Layer cakes can be a challenge for even the most experienced cook. Why? Because there’s lots of steps and ingredients to manage. Learn how you can use meal prep to make a cake do most of the work in advance and make the cake-making process easy and fun!
Who here watches the great british baking show?
It’s literally so relaxing and captivating, I love nothing more than enjoying an episode in the evening.
I’m assuming ya’ll are fans like me, so before I dive into today’s topic I want you to think about what usually happens when a contestant misses the mark.
Sure, sometimes they lack knowledge…but most of the time, they run out of time!
It’s the same in your kitchen.
The technical side of baking a cake is not a big deal. Promise. I’ve made technically more difficult dishes.
The time-management side of baking a cake can be a beast.
So let’s dig into my big secret.
Yup, I use meal prep to make a cake.
Wanna know how?
Let’s dig into how to use meal prep to make a cake.
Using Meal Prep to make a cake
Many/most/even all components of a cake can totally be made in advance.
Making them in advance ensures you will have all the time you need to decorate when the time comes.
To help you know when to prep different parts of a cake I’ve created a guide with all of the different things you might want to meal prep to make a cake.
You obviously won’t be using all of these componenents, but I wanted to be complete. You can pick and choose which parts you will include in your cake.
How far in advance layer cake components can be made
Frosting/Buttercream-American Buttercream is safe at room temperature for 1-2 days. Store in the refrigerator for a week, or in the freezer for 3 months.
Cream Cheese Frosting– Should not be stored at room temperature. Can refrigerate for 3-5 days or freeze for 3 months.
Chocolate Ganache-Store at room temperature for 2 days, refrigerate for a week, freeze for 3 months.
Fruit Filling-Don’t store at room temperature, Refrigerate for about a week or freeze for 3 months.
Custard-Don’t store at room temperature. Refrigerate for 3-4 days. DO NOT FREEZE.
Chocolate Mousse-Don’t store at room temperature, Refrigerate for 4-5 days. Freeze for 3 months.
Whipped Cream-Best made fresh. Can be frozen if absolutely necessary (like if you need to freeze your whole cake to stabilize it before decorating) Should not be stored in the fridge. If you NEED to store it in the fridge, try making stabilized whipped cream.
Royal icing-Depends on preparation. If made with meringue powder- 1 month room temp can store for 1 month at room temperature. If made with pasteurized egg-whites store for one week at room temperature. Can refrigerate or freeze. Store in the fridge for 4 weeks or the freezer for 3 months.
Fondant– Make up to one month in advance. Coat with shortening or flavorless oil and store in an airtight Container. Don’t freeze or refrigerate.
3 day timeline for using meal prep to make a cake
Make Sponges and fillings that can be made in advance. Wrap sponges tightly in plastic wrap and freeze (frozen cakes are easier to decorate). Store fillings in the refrigerator. Make fondant if using. If your fondant pieces need to stand up straight, consider rolling them out in advance. If not you can do it when you are decorating the cake.
Make buttercream or cream cheese frosting.
Always make more than you think you are going to need. There’s nothing worse than making more frosting when you’ve started decorating.
Another thing I will consider when I’m making buttercream (because it’s time consuming and I hate it) is whether or not I have more birthdays in the next few months and if so I will double or triple how much buttercream I’m using.
Another note, I’ve definitely used buttercream more than 3 months after it’s been frozen and it’s been totally fine, but most resources said 3 months so I’m going with that….just keep in mind that if you have it a little longer you’ll probably be fine!
Crumb coat cake-freeze in between layers for best results
Final decorations (if I’m going to be transporting the cake, take the decorations with you. I prefer decorating the cake frozen and then leaving it at room temperature for a few hours before serving. This cake I probably left out for about 5-6 hours before we ate it and it was perfect.
Alright everyone, that’s it! How you can make your family members beautiful homemade cakes that don’t cause immense amounts of stress.
I hope this episode has shown you how it can totally be possible and fun to do this on your own, and it’s not nearly as challenging or stressful as the gbbo makes it seem.
Next week we’re going to talk about how you can feed your entire family the same meal, even with picky kiddos. You’re going to love this one.
Can’t wait to share it with you!
Until next week, happy planning!
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