To Refrigerate Or Not, That Is The Question...

Decorating By dukeswalker Updated 21 Sep 2014 , 10:58am by -K8memphis

dukeswalker Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 1:08am
post #1 of 21

I seem to be full of questions lately!


I have a cake that I am working on and it is unusually humid in AZ right now. Normally, my MMF decorations dry up nice and hard within a few days and I can keep my fondant covered cakes in the fridge without any real condensation issues.  But the MMF pieces I made 7 days ago are still bendy and my cakes are taking 1-2 hours to dry with a fan before I can touch them. (I did up the temp on my fridge - hoping that would help...)


Anyway - after seeing how long my MMF pieces were taking to dry, I thought it would be a good idea to add in some gum paste (about 25-30%) to my MMF.  I spent 5+ hours frilling ruffles and attaching them to the cake. Then (and only once I was allll done) did I think, "Crud!  You can't refrigerate gumpaste!!" And I have a 2 hour delivery tomorrow. I have never transported an un-chilled cake.


So help me out here.  Will the amount of gum paste I mixed into my MMF affect how the ruffles hold up if I put this cake in the fridge?   If it will, what am I looking at as far as transportation?  (white cake has a  triple berry filling, AMBC, chocolate cake has whipped ganache filling)



THanks everyone!

20 replies
-K8memphis Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 1:28am
post #2 of 21

Amaybe -- stick a few ruffles on a cake scrap and get that in the fridge and see how they do -- is your berry filling ok out of temp?

dukeswalker Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 1:46am
post #3 of 21

Regarding the berry filling - Yes.  BUT it is warm and things get squishy.  I've out a few extra ruffles in the fridge and pulled them out and they seem to do OK I just am having visions of waking up, packing it up, and driving down the freeway as I watch the ruffles melt.  :eek: *shutters*

-K8memphis Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 1:48am
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Ayou're going to seal it up in boxes yes? aka climate controlled -- you don't want the outside air to get to it --

dukeswalker Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 1:59am
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Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

you're going to seal it up in boxes yes? aka climate controlled -- you don't want the outside air to get to it --

Yes - if I refrigerate it it will be boxed and then chilled overnight (actually will be boxed regardless if it's room temp or chilled)  Which brings me to another thought!  Normally, I box and wrap the box in saran wrap to keep it all sealed up and chilled - but with the dang gum paste that I mixed in with the MMF - should I wrap it in saran wrap?!  (Oh.... me and my brilliant ideas. gah.)

-K8memphis Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 2:08am
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Ai don't know -- you gotta test it -- sending troops of cake angels out your way

costumeczar Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 2:10am
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Refrigerate it, it will be fine if you do and it won't if you don't!

dukeswalker Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 2:12am
post #8 of 21

:cry: Why - o - WHY did I add gum paste?!?!  GAH!!!!!  Please - oh - please send all sorts of good thoughts my way.  

costumeczar Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 2:13am
post #9 of 21

I wouldn't use the saran wrap, either, unless you're using a commercial refrigerator. Put the cake in the fridge, and when it's time to transport it put it straight into the box, tape it up and go. It will warm up VERY slowly if it's inside the box so issues of condensation etc will be minimized. If you put it straight from the fridge into the car and transport uncovered that won't be good.

dukeswalker Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 2:22am
post #10 of 21

I was thinking the same thing (avoid the saran wrap) - I'll put a few ice packs in the box, tape her up, cross my fingers and go.  OH!  I also just found out the freeway is closed for construction tomorrow - so I get to be in stop/go street traffic 90% of the way. Awwwwesome.  lol!

mattyeatscakes Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 5:47am
post #11 of 21

AHmmm.. This is new to me.. I didn't know that you can't/shouldn't put gumpaste in the fridge. I've put fondant covered cakes with gumpaste flowers before in the fridge and they were fine.. The fondant cake got tacky (but dried after a while) but the flowers were fine.

costumeczar Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 11:31am
post #12 of 21
Originally Posted by mattyeatscakes 

Hmmm.. This is new to me.. I didn't know that you can't/shouldn't put gumpaste in the fridge. I've put fondant covered cakes with gumpaste flowers before in the fridge and they were fine.. The fondant cake got tacky (but dried after a while) but the flowers were fine.

There's a difference in the humidity levels between home refrigerators and commercial refrigerators. Commercial fridges are a lot more humid, so you have to wrap the cakes, put up deflectors on the fans, etc etc to keep the humidity from affecting the cake. A home fridge isn't like that, so you can just put the cake in, no big deal. I refrigerate gumpaste overnight all the time, and nothing happens to it. A lot of the warnings about not refrigerating things are coming from bakeries with commercial equipment, but home appliances don't have the same concerns. It's like if someone with a convection oven starts to give baking advice on how long to bake things without mentioning that their equipment is different.


