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Should You Wrap Fresh-From-The-Oven Cake In Plastic To Keep It Moist?

Stacked cakes wrapped in plastic
Stacked cakes wrapped in plastic - Ahanov Michael/Shutterstock

While some recipes are as easy as dumping a few ingredients in a pan and mixing them, many require more work and attention. It's unfortunately common to make mistakes when baking a cake, whether over- or undermixing your batter or forgetting to grease the pan and ending up with a cake that refuses to come out. Even if you do everything right, you still want to ensure your cake stays moist when it leaves the oven and lands on the table. According to TikToker Lauren Parajon, getting the just-baked cake immediately into the freezer is the key to locking in moisture.

Parajon is adamant that you should wrap your fresh-from-the-oven cake in plastic and a freezer bag then pop it in the freezer the second you pull it out of the oven. While Parajon acknowledges that it will be extremely hot, they insist that this is the secret to maintaining a super-moist cake.

You're not alone if you're unsure whether you should try this. While some in Parajon's comments called it a "gamechanger," others were more hesitant, admitting they freeze their cakes after they've cooled. While most bakers acknowledge that putting your cake in the freezer after baking results in a soft and moist cake, whether you should wrap it in plastic immediately after baking or allow it to cool first has become a complicated subject.

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Detractors Worry About Leaching Chemicals

Chocolate cake wrapped in plastic
Chocolate cake wrapped in plastic - Tatiana Foxy/Shutterstock

Laura Parajon's advice about freezing a cake seems to have stirred up the debate about whether you should freeze the pastry when it's still hot. Some people come firmly down on the opposing side. Both Martha Stewart and the Cake Boss himself, Buddy Valastro, cool their cakes before wrapping them. In addition, some have suggested that wrapping your cake before it's cooled can trap moisture between the cake and the plastic wrap, potentially allowing bacteria to foment. The comments on Parajon's post feature others pointing out another reason.

"Isn't that like cooking with plastic?" one person asked. "Plastics [leach] chemicals with extreme changes in heat like this," commented another. Whether that's true is a point that not everyone seems to agree on. Most U.S. companies now make low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic wrap, such as SC Johnson's Saran wrap, which is considered safer. According to the Journal of Hazardous Materials, experiments "have demonstrated that repeated high-heat treatment of plastic food containers results in the continuous leaching of microplastics." While the study points to multiple high-heat treatments, concerns about wrapping a hot cake in plastic and creating that leaching effect are understandable.

It may be best to err on the side of caution and wait until the cake has cooled before wrapping and freezing, or consider placing something between the cake and plastic. No matter when you wrap it, if you bake it well, you will still end up with a delicious, moist pastry.

Read the original article on Mashed.