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Transporting Cakes

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm making 18 cakes, 8" Double layers. They are for a wedding, they will be the centerpieces on the tables, sounds really cool but I'm dreading making all of these. The problem is the wedding is 4 hours from my home and due to time and space issues, I have to bake and decorate all the cakes at my Aunt's house, and hope to god I remember to pack everything I need. Anyway, so the plan is I'll get all the cakes baked and decorated friday at my Aunt's house. Saturday morning we have to take them all to the reception hall to set up the decorations. The reception hall is about an hour away from my aunt's house. I have a little car, any suggestions for getting all 18 cakes in my car at once and transporting safely? All I can think of is just buying boxes and hoping I get all of them in the trunk and backseat? I'm in the midwest and it's cold so hopefully I don't have any melting problems. I just didn't want to buy 18 boxes just for transport, we are on a tight budget for this cake with the distance involved.

 

Do you think they will stay fresh if we leave them out friday night and all day saturday? I don't have enough air tight containers and there won't be enough room in the fridge.

 

This is my biggest order to date and I'm really stressed, I'm hoping everything goes according to plan!

 

 

Any Advice is appreicated! Thanks!

post #2 of 16

I would be leery of stacking decorated cakes in regular cake boxes, although I would certainly try to transport the cakes boxed, just to keep them clean. Also, lay in a good supply of something that will prevent skidding to put under the cakes. This stuff has saved my bacon on more than one occasion. Is there any way you could start really early and make two trips? That way, you could un-box the first nine and bring those boxes back for the second trip. I don't know whether your car is a hatchback or has a backseat. Whatever the layout, I would try to get as large a flat surface as possible. If there's a back seat, I would put some kind of filler on the floor (large boxes, your luggage or whatever) and lay a sheet of plywood over the whole back seat and filled-in floor area before putting down my anti-skid material. If there's also a trunk, all you need to do is lay down some anti-skid stuff in that and you have some extra space, as well. If you're driving by yourself, you could also even the front seat area out the same way as the back seat and use that space, too. The trouble with stacking boxes is that if you have to brake suddenly, the top boxes  - even if the bottom ones are pretty resistant to being crushed from the weight of the cakes on top - are almost guaranteed to go scattering. Sorry I don't have any more creative answers to this problem.

 

By the way, unless your cakes have some kind of perishable filling, there shouldn't be any problem leaving them out from one day to the next. I live in the tropics, and I've left cakes sitting out two or three days before cutting them when necessary, with no untoward results. The frosting or fondant will seal in the moisture and they won't dry out or turn stale in the time frame you mention. I really wish you good luck with this. Making several cakes sometimes sounds like a good alternative to one large cake, but doing this has its drawbacks, too.

Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
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Marianna
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post #3 of 16

Oh how this reminds me of the time I had to take some 23 9" hearts up into the foothills when I had my shop.

We had an SUV but still it was a very tight fit getting them all into the vehicle.

Can hubby make you a short 'table' - a flat piece of wood then add legs to elevate it the 6" needed to make a 2nd 'layer' of cakes?  Put the cakes in the trunk w/non skid stuff under them; add the 'table' and put another layer of cakes on it.

If not,  or beg, borrow or steal - well, NO you don't want to steal - another vehicle?  Find some relative or friend - who hopefully has an SUV or van - who will either let you borrow the vehicle or following you to the venue. 

post #4 of 16

That is ALOT of cake to bake in one day.  If I am understanding right, it is for this Saturday?  I would suggest to you to start baking them now, wrap and freeze them, they will be fine for Friday/Saturday and it will save you the stress. 

 

For transporting, can your Aunt put some in her vehicle and then you both can drive them up there.  I would definately use non skid shelf liner as Marianna46 suggested, you can get it at Walmart and it is a life saver. 

 

Can you tell us more about what kind of vehicle you will be driving.  That would give us a better idea of size and we can better assist you.

post #5 of 16

I also recommend you start baking now and freeze them. Take them out of the freezer Thursday night or Friday morning early to thaw. Thaw completely before icing.  Are you using a standard household oven or a large restaurant oven? If you are using a small oven, you have at least 6 hours just to bake. (If nothing goes wrong.) Plus you have to wait for them to cool and then wash the pans if you don't have at least 8 pans. Also make all the icing you need and color it on Thursday.

 

How they will do over several days depends on your cake recipe and what type of icing you use.

