Ever have that not so fresh-baked feeling? It’s ok, we’ve all had it. I’m here for you. There are things you can do to make sure that it doesn’t happen often and that it never happens before you’ve gotten to eat your fill of deliciousness. (These guidelines apply to Sweet Bytes food only. Other places might bake their things on different timelines and will have their own guidelines. These rules go with my bake/ deliver schedules and the food safety guidelines from the ServSafe Manager Book.)
Let’s break it down in the same way my menu is broken down:
- Fruit and nut pies should be left in the bakery box on the counter for 3 days.
- After 3 days you can cover them in plastic and refrigerate them for up to 3 more days.
- If you still have pie left after that (what’s WRONG with you?!) they would risk growing mold, so it would be best to wrap in more plastic, then foil or a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, thaw in refrigerator then heat in 350° oven for 15-20 minutes. Microwaving pie= crust degradation (but, hey, it’s fast).
- Cream Pies and custard pies, including pumpkin and buttermilk, are kept in the refrigerator and best eaten within 2 days, they will not need to be thrown out due to food safety until after a week. They will not be “Fresh” after 2 days.
- Some people say never freeze them, but I have frozen them wrapped in plastic and foil and then unthawed them in the refrigerator and enjoyed them. They were not 100% like they were before the freezer, but they weren’t ruined either- in other words, good for a sweet tooth, not good for showing off prized dessert.
- Do not thaw in the microwave
- Cakes with buttercream or ganache can be kept at room temperature 5 days. It’s best to remove them from the bakery box and put them in a cake keeper with a domed lid that won’t touch the cake. If you don’t have one, you can invert a giant mixing bowl or plastic tub over the top and voilà, makeshift cake keeper!
- Cakes with cream cheese frosting should be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, also in a cake keeper or airtight box of some sort.
- Cakes with whipped cream as filling or frosting should be eaten the same day or the next day. the whipped cream will start changing texture and any fruit in the filling will start to make more juice.
- After you cut the cake you should also seal the sliced area by covering it with plastic wrap or waxed paper so the sliced area doesn’t dry out. May be overkill, but I’m serious about my dessert.
- If you need to freeze leftover cake, you can place it in the freezer for 30 minutes so that the frosting hardens, then cover completely in 2 layers of plastic wrap and then foil or proper freezer bag/ box. Unthaw in the refrigerator, then let come to room temperature on the countertop.
- They are actually better on the 2nd or 3rd day. Remove them from the bakery box and place them in an cake keeper or an airtight box of some sort for best results. Cheesecake exposed to air will develop a tough outer “skin” much like regular cheese does. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- If you have left overs after 5 days you can wrap in plastic or place leftovers in a freezer safe plastic box and keep for up to 3 months. Unthaw in the refrigerator when ready to eat again. There is hardly any change in cheesecake after freezing and unthawing as long as you keep it airtight so it doesn’t absorb odors or get freezer burn.
- Soft cookies can be kept in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. I’ve heard tell that keeping a fresh piece of bread in the box or ziploc bag keeps the cookies softer than without the bread. When the bread goes stale trade it for a new piece.
- To store soft cookies longer than 5 days, you can place them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Crispy cookies can be kept in the bakery box for up to 5 days or another loosely covered container such as a cookie jar.
- To store crispy cookies longer than 5 days, place them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Iced cookies are the same as as above only if you freeze them, freeze them for 30 minutes in a single layer so their icing can get firm and place a layer of waxed paper in between each layer before stacking.
- In my opinion these are trickier than cake, although they should follow the same rules as cake. It’s because the cake is on the outside and that’s the part that wants to dry out. They are best eaten on the day of or the next day. If this is impossible, wrap the whole box in plastic wrap to keep the air out and avoid having to find a box. You can also place them in an airtight box, but not stacked on top of each other.
- Cream cheese or whipped cream filled need to be refrigerated.
- Buttercream or marshmallow filled can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator.