Cake Transport For Campground Wedding

Decorating By kimber1959 Updated 14 Jul 2012 , 11:21pm by kimber1959

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kimber1959 Posted 5 Jul 2012 , 11:28pm
post #1 of 14

Hi all! I'm hoping that I might be able to get some advice from some of you seasoned cake bakers regarding an upcoming wedding. Sorry that this is a bit lengthy.....

I was recruited by my neice to make her wedding cake. I am not a professional baker, but have a passion for baking cakes and learning decorating techniques. However, I normally only take these cakes to work or hand out pieces to friends and family.

Anyhow - my neice's wedding is at the end of this month, at a campground, up in Northern Michigan. It may very well be HOT that day and this is a rustic campground with no electricity. I've already decided to bake all of the cake layers at home (starting this weekend) and freezing them. Once we are "up north" on Thursday (before the Saturday wedding) I will make the cake fillings as we'll be staying at a cabin and I can make the fillings once we get there. The morning of the wedding, I will make of the icing. I am using Italian Meringue Buttercream for the icing because I have read that this is one of the best icings to use in outdoor heat, plus I love the taste of it!

My questions have to do with transport. We'll be traveling for approx 4-5 hours on Thursday morning to get to the cabin that we're staying in. I really don't want the cakes to start thawing until Friday evening sometime. The bottom layer of the cake will be a 16" round and I know that it won't fit into any of the ice coolers that I've ever seen - without being crammed into it and possibly ruined. And as far as the other layers, which may fit into the cooler fine, I'm not even sure they'll stay frozen by the time we get up north. I'm wondering if the cakes will be OK (taste and texture) if they happen to thaw on Thursday.

On the day of the wedding, I'll take all of the filled layers over to the campground and stack and ice the cake. (Keep your fingers crossed!) Then, I plan on placing a big cardboard box to put over the cake and stand some bags of ice inside of it, with the cake, to keep the frosting from 'melting'. (Hoping the ice bags wont tip when they start to melt and land on the cake!)

Does anyone have any suggestions or have any of you professionals ever dealt with this type of situation? I'd really appreciate any help that you might be able to offer. I'm starting to get butterflies in stomach over this!

Thank you!

13 replies
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fedra Posted 6 Jul 2012 , 12:25am
post #2 of 14

Wow! Sounds like you have a big project ahead. Have you ever stacked a cake before? If so, then you are aware that stacking on its own takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours (depending on the system you use). In my experience, American buttercream is the best at withstanding temps up to 93 degrees (there was a thread about that here on CC). IMBC can be temperamental in the heat because of all the butter involved. As for your question about the taste/texture of thawed cakes on Thursday: I'm sure it will be alright. I bake from scratch and I bake all my cakes on Thursday for Saturday events. Always come out great! As for the ice bags: sounds like something that might work but IMHO nothing beats a real refrigerator or at the very least an indoor table top at room temp.
Everything always sounds great when we plan it on paper but icing and stacking a big wedding cake ON the morning of the wedding can be tricky because there is NO room for errors, especially if you will have no access to a basic necessity like electricity. Will there be water? As you know, making a cake from beginning to end can be messy. I would take absolutely everything that I will need to ice this cake. Good luck!

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kimber1959 Posted 6 Jul 2012 , 12:46am
post #3 of 14

Thank you Fedra!

Yes, I figured I'll need at least 2-3 hours to set up this cake before the wedding. Sure hoping the weather will be nice that day! And thanks for the input regarding the thawing of the cake. Appreciated.

Regarding the icing, I kind of thought that American Buttercream would hold up better as well - however, many people that I know do not like the super sweetness of it so I thought that maybe I should go with the IMBC instead. After reading your reply tho, maybe I should just go with ABC instead? I'm not so sure now! Aye - you threw another butterfly in my stomach! ha ha

Thank you again.

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matthewkyrankelly Posted 6 Jul 2012 , 12:58am
post #4 of 14

If you are looking at those temps, I would go with a shortening based american buttercream.

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kimber1959 Posted 6 Jul 2012 , 1:23am
post #5 of 14

Thank you, Matt!

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leah_s Posted 6 Jul 2012 , 11:47am
post #6 of 14

Indydebi's bc will stand up to the heat. After 12 years of experience and 1000 wedding cakes I would never, ever even consider icing, stacking and finishing a wedding cake the morning of the wedding. Wedding cakes are always completed the evening before.

Is it possible to finish it at home and drive it there, even in the wee hours?

