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Making a cake away from home

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My cousin got engaged and I'm doing their cake for their wedding gift.  The catch is they live in Phoenix and I'm in Kansas.  My plan right now is to get a really solid plan together (we haven't even talked about design yet), and maybe even make a practice cake, ship some materials/supplies in advance, then fly out a few days early and get it done at my aunt's house.  I'm sure there will be wedding chaos going on (though not as much at this person's house), people in and out, errands, etc, and those distractions are challenging for me as I'm used to working in my own quiet kitchen.  I do know where the local cake store is and it's an excellent one, so I can pick something up if necessary. 

 

Has anyone done this before?  Anyone have any suggestions?  I have seen on Food Network Challenge that they ship in baked cakes ahead of time, has anyone tried this or know how to do it properly so they aren't a pile of crumbs when they arrive?

 

Thanks for any advice!

post #2 of 10

I am sure it would be possible to pull this off with a huge amount of planning, prep, etc.  But to be taking over someone elses kitchen with all kinds of wedding prep and people coming and going...are you taking extra days off of work to get there early?  Is it really worth it to make the cake? There are so many things you would have no control over, do they really realize you would be completely taking over their kitchen for many hours and yet they and their guests would still need to be in the kitchen for meals, snacks, etc. One unsupervised kid or pet or un-thinking relative and oops!  Sorry to not be more encouraging or helpful, it just seems like it could really be a problem in a lot of ways.   Good luck to you if you decide to go for it though.

post #3 of 10
If you have taken the Jessica Harris craftsy course, you may be able to ask her how she traveled with cakes.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Long story short - my family is very small, and this is the first wedding we've had in more than 30 years (since the groom's parents were married).  We've had a lot of deaths in the last few years including the groom's older sister a year ago, she was only 30.  Not only is this a big event for our family, it's the first positive thing that has happened in the last few years. so there's a lot of sentiment here.  Since they live so far away, I don't get to see this family very often, and this is something I'd really like to do for them.  It's also probably the only way I can really participate.  Not to mention their budget is limited and providing the cake as a gift would really help them out.  Knowing the bride and groom, I don't think they will want a huge blingy cake - they're more natural, organic, fitness-minded, clean and simple, so I don't think this will be a 7-tiered gumpaste flower explosion.

 

I have 2 aunts who live a few blocks from each other, one is the mother of the groom and the other aunt is who I'd be staying with.  So I won't be taking over the kitchen of the mother of the groom, I'll be out of the way.  No children or pets to worry about, just adults.  I also don't think there will be a huge amount of wedding prep going on at that house, probably most of it will be between the two mothers.  And the groom's mother is a champion multi-tasker and organizer, she will have the thing running like clockwork. 

 

I do plan to take a few days off work, I hardly ever take vacation anyway.  Doing the cake there is not the easiest option, and means a lot of extra work for me, but the sentimental value really outweighs the hassle.  The cousin who died was only 6 days younger than me and we were raised like twins, and doing this for her little brother is important to me.

 

Thanks for the idea on the Craftsy course!  I got a coupon just today and was planning to do that class anyway, it's exactly the sort of thing I love.

post #5 of 10

Ok then, lets get this figured out.  First of all you need a head count.  Get a serving number and if there is a meal and other desserts so we know how much product you will need.  When is the wedding?  Come up with a couple of simply iced suggestions.   Something like in this link.  http://cakecentral.com/t/610648/pictures-of-rustic-natural-messy-looking-wedding-cakes   Although I these aren't the best examples that I have seen.  Maybe could suggest a rose petal or with the petals on the side of the cake.  Then add a few fresh flowers.  That way you would only have to bring a few piping things and not fondant stuff.  Find out if one of your relatives has a KA mixer that could be at your aunts for you to use.  Start making a list of things you gotta have...pans, cake strips, boards, support, etc, even if you don't know the exact number and size yet, it will get you started. 

post #6 of 10

i did one

 

i baked it on site--at my sister's house--

 

we drove with all the ingredients except eggs & butter--she got those for me

 

was easier for me to be prepared to bake there because then we had as much control as possible under the circumstances--

 

even if we drove with the cakes already baked it was too much energy to protect them, baby them en route--

 

so it worked out great

 

what i mean is you're going to need to have back up plan for re-baking if they get damaged in shipping so why not just bake there was what we decided...

 

but if you ship them frozen you could rest more assured but you're gonna pay a boat load to do over night and then peeps on the other end have to take care of them for you--just picture the average shipment how ups or fedex drops off the box emphasis on drops--ouch

 

it was just easier for me to plan on baking there

 

and if you're flying and decide to bake there--then you'd need to shop there too to go the easiest route

my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

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my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

Reply
post #7 of 10

denette--oh yeah the ka--see i stuffed mine in my car--hmm yeah you gotta have a great mixer...

my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

Reply
my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

Reply
post #8 of 10

You certainly can take everything you need, by suitcase or shipping, and make the cake there.  I did a baby shower cake last October.  I flew from SC to Chicago with two suitcases, one carry on suitcase, and had ordered some things on line and had it shipped to one of my sister's house.  I didn't bring my mixer because they already had a KA, not as big as mine, but big enough to do it in batches.  We made the cakes and frosting there, and I did the cake from beginning to end.  My family was astounded at the amount of time it takes to do a completed cake from start to finish.  They had no idea of the equipment needed (I brought my big stainless steel rolling pin...lol) and the attention to detail to make it all work.

 

I set up a box in my cake room and every time I thought about something I would need, molds, etc. I would get it out and put it in the box.  I included the cake pans, cake racks, parchment paper, fondant rolling mats, color dusts, gel coloring, brushes, palette knives, you name it I took it.  I gave my sister a grocery shopping list for all the ingredients for the cakes (strawberry, chocolate and vanilla cake) and the icing,  I ordered sweetex and had it shipped to her house as well.  Sent her the dimensions for my cake board and I brought my cake board covering material with me.  I purchased some small clear containers to hold my brushes, palette knives, exacto knives, blades, etc.  I labeled each container and each one that had knives, etc I labeled with "caution...sharp cutting instruments enclosed".  

 

My biggest challenge was the actually crib pieces: two end pieces and two side pieces that were very large and made from gumpaste fondant mix.  They ended up being about 1/3" thick and the cake was a 12" x 18" three layer cake.  I made carrying cases for the crib pieces out of foam core and placed each crib piece after it dried between two layers and taped it shut all the way around.  I wrote on each one what it contained (for airport security reasons).  I used a scrapbook paper carrier and made trays out of foam core with individual compartments for each individual pre-made decorations (26 teddy bears, each holding a letter of the alphabet). I also used some 1" thick foam to cushion the bottom and top trays in the carrier.  Everything made it all in one piece and nothing was broken!

 

I am glad that I had the opportunity to do this as it showed me what I can do away from home.  The key to all of this is planning, planning, planning:). If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me!

 

Good luck, and don't forget to post pictures:)

Pam

Facebook: Pamela's Cakes & Confections

Pamela's Cakes & Confections is a home based business, inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division.
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Facebook: Pamela's Cakes & Confections

Pamela's Cakes & Confections is a home based business, inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division.
Reply
post #9 of 10
If possible, find a church with a kitchen or another location with a kitchen to make the cake. Sometimes fire stations have halls attached...maybe someone can let you prep everything there.

As for the craftsy class, I only mentioned her bc in the question section she mentioned quite a few times that she made her cake at home, Oregon I think...and had to get them to Colorado. Not sure how she did it, but she is super nice and I bet she'd give you some tips. If you go to her blog to buy the course, it's 50% off.
post #10 of 10

and don't forget to plan out the delivery of the cake to the venue ;)

my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

Reply
my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

Reply
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