Gingerbread comes in many forms, and you might be wondering if you can freeze it so that you can use it at a later date.
Depending on what kind of gingerbread it is, and whether it’s raw dough or cooked pieces, you’ll be able to freeze it, but you might not need to.
Gingerbread can be frozen for later use, but for construction-grade gingerbread that’s been baked, you might not need to freeze it at all!
Let’s look at the different types of gingerbread to see which ones you should freeze and how to do it to get the best quality when you thaw it out.
Since I used to bake wedding cakes, I tend to go overboard when I wrap baked goods for freezing, but I know that the better you wrap and unthaw things, the better they’ll end up tasting later. This is how I would wrap and unthaw frozen gingerbread to get the best results.
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Can you freeze gingerbread cake?
Gingerbread cake can be frozen and stored for no more than three months for the best quality, After that, it can lose some flavor in the freezer, and if it wasn’t wrapped well it can develop freezer burn or dry out.
Before freezing the cake, let it cool off completely. If it’s still warm inside the freezing process can create a mushy texture inside the cake when it thaws out.
Make sure to wrap the cake in multiple layers of plastic wrap, tinfoil, then more plastic wrap. The more airtight it is, the better it will be protected from having moisture pulled out of it as it sits in storage.
If the cake is small enough, you can also put it in a freezer ziplock bag and press the air out to make it as airtight as possible.
When it’s time to thaw it out, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw out completely wrapped sot hat any condensation that develops on the outside of the wrapping stays off of the cake.
Can you freeze gingerbread cookies?
Gingerbread cookies that are fully baked can be frozen to use later, but you shouldn’t freeze them if they’re decorated! The gingerbread can freeze fine, but candy and icing that are used on them can bleed and melt when they thaw out if they’re not something that freezes well on their own.
Make sure that the cookies are completely cooled off before you wrap them. This will give you the best flavor and texture results when you thaw the cookies out later.
Store them in an airtight container, then wrap the container in plastic wrap to completely seal it up before freezing it. The plastic wrap will make sure that there’s no air going in or out of the container.
You can freeze cookies for up to six months, but the shorter the timeframe the better.
When you’re ready to use them, remove the cookies from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature.
Don’t unwrap them before thawing them out, give the container time to come to room temp without taking the cookies out so that condensation that might form stays off of the cookies.
If they do end up being a little softer than you want, you can put them in a 350 degree F oven for a couple of minutes to dry them out a little.
Can you freeze uncooked gingerbread dough?
You can freeze uncooked gingerbread dough for up to six months, but the shorter the time the better since that can avoid having the dough absorb flavors from the other things in the freezer.
Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag or airtight container. Make sure to try to get as much air out as possible before you freeze it.
When you’re ready to bake, let the dough thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours. You can then roll out and cut the dough into shapes, and bake as usual.
Can you freeze baked gingerbread house pieces?
If you’ve made a gingerbread house and have leftover pieces, or if you want to bake your house ahead of time, you can freeze the pieces. You might not even need to freeze them if you use a construction-grade gingerbread recipe, because it dries out as it bakes and it can sit out for months, if not years, without anything happening to it.
To freeze gingerbread house pieces:
If you made gingerbread house pieces out of a type of gingerbread that you can eat (i.e. not construction-grade,) you can freeze them and use them later. This can make it more convenient for you if you have a lot going on during the holidays and you won’t have time to bake the pieces then.
To freeze the pieces. make sure that they’re completely cooled and hardened.
Wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container or ziplock freezer bag.
If you’re worried about the pieces bending or getting broken in the freezer, you can put them on a cookie sheet and freeze the sheet along with the pieces so that they have a flat surface to sit on.
To thaw, remove the pieces from the freezer and let them come to room temperature while they’re still wrapped.
If the pieces seem soft, you can harden them up by putting them in a warm oven until the moisture evaporates out of them.
Let them cook before using them, but once they cool off you can assemble the gingerbread house using royal icing as usual.
For construction-grade gingerbread house pieces:
If you baked house pieces out of construction-grade gingerbread, you might not even need to freeze the pieces. Construction gingerbread bakes up hard as a rock, and as long as it’s not too humid where you are, the pieces will probably stay usable for years.
Since construction gingerbread isn’t really meant to be eaten (it’s too hard and not delicious) it won’t matter if it goes “off” a little as far as flavor goes.
I baked some pieces to make a gingerbread tree a year and a half ago, and yes, they’re still sitting there waiting for me to use them (oops.)
I haven’t wrapped them or frozen them, and they’re still fine to use.
I definitely won’t be eating them, but they probably didn’t taste good to begin with since they’re meant to build with, not to eat!
To store pieces of construction-grade gingerbread, just put them in a container and set them aside until you need them.
If you want to freeze them you can, but it’s not really necessary.
To sum up, you’ll get the best results from freezing gingerbread by letting the baked pieces cool off completely before wrapping them, wrapping them completely airtight, freezing for as short a time as possible, and letting them come to room temperature before unwrapping the pieces.
Taking your time and being as careful as possible will give you the best results!
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