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Homemade birthday cake sent by snail mail. Any recipie suggestions?

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foodiebridey Apr 2, 2012 01:28 PM

I'd like to send a fun and yummy birthday cake by mail to my 14 year old boy. Regular mail takes about 7 to 10 days to arrive where he lives. I'm in Vancouver, he's in Quebec. Anyone have suggestions as to what would be a good birthday cake recipie that will survive the trip and the length of time it takes to get there?

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  1. mamachef RE: foodiebridey Apr 2, 2012 02:40 PM

    This is a big risk, foodiebridey. At very least you want a sturdy cake; something like applesauce cake that's very moist. Even that though, with the length of time you're proposing, isn't a surefire deal. A fondant covered cake might make it, but the fondant itself will be fairly dry.
    Can I suggest that if there's a local bakery, they might send one to him? Or might you consider making, say cookies and decorating them? I'm not a consummate baker, so none of this is gospel - and I'll sure be interested in hearing what other people have to say about this.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mamachef
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      foodiebridey RE: mamachef May 10, 2012 09:03 AM

      Thanks! Went with the cookies - he devoured them!

    2. pinehurst RE: foodiebridey Apr 2, 2012 03:08 PM

      I second what mamachef said. Short of liquor-infused fruitcakes or gingerbread molasses cakes (which may not appeal to a teenager's tastebuds), I don't know of a lot of cakes that "keep" well. Have you considered brownies or blondies?

      I don't know where in the province of Quebec your boy resides, but there are places that ship cakes mentioned on other chow boards like here:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/681599

      Good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: pinehurst
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        foodiebridey RE: pinehurst May 10, 2012 09:07 AM

        I like the alcohol-infusion idea particularly, but maybe not for Sam. Thanks!

      2. greygarious RE: foodiebridey Apr 2, 2012 03:18 PM

        Well, you can't use frosting unless it's a layer cake and you settle for just putting it between the layers. I think you'd be better off making a pound cake, no frosting. Maybe a glaze that dries hard. If you can get Solo brand almond filling (canned, in the kosher aisle), I recommend the almond bundt cake that is on the label. If it's not still there it will be on the solofoods.com site.
        It has a lot of butter and is a firm cake that could also be done in loaf pans. It keeps just beautifully in the fridge for several weeks so I think it would do well in transit to your boy.

        There are of course scores of different pound cake flavors. Another one I like is sweet potato.

        Ooh - just remembered. Amish Friendship Bread! There are different styles. I mean the one that uses milk, yeast, and sugar for the starter, then instant pudding in the batter, and is baked in loaf pans. It is like a quickbread or the Sock-it-to-Me coffee cake, but the starter gives it a much better, more complex flavor. And your kid would probably get a kick out of the history of the cake and how it is made.

        1 Reply
        1. re: greygarious
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          foodiebridey RE: greygarious May 10, 2012 09:09 AM

          I am learning alot from you all - a cake high in sugar will increase its shelf life. And thanks for the idea of the friendship bread - sounds like another way to keep up with old friends.

        2. Emme RE: foodiebridey Apr 3, 2012 07:25 PM

          I might suggest doing cupcakes -- maybe a maple cake (just made a great one last weekend if this interests you) -- cut off the tops, reserve them, hollow a little in the center, filling with a stable buttercream, and put the tops back on. maybe send a glaze on the side in a taped shut sealed tupperware, that he can drizzle on. pack them tightly in saran, then foil, then freeze them. send them from frozen, and put the glaze in the shipping box.

          either way, if you decide to do a whole cake, freeze it first, then ship it. the defrosting time will be preserved time.
          happy birthday to son!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Emme
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            foodiebridey RE: Emme May 10, 2012 09:09 AM

            Thanks!

          2. hotoynoodle RE: foodiebridey Apr 3, 2012 07:57 PM

            even when shipped initially frozen, i don't know of any cake that will last 9 more days and still be delicious. unless it is booze-soaked as mentioned, lol. even the most moist cakes start drying and fading after 4 days or so.

            any thoughts on a giant cookie?

            no possibility to express ship? why go through all that trouble? it's such a thoughtful gesture.

            1 Reply
            1. re: hotoynoodle
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              foodiebridey RE: hotoynoodle May 10, 2012 09:10 AM

              I sent him cookies - he was very happy. Thank you!

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              Erika L RE: foodiebridey Apr 4, 2012 08:36 AM

              I concur, that's a LONG time for any cake to remain edible. That said, you might consider a loaf cake rather than a layer cake, and to ship it still in the pan. Also, an oil-based cake will remain moist far longer than a butter-based cake. I can't imagine that any frosting would survive being jostled. Is there some kind of express shipping that wouldn't be cost-prohibitive?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Erika L
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                foodiebridey RE: Erika L May 10, 2012 09:13 AM

                You're right about the oil - and it would also be safer, food-wise, than butter for a longer period. As to shipping - well, he's 14 and is the type who is as happy with something very ordinary as with something very fancy - so for now, I'll save my money. Thank you for the suggestions!

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                writergeek313 RE: foodiebridey Apr 4, 2012 09:35 AM

                During my first year of grad school, my mom mailed me a birthday cake from Pennsylvania to Florida (my birthday is in March--it never would've worked during the hotter months). She baked the cake in a foil cake pan and sent the frosting in a plastic container for me to add myself. It did survive the trip, and the frosting didn't spoil. I was shocked by how close to the birthday cakes of years past it was. I think she sent it either overnight or two-day mail, though. If you can't do a quicker shipping option than 7-10 days, as others have said, a bakery cake might be the next best thing.

                1 Reply
                1. re: writergeek313
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                  foodiebridey RE: writergeek313 May 10, 2012 09:02 AM

                  I like the idea of sending the components. It probably made it a tastier affair when you had to finish it yourself. Your mom was so thoughtful! Thanks!

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                  BrownieGirl2 RE: foodiebridey May 7, 2012 06:44 AM

                  This may not be EXACTLY what you're looking for, but it is fun and yummy... I made a rice crispy treat cake for my sister once and mailed it to her. I used a Bundt pan and put mini M&Ms in the bottom, then pressed the rice crispy mixture onto it. When it had cooled off, I flipped it out and it looked like a cake with sprinkles on top. It travelled well, was light and didn't cost a fortune to send to her. Good luck!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: BrownieGirl2
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                    foodiebridey RE: BrownieGirl2 May 10, 2012 09:00 AM

                    What a great idea! You've a lucky sister! I am going to put this in action for his next "away" birthday.

                    Thanks!

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                    foodiebridey RE: foodiebridey May 10, 2012 08:57 AM

                    Thank you everyone for your excellent and helpful suggestions. I ended up making decorated sugar cookies (I used a wedding cake cookie cutter and went crazy with the icing) and they arrived as funky and as tasty as they had left. I really enjoyed all of your ideas, and appreciated that you took the time to contribute your thoughtful replies.

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