My feed

to access all these features

Join the discussion and meet other Mumsnetters on our free online chat forum.


Help me figure out how to manage multiple birthday cakes and travel!

18 replies

EllaEllaE · 31/05/2019 20:33

We (DH, me, DS aged 4) are going away next weekend for my husband's birthday, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to bring birthday cake(s) with me. Can you help me figure this out?

Here is my schedule and it's freaking me out even writing this down:

Saturday morning: leave our home town and drive 4-5 hours to City. Stay at friend A's flat while they are away
Saturday late afternoon (4-7pm): Birthday BBQ for DH at friend B's house for about 10 adults and small children. Birthday cake 1 here.
Sunday 10-12am: Friend C has a kids birthday party.
Sunday evening: Birthday party for DH at a bar with about 40 people, all adults. Birthday cake 2 here.
Monday morning: Get on an international flight to the UK to visit my family.

So I want to bring a birthday cake to the BBQ, and also have something in the bar for people on the Sunday night. But when do I make them??

Additional complications: a) DS still naps in the afternoon, although DH can deal with this. b) It's a big city the events are in separate places. But we will have our car. c) This is a beloved city where we used to live and we have many friends there. So it's likely we will want to spend any free time catching up with people and visiting our old haunts. I'd rather not be stuck in a kitchen on Sunday baking, if I can avoid it.

What would you suggest?

If I make two cakes at home on Friday, will they keep until Saturday and Sunday?

If so, whats the best way to transport everything?

Should I leave off the icing and decoration, and assemble on arrival?

I was wondering if cupcakes would be better for the bar on Sunday, but icing them on Sunday around everything else would take time.

DH is not too fussed about what kind of cake it is, so could be anything really. But baking is A Thing we love to do for each other's birthday so I really don't want to buy one.


OP posts:
Guadalquivir19 · 31/05/2019 20:40

I would bake the sponges at home but not ice them until I get to the flat. Make sure you take all your decorative equipment with you so you can ice & assemble the cakes at your friend's. You can buy cake boxes from home bargains/£ shop quite cheaply so you can transport to the venues.

Bubblysqueak · 31/05/2019 20:43

I think I would buy them when I got there. No time spent baking, no worry about transporting them, nice and easy.

Falafel19 · 31/05/2019 20:44

What sort of decoration are you doing? If you're covering them in sugarpaste they'll keep fine for days.

EllaEllaE · 31/05/2019 20:44

Thanks Guadalquivir19!

Do you think cake would still taste fresh on Sunday night if I made it on Friday afternoon?

OP posts:
Gonegrey31 · 31/05/2019 20:56

What about making 2 batches of brownies ( I use Nigella Lawson’s recipe using the best possible chocolate with some Armagnac stirred in), freeze them after slicing into squares, then transport them in 2 big plastic cake boxes ( Lakeland sell them). Pile the thawed brownies up in a tower on a plate, little dusting of icing sugar, candles dotted about...always looks spectacular. Don’t overlook the brownies, keep them slightly chewy, and they will last Friday to Sunday no problem. Minimal assembly needed at your destination.

EllaEllaE · 31/05/2019 20:56

I don't like sugar paste icing much, so was planning to do butter cream icing.

But I've just seen this recipe, and actually this could work well for at least one of them. The icing is nutella, which is as simple as it gets, and the assembly would be super easy.

OP posts:
Gonegrey31 · 31/05/2019 20:57

Over cook !

Leggyfrog · 31/05/2019 20:59

Are you not totally over thinking this - do you have to make 2 cakes. I would buy a couple in M&S in the town you're visiting. I recommend Colin and the Percy pig mud cake!

EllaEllaE · 31/05/2019 21:00

Hmmm I like the chocolate brownie idea! That would be so much easier in a bar too, because we wouldn't have to worry about cutting it...

OP posts:
Lwmommy · 31/05/2019 21:01

I'd order to cakes to be delivered to people in the locations who could bring the cakes to the party

TBDO · 31/05/2019 21:03

I’d ask my local friends / family if they wouldn’t mind picking up a cake from a shop.

EllaEllaE · 31/05/2019 21:03

Alas, I would love to be able to buy them in M&S but I live in the US! Shop brought sponge cakes here are so very gross... Just not nice at all.

We are back in the UK next month though, so maybe I'll go with the Percy Pig cake for my son's birthday!!

OP posts:
cheeseandcrackers · 31/05/2019 21:05

I love baking cakes but in your situation I would pre-order two cakes to pick up in th city on the Saturday.
If you really want to make them, make them both on Friday and decorate with fondant icing, it will keep easily and is easier to transport. Easy to personalise too - make figures/models just as if they were play doh.

EllaEllaE · 31/05/2019 21:14

yeah, maybe I'm trying to be too ambitious. I just dislike American sheet cakes/sponge cakes so much, and I do love making birthday cakes for the family.

(We are also quite broke, so DIY is also a money issue...)

But there are more non-traditional birthday cakes I could buy that would be tasty. In fact, now I think of it there's a Swedish Bakery we used to go to quite often... I could see if they have a Princess Torte (DH and I have been obsessed with them since it was a challenge on the GBBO!)

OP posts:
funkythighcollector · 31/05/2019 21:15

I think it’s way too stressful trying to bake and transport a cake for 40, especially when you want to see lots of people in the few hours you have to decorate it. A 2 day old cake won’t taste that great and does your friend even have room in the fridge for a large cake? And transporting the decorated cake to a bar will be a pain. I would buy that one and just make the 1st cake the morning or night before and wrap it in clingfilm (or saran wrap seeing as you’re in the US!), then ice and decorate once you get there. Is there a Wholefoods where you’re going, their cakes are OK if there’s no good bakeries around

DilysMoon · 31/05/2019 21:17

I think the brownie idea is fabulous Grin

MarinaMarinara · 31/05/2019 21:20

I have a similar issue. We’ll be away for DD’s birthday, in a holiday cottage. We always have homemade cakes that she gets super excited about so I know she will be sad if we buy one (she is too young to understand about logistics, she is going to be 4).

My plan is to make rich brownie type chocolate cakes (to layer up) at home, double wrap them and travel with them in tins and decorate after we get there, probably with pre-made buttercream.

EllaEllaE · 31/05/2019 21:23

Ok I think I'm going to go with:

  1. Buying the Princess Torte at the Swedish bakery (which is actually right next to Friend B's house, where the BBQ is.)

2. Go with Gonegrey31's idea and make or buy a big batch of gooey chocolate brownies, to bring to the bar. I have some edible gold glitter I can decorate them with too. Plus where we currently live, they sell jars of this rich chocolate sauce that is something of a speciality. If I bring a couple of jars of that for people to spoon over the brownies, along with the glitter and candles, it should be appropriately festive!

Thanks folks! I think I just needed some sense talked into me. What with also prepping for a long trip back to the UK, trying to figure this all out has been much more stressful than it ought to have been.
OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.