Wedding Cake In A Day?

Decorating By cutthecake Updated 17 Aug 2010 , 11:43pm by kansaslaura

cutthecake Posted 16 Aug 2010 , 1:00pm
post #1 of 18

I don't make wedding cakes, or cakes for sale.
I recognize the amount of time it takes to create even a moderately difficult cake. I've been reading for quite some time on CC that cakes need to be assembled by tiers and allowed to rest before stacking, to prevent bulging, etc. Then the cakes must be decorated, which also takes time. This means that the cakes must be baked in advance, maybe by a day or two or more.
Which brings me to Chelsea Cllinton's wedding cake. I just can't see a baker/cake artist telling the Clintons that their daughter's cake would be baked on Wednesday or Thursday for the Saturday night wedding. And the headlines: "Clintons serve 3-day old cake at daughter's wedding!"

What's your best guess about the timeline for making the Clinton cake?

When my own family sees me baking a cake on Thursday for a family event over the weekend, they ask if the cake will still be fresh by Saturday or Sunday. They thought, as I did before I was educated on CC , that wedding cakes were baked fresh on the day of the wedding (even though I now know that is virtually impossible).

17 replies
Kimmers971 Posted 16 Aug 2010 , 1:06pm
post #2 of 18

I just did a 3 tier anniversary cake for my Aunt & Uncle, I baked on Monday and Tuesday and served it on Saturday. It was super fresh & moist. If covered in fondant all the better since it is sealing in the freshness.

I'm sure the Clintons cake wasn't baked the day of or even the day before, it was made earlier in the week.

bakingpw Posted 16 Aug 2010 , 3:12pm
post #3 of 18

I might be alone on this, but whenever I read that the cake was baked on Tuesday for Saturday,and not frozen, I am appalled. I would never sell a cake that was days old. Yes, it is quite possible (even normal) to do a wedding cake in a day or two, even in an extremely busy bakery such as Le Tulip where the Clinton's cake was made.

cakeville82 Posted 16 Aug 2010 , 3:16pm
post #4 of 18

Why are you appalled?
You do know time passes at the same rate in the freezer as it does outside of it, the cake is still days old whether or not it's frozen.

bakingpw Posted 16 Aug 2010 , 3:30pm
post #5 of 18

I am certainly not talking about the passage of time icon_wink.gif
Retrogradation (staling) is halted by freezing. From the time the cake comes out of the oven, it has begun to "stale". Though a cake that is days old may still taste ok, it is still stale. IMHO, a few days stale is not better than a day or a few hours. Also, I was answering the "is it possible?" question? And the answer is: yes.

thatslifeca Posted 16 Aug 2010 , 3:49pm
post #6 of 18

I've done it. Baked cakes into the wee hours of Friday nite, torted,filled,iced cakes in the weeee hours of Saturday. Popped it in the frig, then woke up and decorated and had it deilvered Saturday afternoon or early evening. I don't like doing it. It wipes me out now (I'm getting old LOL), but yes it can be done. So for a bakery like Le Tulip were they have lots of employees, you better believe it can be done.

indydebi Posted 16 Aug 2010 , 7:52pm
post #7 of 18

Whenever this issue comes up, ,I just ask people about the cakes, the breads, the rolls, the pastries that they make or buy .... and that sit on THEIR counter for days and days before it's finally eaten up?

Did these poeple not have moms and grammas bake a cake and sit it under the pretty glass dome on the counter, so when we went to gramma's house, we'd managed to hint around (or flat out ask!) for a piece of that cake she made a few days ago?

I can't figure out when it was that people began thinking baked goods were fragile pieces of food that started to disintegrate within hours.

janeoxo Posted 16 Aug 2010 , 8:13pm
post #8 of 18

Now I baked a cake on a Thursday for delivery on the Saturday morning as I would normally do. The customer had asked for it to be delivered on the Saturday as she wanted to show it off at the BBQ they were having.

What I didn't know was that they didn't actually want to start eating it until their anniversary which was on the thursday, a week after it was made.

Received a text from her on the Friday saying it was fabulous.

Whilst I wouldn't bake a cake a week in advance of a customers delivery (unless I was going to freeze) it shows as Indydebi says, it lasts just fine, especially when fondant covered, as this was.

7yyrt Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 3:36pm
post #9 of 18

Most cakes are better the next day and later, giving it time to 'ripen'.
The only way we like 'fresh' cake is when it's still hot from the oven.

luddroth Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 3:48pm
post #10 of 18

There have been entire threads on CC devoted to the view that a cake that is frozen for some period of time is actually better, more moist, than a cake that has never been frozen -- something about the crystallization of the moisture in the cake re-hydrating the cake as it thaws. In my own experience, and I'm a scratch baker, cakes that have been frozen (and it doesn't seem to matter whether it's 24 hours or weeks) are better than cakes that have not. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't tested it myself. So, bake whenever, freeze for however long you need, then thaw and decorate. Not stale.

bakingpw Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 3:48pm
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Whenever this issue comes up, ,I just ask people about the cakes, the breads, the rolls, the pastries that they make or buy .... and that sit on THEIR counter for days and days before it's finally eaten up?

Did these poeple not have moms and grammas bake a cake and sit it under the pretty glass dome on the counter, so when we went to gramma's house, we'd managed to hint around (or flat out ask!) for a piece of that cake she made a few days ago?

I can't figure out when it was that people began thinking baked goods were fragile pieces of food that started to disintegrate within hours.




