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Fresh, good, quality baked goods, made from scratch 100% is very important to me. At the same time, I don't want to waste food that does not need to be wasted.
Previously, I have only done special order cakes delivered on the date needed. Freshness was never something I had to concern myself with.
Now, we will be placing some of our dessert cakes in a cooled glass case in a store front. And I need some advice on shelf life.
In the beginning, I don't expect to sell much, as nobody yet knows who we are . . . business may be slow at first. Is it acceptable to keep a cake in a display case for 2 days? 3 days? Should we be throwing them out every night?
Certainly I have made birthday cakes here at home, and they lasted a good week or more in the fridge . . . but for a business that prides itself on fresh, what is the acceptable cut off?
just some ideas, what if you make fake cakes for display and have fresh ones in the fridge and replace those every 2 days? and If you don't want to do that why not get some cake platters that have glass dome covers so they stay even fresher because the case might get open and shut alot and that could cause the cake to not be as fresh as you would want it to be. I would still allow no more than 2 days if you are wanting to get the freshest cake out to your customer. I also wonder if you have some friends that would want to be guniea pigs for you. My idea here is that if you could find some friends that would be really honest with you about the resuts have them try one of your cakes freshly made. Let's say you find 6-8 friends to help you. cut one of your cakes into fairly nice size pieces and give a piece to each friend. write down the kind of cake that you had them try. keep a record of this. take another cake just like that one to the place of business that is going to showcase them for you. Tell them that if it has not sold in 2 days that you want to be notified of that(I would probably call them myself anyway). Go pick up the cake that was not purchased and have the same people taste it now that it is 2 days old. See what they think. If it has deteriorated in anyway, you want to know. If it is still tasting fresh to them then lets try 3 days. take the same kind of cake back to this business and tell them that if it has not sold in 3 days that you want to know. Tell them that you are trying to find out how long you can put a cake up for sale and it still be very fresh tasting and that you do not want to throw a perfectly good, fresh cake away. If it is not a good idea to do this, this way because it would smack of not having done your homework ahead of time, then I would try this experiment with your friends ahead of time. Yes, it means making the same kind of cake at least 3 times, but then you would know. I still think that once you have decided on how many days to leave a cake for optimum freshness and taste that you ought to have them under glass domes. Making the same cake 3 times and having friends test it is not going to be as expensive as having a customer that does not know your abilities try it and find out that is is not fresh after so many days and I would also think that you can keep track of the costs of each cake and how many you have to get rid of and count that as a loss on the busines at the end of the year. Just because you can't or don't want to sell it after that many days, doesn't mean that you couldn't take it home for your family to enjoy though. Or another idea would be to find out if you donated them to a place like meals-on-wheels if you would be held liable . I really don't see how you could. Because once you gave it to them you could not be held accountable for how they took care of it from there. Once you decide how many days a cake is going to be good keep that as your standard. Best wishes.