Tips for Making Desserts Ahead
Bake and Freeze Cakes: Freezing layer cakes is a great way to reduce the amount of work needed on the day of your party. To ensure that your cakes retain their quality, wrap the completely cooled, unfrosted cakes in a double layer of plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and freeze them for up to one month. To defrost a frozen cake, thaw it completely at room temperature, 4 to 6 hours. Note that the surfaces of defrosted cakes will be a bit moist and tacky, so be sure to apply the frosting gently to avoid tearing the crust.
Make Frosting First: Most frostings can be held at room temperature for up to 3 hours or refrigerated for up to 2 days. Before using, bring the frosting to room temperature and whisk briefly to re-fluff.
Whip Cream In Advance: Whipped cream can be made up to 8 hours ahead. Transfer it to a fine-mesh strainer, set it over a small bowl, cover it, and transfer it to the refrigerator.
Bake and Refresh Cookies: Most cookie dough can be made in advance, shaped into balls, and frozen for up to 1 month. Baked cookies (with the exception of cookies that have been glazed or dusted with confectioners’ sugar) can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. To refresh them, place the cookies in a 425-degree oven for 4 to 5 minutes.