Jul 6, 2023
Cakes are always awesome gifts, but you have to admit… you’re not the only one who will give a cake to everyone. So, the best way to give everyone festive gifts to make them stand out and last longer? Freeze-dry them!
Usually, cakes last for 3-4 days in the fridge before they all get dry and inedible. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Won’t freeze-drying dry them out more? Sure they will. The only difference is you have this exciting texture that makes them fun snacks for everyone. Here’s how to freeze-dry cake and create unique gifts or giveaways everyone will remember.
The best kind of cake to freeze dry is sponge cakes. They’re almost just like bread but are airier and so flavorful. You can also freeze dry cheesecakes well, even if the crust has butter or oil. The parchment paper will absorb that for you, so it will go well in your freeze-dryer.
You can choose to freeze dry cake you baked yourself using a very special recipe. Storebought cakes work well, too. They save you a lot of time since all you have to do is prepare them for freeze drying. Cupcakes can also work, as long as you prepare them right.
Of course, this means there are cakes you can’t freeze dry. One is chocolate cake, either with chocolate butter frosting or chocolate ganache. Especially if the ganache or frosting’s made using luxurious, high-fat chocolate. Someone I know tried to freeze dry cake with this kind of frosting, but it didn’t turn out well.
Cakes with buttercream frosting also won’t freeze dry well. Butter is among the list of food you can’t freeze dry. It’s a shame if you like the dessert because of the buttercream frosting, but unfortunately, it’s a no for this one.
Preparing your cake is simply cutting it into bite-sized pieces so it’s easy to eat. People just need to pop the small pieces in their mouths to enjoy without having to bite through them and make a crumbly mess.
If your chosen cake has powdered sugar on it, remember to shake it out. It’s going to fly all over the freeze-dryer chamber if you don’t.
You don’t have to pre-freeze the cake before freeze-drying, but it will help immensely. Not only does it shorten the freeze-drying time, but it will also keep the temperature inside your machine stable.
Moreover, if you pre-freeze the cake overnight, you wouldn’t need to wake up early. No drastic adjustment of time to get the cakes all done. If you know your freeze dryer’s software to heart, you’ll be able to play with the times, starting with the pre-freezing.
When everything’s all set, you can now start freeze-drying.
Usually it takes about 24-30 hours, especially if you didn’t pre-freeze the cake. The pre-frozen cake can take about 13 hours, depending on how moist your cake is. You may have to add some 2-4 hours of dry time if your cake doesn’t turn out well.
Freeze-dried cake will have the same texture and hardness as biscotti. They should be dry, light, and airy with a crusty, crunchy feel. It would be easier to test the cake if you cut them in bite-sized pieces. When you break them apart, the slices should snap with just a touch of resistance.
The best time to test this is when the trays are still warm. If any slices feel cold, moist, or soft, put the trays back for an extra dry time of 2-4 hours.
Storing is easy with Mylar bags, especially those with zip tops. But even if you have a zip-top bag, you still need to heat-seal to prevent any air or moisture from coming in. If you have a Food Saver vacuum sealer you can vacuum seal any Mylar bag. All you need is a straw and hose attachment to seal your food.
Mason Jars are also great, especially if you’re going to give the freeze-dried cake as gifts. You can see how much you have left, and they’re easy to open and close. Also, unlike Mylar bags, you don’t need heat to seal them. There are manual and electric Mason Jar sealers to help do this for you.
Also, remember to throw in oxygen absorbers before sealing. This helps take out any oxygen left inside the bag that causes food to spoil. Rule of thumb is to use one to two 300cc packs per gallon of food storage. You can use 100cc oxygen absorbers, but you’ll use twice as much. Don’t skimp on oxygen absorbers because they can significantly extend shelf life. It’s better to add more than use less.
This is challenging because the cake can easily crumble when wet. But you can wrap the cake in damp paper towels and then place it in a ziplock bag for 2 hours.
You can steam it, but you have to watch over it carefully. You can try a microwave steamer to control the heat and time. It’s essential to keep it on low so that you don’t cook the freeze-dried cake.
If you don’t want the extra heat, just pour hot water into your microwave steamer. Place the freeze-dried cake on top of the plate and then cover it. Don’t put it in the microwave. Let the moist, hot air circulating inside the steamer work by itself on the cake for a couple of hours.
Depending on the butter and chocolate content, they can last for 10 years or 25 years. It’s a great way to store cake for years, so you will always have treats or snacks when guests come over.
What cake are you planning to freeze dry, and who do you want to give it to? Let us know in the comment section.
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