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What can I make in advance?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I need your expertise. Soon I'll be starting the planning process for my daughters baby shower. Since I'm hosting, you know that I'll be doing 95% of everything that needs to be done. I'm also doing a dessert buffet and I'm going to need to do most of the prep work in advance. Here's a list of the desserts that I want to make and could you tell me what I can make in advance, how to store, how to thaw and what is the shelf life?

Sugar cookies (decorated with fondant and some with edible images on fondant)
Rice Krispies treats
Homemade marshmallows
Eclairs
Truffles
Bark
Carrot cake shooters (no advice on this one)
Red velvet brownie parfaits
Cake pops (undecorated and decorated)
Chocolate covered rods (no advice on this one)
Oatmeal, coconut, raspberry bars
Macaroons (the french kind)

Since cream cheese icing has to be refrigerated and the shooters and parfaits will be sitting out, if I add cream cheese to my vanilla buttercream recipe, will it have a cream cheese flavor, will it need to be refrigerated and how much cream cheese per bc recipe (8 oz. for a single batch of bc)? TIA!
Don't just do it...Do it just!
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Don't just do it...Do it just!
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post #2 of 4
Holy cow, that's going to be one amazing dessert table! I throw a large party every Christmas, and do lots of ahead-of-time work. I don't have suggestions for everything but here are a few:

Sugar cookies (decorated with fondant and some with edible images on fondant) --Bake/Freeze - 2 weeks easily (longer is possible but I find the taste starts to fade)
Rice Krispies treats -- Day ahead at most
Truffles -- what kind? I make ganache truffles rolled in cocoa, make the mix, chill/scoop onto plastic and cover very well 2-3 days ahead, roll last minute
Bark -- 2 weeks or more ahead depending on type
Red velvet brownie parfaits -- make brownies several days ahead & freeze
Cake pops (undecorated and decorated) -- can make the filling several days ahead and shape/freeze
Oatmeal, coconut, raspberry bars -- make base several days ahead and freeze, top and no more than one day ahead

Good luck - can't wait to see pictures of this party!!
post #3 of 4
Your Macaroons can be made 3 days in advance and kept in an air tight container - then filled on the day for best results.

Homemade Marshmallows can be made 2 - 3 days in advance - and kept in the frig.

Truffles - as 3D sweets said.

Cake Pops - make well ahead of time - and freeze - the ones you are going to decorate (dip in chocolate can be done 2 - 3 days in advance)

Bluehue
post #4 of 4
I have used this recipe for marshmallows and it's excellent. You can make them two weeks ahead, and definitely store them at room temperature:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Homemade-Marshmallows-242701

With your eclairs, the choux pastry shells can be made now and frozen. They should be filled the day of the party or they will get soggy.

Bars and cookies can absolutely be frozen. I haven't made this recipe but it says they can be frozen for up to one month:

http://www.landolakes.com/recipe/1876/old-world-raspberry-bars

I agree with what the others said about the bark and rice krispie treats. Here is a good truffle recipe which can be made two weeks in advance and stored at room temperature:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chocolate-Truffles-233316

Just use your regular cream cheese icing recipe and keep the parfaits refrigerated until you set them up. They will be fine at room temperature for a few hours. Technically cream cheese has four hours at room temperature but I have left a cream cheese iced cake at room temperature for two days with no problem. I would never recommend that to a customer or use it as a business practice though.
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