Can You Freeze Fruit Cake?

So you’ve got fruit cake leftover? Perhaps a family member was kind enough to bake you a cake but there’s only so much you can eat before it begins to dry out and go stale…

But what can you do with all that fruit cake? Can you freeze fruit cake or does it not freeze well?

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze fruit cake, Christmas cake, simnel cake and any other cake made with dried fruit. When freezing any fruit cake, your main focus should be on keeping it airtight so ensure you wrap it in multiple layers of either clingfilm or foil.

How To Freeze Fruit Cake

If you want to successfully and efficiently freeze your fruit cake then here is what you need to do:

  1. Remove Decorations
    Firstly, remove any inedible decorations from your cake such as ribbons, bows or ornaments that may be on your cake. You don’t want to freeze your cake with these decorations.
  2. Protect Your Cake
    Wrap your cake in a layer of clingfilm. This will protect the cake from any odours in the freezer. To be doubly sure, add a layer of foil on top of the clingfilm to further protect it.
  3. Freeze
    Place it in the freezer and that’s all there is to it.

How to Freeze Iced Fruit Cake

You can freeze iced fruit cake but the process is a little more long-winded.

If you follow the instructions above for freezing fruit cake, you’ll find that the clingfilm sticks to the iced layer and you’ll struggle to thaw it without ripping the clingfilm or pulling the icing off your cake.

No one wants to be left chewing on plastic!

So, instead, before you wrap the cake in clingfilm you’ll want to flash freeze it. This will harden the top to avoid it sticking to the clingfilm. You simply need to place it in the freezer on a tray for just an hour or so until the outside of the icing has frozen solid.

3 Tips for Freezing Fruit Cake

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing fruit cake to have the best results:

  • Avoid Icing Where Possible – Icing on cake won’t freeze particularly well. If you’ve got leftovers then you won’t be able to do much about this. If, however, you baking a cake with the aim of freezing it then avoid decorations. 
  • Wrap and Wrap Again – You should do all you can to keep the air out. This means wrapping and wrapping again. Try using a layer of clingfilm followed by a layer of foil. 
  • Try Toasting – If your fruit cake has managed to dry out a little then you can actually toast slices of it in a toaster before smothering in butter a bit like a teacake. 

How Long Can You Freeze Fruit Cake?

Fruit cake will last for a good 3 to 4 months in the freezer. Beyond this point, it will still be perfectly safe to eat in most cases but the texture can begin to degrade and there’s a risk that air will seep into the wrap and impact your fruit cake.

You Can Freeze Fruit Cake for Around 3-4 Months

How Do You Defrost Fruit Cake?

When it comes to defrosting, there’s no magic trick or kitchen hack, unfortunately. It’s a case of taking it out of the freezer and either leaving it on the worktop for 4 hours or so or placing it in the fridge to thaw overnight.

Don’t try to speed the thawing up by heating it up in the oven as you’ll enjoy up overcooking the outer edge while waiting for the centre of the cake to thaw completely.

Can You Refreeze Fruit Cake?

This is not something we would recommend. If you’re concerned that you won’t eat all the fruit cake when you defrost it then portion it and freeze it that way. The process is very similar to that outlined above:

First, cut your cake into wedges. The wedge could be the size of one portion or enough to feed three. Wrap each wedge in a layer of clingfilm followed by a layer of foil and then freeze.

You can store these wedges in a large container or freezer bag so they don’t get buried in your freezer drawers.

Does Fruit Cake Freeze Well?

It does! Fortunately, the majority of cakes (provided they don’t contain much in the way of cream) will freeze well and fruit cake is no exception. What’s more impressive is that it really doesn’t take too much effort to freeze.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing fruit cake or fruit cake in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Christmas Cake?

As the name suggests, Christmas cake is a fruit cake popular at Christmas. It’s iced with royal icing and marzipan. You already know that the fruit cake element will freeze well as we have discussed above but what about the icing and marzipan.

The good news is that, yes, you can freeze Christmas cake because both the thick icing and marzipan will actually freeze pretty well.

With looser, runnier icing, there is a risk that it becomes somewhat grainy when it is frozen and thawed – but this doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to thicker royal icing.

Can You Freeze Simnel Cake?

Again, you can. Simnel cake is essentially the same as Christmas cake but traditionally eaten at Easter. The same method and exceptions apply to simnel cake. Just make sure you remove any decorations before you freeze the cake.

You will also find that the traditional marzipan balls do not freeze well at all. You may want to remove these when freezing it and then add them fresh after defrosting it using the method above.

Can You Freeze Simnel Cake

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