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matthewkyrankelly Posted 6 Jul 2012 , 11:55am
post #7 of 14

FYI - you can custom make a cooler with sheets of rigid foam from the big hardware stores. you can cut them to size for any box and seal it up with duct tape. It won't be waterproof, but it will hold temperature.

Also, consider using non-perishable fillings.

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Tjensen Posted 10 Jul 2012 , 12:50pm
post #8 of 14

WOW! This gives ME butterflies!! FYI - I only use IMBC and I would not do this!!! It takes us approximately 6 batches of IMBC to fill and ice a 16" layer. Just the making of the IMBC will take a couple of hours. I would make the icing, fill and AT LEAST crumb coat the cakes the day before. Good Luck, I hope all goes well.

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denetteb Posted 10 Jul 2012 , 1:27pm
post #9 of 14

I hate to add questions to your plans, but just how many servings do you need? I would think a campground wedding wouldn't have hundreds of people at it. A 16 inch base is huge. Plus what other layers on top? Can you simplify your design, maybe by using some sheet cakes? And not to add more assumptions, but the guests will probably love the basic, familiar shortening based icing. Also, why not do the decorating at the comfort of the cabin, then transport the layers, assemble on site and do final touches. Do you really want to do all the decorating with a bunch of people, bugs, etc all around? And I would also suggest to keep it simple, no fancy fillings, just use more buttercream for the fillings so you don't have that added complication. And you could make the buttercream all ahead and transport in a cooler so all you would have to do at the cabin is decorate, not make the icing and fillings also. My guess is that you are so thrilled with this cake that you want to make it totally memorable and that is great. However given the facts you have given, you may want to step back and simplify things. Just my thoughts.

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BakingIrene Posted 10 Jul 2012 , 2:27pm
post #10 of 14

I would say that sheet cakes are the best way to go. Make a tiered dummy cake for looks and sheet cakes for the edible safe servings. NO BAGS OF ICE ANYWHERE NEAR A REAL CAKE, EH?

You need to buy a zillion reusable icepacks for your coolers. Make sure your coolers have barriers to keep the cakes away from condensation from the icepacks.

Shortening based buttercream can be premade and frozen in zip bags and will act as extra ice packs . You can then knead in the bag to soften it up, and spread directly from the bag for easy cleanup.

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lorieleann Posted 11 Jul 2012 , 12:25am
post #11 of 14

as others have mentioned, do not use the IMBC. It can be temperamental to make and is not ideal for being out int he elements. As you know it doesn't crust so if a swarm of anything flies into it, it's going to stick.

If I had to do this I would completely finish the layers at home with non-perishable fillings, cover in ganache then cover in fondant to seal them up tight. Fridge each layer boxed separately with SPS plates already in place. Pack 'em up and ref ridge when you get there. Enjoy yourself and then take the tiers to set up. Add some ribbon and what ever else you are decorating with to keep it simple and natural like the surroundings. You'll have a bug free, sturdy cake and a chance to enjoy the party.

I also wonder about the serving sizes needed with a 16" base layer? That is huge! It seems a lot easier to make a traditional 12/9/6 for 100 servings and then augment with sheet cakes or even cupcakes if you need more servings than that.

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kimber1959 Posted 13 Jul 2012 , 4:05am
post #12 of 14

Thank you ALL for your comments and suggestions! I have made of note of many and will be changing some of the plans for this cake. And as well, other plans have been confirmed. Thanks again!

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cakeyouverymuch Posted 13 Jul 2012 , 4:02pm
post #13 of 14

DRY ICE. I travelled from Manitoba to central BC with all of the baked cake layers for my daughter's July first wedding. My DH built a styrofoam box, and we layerd the frozen cake layers with dry ice (four thin layers each of 14, 10 and 8 inch vanilla cake, so I wouldn't have to torte them). The cakes stayed frozen all the way (2000+km, a two day trip) and would have stayed frozen for at least a couple of days longer if necessary. As it was they were transfered to my DD's freezer when we arrived. I thawed, crumb coated (charlotte's whipped buttercream made fresh) and fondanted (the homemade MMF travelled well also) the three tiers on friday, and set up Sunday morning.

I would carry the frozen cakes on dry ice, use indy deb's buttercream, and keep the cake over dry ice for as long as possible after it is set up.

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kimber1959 Posted 14 Jul 2012 , 11:21pm
post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by cakeyouverymuch

DRY ICE. I travelled from Manitoba to central BC.......

I would carry the frozen cakes on dry ice, use indy deb's buttercream, and keep the cake over dry ice for as long as possible after it is set up.

Thank you so much for this advice! icon_smile.gif

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