Shipping a cake….
Posted: 29 April 2008 01:35 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I know many of you have shipped cakes before….Hector I know you did for a relative last year, I believe.  I would appreciate any advice or tips from you all about doing this. 

I am thinking about shipping a birthday cake to my uncle, who is an artist—so it may be a sculpted palette with sugar dough paint brushes/tools.  Do I dare do something like that?

I’d love to hear HOW exactly you did it and also what kind of filling would you suggest (that can be frozen, shipped and thawed w/o getting too soft)?  Should I only stick with a pound cake if I want to sculpt AND ship?  Also, wouldn’t it ruin the fondant if I froze the cake?  Do I have to do ganache or buttercream?

I really appreciate all thoughts.  I’d love to do this for him and actually have it arrive safely.  Thanks!

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Posted: 29 April 2008 04:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi Cathy, the only cake I have shipped was hand carried by myself, thru a 24 plus hour journey.  It was a Biscuit de Savoie cake, moistened, filled, frosted and covered with caramel silk meringue buttercream.  It was frozen a week prior to shipping, then during shipping it was transported inside a box inside a cooler with 4 lbs of dry ice.  Cake arrived intact and very frozen.  I made the mistake to thaw it only for 12 hours, it should have been thawing for 2 days instead.

I packed the cake inside a box in a way that the cake could not move.  Buttercream is like cement when frozen.

Cake Bible has some tips.

I wouldn’t freeze fondant or sugar work.

Last year, I shipped/hand/carried 2 Perfect Pecan Pies.  From Hawaii to San Francisco to Frankfurt to Venice to Rome.  They arrived fantastic, I baked them prior to my departure flight, and it survived the 24 plus hour trip.

In summary, each type of cake should be handled differently.  Look at Cake Bible for storage tips, if it says it can be frozen or not.  Then ship at those conditions.  Go to USPS.GOV for restrictions on shipping with dry ice, blue ice, etc.

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Posted: 29 April 2008 05:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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In December, I fed-exed cake from Los Angeles to Buffalo, NY, for a Christmas party my mother was having.

The cake was a chocolate cloud roll (from p. 138 of Cake Bible), cut into 3 x 17 inch rectangles, stacked and filled with dark chocolate ganache filling. The finished cake was about 4 or 5 inches high. I frosted the outside of the cake with the ganache as well, and did not decorate it. I figured that if it was damaged during shipping, I could press some sliced almonds onto it to hide the damage.

I froze the cake solid, then wrapped it in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and slipped it into another plastic bag. I packed it into a styrofoam box, and surrounded it with ice packs. (I wanted to use dry ice, but it is a good thing I didn’t, because Fed-Ex considers dry ice to be a hazardous material—not sure why). I put the styrofoam box into a cardboard box and sealed it.

I gave permission to deliver the box without a release signature, but the driver decided not to leave it on my mom’s doorstep, for whatever reason. I frantically called the Buffalo Fed Ex warehouse, and begged them to put the box into a snowdrift overnight, to keep the cake frozen. They assured me that their warehouse was not heated.

The cake arrived two days after I shipped it, in excellent condition, still frozen, with no damage. And, it tasted excellent.

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Posted: 30 April 2008 07:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thank you Christine & Hector.  Great information.

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Posted: 01 May 2008 05:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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WOW, you guys are amazing to ship those cakes! Thanks for posting the suggestions.
I am getting married in October and baking some pies ahead of time to surprise my fiance - actually the same pie recipe as Hector froze (it’s his favorite) and brought on a 24-hour plus journey - so I guess they will survive a couple days in the freezer and a 2-hour car ride!!!  tongue laugh This gives me a lot more confidence. You guys are the best.
xoxo,
Rachel

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Posted: 01 May 2008 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Mike from Mike’s Amazing Cakes will ship his cakes through the airline’s “counter to counter” service.  He puts the cakes in a box with windows… I’m sure that encourages the workers to take extra care with the package.

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Posted: 02 May 2008 12:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Yes, Patrincia, you are VERY VERY correct.  My former mentor, Jan Kish, ships all over the world via this method…she would KILL me if i dared to post her exact method, but I can say that she ships in a large box with thick, clear plastic (similar to vinyl) over the top so that the airline department is sure to see what is inside, prompting much gentler handling!  And THAT is 90% of the battle!

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Posted: 02 May 2008 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I wouldn’t have thought of that.  I’ll have to check out this service.  Thanks guys!

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