Updated: Mar 25
Most of us, hobbyists and those of us in business, want our cakes and desserts to be delicious. I named my company Delicious Desserts because it was so important to me! Creating something delicious comes from a great deal of experimentation. We need to test not only recipes and alterations but also storage and shelf life.
I often see questions in cake support groups about how long someone can store a cake or frosting or even if they can freeze items. I want to help but the truth is this all depends. It depends on your recipe as a start. It depends on how you store it. If you are storing it in a fridge or freezer, it even depends on that specific model! The only way to know for sure is to test your items.
Let's start with recipe development. When I decide to try a new item, I start by researching recipes. I look at a whole bunch of them. I compare them. You would be amazed at how many version of the Hershey one bowl chocolate cake are out there. Some of them literally repost the ingredients while most will add a few small variations like substituting coffee for hot water. The first time I try one, I follow the directions exactly as written. Even if I have a gut feeling of what may need to be changed for my taste, I follow the directions. The first time I tried this chocolate cake, I realized it was a bit too dense for my preference. I reduced the water from 1 cup to 3/4 cup, and it was perfect! Now, I could play with flavors. I changed the cocoa to my favorite Valrhona and added a few more changes.
Next, I needed to test it. I baked 10-4" cakes. I frosted them with my buttercream and placed 7 of them in the fridge. I placed 3 of them in the freezer. I waited 3 days before trying the first fridge cake. If a cake can't make it 3 days in my fridge, it doesn't make the cut. On the third day and for 6 more days, I sampled each mini cake. I discovered that this recipe, in my fridge lasts about 8 days. That's great! I left the freezer cake for 30 days. I do not freeze cakes for orders but I do freeze samples for consultations. These samples lasted 90 days. I almost never keep anything longer than 90 days so I didn't test beyond that point. Now, I know I can safely store this cake for 8 days in the fridge or 90 days in the freezer!
I'm not going to pretend this wasn't a lot of work. It cost me time and money. It also gave me valuable information! I don't ever have to guess.
I'm also going to admit it isn't usually this easy.
My sister suffers Celiac. When I set out to make a gluten free cake, I tried more than 20 recipes and even tried tweaking each one several times. I honestly lost count how many times I tried and failed. I did finally succeed. I now offer this yellow cake and a devil's food. That's it! It will be awhile before I'm willing to experiment with that specialty.
Cake can sometimes be easier than desserts. Yes, I also test my cheesecakes, pies, cookies, buttercream, etc. I live in Charleston, SC. It is hot and humid here. I do have a dehumidifier to help but we natives laugh about how a saltine cracker becomes mush within 24 hours. I need to know how far ahead I can make an order. I once created over 600 cookies for an event. I needed to know how far in advance I could bake and store.
I encourage you to explore and find recipes you love. I also offer the advice of testing to see the shelf life and best method of storing all the wonderful treats you make.
Perfecting recipes is hard. There are many wonderful "free" options. These are usually on blogs or national websites. I know it can be frustrating to search for the "skip to recipe" button and wade through ads. I want to remind you that these are free because of the advertisers. The "price" you pay is your viewership of ads. That is how someone pays for hosting the site and bringing you information.
I also want to remind you that some recipes are more valuable. I'm not mad when I see someone selling thier recipes. They earned that right! They spent time and money testing and perfecting. I have absolutely paid for recipes I knew would work. They were worth every penny because they saved me all the trouble.