Baking a cake from scratch can be a time-consuming process. After mixing up all the ingredients for your cake batter, you may find you don’t have time to bake the cake right away. This leads many home bakers to wonder: Can you put cake batter in the fridge?
The short answer is yes; you can refrigerate cake batter for a certain period of time. However, there are some things you need to know to ensure your cake turns out right after chilling the batter.
In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about refrigerating cake batter, including:
- The benefits of refrigerating cake batter
- How long does cake batter last in the fridge?
- Tips for properly storing cake batter
- What types of cake batter work best?
- How chilling affects baking time and results
- FAQs about refrigerating cake batter
Let’s get started!
Benefits of Refrigerating Cake Batter
There are a few reasons you may want to consider storing cake batter in the refrigerator:
- It buys you time. Refrigerating cake batter gives you additional time to bake when it’s convenient for you. You can prep your batter in advance and bake it later.
- It allows flavors to develop. Certain cake batters, like spice, citrus, and chocolate cakes, often benefit from resting time. The flavors have a chance to mingle and intensify in the fridge.
- It prevents curdling. Some cakes, like yogurt cakes, call for an ingredient that causes curdling if overmixed. Chilling prevents this, allowing any curdled batter time to smooth out.
- It firms up the batter. Butter cakes and pound cakes in particular benefit from chilled batter that bakes up with a finer, more even crumb.
So if you need to delay baking or want to enhance flavors, refrigerating cake batter can be quite useful.
How Long Does Cake Batter Last in the Fridge?
Cake batter will usually last 2–3 days when properly stored in the refrigerator.
However, there are some factors that determine exactly how long the cake batter will remain fresh:
- Type of batter: batters with perishable ingredients like eggs, dairy, and fruit purees have a shorter shelf life of only 1-2 days. Batters without perishables keep longer.
- Container used: An airtight container is best to prevent batters from absorbing fridge odors. Plastic wrap or bagged batter may pick up odors.
- Temperature of the fridge: the colder your fridge, the better. Store batter toward the back, where temperatures are most stable. Consistent temperatures of 34–40 °F are ideal.
- Freshness of ingredients: Batters made with older eggs, dairy, etc. may expire quicker than ones with the freshest ingredients.
Pay attention to appearance, aroma, and taste when evaluating older batters. Discard any with off-smelling smells, colors, or sour flavors.
Tips for Storing Cake Batter in the Fridge
Storing cake batter properly ensures it stays fresh until you’re ready to use it.
- Use an airtight container; glass, plastic, or ceramic work best. Make sure there is a tight seal.
- Fill the container 234 full; leave room for the batter to expand as gases grow. Too little or too much air can be problematic.
- Plastic wrap batter surface: Cover surface with plastic wrap before sealing container. This prevents air exposure and “fridge burn.”
- Label the container. Include the type of batter and date so you use it within the recommended timeframe.
- Don’t store it too long. For best results, bake refrigerated batter within 2–3 days. Discard if older.
- Seal tightly and return promptly. Limit air exposure by quickly sealing and returning to the fridge after each use.
Following these tips will keep your cake batter fresh until baking day!
What Types of Cake Batter Work Best when refrigerated?
While most basic cake batters can be chilled, certain types tend to hold up best:
- Butter cakes: the cold firms up the solid butter, creating a finer crumb. Yellow cake and pound cake benefit greatly.
- Genoise sponge cakes: the fridge helps stabilize egg foam and prevent collapse. Angel food is a good example.
- Fatless sponge cakes: These need chilling to properly hydrate the flour and allow leaveners to work. Flourless chocolate cake does well.
- Dense fruit and nut cakes: refrigerator time allows flavors to meld and batters to thicken. Carrot cake and banana bread do well chilled.
- Chemically leavened cakes: the reactions are slowed, so carbon dioxide has longer to expand. Chocolate cake and strawberry cake work well.
On the other hand, quick breads and creamed butter cakes (like birthday cakes) tend to do better when baked right away.
How Refrigeration Affects Baking Time and Results
Chilling cake batter impacts both baking time and the final baked results.
- Longer baking time: batters bake more slowly after chilling. The cold starts the oven’s spring later and delays setting. Add 5–15 extra minutes of baking time.
- Lower oven temperature: Take off 25°F from the recipe temperature to prevent over-browning the exterior before the center bakes through.
- More level cakes: cold batter bakes more evenly for flatter, level layers without domed tops. No need to trim or torture into flatness!
- Finer, closer crumb: Buttermilk, butter, and sponge cakes have a more tender crumb when their batters are chilled before baking.
- More vibrant colors: Refrigeration can help prevent the running and dulling of some cake colors like red velvet and rainbow cakes.
- Better moisture retention: properly stored chilled batters have less evaporation and bake up moister than freshly mixed batters.
Keep the changes in time and texture in mind as you bake refrigerated cake batters for the best results.
Frequently Asked Questions About Refrigerating Cake Batter
If you’re new to storing cake batter in the fridge, here are answers to some common questions:
How do you store cake batter in the fridge?
Put the batter in an airtight container, filling it 234 full. Seal, wrap top with plastic wrap, label with date, and refrigerate. Place toward the back of the fridge, where the temperature is most stable.
Does putting cake batter in the fridge change the taste?
It shouldn’t change the taste if properly stored for just 2–3 days. Some batters may take on very subtle fridge flavors if stored longer. Discard batter with off-putting aromas or flavors.
Can you freeze cake batter?
Freezing is not recommended as ice crystals form, compromising texture. Refrigeration is best for temporary storage. Most batters last 2–3 days when chilled.
Why does my cake have a denser crumb when baked from the fridge?
Colder batters form a finer crumb while baking. This is desirable for pound, butter, and sponge cakes. For fluffier crumbed cakes, let the batter come to room temperature before baking.
Do you have to let refrigerated batter come to room temperature before baking?
It’s recommended to prevent temperature shock and allow leaveners to work properly. Let it sit out for 30–60 minutes before baking refrigerated batters.
Can you refrigerate box cake mix batter?
Yes, prepared box cake batter can be refrigerated using the same storage guidelines. Allow chilled box mixes to come to room temperature before baking as well.
Refrigerating cake batter can be a handy baking strategy when you need to bake on your schedule. With proper storage technique, many batters take well to chilling for a few days. Be mindful of changes to bake time and texture so your cakes turn out beautifully no matter when you bake them.
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.