Can I freeze a cake with a whipped cream center…

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…without mixing in gelatin?

We don’t regularly freeze pastry here at Marx Foods, but assuming I remember my pastry classes correctly, that’s not a good idea.  It’s likely that the cream will separate (at least partially), damaging its texture and possibly waterlogging parts of your cake on thawing.

Generally you’d only freeze unstabilized cream if you were going to have an opportunity to mix the fat back into it later.  Otherwise you need something to stabilize the fat-water emulsion.

Some alternate options:

Gelatin’s the most common choice for stabilizing whipped cream so it won’t weep after a few hours in the fridge or during freezing, however, there may be some non-gelatin stabilizers out there that could be used.  I know cornstarch is used in some recipes (directly or indirectly through powdered sugar with cornstarch) to prevent weeping at refrigerator temperatures, but I don’t know how well they’ll stand up to the freezer.

This About post recommends agar agar (which we sell) as a vegetarian/vegan alternative to gelatin for stabilizing whipped cream, but doesn’t mention how well it’ll survive a freeze.  If you want a vegetarian alternative to gelatin stabilization, that’s the first thing I’d try.  This scholarly article also indicates that lambda carrageenan with locust bean gum can stabilize frozen cream.  We don’t offer lamdba carrageenan (that particular version is less helpful to molecular gastronomy chefs), but we do have both kappa and iota available.

Both carrageenan and agar are used in stabilizing ice creams, so it stands to reason that they might be able to help with your whipped cream.

Question Submitted by Roni S.

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