Hi everyone. I've read a lot of posts on traveling with cakes and I googled before I posted this but I just need some more advice.
I live in NYC and we're having a Thanksgiving family reunion in North Carolina (I'm not going). I want to send a cupcake bouquet in a basket and a torted 3 layer (2 layers of raspberry filling) 10" square cake in boxes. I'll be making Sugarshack's or Indydebi's bc with butter. I'm thinking about using edible images on either fondant, mmf or modeling chocolate ( I really would like to try modeling chocolate) for my decorations.
I know that the cake has to be on a flat surface on top of a non slip liner, safe from falling objects. Around the time of the trip the temp. in NYC should be between the 40's and 50's (maybe, one can never tell at this time; it could be higher or lower). I'm sure the heat will be on in the car until they start going through states that are not as cold as NY; it will get warmer the further they drive towards NC.
Should I or shouldn't I freeze first; can you freeze modeling chocolate and edible images; please tell me if I need to use ice packs etc.; how should I package the cakes? Any other tips I need to insure the cake makes it there safely. The family knows the risks and understands it might be damamged upon arrival. Thanks!
If I were making that trip with those items, I'd box them and put the boxes on 2 layers of memory foam (about 4 inches--I get memory foam mattress topper--Target carries the 2" ones) cut larger than the boxes.
I'd tell the parties in the car that they need to keep it cool at all times and to move the boxes out of direct sunlight, should that be an issue during the trip.
The raspberry filling needs to be shelf stable, so I'd avoid fresh berries, dairy, etc. Bettercreme mock mousse would be fine, as would seedless preserves or sleeve filling.
I don't have any experience w/ edilbe images. Modeling chocolate decos should freeze the same way fondant does. It's the defrosting that needs to be controlled so as to avoid condensation.
Since the trip is so long, I don't see being able to control the defrosting like I would going from freezer to fridge to counter to table, so I wouldn't bother with it--but that's just me.
Thank you BlakesCakes. I will be using filling in the sleeve...the heat n in the car is what has me stumped. Maybe if I thaw overnite in the fridge; place in a oversiz box with ice packs inside surrounding the cake with the back window cracked... I don't know I might not be sending a cake.
Has anyone ever traveled this far by car in the conditions I have described with success?
Forgive me if I'm asking a stupid question.......
If it's only traveling from NYC to NC (I'm assuming a 1-2 day trip), and the filling is non-perishable, why would you freeze the cake first? Once the cake is covered in fondant, the fondant will keep the cake fresh for a few days (from personal experience.....almost a full week, with no compromise to the cake).
If it were me, I'd decorate the cake the day before they are picking it up, and like Rae said, tell them to keep it out of sunlight, not too hot in the car, etc.... It should be fine when it gets to NC.
I have flown with buttercream frosted cakes and they have been fine a few days later also.
The cake will be iced in bc with fondant or modeling chocolate decorations. I was thinking of freezing I've changed my mind; now I'm thinking about just chilling the cake; I heard on here that a cold cake travels better. The cake will be filled with raspberry filling so I'm worried about the top layer sliding.
Thank you for your input Chelleb1974; I'm still just trying to figure it out.
Thanks for the clarification! I wasn't sure how you were planning to decorate/etc... I can understand your concern about the top layer sliding! I would make sure to have a really good icing dam around the edges of each layer (I usually use stiff icing for a filling such as raspberry) and keep the filling below the top of the frosting dam. I'd also caution them to try to avoid sudden stops and quick turns - these can be the death of cakes.
I, too, have heard that a cold cake travels better. I think refrigerating it sounds like a good idea. I had thought you were concerned about the cake being fresh, etc... but I see that's wasn't the reason for thinking of freezing it.
Good luck with your cake!
I just got back from a trip from NYC to SC. It took us about 13 hours, stopping to eat and and getting gas of course. One thing that I would also be concerned with is the roads in New Jersey. We traveled in Jersey City on I think it was Hwy 78 and then to Hwy 81. The roads up there were pure torchure on our car and that should be a concern as well.
Thanks again Chelleb1974 I agree with the what you said about the dam and filling.
Ljchevygirl, thanks for the update. I really don't know which highway they are traveling. I only wish you took a cake with you so that you could tell me if it made it there safely...the steps you took. I'm thinking about the cake box (from UPS store) being in the cargo area, up against the back seat, with things on the sides to lock the cake box in place ( as well as in front) so if there are any sharp turns, bad road conditions or quick stops the box won't move. I have about 2 and a half weeks to figure it out before I need to start prep work. Decisions, decisions!
I've travelled with cakes lots of times from NC to Pennsylvania. In the fall, winter and early summer. Sometimes a small tiered cake. I've never had any problems. I do make sure that the temperature in the car is not too warm. Of course I keep the cakes level. One time for my grandmother's 90th birthday, my husband built something out of wood to slide the cake under since we had so much luggage etc in the back with the cake. I don't think you need to freeze the cakes.
If it's just a single tier 10" cake I wouldn't worry too much and I def wouldn't freeze. You can take it from the cooler to the car, but it will come to room temp within an hour or so.
If you are worried about your layers sliding, maybe you could put the cake on a cake drum and then place a few skewers through the cake and into the drum. Place the cake on a cake box, tape all the flaps down (will sturdy up the box tremendously) and place on a level surface with some of the rubber shelf lining and it shouldn't move.
The edible images might be prone to cracking traveling that distance, but I'm not speaking from experience, just an educated guess.
My worst fear would be luggage falling on it!