Cakes for Outside Wedding
Does anyone have any suggestions for cakes that will hold up to hot weather? We are baking multiple cakes for dessert for my sister in law's wedding this weekend. Originally, we were planning on having a variety of cakes...lemon, carrot, pumpkin....all had cream cheese icing. I have decided on a few bundt pan recipes with just a glaze. We are also having some cookies. Any other ideas? The weatherman is now predicting 97 degrees for this weekend.
The first thing that comes to mind is, in 97 degrees I don't want cake, I want popsicles! Ever think about renting a small freezer and making ice cream novelties available?
Barring that, I think really light and citrusy cakes are the way to go here, with glazes instead of frosting, due to melting factor. I love angel food cake with an orange glaze (basically orange juice, milk and powdered sugar). Also lemon chiffon cake is nice. Maybe a spice cake with a crumble topping, which might hold up better than icing.
Non-cake ideas include fruit kebabs and alcoholic watermelon balls.
I've done it, as a nonprofessional. Try using southern frostings that are made with ho weather in mind, like boiled frosting followed or 7 minute frosting. If you want buttercream, use Crisco. It will hold up, unlike cream cheese or butter. If you are going to tier, do it last minute. Use more dowels than you normally would. I'd love to hear how professionals do it.
Cream cheese frosting works great as a filling between layers, as long as you make a dam with a strong buttercream (use half shortening half butter for stability) and frost the exterior with the buttercream. 7 minute frosting doesn't melt and is lovely and light.
How long are the cakes expected to be out?
Will there be shade or will they be in direct sunlight?
Cream cheese icing can be firmed up by replacing some (or most) of the butter with shortening, but a cream cheese glaze might be just as nice
I'm really hoping the cakes won't be out long before serving, and the dessert table will be in the shade. We can bring them outside directly before the cutting of the cake...but the only cake that can be chilled is the actual wedding cake. We are still planning on butter cream for that one, and it will be tiered...but only 2. The problem with replacing the butter with shortening is that the bride specifically asked for home made cakes to avoid the taste of "store bought." I like the idea of the angel food and lemon chiffon with the glazes. My recollection of the 7 minute frosting is that it's incredibly sticky. Am I thinking of the right frosting?
There are a couple of hundred guests, and while the cakes will be sliced, the guests will be serving themselves. So the cakes will be sitting out for a while.
A boiled-icing will also hold up better than a traditional betty crocker style icing or even a swiss meringue buttercream, I find Italian meringue buttercream holds up better than swiss as well.
The only real suggestion I have for the tiered cake is to use a Coast brand plate and pillar set-up rather than boards and dowels. Build the cakes on cardboard rounds as usual, then place the plate and pillar (cut the pillars to the right size, just like a dowel) into the cake. I find marking the placement with the plate then removing cake (I use an apple corer) where the pillars will be to make for a more stable cake. Then glue the plate to the board of the top cake.
This makes for a very stable tier that doesn't rely as much on the buttercream to hold up. The system is similar to a pillared cake (where there is space between) but with the pillars cut down to fit the cake. I've transported cakes that were stacked more than an hour away (I hate stacking on site, I think it's much easier to transport a finished cake), had them sit out 4+ hours without problems. I glue with elmers and glucose.
Mini pies? Handheld, or even baked in cupcake or mini cupcake tins, should hold up.
Or cobblers baked in jelly jars ... maybe with prescooped ice cream to put on top from that freezer charlesbois mentioned.
I love the popsicle idea!
I also love the fruit kebabs, or even just big bowls of berries. And, yes, the alcoholic watermelon balls, too! :) Haven't had those, but I had peaches soaked in prosecco last summer and they were great!