Travelling with a cake
I want to bring a cake to a Christmas Dinner, but there's a 5 hour road trip between my kitchen and the dinner table.
I'd also love to make the cake in advance (today even, or possibly tomorrow), just to have it done and out of the way.
If it's just a basic layer cake, how feasible is it to pull it out of the oven, let the halves cool, put them back in the cake pans & cover with plastic wrap? Is there a better way to pre-make a cake and keep it fresh for a few days?
I actually find if I put the icing on it, it lasts longer...it kind of seals it. The problem though for you would be transporting a cake that has icing on it. You could try freezing the cake for a few days. I have never tried it, but I know others that have and it would probably dethaw on the 5 hour car trip.
I would do as you suggested , but I would recommend that you line the cake pan bottoms with parchment rounds cut from a roll. You can refrigerate the cakes if you wrap the in saran and then zip-bag them.
Butter cakes are quite durable and travel very well.
I've cooled them and then put them back in the pan, as Kelli suggest, to transport. If there's refrigerator space there, frost it when you get there and keep in the refrigerator (like some bakeries do). Also, in transporting cakes, the non-skid mats work wonders in preventing it from sliding. I learned my lesson when my husband decided to put one layer of a frosted cake on the car seat and it went flying--good thing I wasn't there.
freezing a cake and then thawing it actually makes it way easier to ice for some reason, we always bake the cakes, let them cool, and then wrap in wax paper and put in a tin with the lid on tight, and freeze. a few days later we take them out, thaw, and ice. i think it makes the crumbs stick together more or something.
If you make the chocolate pound cake I have posted on this board in the past, it will last for a week well wrapped. It is very dense and will travel well. Serve it up with either a ganache glaze applied on site, whipped cream or just dusted with powdered sugar. The aroma while baking will drive you crazy.
I can confirm all of Candy's points! I recently made her chocolate pound cake on a Sunday for my SO's birthday and shipped it to him on Monday, priority, with instructions to open and eat immediately... he didn't open it until Friday and shared with friends... I was a little worried about how it must have tasted, given the 600 mile journey and sitting in a cardboard box for five days, but when I recently went down to visit, everyone spontaneously complimented me on the cake. It's a winner! And didn't fall apart in the mail system, so I think the car ride will be fine.