Cake For Care Package

bcskye

We have a fellow firefighter who is in harms way. He loves my Hummingbird cake to the point where he would try hiding it from others when made for events at the station. We got a message from him this morning that he was okay and his mailing address overseas so I would like to send him a cake. Unfortunately, the cream cheese frosting is out of the question. I know shortening icing is a no, no as a rule, but do you think with cream cheese extract it might be acceptable? I don't think he would really care.


Madonna

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Sooz

I've used the extract before in frosting, and it was ok. It didn't taste quite like the real thing, so I'd suggest maybe making a small batch and taste-testing it. It'll be an experiment!

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plllog

How long is it going to take to get there? I've had chocolate chip cookies airmailed to me halfway round the world and they arrived quite stale but worth eating for the tasted of home. OTOH, Hotel Sacher in Vienna ships their famous Sacher Torte cake all over the world and it holds beautifully. It's rich, dense, chocholate and jam, if I remember right. Do you think your hummingbird cake will survive being knocked around?

IIRC, the Sacher Torte is shipped in a fitted wood box. You could similarly fit the hummingbird cake, maybe in styrofoam covered with parchment, but does it keep? Figure it'll take at least a week to get there.

Maybe make it as a sheet cake? Or bars?

Maybe you can make an icing kit with cream cheese powder, butter powder and vanilla powder? I've never used them, but I'd bet you could make a just add water mix that your firefighter could stir up in a cup with a fork. It would give that taste of home even if it weren't perfect. Maybe send a lot, so it can be made in small batches per serving. And if the cake is damaged in tansit, the icing could glue it back together! Good luck!

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

I agree that 1 solution would be to include a recipe for the icing and provide all the non-perishable ingredients, pre-measured - that is if your friend has access to fresh ingredients and the necessary tools.

Or just cover the cake with powdered sugar?

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bcskye

This is for an active duty military person in harms way. I'm not concerned about the condition of the cake, he'd eat all the crumbs if it got there that way. I would be sending it in sheet cake or cupcake form. Due to the distance and how I know military shipping can be unpredictable (I served and so did both my husbands and was overseas), it is actually the perishable cream cheese frosting is the problem. It would spoil for sure.

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plllog

That's why I suggested the powder. If you experiment a little, I bet you can make a reasonable facsimile of the icing out of powdered everything that just needs water added, so he can frost the cakes himself. You could even include a plastic knife and fork to spread and stir with, and even a silicone bowl or bag to mix it in.


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party_music50

I knew someone who sometimes shipped food-goods and she told me that she uses air-popped popcorn as packing material... she said it cushions/protects the contents well and it can be eaten at destination. I tried to research the idea with a few different search terms but didn't come up with anything, so don't know if you should try it.


Good luck to your cake!

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nekotish

The icing that comes in tubs comes in a cream cheese version. Not the real thing, but it would be a solution as it is shelf stable. You could just send the tub and a plastic knife or spatula.

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plllog

When I was a teen, we sent cookies to the boys at camp packed in popcorn. It does work. They did eat the popcorn (teenage boys will eat anything), but they asked us why the popcorn was scented. It took months to figure out that it was the scent from the stationery that was taped on top of the box. They probably slipped in inside after they opened it. :)

Nekotish, great idea! I didn't know that existed!

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Nancy 6b

The nice thing about hummingbird cake is that it gets better after a few days. I see someone already mentioned the Betty Crocker cream cheese tubs. Not like the real thing, but seems like a good solution. Good luck to your friend,

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bcskye

Don't know why I didn't think of the tubs of frosting you can buy. I used them years and years ago, but wouldn't normally touch them anymore. The cake itself was no problem, it was the frosting and now, thanks to the brain jog, that is the answer. Thank you, everyone for the input. Billy will get his cake plus icing to apply himself.

Madonna

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seagrass_gw

I packed molasses cookies in popcorn and sent them to my brother in the first Gulf War. He was on an aircraft carrier. I hope your humming bird cake gets to your Billy.

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

I don't have anything to add as far as cake advice is concerned, but please tell your Billy that I thank him for his service. And I think it's fabulous of you to send him something he loves!

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nekotish

Not fond of the tubs either, but they do in a pinch and I'm sure your recipient won't have any criticism!

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sheesh

I must make this cake! Nancy, does it.really get better as it ages? How many days in advance should I make it for a.party?

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Nancy 6b

I would make it the day before. The flavors get richer the next day, and just gets more moist. It needs to be refrigerated because of the cream cheese. For me it gets a little too moist for my liking after 2 or 3 days but no one else seems to dislike it. The banana and pineapple are lovely in it, then topped with the cream cheese frosting, just wonderful. I get lots of complements, don't make it nearly often enough. I got my recipe from allrecipes.com

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sheesh

Thanks! We are having a going away party for one one of our kid's and her family just before they move to another state (boo hoo). This cake will be perfect.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

When I made Hummingbird cake, I found it to be very, very moist, which seems problematic for mailing long distances. I was thinking a pound cake might be a better choice for long distance transport. I sure wouldn't want to inadvertently send someone food poisoning...

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annie1992

Madonna, I've also found plastic cupcake carriers, and they keep cupcakes very firmly in their place. One of those, packed in popcorn, would get a dozen cupcakes there in pretty good condition, I think. Like this, and I think probably if you go to your local grocery store, bakery, Walmart, whatever, they might just sell you one or two.

https://plasticcontainercity.com/6-cavity-cupcake-container-shallow-dome-pack-of-15.htm

Of course, mixing the frosting with cake crumbs is basically a cake pop, so it's probably just fine to ship it and let it take its' chances!

Thanks to Billy, I'll keep him in my prayers, and hope he comes home safely.

Annie

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Jim Mat

Sometimes to someone on deployment, they appreciate knowing someone is thinking about them.

The “right brand” of cookies or jerky didn’t matter as much as hearing your name called during mail call.


Rather trying to send “what he loves”, if you can figure it out, send something Now, that shows you love him.

Maybe a men are from Mars thing.

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Jim Mat

Fruitcake, nut breads, oatmeal/peanut butter cookies were desired. Nutbread/bacon sandwiches were very rewarding.

Pleanty of commercial products are available, not many homemade baked goods with sugar.


where is he? Australia? If so, it is not a third world country.



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lascatx

I agree that hummingbird cake may not be the best choice because of the moisture as well as the icing. The tubs of icing are not the same, but for this purpose, probably your best bet. Perhaps you could put some of those moisture absorbing packets in the box to keep the cake from getting too moist and spoiling. I haven't tried that, but it might help it not arrive moldy.

Before I read that you had a specific cake in mind, I was going to tell you that I have shipped Texas Sheet Cake baked in a foil pan. It has always arrived well (priority mail here -- not abroad) and been enjoyed. It was my son's away from home birthday cake -- for both sons in different years, IIRC. It is another cake that is better after a day or two and the fudgy frosting helps lock it in. If in doubt, I use a little less milk, a little more powdered sugar or cook it a minute longer to make sure it sets well.

I know he will enjoy whatever you send and I hope it arrives in god shape so it is even better.

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