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How far in advance to make cake?

(14 posts) (4 voices)
  • Started 4 years ago by stephanie72
  • Latest reply from mokhalatte
  1. stephanie72
    Posts: 488
    Location: Bay Area - California Member

    I was wondering how far in advance can/should you make a cake, such as one of the ones Melissa demonstrates (ie. ladybug cake). And when it's made ahead, should it be refrigerated - assuming the cake is just a basic white cake with buttercream frosting and fondant decorations? And what if the whole cake is covered in fondant, should it be refrigerated?

    Thanks!! :-)

    Posted Aug 3 2010 6:19 pm #
  2. Quote from stephanie72 on August 3, 2010, 6:19 pm
    I was wondering how far in advance can/should you make a cake, such as one of the ones Melissa demonstrates (ie. ladybug cake). And when it's made ahead, should it be refrigerated - assuming the cake is just a basic white cake with buttercream frosting and fondant decorations? And what if the whole cake is covered in fondant, should it be refrigerated?

    Thanks!! :-)

    Hi Stephanie--

    I wouldn't recommend serving a cake after the 3rd day of assembling and frosting. Cake frosted with all-butter buttercream- I personally wouldn't leave at room temp for more than 2 days. Shortening based buttercream- would be fine for 3 days out of the fridge (and some would say longer) -- I often refrigerate my all-butter buttercream frosted cakes and rarely have problems (see below).

    Refrigerating: The plus is that it firms everything up...so if you are at all worried about gravity doing a number on your whimsical cake overnight, you may consider refrigerating. Also, perishable fillings need the cold. HOWEVER, condensation is the evil effect of refrigeration...especially in warm months. It may be minimized by keeping the cake in the box as it warms to room temp...but still, there MAY be bleeding issues if you have dark colors of icing or fondant on the cake. Royal icing decorations may also break down with condensation.

    Fondant and Gum Paste- Flat "press on" decorations are fine to put on in advance (unless they are dark colored and there is refrigeration/condensation involved).

    Thin, "Stand up" decorations with little support may wilt as a result of absorbing moisture from the icing over a period of several hours...or after being exposed to condensation. So, add these closer to party time if possible.

    I've never had trouble with refrigerating gum paste bows, since the loops are not in direct contact with the icing. (So, different accents play by different rules!)

    Let me know if you have any more questions on this!!

    Posted Aug 3 2010 9:55 pm #
  3. BeBe
    Posts: 1041
    Site Mother

    Hi Stephanie, I don't know if this is part of your question, but I wanted to add that you can bake your cake layers and freeze them weeks in advance. Melissa has a short tutorial on this under the heading Favorite Decorating Tools and Tips. Just wrap a cake layer in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and freeze until needed. Let it partially thaw while still wrapped then crumb coat as usual.

    BeBe

    Posted Aug 3 2010 11:20 pm #
  4. stephanie72
    Posts: 488
    Location: Bay Area - California Member

    Thanks to both of you...this is very helpful. You guys are the greatest!!! :-)

    Posted Aug 4 2010 12:27 am #
  5. stephanie72
    Posts: 488
    Location: Bay Area - California Member

    Melissa, I know you already answered my questions a few weeks ago but the time has come for me to make a cake for my friends daughters birthday party that is this Sunday. It's a ladybug theme so I'm doing a version of your ladybug cake with the ball pan, and some cupcakes for a cupcake tower.

    If the party is Sunday, when would you decorate this cake, if you were making it? I wanted to do it Friday because that's when I have the most time, but I'm worried it's too early. With all the black, I'm worried about putting it in the refrigerator until Sunday but I'm also worried about keeping it out too!

    Posted Aug 23 2010 10:39 am #
  6. Hi Stephanie--Is the ladybug going to be fondant, like mine...or buttercream? If it is fondant, I wouldn't worry at all about making it on Friday and leaving it at room temperature until Sunday. The fondant helps to keep everything nice and moist. I would just keep it in the coolest part of your house, in a cake box.

    If it is buttercream, it could go either way but I would probably refrigerate it on Friday and remove it either Saturday night or Sunday (depending on what time you need it for Sunday)

    If you refrigerate, I would add the black dots and the black head to the body after the cake has been removed from the fridge and any condensation that you may (or may not)have has had a chance to evaporate. It usually just takes an hour or so for the condensation to evaporate.

