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Have Cake Will Travel
Posted: 21 April 2012 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]
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As summer approaches, I am planning which cakes to make for all the upcoming family reunions, picnics, etc.

Does anyone have any idea which cakes travel well and which cakes do not need refrigeration for, at least, 10 hours?

All suggestions are appreciated.

Thank you!

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Posted: 21 April 2012 04:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi FG,
I travel with baking all of the time.  At Christmas I usually have a few frozen pies, celebration cakes, and tarts.  My trips are usually in the 2-3 hour range, so they can usually handle the trip.  I assume the types of things you plan to take with you are reasonably sized items—like a 9” layer cake, etc.  Depending on the situation, I like to make my cakes and freeze them—provided the components will handle it.  I usually put them in the container they will travel in and try not to open and introduce humid air that can condense.  Although, I have added a small bowl of silica gel to my cake box (usually take a small container, fill it half way with silica gel, then tape it to the cake box’s bottom and secure paper towel over the bowl with an elastic.)—in order to do this the box needs to be large and well sealed, but it did prevent condensation and huge drops of water landing on the cake during humid weather. 

As for the types of cakes I’ve made and travelled with—carrot cake/cream cheese frosting, Deep chocolate passion with light whipped ganache, any buttercream (assuming it’s been frozen prior), triple chocolate cake—just to name a few…but these have been for shorter durations.  I also try and insulate the container and keep out of the sun—if your container is rigid, you can layer blankets over it or keep the cake in a cooler—which can be frozen/chilled ahead of time by placing bags of ice in the cooler.  I usually find making room for the baking so it’s level, out of the sun, not crushed to be the greater challenge!! ha ha! 

I am sure any butter cake would be fine and if the temps are really high, the Mouselline may be your best options, but I’m sure you are well aware of that. 

Post some of the items you are thinking of making—I’ve travelled with many cakes—I can’t even remember which ones I’ve made and transported. 

Sounds like you have a busy and tasty summer ahead!!

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Posted: 21 April 2012 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi, FG!

I agree with Sherrie—you can travel with, really, any butter or oil cake or quickbread.

If it’s frosted, you can just freeze it and take it out of the freezer before you hit the road.  It will take most of the travel time to thaw and should remain reasonably cold the rest of the trip.  A single layer could, potentially, get to room temperature in the last couple of hours, but that certainly won’t hurt it at all.  If it does, just refrigerate it (or freeze it for a half hour or so) to solidify it’s exterior so you can unwrap it without marring the frosting or having it all stick to the wrapping.

If they’re not frosted, you don’t really have to freeze them (but you can).  Ditto for glazed cakes.  Just wrap them well and, if you’re worried about any glaze sticking to teh wrapping, freeze until the exterior is solid enough to remove it neatly.

If you’re travelling by car, keep the cakes in the car part (not the trunk) for better temperatures.  Also, if you’re flying, if they’re put in cargo, I think that can get rather cold at plane hights (although I don’t know for sure), so that should be good, too.  But if you take them on the plane, it should still be fine.

You can also take frosting, frozen, in containers, and frost when you get there.  Either way will work!

Bring any cake you like, because it will all work perfectly!!!!!!!!

—ak

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Posted: 21 April 2012 10:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Sherrie - 21 April 2012 07:36 PM

Hi FG,
I travel with baking all of the time.  At Christmas I usually have a few frozen pies, celebration cakes, and tarts.  My trips are usually in the 2-3 hour range, so they can usually handle the trip.  I assume the types of things you plan to take with you are reasonably sized items—like a 9” layer cake, etc.  Depending on the situation, I like to make my cakes and freeze them—provided the components will handle it.  I usually put them in the container they will travel in and try not to open and introduce humid air that can condense.  Although, I have added a small bowl of silica gel to my cake box (usually take a small container, fill it half way with silica gel, then tape it to the cake box’s bottom and secure paper towel over the bowl with an elastic.)—in order to do this the box needs to be large and well sealed, but it did prevent condensation and huge drops of water landing on the cake during humid weather. 

As for the types of cakes I’ve made and travelled with—carrot cake/cream cheese frosting, Deep chocolate passion with light whipped ganache, any buttercream (assuming it’s been frozen prior), triple chocolate cake—just to name a few…but these have been for shorter durations.  I also try and insulate the container and keep out of the sun—if your container is rigid, you can layer blankets over it or keep the cake in a cooler—which can be frozen/chilled ahead of time by placing bags of ice in the cooler.  I usually find making room for the baking so it’s level, out of the sun, not crushed to be the greater challenge!! ha ha! 

I am sure any butter cake would be fine and if the temps are really high, the Mouselline may be your best options, but I’m sure you are well aware of that. 

Post some of the items you are thinking of making—I’ve travelled with many cakes—I can’t even remember which ones I’ve made and transported. 

Sounds like you have a busy and tasty summer ahead!!

