Holiday Desserts: Try Freezing Leftovers to Minimize Temptation

This season is such a challenging time because of all the extra holiday food that is around.  For those with a sweet tooth, the leftover cakes and pies from thanksgiving can be a challenge, for others the Christmas cookies are the biggest temptation.  While you may not be able to control your environment at work or at holiday gatherings, you can control your environment at home.

So what can you do with the extra sweet treats?  I usually recommend removing them from the house by giving them to a friend or neighbor, taking them to work or even throwing them out.  (No, eating the remainder of the cake will not help starving children in another country).  However, if you have trouble getting rid of food, another option is to freeze it and save it for later.

The following are some tips for freezing cakes and cookies:


  • Frosted Cakes:
    • Freeze well for 2-3 months
    • Will thaw in 2 hours at room temperature
    • Creamy-type frostings freeze best, fluffy or whipped cream frostings don’t freeze as well.
    • Frostings tend to stick to packaging.  To avoid this, freeze the cake unwrapped, once it is firmed, place waxed paper over the iced portion and then wrap the entire cake in freezer plastic wrap and seal it.  It can be sealed in an airtight container or you could use foil or a freezer ziplock bag.
  • Unfrosted Cakes:
    • Freeze well for 4-6 months
    • Will thaw in 1 hour
    • Wrap the entire thing in freezer plastic wrap and seal it (see above).
  • Cakes with fruit or custard filling:
    • Do not freeze well because the filling will make the cake soggy when it defrosts

Baked Cookies:

  • Most cookies freeze well
  • For the best quality they should be eaten within 1-2 months.  However, frosted cookies can last 2-3 months and unfrosted cookies can last 6-12 months
  • Freeze cookies with a layer of waxed or parchment paper in between each layer and then wrap them in plastic wrap before putting them in a ziplock freezer bag or other airtight container.
  • Cookies can thaw in the refrigerator overnight, at room temperature or you can put them in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes if you would like to serve them warm.

Baked Pies:

  • Do not freeze baked cream pies, custard pies or pies with meringue
  • Pumpkin pie lasts 1-2 months
  • Fruit pies last 2-4 months
  • Wrap in freezer plastic wrap and then seal in air tight container or ziplock freezer bag

These frozen treats can are handy to have on hand for when you are serving dessert to guests or when you need to bring a dessert to another get together.