How long in advance can I make a wedding cake

Hi Lorelie,

I have been asked to make a vanilla three tiered wedding cake with Italian meringue buttercream icing covered with fondant. The cake is simple and has royal icing piping on it. My problem is that the bride and groom want to collect the cake from me at the end of November and travel with it in 30'C heat about 900km to the wedding venue only to eat the cake on about the 7th December! Please help!

Lorelie's Response

This is a risky and tricky situation. You didnt give an exact date of pick up. I will assume it is the last day in November, which means the cake would sit for a week, or 7 days.

That would be ok as long as the cake is well wrapped, boxed and kept in the freezer or refrigerator. You say the cake will travel 900 km which according to my calculations is 559.2 miles and in 30 degree celcius heat which means 85 degrees. That's pretty warm and a long distance.

Are they driving straight through? This would be about a ten hour trip correct?

The only way I see this as a posiiblity is if the wedding cake is kept cold and in a very supportive delivery box. Dry ice could be used to keep the temperature very cold. An air conditioned car may do the trick but not quite as effective if the cake is boxed and the drivers would have to wear sweaters. (I've done this believe me it's not comfortable. I have also used dry ice which worked beautifully.

The fact that the cake is fondant with royal icing decoration makes this extremly chancy. The fondant as you probably know is sensitive to moisture and the royal icing will also break down due to moisture as well. If the cake gets very cold and then is brought out of the box into a warm environment it will sweat. All of your hard work will start to melt down and quite possibly the bride will aslo have a meltdown.

If it was me, I would only agree to this if the cake was buttercream, or at the very least, fondant without royal decoration and if the bride and groom sign a contract that once the cake leaves your kitchen it is no longer your responsibility.

I hope that helps you out with your decision. Please update us here on what you decide and if
you do go for it we would LOVE to hear how it went and how you did it.
Thanks for visiting and asking a great question.

Comments for How long in advance can I make a wedding cake

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Sep 05, 2013
by: kimmy NZ

This is probably something I would say NO to unless - as Lorelie says, you have a written agreement.

It would have to be made with buttercream (50/50 shortening)Which I would not normally do for a wedding cake but were needs must! I would say that it HAD to be a plain design with ribbon. I would then make flowers if wanted and ask that they be added at the venue. Royal icing at the seams may crack on such a long trip and being handled others (not you)and they can't fix it, which is why I said ribbon.

You can use glucose syrup added to the cake to keep it moist. I would make your cake now. Pop it in the pantry and eat it at 10 days and see what you think. I have a choc cake that last's over 12 days. You may need to tell them what flavour you are able to give them that you are happy with and feel it will last. ALSO, you need to paint the Cake with sugar syrup with alcohol. This will protect it. Don't forget - you have to add a few days to make it on top!

Sep 05, 2013
Light bulb moment.
by: kimmy NZ

Ok, I just had a thought.

Way outside the box. If you make a dummy cake exactly how they want it. Make it ahead and the Fondant will be rock hard. You could even bubble wrap it gently. That gives them the cake. Way safer to travel with. Might want to little stocking bag of rice to suck up any moisture !?!?

Now make sheet cake. You can fill and freeze this. It won't be frozen by the time they arrive but it will help. You can double box a cake and use straw and newspaper - DIY chilly bin. Also, at the venue (hotel, guesthouse) They can ask for sheet cake to be stored in a fridge until needed.

I would also try (not sure if it would work!) I am pretty sure you can freeze satin ice fondant. You may have to try this first!!! Top off the sheet cake with a thin layer of satin ice. Now when it's cut it looks like wedding cake.

You could always book a holiday that week and run away so you don't have to do it ;o)

Sep 05, 2013
Great Ideas!
by: Lorelie

Kimmie I think I love you!!! I like your last suggestion best. ;-) Lots of great ideas and suggestions. Thank you!!!!! I am hoping to hear back about this wedding cake saga!

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