Hi Sherrie,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

Some trips will be short range but some will be 8-11 hours of travel.

I will also be traveling by plane. That presents the biggest challenge. When I do fly, I usually bring loaves because they are easier to pack.  I have brought a cake baked in a 9x13 pan with me on the plane. It fits perfectly in the bottom of my duffle carry-on and I bring 3 loaves which sit on top of it. All the cake, by the way, is scanned by security.

I usually bring Rose’s Cinnamon Apple Surprise, Flo’s Banana Cake (loaf) and in the 9x13 pan, a chocolate chip recipe in Death By Chocolate.  This season I am thinking of bringing Baked’s Sour Cream Crumb Cake for the 9x13 pan. 

The loaves were frozen for the trip.

I seldom make layer cakes at all. Do you think frosting would travel well by plane for 11 hours? I would love bring a cake with frosting. I think they would be thrilled to taste Rose’s Dreamy White Chocolate frosting ( the only frosting I have made from the book).

How about any of the bundt recipes? I have Nordic Ware’s bundt cake carrietr and that would fit in my carry-on on top of the 9x13 pan. Also, no frosting is required but I would glaze it. Would the Whipped Cream cake travel well?

I love your idea about blankets over the cooler. I actually never thought of using a cooler at all.

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Posted: 21 April 2012 10:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Anne in NC - 21 April 2012 07:57 PM

Hi, FG!

I agree with Sherrie—you can travel with, really, any butter or oil cake or quickbread.

If it’s frosted, you can just freeze it and take it out of the freezer before you hit the road.  It will take most of the travel time to thaw and should remain reasonably cold the rest of the trip.  A single layer could, potentially, get to room temperature in the last couple of hours, but that certainly won’t hurt it at all.  If it does, just refrigerate it (or freeze it for a half hour or so) to solidify it’s exterior so you can unwrap it without marring the frosting or having it all stick to the wrapping.

If they’re not frosted, you don’t really have to freeze them (but you can).  Ditto for glazed cakes.  Just wrap them well and, if you’re worried about any glaze sticking to teh wrapping, freeze until the exterior is solid enough to remove it neatly.

If you’re travelling by car, keep the cakes in the car part (not the trunk) for better temperatures.  Also, if you’re flying, if they’re put in cargo, I think that can get rather cold at plane hights (although I don’t know for sure), so that should be good, too.  But if you take them on the plane, it should still be fine.

You can also take frosting, frozen, in containers, and frost when you get there.  Either way will work!

Bring any cake you like, because it will all work perfectly!!!!!!!!

—ak

Thanks you, Anne! That is a lot of useful information. 

I didn’t think about the fact that the single layer cake would cool faster. 

I would never put anything I cargo that was fragile.  My friend worked at the airport. Believe me, that is something you don’t want to do.  grrr

Do you think a frozen layer cake would make it in good condition after an 11 hour trip?

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Posted: 21 April 2012 11:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Hi, FG!

Glad to know about cargo ... yikes!

A frozen layer cake would pull through like a champ!

Also, I think your bundt would travel perfectly.

One thing to remember when freezing cakes is, if you’re not freezing them on the surface they’ll be served on (i.e., your carrier), is to make they sit on an absolutely flat stable surface in the freezer.  I usually use about 3 cardboard pizza rounds.  I put the cake on a layer of parchment that can be easily peeled off the frozen cake.  The flat surface is important so it doesn’t crack as things thaw and level to their new surface.

You’re going to have one happy, munching family!!!!

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Posted: 22 April 2012 02:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thank you! That is something really important to be aware of.  Is that true with only layer cakes? Would I have to do the same thing with cakes baked in loaf pans?

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Posted: 22 April 2012 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Well, I would think it’s helpful but less important.  I think it’s frosted cakes that it would matter more to, with the frosting and cake potentially thawing at different rates can cause the frosting to crack.  When I’ve made cakes in loaf pans, I always wrap them and then put them on a flat surface in the freezer, just because—well, you know, cake is sort of malleable and it takes a litle while to freeze, so if you put it on a bag of peas, it might take on a bit of that shape on the bottom!!!!  Loafs would likely be okay just on the floor or shelf of the freezer, though.  : )

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Posted: 22 April 2012 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Another thought would be bundt-style or loaf cakes that you can transport in the pan in which they were baked, giving them great protection.  Unmold after baking, wash the pan, and when the cake is complete, put it back in the pan and freeze it or chill it.  The Golden Lemon Almond would be great as it is denser (by design), and a great keeper, it stays fresh longer than regular butter cakes.  And lemon is so nice in the summer, fresh and tart.

I’ve flown with a cake that was frozen, I allowed it to defrost during the trip (wrapped in some insulation- a down jacket) and it was perfect on arrival.  That was about 12 hrs door to door.

