Nov 27

27th November 2019 

Free Cake Tutorial: Cake Decorating Timelines and Storage

Free Cake Tutorial: Cake Decorating Timelines and Storage

We are often asked questions such as "How long should before a party should I make the cake?" "When can I cover it" and so on.

If you get stuck on your timelines and storage dates, the below information should help. We've also got a handy printable which you can download here.


Sponge Cake

Time to Make:  3 to 4 days before event

Fillings (Buttercream and Ganache):  3 days before event. If fresh cream, 12 hours before event and fridge.

Marzipan:  2 to 3 days before event

Fondant Covering:  2 to 3 days before event

Eat by date:  Within 7 days of baking it

Storage:  Before covering in fondant, wrap in clingfilm. After covering in fondant, place in cardboard cake box (not fully airtight or it will sweat)

Can you freeze?  Yes. Up to 1 month. Can sweat as it defrosts but should evaporate. Avoid freezer burn by fully wrapping in clingfilm and tin foil.


Very Boozy Fruit Cake

Time to Make:  3 to 4 months before event

Fillings (Buttercream and Ganache):  None used as it reduces longevity of the cake

Marzipan:  2 to 3 weeks before event

Fondant Covering:  2 to 3 weeks before event

Eat by date:  Will last about a year. The more booze the longer it will last so don't hold back!

Storage:  Wrap in greaseproof paper, then wrap a second layer in tin foil. Avoid tins and plastic boxes as they can cause the cake to sweat moisture and go mouldy.

Can you freeze?  No need. They last about a year. Although you can freeze a fruit cake if you want to (i.e. to wait for that baby to come along for a Christening cake!)


Not Boozy Fruit Cake

Time to Make:  7 days before event

Fillings (Buttercream and Ganache):  None used although some people like jam filling for added moisture

Marzipan:  6 days before event

Fondant Covering:  5 days before event

Eat by date:  About 2 weeks from making (this will depend on if any alcohol, if none then closer to 10 days).

Storage:  Wrap in greaseproof paper, then wrap a second layer in tin foil. Avoid tins and plastic boxes as they can cause the cake to sweat moisture and go mouldy.

Can you freeze?  Yes. Wrap in clingfilm then in tin foil to avoid freezer burn and use within one month.


Madeira Cake

Time to Make:  3-4 days before event

Fillings (Buttercream and Ganache):  3 days before event

Marzipan:  2-3 days before event

Fondant Covering:  2-3 days before event

Eat by date:  7 days from baking.

Storage:  Wrap in clingfilm and then tin foil if not fondant covered. If fondant covered, as with sponge cakes, the fondant acts as an armour

Can you freeze?  Yes. Wrap in clingfilm then in tin foil to avoid freezer burn and use within one month.


Chocolate Sponge Cake

Time to Make:  3-4 days before event

Fillings (Buttercream and Ganache):  3 days before event (if fresh ingredients on same day or 12 hours before if in fridge)

Marzipan:  2-3 days before event

Fondant Covering:  2-3 days before event

Eat by date:  7 days from baking.

Storage:  Wrap greaseproof if oily then clingfilm and tin foil. Do not put in a plastic box as it could sweat.

Can you freeze?  Yes. Wrap in clingfilm then in tin foil to avoid freezer burn and use within one month.


Cupcakes

Time to Make:  2 days before event, unless exposed to air (if not covered then 12 hours before event)

Fillings (Buttercream and Ganache):  1 day before event if buttercream or ganache is exposed. If buttercream is hidden below fondant, then up to 2 days before event.

Marzipan:  N/A

Fondant Covering:  Up to 2 days before event

Eat by date:  Within 2 days of baking

Storage:  If fondant covered, store in a cardboard cake box. If open to the air (no buttercream or fondant), wrap in clingfilm and store before storing in a box. Avoid plastic containers with decorated cupcakes as the decorations will sweat and droop.

Can you freeze?  Yes. Wrap in clingfilm and use within one month. Allow for peeling cupcake cases so freeze extra as the cases can occasionally peel away as they defrost.


FREE Printable Guide:

Cake Decorating timeline and storage guide

Next time you're worrying about how far in advance cakes can be made because life is just so busy and trying to fit cakes in can be tricky, don't panic, we've got you covered.

We've got a FREE handy guide to go with this post so you'll always know when to start baking your cakes.


What To Do Next:

We have so many more handy guides and help over on the Pretty Witty Academy. You'll find everything from covering a cake with sugar paste, colour theory, making cake structures food safe and how to fix a damaged cake. And that's just the beginning! You can learn all about wedding cakes and novelty cakes as well with 1000's of tutorials. 

There is also a huge business section for those needing help and advice with their cake business.

If you loved this then why not have a look at this post all about decorating timelines.

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