How early in advance can I make and decorate a cake for it to be ok? My friend is having a bridal shower this Sunday and I offered to make her cake. This is my first official cake for people other than my family so I just wanted to know how early I can start getting everything together? Thanks in advance for putting up with the newbie!!
It depends on what type of icing and/or filling you use.
I use butter cream icing and shelf stable fillings. The icings can be made early in the week. Or even earlier and frozen.
I bake early in the week (usually!) and freeze the cake.
Defrost on Thurs night to decorate on Fri.
I do this for cakes due on Sat or Sun.
It just depends how big the cake is. If there's lots and lots of layers to bake, I'll start on Thursday (for a Sunday cake). If there's not too many, I'll bake them on Friday. Then tort and fill them. Then on Saturday, I would crumb coat and decorate the cake.
I agree with earlier posts -- start baking Thursday or Friday, icing on Saturday and decorate then too, or on Sunday if you have time in the morning.
If I have a lot of cake orders, or just a busy week, sometimes I have to start baking ahead of time. In that case, bake right now and freeze it. I just wrap the cake in several layers of plastic wrap and foil. Then thaw on Friday, icing and decorate on Saturday, or whatever.
Some people say you can freeze cakes for up to 3 months, but I think that's gross! I think that long really does change the taste. I have never frozen for more than a week or two, and no one has EVER known the difference! I couldn't even tell the difference, honestly (in taste), but the icing did go on a lot smoother!
If you have a complicated cake to decorate, the saying is a week to decorate and a week to eat. Bake the morning before you need to start decorating, chill the cake over night. In the early AM, next day, tort, fill and crumb coat. I allow the cake to sit 3-6 hours (if I have the time) before I add the fondant. Then the cake needs a few hours for the fondant to set. If pressed for time I start decorating pretty much right away, be aware soft fondant is very easy to mar.