezing cakes the CORRECT way and see how you like it. I’ve done it tons of times and it is such a time and sanity saver because, without it, you won’t really be able to work ahead. You’ll be baking your socks off days before the event.

If you want to give it a try, just one more time, you can find my tips on freezing cakes at this link: How to Freeze Cakes

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Filed Under: Cake Baking Tips Tagged With: baking tips, cake business tips, cake decorating tips

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