 

If I were you, I would get several 10" boxes (if that is the board size) and see how many will fit in the trunk. I don't think you can avoid boxing them since you are cramped for space. You can reuse them in the future and just think of how you will feel if the cakes get crushed or dirty. I would think cake boxes would be fine stacked 2 deep. You could use cheap string to tie them together (2 stacked) if needed. If you can't get a small number of cake boxes, try brown corrugated boxes from the office supply store or uline.com . They could be stacked higher and wedged together.

 

http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-4107/Corrugated-Boxes-200-Test/10-x-10-x-6-Corrugated-Boxes

It's not how good you are, but how well you can fix your mistakes.
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It's not how good you are, but how well you can fix your mistakes.
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post #6 of 16

Good idea about the corrugated cardboard boxes, Jenn123. You probably COULD stack those 2-deep. You just need to really make sure the boxes are fitted tightly together in the trunk and stuff towels, newspaper or anything else you can into the extra space, so they won't move around. And even so, use something anti-skid under them. I wasn't even thinking about the baking and decorating part. If you haven't already started, definitely bake and freeze today (if it's for this Saturday), then thaw and decorate tomorrow. Between tomorrow and Saturday, your cakes should be no worse for the wear as far as freshness is concerned. You're not using anything perishable like custard, fresh fruit or cream fillings are you? That would be a problem because you would need refrigerator space for all thos cakes. Anyway, I hope everything turns out just great and that you'll have a chance to enjoy the wedding once everything is there!

By the way, I really like kakeladi's idea about the shelves, especially if you do this very often. Unfortunately, it may be too late for Saturday, but I think that the first time I get an order this size, I'm going to talk to my friendly neighborhood carpenter (hubby's a total loss at this, but I DO have one of those!) about making me something like that. Great idea!

Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
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Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
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post #7 of 16

I wouldn't freeze them, I have heard from many people (none of my customers) that they hate frozen cakes.  I guess it does something to the taste.  We have an hhr so I know how you feel.  Fold down the seats and put the rubbery contact paper in the car and the cakes will not slide.  I have done this for the 2 weddings I had, I saw it on a site.  Good luck!

post #8 of 16

I defy anyone to tell me the difference between a cake that's been frozen and one that hasn't in a blind taste test. Well, gee, that sure sounded confrontational! I really didn't mean to be that aggressive, just to say that they taste fine unless they've been frozen for a really long time. Freezing overnight or for a day or two not only doesn't alter the taste and texture (if you wrap them carefully before freezing, that is) but it also helps keep them moist. I have no idea why this should be the case, but it works so well for me that I freeze ALL my cakes, if only overnight.

Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
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Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
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post #9 of 16

Freezing for a short time will not hurt a bit unless you have something smelly in your freezer.
 

It's not how good you are, but how well you can fix your mistakes.
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It's not how good you are, but how well you can fix your mistakes.
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post #10 of 16

Good point, Jenn123. And something I don't always remember!

Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
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Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
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post #11 of 16

I transported 2 cakes from Texas to California.  I made them a week before we left and kept them frozen until after we arrived. They tasted great and just as fresh as if I'd made them there. Freezing cakes makes them moister then refrigerating them, as long as they're packaged properly.

post #12 of 16

Well, I wasn't attacking anyone who chooses to freeze them.  I am just saying what I have heard from people.  Maybe they have had stuff from people that freeze too long, etc.  Hope there are no hard feelings.  :)

post #13 of 16

Oh, my goodness, no, DreamConfections! I was totally surprised at how in-your-face my response sounded once I read it again! I only wanted to let everybody know what a wonderful thing freezing a cake is for a short time and when it's well-isolated from any smells there might be in the freezer. It's totally changed the way my cakes come out, so of course I think everybody should do it (but I totally get that not everybody might want to).

Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
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Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
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post #14 of 16

At work we have plastic dome containers we put them in and they stack wonderfully! Maybe check and see if a local grocery store has some you could get. This will also help with the freshness. And once you're done you can keep them to use again. They really are nice. With transporting I would definitely get some of the rubber non slip stuff, I know some people put it in their cupboards. It will really help keep things stable. In regards to the cake freezing/time crunch, could your aunt start baking some cakes for you Thursday? Don't forget about leaving enough time for them to cool. No matter what, good luck :)

post #15 of 16

I would definitely make them ahead, double wrap with Press n Seal, and freeze.  Then ice & decorate at your aunts house.  Freezing will not ruin your cake, even if for a few weeks, as long as they are wrapped well.

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