The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Refrigerating cake batter before baking?

neoncoyote's picture

Refrigerating cake batter before baking?

Greetings -

I would like to mix the batter of  my key lime pound cake in the evening, put the batter in a bundt cake pan, cover and refrigerate it, and bake it the next morning. Like all pound cakes, the batter is heavy on eggs, and sour cream is also included...though I don't think these ingredients would affect the outcome. Does anyone have any experience with preparing a cake batter, then refrigerating, then baking about 8 hours later? Have you noticed a difference in the result versus a cake batter that is baked immediately upon mixing? Does the overnight chilling have an adverse effect on the leavening action (baking soda)? Thank you!


Franko's picture

The fridge temp wouldn't affect the baking soda itself but the sour cream and any other acids (like lime juice) in the batter will cause the soda to react. Try pouring some cold lime juice over baking soda and watch what happens. If you really want to mix the cake long before baking time I'd mix the batter with everything except the baking soda, then put it in the fridge . Just before baking add the baking soda to a portion of whatever liquid the recipe may have called for, or just some water, (maybe a 1/4 cup or less) then mix it into the batter and get it straight into a preheated oven. These types of cake do best when mixed fresh and baked right away so I'm just offering this as a suggestion not a recommendation.

neoncoyote's picture

I'm going to just bake right after mixing. It's one of those "it MUST turn out" occasions, not one on which to take chances. Thanks so much for the reply, Franko.

Nickisafoodie's picture

I've made corn muffin batter the prior night with great results.  The trick is to not add any of the leavening (baking soda and baking powder in my case) until just before you pour batter into the pans.

It should be easy to sprinkle the leavening on top, give a 30 second stir with a wire whisk to fully incorporate, then pour batter into loaf pans.  But would try it first given your "must turn out".

If using a prepackaged cake mix, the leavening is already in the package so that would not work...  Let us know how you make out!

PS, for what it is worth, my muffins are very soft, even if I make them in the morning and wait only 30 minutes to add the leavening - almost like an autolyze cycle in bread making where the flour and corn meal absorbs moisture and becomes softer than otherwise.  So I like the method and hope it works for you...

midwest baker's picture
midwest baker

I just mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet in another, then refrigerate the wet stuff. In the morning, stir them together and bake. Works with pancakes.

berryblondeboys's picture

I don't think this matters for a pound cake so much, but it would for other cakes. Most people like fluffy/light cakes, so allowing a cake batter sit overnight allows all that air you put into the mix, to deflate. So, in a regular cake situation, I would say don't do it. Pound cake though, is a different beast.

I'm just putting that out there for people who might just to the conclusion that it's OK to refrigerate all cake batters.

mimifix's picture


Many bakeries mix up large amounts of batter and bake what is needed for that day. The remaining batter is refrigerated and baked as needed. Every recipe is different, and this procedure doesn't work for all recipes, but I do this now at home.

Some recipes which have a high amount of baking soda will expand and deflate as they sit. When I'm ready to bake those, I will stir them down and add a pinch more soda. Then bake as per recipe directions.