I've been asked to do a 3-tier wedding cake for a wedding in the next city. The customer wants me to then give it to my parents, who are attending, so they can drive it up there. Is it possible the cake will make it there safely or should I tell her I can't do it?
Air-conditioning, screened from the sun, non-skid mat, safe driver, cake NOT on the seat, secured in a box that is secure in the vehicle, nothing fragile placed on cake that hitting the brakes could jar off, centre dowel through cake and into cake drum, lots of luck and a prayer or two, fingers crossed - should be fine. Tell them to avoid big hills.
What cake design are you doing? What icing and filling and how high are the tiers? Will the stacked cake fit in your parents' vehicle?
if this is some kind of friend/family deal sure but for a paying client no way -- i would not ask my parents to deliver one of my cakes -- if your client knows that your responsibility ends when the cake is picked up maybe -- but that's a little confusing as to what is your parent's responsibility in this -- i mean of course they won't be hot rodding or stopping at the store to wait in line to pee and get a cold drink for 20 minutes while the cake sits in the sun but this is just too iffy y'know? are they cake veterans?
cakes can sit on a car seat if the seat is leveled first like with a roll of paper towels and a 1/2 sheet pan -- then you can use the seat belt too -- around the box --
in the summer cakes should never be delivered at the mercy of a car air conditioner due to opening the door once changes the temp by 20 degrees or more --
cakes should be enclosed in a corrugated cardboard box because it's then climate controlled not dependent on air conditioning -- it's less stressful too -- ice packs can be added and will hold an already cold cake for hours -- traffic jams happen and cars can break down -- if you're pulled over to the side of the road for 30-45 minutes waiting to be bailed out your cake can still be delivered on time but it might be melty if precautions are not taken in advance --
save yourself as many headaches as possible -- and having your parents deliver a cake would be one to avoid
Ugh! I've already said I could do the cake. I feel like a dummy going back to the customer, who is friends with my parents, and explaining that this isn't just a box of donuts and that it could possibly get ruined in transit.
Well, if you take the precautions mentioned, depending on the type of icing/filling and decorations - without unforeseen issues like an accident, it can be done. I have transported stacked cakes 2 hours in an air- conditioned Ford Windstar on the floor on a non-skid mat in a large moving box in temperatures of 90+.
I have also transported a 4 tier cake for 1 1/2 hours in the same car to a venue. Got there only to find that the only entrance was a narrow, steep stair case only wide enough for one person so carrying it was a challenge.
Just make sure you inform your parents of the precautions. Are your parents able to do any minor repairs should the need arise?
charge them for delivery and take it yourself maybe
sounds like maybe they are trying to show you some support? i mean it could work -- just 'cause i wouldn't do it doesn't mean you can't of course -- tell them to drive like there was a raw egg rolling around on the dashboard -- cross your fingers, pop a xanax and it will probably be fine -- pack it up real good -- say a prayer
and post a picture :)
As long as you take all the mentioned precautions, and the cake is well-chilled and has been in the fridge overnight to get good and solid for the trip, it should be fine. But make sure it's on a flat surface in a box that's anchored with the non-skid mat etc. And you should read the riot act to your parents and make them so scared to transport the thing that they treat it like it's the Hope Diamond. No rough roads, no quick stops, etc.
Are your parents capable of making any kinds of repairs to the cake if needed?
For example...if the cake slides off the board a little and the border is completely messed up (or only a little) ...are your parents going to be able to fix it so that it is going to be presentable.
What kind of drivers are your parents? I mean how do they REALLY drive? It's one thing for them to say they will drive carefully but unless they have actually transported a tiered cake before they probably don't realize what that entails. And even if you spell it out for them and give them explicit directions it may be very hard for them not to drive as they "normally" do. How are THEY going to feel if they take a corner too fast or have to slam on the brakes and the cake is ruined?
There's nothing wrong with going back and telling the bride that now that you've had time to think it through you would not be comfortable letting non-cake people be responsible for the delivery of their wedding cake. They either need to pay you for the professional delivery of their cake or they should get someone local to make it. And if they do decide to have you do it anyway and have your parents deliver they need to sign a waiver releasing you of responsibility, even if they are family friends.
If you do it, having the cake THOROUGHLY cold from the fridge is critical. It won't move around if it's cold.
Additionally, besides having the box on a non-skid mat, line the box with one also if the box is larger than the base the cake sits on.