Baking a homemade cake can be a lot of fun, but also a lot of hard work. While the process of making a cake is fairly easy, it can be pretty time-consuming. In fact, as any baker will already know, the most time-consuming part of following a cake recipe is creating the cake mix batter itself. You could simply throw all the ingredients together (carefully, of course) in advance, and save the cake batter for a later date.
Then, you can bake the cake immediately; all you would need to do is pour the cake batter into a baking tin, and simply wait for the cake to rise, saving you plenty of time and effort in the long run. But, how effective is it to pre-prepare some cake batter?
Will the quality of the cake remain the same? How long does cake batter last? In this article, we will look into the pros and cons of preparing cake batter ahead of time, as well as looking into whether completing this baking hack is worth it overall. So, let’s get started.
The Pros Of Making Cake Mix Batter In Advance
Let’s start by checking out the good news over the bad. There is, indeed, an advantage to preparing homemade cake batter ahead of time, and that advantage is…
It Will Shorten The Baking Process
This is, of course, a pretty obvious observation to make, but an important one nonetheless. Preparing cake batter in advance will shorten the baking process. If you need to bake a cake a couple of days ahead from now, but you already know that you’re going to be stretched for time, making the cake batter in advance will help you out immensely.
By preparing the cake batter beforehand, you will shorten the overall process of baking the cake. All you will need to do is turn on the oven, pour the premade mixture into a cake pan, and wait for it to bake. Voilà!
The Cons Of Making Cake Mix Batter In Advance
Unfortunately, while preparing cake mixture ahead of time may seem like a helpful, mind-blowing culinary hack, there are some downsides to doing so. Here are some reasons to why you should probably avoid using this method, especially if you want your baked goods to retain their overall quality.
The Baking Powder Will Become Less Effective
Baking powder is an essential component of a cake since it causes the cake to rise and gives it its fluffy, airy feel. Certain flours come pre-infused with baking powder, baking soda, or other leavening ingredients. Unfortunately, leaving these raising agents in the batter for an excessive amount of time can diminish the ability for your cake to rise in the baking pan.
Baking powder reacts to temperature and moisture in the cake mix. Thus, as soon as it is combined with any kind of cake batter, the air bubbles will begin to form, whether it is baking or not. You will only see a minor rise from the baking powder responding to the heat in the oven if you let it sit after the first reaction has ended, which will result in the cake to lose effectiveness.
Bacteria Will Form If The Batter Is Left Too Long
This may also be an obvious statement to make, and it is definitely something that you should be concerned about. If you leave any form of edible product out to rest for long enough, bacteria will form, grow, and multiply, which will result in the food turning bad.
The Best Ways To Make Cake Batter In Advance
Now that you are aware of the pros and cons of preparing cake batter ahead of time, you may have come to the decision that you still want to do it. After all, it will save you time, and that may be worth your baked goods coming out a little less fluffy than usual. The decision is yours.
If you are considering completing this little baking hack, then there are some things that you may want to think about. Here are some ways to help you maintain the quality of your final product, even if you decide to prepare the batter beforehand.
Refrigerate The Batter
As we touched upon earlier, refrigerating the batter will help to keep it fresher for longer. While this won’t prevent the raising agents from becoming inactive, storing the batter in the fridge will prevent bacteria growth for a little while, and keep the batter fresh.
Keeping the cake batter at room temperature will cause it to become bad much faster, so be sure to store cake batter in your fridge. However, we wouldn’t recommend leaving the cake batter in your fridge for longer than one week.
Leave Out The Baking Powder (And Some Flour)
The absolute best thing you can do if you want to make cake batter ahead of time is to leave out a couple of essential ingredients during the batter-making process. These ingredients are some dry ingredients, including the baking powder, and maybe even some flour. Just use the wet ingredients to make the cake batter alone.
Even though the batter will not be entirely complete beforehand, it will only take you a couple of minutes to gently fold the ideal amount of baking powder and flour at room temperature. By doing this, you can avoid the raising agents from becoming futile during the baking process!
Freezing Cake Batter
Alternative, you can freeze cake batter to make it last. If placed in an airtight container, freezer bag, or ziplock bag, you can leave cake batter in the freezer for up to three months.
To answer the titular question: yes, you can make cake batters in advance. In fact, doing so will shorten your baking process, allowing you to keep on track, even on your busiest days. However, we definitely recommend that you remember to refrigerate the batter once you have made it, and don’t leave it too long before using it.
We recommend using it within a day or two of making it. Also, you may want to leave the rising agents in your cupboard until the day of baking arrives, to ensure your cake turns out as fluffy and airy as possible. The best way to bake cakes is for the mixture to get baked immediately, providing you with a fresh cake to enjoy. However, if you are short on time, this shortcut may be beneficial on your busiest days.