I just had a customer ask if I could make a birthday cake one week in advance because her daughter was going to bring it home for the party (6 hours away). She wanted to know if it would keep in the refrigerator. Now for the questions:
How many think it would be okay for a week?
It is a cake that uses a lot of bright buttercream decorations such as trees, houses, etc. Will the colors run when it is taken out of the refrigerator?
There are also edible images on the cake that applied to MMF first.
I never refrigerate my cakes after the very first one that started to sweat in the Texas heat and in our humidity so I would appreciate any advice from those of you that do refrigerate you buttercream frosted cakes.
Gosh, that is a tough one. SOOOO many factors to consider. I have never had buttercream sweat, but I am in Nevada and we have no humidity! When I worked in a bakery and used edible images, sometimes they did not hold up well on icing, never tried one on fondant. Plus, it depends on your actual buttercream recipe. I would say no. You cannot be sure of the product. Just my opinion......
I would inform the customer that the quality of the cake and decorations could possibly be compromised...if she is willing to acknowledge and accept the possible consequences(stale/not as fresh, faded/color quality poor or running...), then do it. But I would advise her of the issues that making a cake that early could encounter. Let the customer make the final decision.
I don't think that the cake quality would be good for a week if left at room temperature or refrigerated.
Maybe if you froze it and the daughter could transport it in a frozen state and you provided her with proper thawing directions to prevent running of colors...most definitely.
The only time I experience fading is when it's in direct sunlight or in an area with flourescent(?) lighting.
On three separate occasions, I have made cakes for people who wanted them for a time I wouldn't be in town. I have to make them and decorate them over a week before the actual event. ALL of them had fondant and buttercream. DO NOT put them in the fridge! It will dry them out and make them taste funny. Each of the cakes I made ahead of time, I put in a cake box and then wrapped the cake box in plastic wrap about 8-10 times. Then FREEZE it. Take it out the day or day and a half before the event and leave the box still wrapped. After 24 hours, remove the plastic and box and that's that. All three clients that did this said that they would have never guessed that the cake was over a week old. They said it tasted like it was just made. One of these cake even went all the way, by plane, to Ghana! From Portland! And it as still good. So I would say that is a good way to go.
I always refrigerate my cakes overnight and I've never had issues with sweating. However, I really don't think I would take a chance on a cake being the same high quality a full week later.
Unless, as all4cake mentioned, you could find a way to freeze and pack it fully decorated for the customer to transport. Then maybe, but I would make darn sure the customer is fully aware that everything would be frozen and she signs something stating that.
I really don't know if it would be worth all the hassle - unless they happen to be a close friend or relative. Even then... I'd really have to think hard about it.
Deleting a double post... sorry.
I agree w/SharonK......it can be done if the customer will follow directions & fz it.
I have kept (leftover) cake in my frig for as much as 10-12 days and felt it was just as good as in the beginning. We are not big cake eaters....I would forget it's in there & DH would ask if there is 'any of that cake from the other day still left?' Yah, the other 10 days ago! But yet he said it was still as good as the 1st day.
Thanks so much for your input everyone! I will surely leave it up to the customer to decide.