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Posted: 22 April 2012 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Anne in NC - 22 April 2012 01:45 PM

Well, I would think it’s helpful but less important.  I think it’s frosted cakes that it would matter more to, with the frosting and cake potentially thawing at different rates can cause the frosting to crack.  When I’ve made cakes in loaf pans, I always wrap them and then put them on a flat surface in the freezer, just because—well, you know, cake is sort of malleable and it takes a litle while to freeze, so if you put it on a bag of peas, it might take on a bit of that shape on the bottom!!!!  Loafs would likely be okay just on the floor or shelf of the freezer, though.  : )

That makes a lot of sense.  I will make sure whatever I bake is on a flat surface, which means clearing a shelf, at least, until it is frozen,

Anne, do you freeze frosted cakes? I thought that couldn’t be done?

Would the dreamy creamy whit chocolate frosting, or your frosting, be suitable to freeze?

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Posted: 22 April 2012 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Julie - 22 April 2012 02:09 PM

Another thought would be bundt-style or loaf cakes that you can transport in the pan in which they were baked, giving them great protection.  Unmold after baking, wash the pan, and when the cake is complete, put it back in the pan and freeze it or chill it.  The Golden Lemon Almond would be great as it is denser (by design), and a great keeper, it stays fresh longer than regular butter cakes.  And lemon is so nice in the summer, fresh and tart.

I’ve flown with a cake that was frozen, I allowed it to defrost during the trip (wrapped in some insulation- a down jacket) and it was perfect on arrival.  That was about 12 hrs door to door.

That’s a great idea! Thank you!

Will I be able to do that with a glazed bundt?

I was actually thinking of the Golden Lemon Almond cake in the loaf pan variation for travel.

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Posted: 22 April 2012 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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That makes a lot of sense.  I will make sure whatever I bake is on a flat surface, which means clearing a shelf, at least, until it is frozen,

I’m always having to shuffle things around in my freezer when I have a cake to freeze!!!  I’m always amazed at how much I can really cram stuff around.

Anne, do you freeze frosted cakes? I thought that couldn?t be done?

Oh, yes, all the time.  I currently have two frosted cakes in my freezer!!!  Usually, I freeze them right in my cake carrier.  I completely compose the cake on the carrier surface and then either (1) put it, covered, in the fridge until it’s hard, drape with plastic wrap (pressing it against the cake—gently, just to get contact—and trapping the ends under teh carrier lid) or (2) put it, uncovered, in the freezer until it’s hard, drape, cover, etc. 

If I"m going to be needing the carrier before serving the cake, I’ll put the cake on a round of parchment when I compose it, so when it’s frozen, it’s easy to lift off the cake carrier. It’s okay if the round is a little bit too small, because you can just take a pancake turner to loosten an inch or so of overhang.  Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and foil.  I usually set the cake onto the plastic wrap and wrap upward, because I like to keep the bottom as flat as possible (i.e., the excess is on top, rather than bottom).  For the foil, I usually “join” a few pieces to make a really big square, set the cake on it, and then wrap it.  Sometimes the foil is fussy.  Heavy duty is definitely better, but I can get a little cheap about heavy duty foil.  And then, once it’s warpped, put it in the freezer on a flat surface.  If it’s on the carrier, it’s okay if the carrier is on stuff that makes it not level, becuase hte surface of the carrier is still flat (so it doesn’t matter if it’s tipped).

Right now, I have one in my freezer (the spice cake you’ve seen) in my cake carrier in the freezer and another single-layer cake that was frozen on the carrier, but is now wrapped in plastic and foil.

Would the dreamy creamy whit chocolate frosting, or your frosting, be suitable to freeze?

Definitely—that would freeze perfectly, your glazes will freeze perfectly, ganache, neoclassic, mousseline, smbc, all of my “invented” frostings.  The only thing that I don’t think will freeze well—or refrigerate well, for that matter—is the milk chocolate buttercream (the one that is only butter and chocolate), because once cold, it remains candy-bar hard. 

Julie

Great idea re freezing bundts/loaves in the same pan!

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Posted: 22 April 2012 09:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Wow!  I feel liberated! I feel I now have so many choices.

I never thought of freezing in the cake carrier.  I have 2 low carriers which are great for pies and single layer cakes. 

I’m sure I will have to refer to this thread when I am wrapping the cake.

Thank you so much!

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Posted: 22 April 2012 09:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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FG, not sure if it will work to trasnport a glazed/frosted bundt in the pan, that might work better on a cake board or in the carrier, like Anne talks about smile

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Posted: 22 April 2012 10:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Okay, thank you. The carrier works for me. 

Thanks again!

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Posted: 22 April 2012 11:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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If you’re running short on carries, you can wrap a glazed bundt in plastic wrap and put it in a cake (or other) box.  Just freeze it for 10 minutes or so to solidify the exterior and the glaze so that when you remove the plastic wrap, it doesn’t take all the glaze with it.

You’re going to be the Christmas Donkey of the cake world!!!!!

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