    Hope this helps!

    Posted Aug 23 2010 7:03 pm #
  7. stephanie72
    Posts: 488
    Location: Bay Area - California Member

    I'm doing the ladybug like you show, with fondant. I'm placing it on top of an 8" cake done in buttercream. When do you think I should do the 8" cake with the buttercream?

    This is my first "real" cake so I have alot to learn...but I appreciate your help!!

    Posted Aug 23 2010 7:55 pm #
  8. Quote from stephanie72 on August 23, 2010, 7:55 pm
    I'm doing the ladybug like you show, with fondant. I'm placing it on top of an 8" cake done in buttercream. When do you think I should do the 8" cake with the buttercream?

    This is my first "real" cake so I have alot to learn...but I appreciate your help!!

    Oh, okay--I was picturing just the ladybug at the top of the cupcake tower.

    I still think it would be fine to do the cake frosted in buttercream on Friday if that works best with your schedule. You could do both the 8" and the ladybug on Friday if that works out.

    I would refrigerate just the 8" cake, and leave the ladybug cake at room temp in a cool area of your house (if there is one!). Then, either Sat night or Sunday (whatever makes the most sense with your schedule), remove the cake from the fridge...allow condensation (if any) to evaporate, and place the ladybug on top, leaves, etc. at that point.

    Posted Aug 23 2010 8:10 pm #
  9. stephanie72
    Posts: 488
    Location: Bay Area - California Member

    Now you have me thinking about the 8" cake. I want to put the ladybug on top of the tower but the smallest tier is 6" so I was going to remove that one and use the next one down as the top tier. I have Tara's tower...I bought one from her.

    I'm thinking an 8" cake with the ladybug on top is too big though, now that I really think about it. Do you think I could just do the ladybug alone with no cake below? Or should I put it on a 6" cake (wasn't sure if that would look funny since the ladybug is also 6").

    I'm totally open to suggestions!

    Posted Aug 23 2010 8:13 pm #
  10. Decisions, decisions... :0) -- I wouldn't recommend putting that size of ladybug on a 6", so that will help narrow down your choices.

    I think that there's nothing wrong with the 8"/6" on top of the tower, assuming it is nice and stable for you. 6" is what I feel like I see most often on top of the towers. Another alternative, if you're worried about it looking too top-heavy would be to slightly change the design to having the ladybug on top of a single 8" round cake layer. You could just make a few more cupcakes to make up for the difference in servings.

    Finally, I do think that having just the ladybug on top sounds really cute! I know it would mean more cupcakes for you to make though! Any overflow would look nice just around the base of the cupcake tower. This is probably what I would do!

    Posted Aug 23 2010 9:24 pm #
  11. stephanie72
    Posts: 488
    Location: Bay Area - California Member

    Actually, the top cake really isn't for the party...it's kinda more for decoration. I mean, they don't need it...the cupcakes will cover everyone. They were going to save it and have it on her actual birthday the next day with just family so I may just do the ladybug without a cake below it.

    Your right though...decisions, decisions! I like your input though, so thank you.

    Posted Aug 23 2010 9:27 pm #
  12. mokhalatte
    Posts: 34
    Member

    Quote from BeBe on August 3, 2010, 11:20 pm
    Hi Stephanie, I don't know if this is part of your question, but I wanted to add that you can bake your cake layers and freeze them weeks in advance. Melissa has a short tutorial on this under the heading Favorite Decorating Tools and Tips. Just wrap a cake layer in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and freeze until needed. Let it partially thaw while still wrapped then crumb coat as usual.

    BeBe

    BeBe how long can you leave them frozen and the cakes still turn out ok??? WHat's too long???

    Thanks in advance, Joy!

    Posted Oct 15 2010 10:29 pm #
  13. BeBe
    Posts: 1041
    Site Mother

    Hi Joy, If the layers have been properly wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, they will be good for 2 months. That is the length of time I have tested.......could be longer. Let it thaw or partially thaw while still wrapped so the condensation will form on the aluminum foil and not on your cake layer. Good Luck

    BeBe

    Posted Oct 15 2010 11:11 pm #
  14. mokhalatte
    Posts: 34
    Member

    Thanks BeBe!!!

    Posted Oct 16 2010 6:53 am #

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