Az Decorators? 100+ Degree Weather

Decorating By vanki Updated 28 Apr 2010 , 9:49pm by lorieleann

vanki Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 2:02am
post #1 of 15

I've been asked to do a wedding cake for June. I have never done a cake in the middle of the summer heat. The wedding is also outside! And its for a friend of a friend so i can't really mess up to badly. Does anyone have any tips/ideas on how to keep the cake from melting? I think fondant is the way to go. What is better for underneath, buttercream or ganache? Is this too crazy/unreasonable for an amataur baker like me?

14 replies
lorieleann Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 7:38am
post #2 of 15

usually cakes are kept inside during the hot months, then if moved outside at the cake cutting time (at least down in tucson, maybe Phoenix always has an a/c option?). If the cake is going to be outside for any period of time, i'd use fondant (i also really like ganache underneath). Though, a hi-ratio shortening buttercream should be able to withstand heat as well. A first time wedding cake for June is a big challenge. good luck!

ozgirl42 Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 8:33am
post #3 of 15

Hi I live in Australia and we have had a horrible humid and hot summer. I have had to do several cakes during this time. I would highly recommend using fondant with ganache underneath it. The ganache has a higher melting point so the fondant won't slide.
Keep the cake either somewhere air conditioned or in a sealable container with some dessicate (silica gel or humidity absorber) and set it up at the last possible minute.
Keep it out of direct sun too as it can affect food colourings - eg blue can turn grey.
Good luck with it and make sure you post some pics too. thumbs_up.gif

Bunsen Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 9:03am
post #4 of 15

Agree with the previous answers but I would add stick to dark chocolate ganache as white chocolate is a bit more temperamental in the heat.

ozgirl42 Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 2:19pm
post #5 of 15
Originally Posted by Bunsen

Agree with the previous answers but I would add stick to dark chocolate ganache as white chocolate is a bit more temperamental in the heat.

I agree Bunsen. I only use dark chocolate ganache and it doesn't show through the fondant even though you think it might. The Planet Cake book has a great explanation on how to do it.

vanki Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 3:53pm
post #6 of 15

Thank you so much. Now after reading everyones comments i'm even more nervous!!! Someone here suggested laying dry ice underneath the table. Has anyone tried this? Does it make a difference?

And does anyone know if fresh flowers will wilt too fast? Should they be gumpaste?

So many questions! Thank you again.

cmalin3 Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 4:34pm
post #7 of 15

Try using sugarshack's buttercream recipe (with hi-ratio shortening). It doesn't require any refrigeration and stands up better than anything in the heat.

As for the live flowers - if you can keep them refrigerated until just before you put them on the cake that will extend their life quite a bit. Certain flowers do better out of water/in the heat than some quick checking on the types of flowers she wants and see what your options are.

Let us know how it all turns out! thumbs_up.gif

KimAZ Posted 26 Apr 2010 , 10:22pm
post #8 of 15

Hi Vanki,
Where in AZ are you? There are lots and lots of fellow Arizonans here at CC. Welcome!

I personally would not do a cake that will be displayed outside during summer here. It's just asking for trouble to me. Not unless it will just be out literally for the photos of the bride and groom cutting it.

If you are going to do it, I would suggest it being super, duper cold just before you take it outside and only left out for the minimum time possible. Nothing worse than going through so much time and effort to create a beautiful cake then have it melt, slide, slump or even fall while on display.

I work with several cake decorators and they too will not to cakes that will be displayed outside when it's so hot. All I can suggest is to have it in the shade, possible with misters going on near it ( but not on it) and even fans around it.

Good luck!

brea1026 Posted 26 Apr 2010 , 10:28pm
post #9 of 15

I agree with Kim- no way would I do one outside that late in the year. Aren't they worried about how hot all the guests will be? I suppose if it is late in the evening it shouldn't be too bad, but still- yikes!

Good luck though!

Ballymena Posted 26 Apr 2010 , 10:39pm
post #10 of 15

Someone here suggested laying dry ice underneath the table.


Just a heads up on dry ice. Cold travels down not up but the steam from dry ice will travel up, therefore the cold from dry ice will not cool the cake but the steam going up will create a humid cloud around your cake, something you do NOT want.

Ballymena Posted 26 Apr 2010 , 10:41pm
post #11 of 15

Sorry, I put the quote on the wrong sentence.

vanki Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 2:41am
post #12 of 15

Ok, so the bride is very adament on not having fondant. So i am trying to be creative on how to make this work. They will keep the cake inside until the last minute, but i'm still worried about buttercream melting. I've attached a pic of a cake that might be a possibility. What do you all think? Could this work? or would the middle melt out the sides? Oh, the stress!

lorieleann Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 2:51am
post #13 of 15

if she is adamant about not having fondant, then i'd go for a hi-ratio shortening buttercream kept extremely cold for as long as possible. I would also steer clear of fresh flowers, or put them in the cake in water plugs. That picture you posted looks like a whipped cream and strawberry pound cake.--not a good choice for heat. But kudos to you for looking for an alternative!

Big question is if you are in the Phoenix area, or somewhere where June after dark is still a bit more bearable. I'm in Tucson and pretty much as soon as the sun goes down, outside is lovely. But I know that Phoenix hold heat longer much earlier in the evening. I have to also wonder if the guests will be having any respite from the heat, or if they will be outside in the heat as well? Unless she has an off-beat venue, I expect that that venue will already have thought of the cake issue and may have some solutions. Sounds like she needs a little bit of a reality check (for her cake, and maybe her guests as well?)

vanki Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 5:34am
post #14 of 15

Yes i am in the middle of phoenix. The wedding is in a backyard and i think it is quite a budget wedding. I would never have my wedding in june in phx. What an awful thought! I hope that the bride understands the situation and realizes the limitations that i will have.

lorieleann Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 9:49pm
post #15 of 15

If it's a house, the cake will just have to be inside, in the A/C. I think she just needs to hear that, and plan around it, or take the responsibility of her cake melting and falling apart onto herself. I'm sure people will have to be going in and out for the restrooms anyway (and to be cool), so it won't be hidden. They can bring it out for the cutting if they like. Even inside, make sure it isn't against a west facing window. Though i'm not a huge fan of them, one of the separator cake racks from wilton (the kind that holds each cake on a plate so it looks like it is floating with support from the rear) may ensure that the support system of the cake doesn't fail (as there is no real stacking or doweling). I've heard that the SPS is very sturdy, but don't have experience with it yet.

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