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Apr 15, 2007 09:47 AM

Need a camping cake and frosting

We're going camping for a friend's birthday in early June (it'll still be pretty mild here in SD and not too hot), but we're going up Friday night and celebrating her birthday Saturday (i.e., the cake won't be eaten until Saturday). So, what cake fillings and frosting hold up for a day?

I can keep everything in the cooler, but I'd rather not have to worry about spoilage. If needed, I can assemble it at the campsite (to keep the cake from sliding or smooshing).

I was thinking of a white cake, lemon curd, but I still need a frosting - no cream cheese or whipped cream, preferably.

Or, do you have an idea for a birthday cake (or cupcakes) that will camp well? I don't want a pie-as-cake or cookie idea; I do want to bring cake. We'll have about 15-20 people, too.


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  1. How about if you make the white cake in cupcakes, then squirt some lemon curd for an interior "surprise"?
    I'm not sure how you feel about white chocolate, but a white chocolate frosting or ganache goes really well with the lemon curd. The tart and sweet offset each other nicely. You could make the frosting ahead and frost the cupcakes there, or frost them ahead of time. As long as you left them in a cooler, they'd be fine. I'm just thinking that space-wise, cupcakes would be better than a whole cake.

    Or, if you don't like white chocolate, but do like raspberries, I'd suggest filling the cupcakes with a raspberry jam and topping off with a lemon glaze icing.

    4 Replies
    1. re: QueenB

      That's actually what I was thinking... I just wasn't sure of a frosting. Do you have a good white chocolate frosting recipe?

      1. re: leanneabe

        Would you like more of an actual frosting, or a ganache? The white chocolate frosting I usually use on this cake is whipped cream based, and I know you don't prefer that.

        1. re: QueenB

          I'm just worried that the whipped cream will deflate (you know how whipped cream starts to "melt" if you keep if for more than a day?) and slide off the cake/cupcakes or make everything milky and soggy.

          A guess a ganache would look sleeker, but frosting is always more fun to eat. What do you think?

          1. re: leanneabe

            Here's the recipe that my mom and I use. She works at a B&B and makes wedding cakes for them. She uses this recipe a lot. I, on the other hand, cook purely for fun, so I haven't made this cake as frequently as she has.

            The frosting for that cake is not a classic whipped cream frosting. It's definitely less fluffy. Almost more like a ganache.
            I think this cake would hold up perfectly well in a cooler. I know we've kept it around for more than a day and it held up fine in the fridge. I also don't remember it affecting the cake much or making it soggy.
            If you're that worried, then this is what I would do. I would bake cupcakes, make the frosting ahead of time, and then frost them as people want to eat them. That way, there's no worries about frosting melting or sliding off.
            Hope this helps!

    2. Does it have to be a cake???? Why don't you make large c.c. cookies and bring marhmallows to roast. Then add the marshmallows to the cookies - New fangled smores. Much more fun and original!

      Add some dry ice to the cooler and bring a bit of ice cream. - Does SD have fresh berries yet?? If not, bring bananas wrap in foil w a pat of butter and some brown suger. Roast then add to the ice cream. Bananas Foster camp style. Juice it up with a drizzle of almond liquor and sprinkle w/chopped almonds. You can also bring a can or two of whipped cream BUT if you're going to be in altitude - cans won't work. To me this is more fun than a cake...:)KQ

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kitchen Queen

        Well, of course we'll have s'mores anyway because we're camping! But, yes, I do want an actual cake for her birthday. It's just one of those things... it's not a birthday party without cake!

        However, maybe we'll do the campfire Bananas Foster the night before. Yum!

      2. There was a recent thread about no-egg cakes. The one I made (the mocha version) kept well, without frosting, in a sealed container for a week, as the two of us nibbled at it. Dulce de leche from the can is a 'frosting' that keeps until you need it - this is the sweetened condensed milk that you either carmelize yourself, or buy that way.


        1. i wouldn't worry so much about spoilage. frosting was actually invented as a method to preserve cakes over time - encase them in fat so they wouldn't dry out.

          sounds like you are car camping and have access to a cooler. in the +/- 24 hrs you are talking about, a little ice and a cooler is as good as a fridge. take your cake, out of the cooler and keep frosting in the cooler - spread it saturday afternoon. no problems, and any recipe will do..

          if you are still concerned, forgo frosting, make a cake that will age well, and prepare a glaze or caramel sauce on site. there was a great ginger cake recipe in the chow recipes section recently that would probably actually taste better after sitting for a day, you could bring a stick of butter, some brown sugar, and a little bourbon, rum, or whiskey and heat them in a pan on site to make a caramel/booze glaze for the cake.

          1. when i was a girl scout and we'd go on camping trips, we used to make upside-down pineapple cakes. they were really easy and tasty as well. everyone is responsible for making their own as long as you provide the ingredients.

            all you need:
            cleaned empty tuna cans with lids (enough for each person)
            cake batter
            whole pineapple rings in syrup
            some non-stick spray

            clean an empty can of tuna fish (keep the lid). spray the inside of the tuna can w/ non-stick spray. put the pineapple ring at the bottom and then pour regular cake batter into it (the cake batter you can concoct beforehand and keep in a separate container in the cooler). cover the can with the original lid and wrap the whole thing in alumninum foil. stick it in the fire for 10 minutes or so...remove the cans, pop out the individual cake and place a cherry on top. voila - your very own pineapple cake made in the great outdoors.