07 Jun 2016
Feeling HOT! Dealing with (and storing) wedding and celebration cakes during a heatwave
The current heatwave has resulted in many frantic calls from our customers asking how to look after their wedding and celebration cakes. Fear not, there are steps you can take to ensure your cake stays perfect.
For starters, please, for the love of cake, DO NOT PUT IT IN THE FRIDGE! Placing an iced cake in the fridge may seem like a good idea when it’s hot enough to melt concrete outside, but the problem with this is when you remove the cake from the fridge, the change in temperature creates condensation on the icing which can result in colour running, broken, soggy decorations, and sticky icing. The best place for any decorated cake is in a cool, dark room. Room temperature is absolutely fine, the cake just needs to remain in the shade.
So what if we’re talking wedding cakes? If your cake is placed in a sunny window then it will not melt per se, but it may get sticky at the back where the sun hits it. This can also cause expansion under the icing, creating pockets of air that look like the bubbles you get under wallpaper. These are easily fixable, but are not the responsibility of your venue. Ideally, if the heat is sweltering and it is a bright day, have the cake table moved to a corner or have the curtains closed behind the cake. Please note that any decent baker will take this into account when setting up your wedding on the day, but if in doubt, ask someone to give it a check and make sure the side of the cake doesn’t feel warm.
With regards to transport, always place your cake in the boot of your vehicle if possible. This is the flattest surface, keeps the cake out of direct sunlight and is the safest way to travel with a stacked cake. Most car seats are sloped, as are your legs when sitting in them. If you want to travel with the cake on your knee, it helps to have a rolled up tea towel across your thighs to create a level surface. Placing your hands under the back of the box may seem like a good idea, but trust me, anything more than five minutes of that is a nightmare!
Finally, what if you are baking or decorating your cake yourself? Well, for starters, work early morning or evening, and make sure you decorate in a different room to the one you’re baking in. When we first opened, I made a twelve tier white chocolate Christmas cake for our window, opened the oven, and had half the cake melt instantly just from that one gush of heat from the oven (much consolation cake was eaten in our house that night). Try not to over knead or over handle your icing. If it does get an “elephant skin” effect or tear whilst icing, mix a little sugarpaste with water, paint it on with a brush and leave overnight. It will look as good as new the next day.
Enjoy the sunshine and have a great week.