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birthday cake novice and issues of keeping fresh!

(17 Posts)
addictedtofrazzles Sun 18-Sep-11 08:53:45

I need to make a dinosaur cake for Tuesday. Have found design etc which requires 4 'cakes' to be made etc. I have some time restraints (namely my children!) so on top of making/icing said cake I need to find time today and tomorrow to bake!

How would you keep these cakes fresh (never baked before...!). Do I wrap in endless clingfilm, freeze (if I do this, how long to defrost?!). Any suggestions would be enormously appreciated please!

weevilswobble Sun 18-Sep-11 08:59:55

Assuming its a regular cake recipe (3 eggs, 6oz flour, 6oz sugar, 6oz mar) then you could make today, cool and wrap or put in containers till monday night when you ice them.
What kind of icing are you doing?
(oh, just bring it here, i'll do it!)

addictedtofrazzles Sun 18-Sep-11 09:04:51

Oh I wish!!!

Normal cake recipe as you mentioned. Am going to construct on Tuesday with cream and jam middle and then bright yellow butter icing with red spots (have bought royal icing pre made to roll out and cut said spots!).

Thanks for your quick response. Will get my masterchef apron ready tonight then!

(am feeling the pressure of seventeen 1-3 year olds and their accompanying parents!!!)

addictedtofrazzles Sun 18-Sep-11 09:07:27

Oh - but if I construct Monday night (as you suggest) will the icing stop it drying out? In which case Monday night is much more convenient!

weevilswobble Sun 18-Sep-11 09:16:04

It'll be fine i've got 29 birthday cakes under my belt between my two DDs! Defo bake today, construct and ice monday. The cake will be fine for days after that! Its nice for the child to wake up on Birthday morning and find the cake ready!

weevilswobble Sun 18-Sep-11 09:18:26

Have you got a cake board? If not i use an upside down tray covered in foil.

Bunbaker Sun 18-Sep-11 09:25:10

If you bake it today and keep it in an airtight tin it will still be perfectly fresh for Tuesday. In fact it is easier to butter ice a cake the next day. A useful tip is to cover the cake with a thin layer of butter icing, let it set and do another layer. The second layer will cover over any cake crumbs that get caught up in the icing. I would also use buttercream rather than cream in the middle because the cake will need to be kept in the fridge after filling and won't be as nice as refrigerating a cake increases the rate that it goes stale.

As a veteran of several birthday cakes using the basic sponge method this has always been successful.

Good luck. I hope the birthday child has a lovely birthday.

weevilswobble Sun 18-Sep-11 09:44:51

You could make the sponge lemony by adding the grated zest of a lemon to each 3egg cake mixture. Makes it less plain cakey.

missmartha Sun 18-Sep-11 10:10:25

If you are seriously strapped for time, there is no shame in buying a few packs of cake mix.

I do it, I'm probably not a good role model though.

Bunbaker Sun 18-Sep-11 14:21:36

"there is no shame in buying a few packs of cake mix."

I always use the all-in-one method for sponge cakes. It is almost as quick as using a packet mix, and tastes loads better.

addictedtofrazzles Sun 18-Sep-11 14:51:29

Ladies, you are all legends- thank you so much. Bought all the ingredients on Friday so no need for ready mix (although will remember this for next time!).

Just a quickie though - is buttercream the same as the icing but without colouring? If not please could you be really kind and explain?!

Baking tonight, construction tomorrow night... Leaving plenty of time to blow balloons on the 'big day'! Thank you all for your experienced insights!

Graciescotland Sun 18-Sep-11 14:54:29

Buttercream is just butter and icing sugar. I always think of it as frosting.

Bunbaker Sun 18-Sep-11 15:00:18

Buttercream can be used as icing and filling. To make it you need butter at room temperature and sieved icing sugar. The proportions usually used are twice as much sugar in weight to butter. If it is too stiff you can add some milk, but only add a little at a time. You can colour it as well. Once you have the icing mixture made up beat it with an electric whisk for a couple of minutes until it is lighter in colour then it is ready to spread.

addictedtofrazzles Sun 18-Sep-11 15:03:26

Suuuuuuuuper - thanks again!

weevilswobble Sun 18-Sep-11 21:02:57

Bunbaker, you are a fountain of cake knowledge! Respect!

Bunbaker Mon 19-Sep-11 13:25:31

Thank you. I didn't start baking regularly until I was pregnant woth DD 11 years ago. I have picked up a lot of tips from books and internet forums, and also by trial and error.

Being a greedy so and so interested in all things foodie I tend to lurk around food forums a lot, and there is a lady on one of them who has an awesome knowledge of baking. So she really needs to take some of this credit.

Thanks again

weevilswobble Mon 19-Sep-11 19:41:38

Hows the cake looking Frazzles??smile

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