Can this be done and HOW??
My friend lives in ATL and wants me to ship her a Florida Gators cake - thankfully its just a carved (flat) sheet cake, but what icing, how do you package - does it need dry ice, should I freeze it...etc....etc...etc...
HELP! I really want to do this for her, but I'm so scared she is going to get a big chocolate cake disaster!
thank you all so much!!
Yes, it can be done! I don't know where ATL is. Is it in the States? You should be fine. No ice/dry ice necessary. There was a thread here last year around November '07 but it all got toasted in the Crash. Um, I've got some emails/pm's about how to box it up and ship it. Copies of pix that Yorkiemum and I were working together on of how the shipping box/cake looks. (I can try to forwardyou the PMs, but not really sure how to do that. If you want, PM me and we can try to send the pix over regular email.)
Flat cake is good, carved or not. Make sure it is a sturdy cake and not one of those light/airy things. WASC is a good recipe to use, because by the time they get it, it's good to eat! Bake it, decorate it up, and fridge-it-up nice and firm. Um, what else... cover in fondant, MMF, or rolled buttercream. Regular buttercream will smush, even if it is crusting. Even if it is flat, you'll still want to dowel it to the board. Also, wrap the crap out of it so it doesn't dry out.
Let's see, you dowel the cake like this: through both the cake/board/bottom layer of box/box top layer. Use a foam board to keep the sides of the box from collapsing! Like a foam board from Michael's. Use packing material like those air pockets. Wrap it all up in another box that has a generous layering of peanut shells in-between this box (which is your outside box) and the inside box (thatholds your cake.) Give directions taped to the inside box as to how the receiver needs to open it up. You don't want them ripping into the cake when it's got that big dowel all the way thru the box and the cake!
Also, send along a "hole cover" or at least a great big candle, cuz the cake will have a hole in it from the dowel. (dowel keeps the lids from smashing the cake)
Mark the whole box "this side up" and "perishable" and then send it overnight by USPS. USPS was a whole heck of a lot cheaper than Fedex. Also, it went ground, which took just 1 day guarantee. Depending on the Zip code, it might be as cheap as $50 bucks. Remember, you want as FEW people handling the box as possible.
I brought my cakes directly to the post office. I called my post office (we have 3, but I called the one that ships out direct,,,,the other 2 ship to this ONE, so I wanted FEW people touching the box.) Anyyyywaaaay, I called the 1 that ships out direct and asked when the last drop-dead time I could bring in a box that would deliver out. They told me the time, I showed up 30min prior. (1. to stand in line, 2. so I could leave the cake in the fridge as long as possible.)
I think from my zip 1st cake I mailed (700mi) cost $68 bucks (cheaper than roses!) and 2nd cake (4-layer torted, 8", dk choc w/choc ganache) mailed (250mi) cost $47 bucks.
The 1st cake (4 layer, 6" dk choc/WASC combo) was sent to a major town and then had to be trucked the next day to the dinky town, so the mail actually took 3 days. But the 3rd day, it arrived before 10am. And they stored the perishable boxes in an unheated storehouse, so it was nice and cool, like it had been in the fridge but not frozen. (I called and spoke directly with both post offices, so the towns knew it was coming...even tho it was 'sprise for the recipient! )
Both recipients of course loved them and dived right in then and there!
Gee, this was a long post! But I hope it helps!! Just remember, if you pack the cake in right, it will hold up nicely!!! And it's really not that difficult! Get your boxes ready ahead of time and all your packing material, so you're not running around town like a chicken with your head cut off while your cake is ready to go!!!
That really really helps!! Thank you so much for the reply!!
ATL - is Atlanta (sorry!!) I hope that from north Florida is will go overnight. I am making a pretty dense chocolate cake. I was going to use buttercream, but I can just as easily do fondant.
Thank you again for the reply!!!
You should be fine. Use MMF or Michelle's fondant. (Um, Wilton is gross, don't want to gross out your friend!heheh).
Be sure to dowel all way thru the box top, thru the cake, thru the cake board, and box bottom. When I shipped my cakes, I used my empty egg carton crates, you know, that blue colored cardboard that the eggs set in. I had my dowels going thru those and then just touching the inside of the box lid nice and snug. Then I put the packing air bags around the cake. Fit a box that fits the cake. You want the cake snug but not smushed, so if it slides a bit, it won't go far.
Then you fit that box inside a larger box with your shipping label posted outside of it.
(I also put a stiff board, you know like a poster board cut up, on the inside of the mailing box walls for extra anti-smashing)
For your cake box, it is easier if you pre-cut one of the sides out for a "door" so the recipient can "open the door" to then have access to cut open the top of the box lid. I did that and then just duct-tape it shut.
(heh, they had to use a box cutter to get into it, it was like a fortress! )
Let me know how everything goes and send a note PM if you want for any further clarification.
Be sure to post a pix, too!
Oh, and send a note of how she liked it, too!
Thank you so much for all of your help!! so here's the bad news!! I went out yesterday to get all the stuff for the cake and by the time I got home I felt TERRIBLE! Now I think I have a touch of the flu and can't make the cake at all for her! I certainly don't want to send a cake full of germs to her house!
So now I'm trying to find a decorator in the Canton, Georgia area to do the cake for her.
I know that sometime in the future I will need to ship a cake - my family asks me to all the time and I just keep saying no - next time I might have to try it!!
thank you again for all your help!
Awwe, that's horrible! Gosh, I hope you recover quickly!! Having stomach flu or this horrible ickiness is just not good!
You know, you could always do this for her later after your back to your usual self. It's a nice surprise. Keep your directions handy, and when you need them you have them.
And feel better soon...