Baking in Advance

I like to bake in advance or in bulk and store leftovers, so that I have cakes/cookies/pies to eat as and when I fancy. I know that cookie dough could be refrigerated or frozen and baked as and when one fancies. This also holds true for pastry. But what about cake batters? Very few recipes state that it is alright to refrigerate cake batters, then bake when fancy strikes.

I did a search on the internet. The general consensus is cake batters are not suitable for preparing in advance. This is because ingredients such as baking powder, baking soda (also known as bicarbonate of soda) start to react when they are in contact with liquid. If left standing around, the raising properties of baking powder and baking soda will diminish. I came across a suggestion to add baking soda/baking powder only prior to baking, i.e. leaving the baking powder/baking soda out entirely and only mix it in just before baking the cake.

The preferred alternative appears to be baking the cakes in advance and freeze them. To serve, bring them back to room temperature. Re-heating may not be advisable as the cake could dry up. In addition, although cakes with frosting/icing freeze well too, there are suggestions to frost/ice after the frozen cakes have thawed.

As a sidenote, if a cake calls for three pans when baking and only two are available, I came across a suggestion to store unused batter covered in the refrigerator while the other layers are baking. When the first two layers have cooled, remove the cake. Clean the pan, regrease and bake. The third layer may take an extra minute or two to bake.

In respect of pies, they can be frozen before or after cooking. If before cooking, it is advisable to keep the pastry and meat filling separate so that the pastry does not turn soggy. As for freezing baked pies, there is a possibility that the pastry turn soggy too.