I agree - you are correct in stating that the customer will most likely leave the cake on their counter for a few days. Isn't this even more reason that the cake be the freshest when they pick up? It is also true that box cake mixes stay moister longer than made-from-scratch cakes.

In reference to the OP, if I were baking the wedding cake for a former presidents daughter, not to mention their many well-known friends, I would bake and decorate at the last possible moment to give the best impression of my business as possible!

JanJess Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 3:50pm
post #12 of 18

I read in People magazine that the cake took several days to make, the gumpaste flowers up to a month in advance and the part that surprised me was that they said it took 48 hours to set up. Supposedly the decorator would work for awhile go home and nap, come back and work some more. I find it hard to believe that it could take that long to set up. You know they had to have a staff working on that cake. icon_rolleyes.gif

Katiebelle74 Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 4:09pm
post #13 of 18

I think this idea that a cake is supposed to be baked within a day of the event is a very American thing. In Culinary College I was lucky enough to study under a C.M.P.C. (Certified Master Pastry Chef) He was from Austria, he baked cakes for the late Pope, and he knew one of the Pastry Chef's from the team who worked on Princess Diana's wedding cake... he told us that: her cake was a european fruit cake (fruits soaked in liquor) covered in jam then in marzipan, then in fondant which seals the cake. The cake was then worked on and decorated for over a month. Clearly this was acceptable for Royalty. Now while I cannot imagine a cake being ok after a month and I do bake mine usually 2 or at most 3 days before the event, I think this idea that some people get in their heads about it being baked today for today is insane, it's not a baguette people. The best way to have bread is baked today for consumption today but we pretty much NEVER do that here in the USA.

pmarks0 Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 4:47pm
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiebelle74

her cake was a european fruit cake (fruits soaked in liquor) covered in jam then in marzipan, then in fondant which seals the cake. The cake was then worked on and decorated for over a month. Clearly this was acceptable for Royalty. Now while I cannot imagine a cake being ok after a month and I do bake mine usually 2 or at most 3 days before the event, I think this idea that some people get in their heads about it being baked today for today is insane, it's not a baguette people. The best way to have bread is baked today for consumption today but we pretty much NEVER do that here in the USA.




A european (or west indian) fruit cake is usually more fruit than cake, and soaked in liquor. It really does last a month or more. In fact, it will last a lot longer than a month. It's usually the marzipan that breaks down first. I make trinidadian black cake (their fruit cake) every christmas. Besides soaking my fruits in rum for at least a month and preferably much longer (you can have fruits soaking for a year or more before using them in a cake), the cake also has more liquor lightly poured over it when it's done baking. All the alcohol preserves it. We've eaten black cake months following Christmas, and if you freeze it (without the marzipan or fondant) it will last for much longer.

As for my regular cakes, I usually bake (for example) on a Thursday, decorate Friday to deliver Saturday. I haven't yet frozen any cake, but I do have some cakes coming up that will be frozen before use as I just don't have the time to bake the couple of days before the cake is needed.

cutthecake Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 5:13pm
post #15 of 18

I was referring specifically to this very high-profile cake. The non-caking masses might likely shun the bakery after hearing that the Clinton cake was days-old when served. (But I'm sure their sales skyrocketed since they were identified as the bakers of the cake.)

Janjess, I'll have to look for that People magazine and read about the cake. Thanks for mentioning the timeline they provided.

I have no problem with "aged" cake. Right now, there's some leftover cake (which was made last week for a weekend family event), sitting on my counter and it's delicious.
But I hate baked goods that were frozen AND taste freezer-burned. That's the one time "No cake" is better than bad cake.

ChilliPepper Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 9:10pm
post #16 of 18

I usually make my sponge cakes in advance and freeze them as I find filling and coating them while still frozen helps keep them moist. As I work full time it depends when the cake is needed as to when it is filled, coated, iced and decorated. I have never had a complaint about my cakes tasting 'stale' and am usually complimented on how moist and delicious they are. My fruit cakes are usually made at least 2 months in advance as I like to feed them with cognac every 2-3 weeks and IMO all fruit cakes should be made in advance as they need to mature to be at their best. Obviously they need to be well wrapped in parchment and kept in an air tight container.

cutthecake Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 10:14pm
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutthecake

That's the one time "No cake" is better than bad cake.




Correction: That's the one time "No cake" is better than any cake.

kansaslaura Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 11:43pm
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutthecake

I was referring specifically to this very high-profile cake. The non-caking masses might likely shun the bakery after hearing that the Clinton cake was days-old when served. (But I'm sure their sales skyrocketed since they were identified as the bakers of the cake.)

Janjess, I'll have to look for that People magazine and read about the cake. Thanks for mentioning the timeline they provided.

I have no problem with "aged" cake. Right now, there's some leftover cake (which was made last week for a weekend family event), sitting on my counter and it's delicious.
But I hate baked goods that were frozen AND taste freezer-burned. That's the one time "No cake" is better than bad cake.




Do you seriously think that the general public actually thinks about these things? We're an obsessed bunch here--every tiny detail gets noticed. I think if I were just Mrs. Smith reading about the cake taking several days the thought would cross my mind.. that's all--a couple of days??

Pretty sure they're put into the fridge like you see on the cake shows.. big walk-in coolers for big cakes.

In my years of doing this I have only had one bride, or it might have been the MOB ask me what time I got up in the morning to get that all done and delivered in time.

I wish my mind wasn't always in smart a$$ mode, because the first thing that entered my mind is that we have specially modified vans that let us drive with our feet while we decorate going down the road....
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