Having said that, it also depends on what kind of gumpaste you're using. If you're using real gumpaste, and not just a fondant with tylose in it, it will hold up. I can't vouch for other kinds of "quick gumpaste" recipes.


But adding gumpaste to something to stiffen it up isn't a big deal. Right now I have a lump of white chocolate clay, fondant and gumpaste all mixed up that I used to make a ruffle cake last wekeends, and it went into the fridge and came out just fine on a rainy day. I guess I could have thought to mention that before now, haha! But I didn't even think about it because I do that kind of thing all the time and it's not a big deal.

-K8memphis Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 11:57am
post #13 of 21

there's a difference in humidity levels for all fridges -- i've had a heater put into my home fridge because it dripped condensation while my commercial fridge was bone dry fine from the get go -- overall commercial fridges are more humid because they cover so many more products such as florists would want high humidity in there -- but those humidity levels can be adjusted too -- tons of walk-ins just pee icky water from the condensers because they are in ill repair --


so that's why it's important to test your products in your equipment and when the weather acts up one way or another you gotta factor that in also -- 


when you say box -- i hope you mean a corrugated cardboard box like a moving box not a flimsy cake box -- the former is insulated -- i would use nothing less for a 2 hour drive on surface streets with fondant that took over 7 days to firm up -- keep it from hitting the outside air -- keep it as gradual as possible coming to room temperature --


so i hope all goes well!

dukeswalker Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 3:35pm
post #14 of 21


Originally Posted by -K8memphis 


when you say box -- i hope you mean a corrugated cardboard box like a moving box not a flimsy cake box 

Yes, absolutely.  It's the only thing I feel comfortable transporting it in.  I usually attach an ice pack or two to the bottom, around the base of the cake - just to help keep it cool.

-K8memphis Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 3:39pm
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can't wait to hear how good it went!

-K8memphis Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 4:09pm
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fingers crossed -- no pressure :-D

julia1812 Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 4:10pm
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AI work alot with mmf and gum paste (not combined though). I never chill them. If the cake is covered in buttercream and mmf it's all sealed, the tonnes of sugar work like a preservative and you don't need to worry about anything inside the cake going off. The rapid change of temperature when you open the box coming out of the fridge will cause the gum paste to become sticky and soft. Don't do it! You don't want a last minute disaster

dukeswalker Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 6:27pm
post #18 of 21

Well - the cake has been sitting in the fridge since last night.  Part of the problem with leaving it at room temp is our (Arizona) room temp is usually much higher then most.  We keep our a/c set at 80*F, when I'm working on a cake, it is set at 78*F.  


I did put some ruffles in the fridge for several hours and then took them out to see how they would do.  They did soften when the came out but not enough to go droopy.  So, the pins I had in my cake to help the ruffles dry and going to stay until I deliver the cake.  My hope is, if they do get a little droopy that the pins will offset the droopiness. 

-K8memphis Posted 20 Sep 2014 , 6:33pm
post #19 of 21
oh my gosh -- good news -- that sounds like it's gonna work!
dukeswalker Posted 21 Sep 2014 , 3:56am
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Yee-haw!! Success!!! SOOO - Let it be known to all future cakers:  MMF with gum paste mixed in is A-OK in the fridge.  


After this baby sat in the fridge all night I popped her straight into a heavily corrugated box, taped it up and slid the whole thing into my pre-cooled car.  Once we arrived and she was taken out of the box there was NO condensation, the ruffles were stiff, and the clients were super happy (I even got the "whoa.  Look at all the detail in the buckle!" comment.)


I picked up some pizza on the way home and enjoyed a glass of peachy white wine sangria to celebrate.  (before starting the next order tomorrow!)


Thanks y'all for yer help and kind words. :cowboy: 

Everything is bigger in Texas!  Big, MMF (with a bit of gum paste mixed in) ruffles with the edges painted silver for the gals, a big ol' gum paste belt buckle for the guys and top it all with a cowboy hat (rice krispie).

(You can't tell, but those ruffles had all of their edges painted in silver and the belt had stitching.)

-K8memphis Posted 21 Sep 2014 , 10:56am
post #21 of 21

AYou ROCKED it -- knocked it out of the park -- man I love the hat! And the ruffles and the belt of course too -- great design and it didn't melt :D Whooo Hooo

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