If you’re baking for an event or party, it’s always a good idea to have a good variety of cakes. In this bonanza of bakes, you’ll find some top tips for planning and some cake ideas that will hopefully please the crowd.
Well, I don’t think I’d ever baked quite so many cakes for one event. I was almost, but not quite, caked out. Friends were hosting an Open Weekend to celebrate 30 years of living in their beautiful moorland house and had asked me if I would bake cakes for the event.
With a small kitchen and not that much equipment, little storage and no room in the freezer, planning eight bakes was quite a feat. What would keep the longest? Where could I store the finished bakes? What selection should I make? And how many eggs and bags of flour did I need? These were just some of the things that went into the equation.
I prepared the bonanza of bakes over two and a half days so I could enjoy the experience, rather than being in a total stress and vowing never to do it again. And, although the process was not without its drama, I really did enjoy it.
It was fun to make a load of cakes that didn’t have chocolate in them for a start. Although I couldn’t resist entirely and it managed to creep into three of them. Transporting them to the venue also proved to be a bit of a challenge, but they arrived in more or less one piece, despite the hilly and winding nature of the roads.
CT not only helped out with the transport, but he made these labels for the cakes too, so that the guests would know what they were eating.
A Bonanza of Bakes: Cake by Cake
Pam Corbin’s orange and Earl Grey cake from her excellent book Cakes. The orange cream cheese filling that I made with mascarpone was to die for. As you can see, I didn’t make the icing quite thick enough, so most of it dripped off and pooled around the bottom. I was particularly intrigued by this one, but as I didn’t get to try it, I might just have to make it again.
Sour cherry brownies adapted from Green & Black’s Unwrapped. These turned out amazingly well considering the poor start I gave them. More on this in a subsequent post.
I made the apple and thyme cake I made last month, only this time I whizzed up the thyme with the caster sugar before creaming to make the taste more pronounced and left out the chocolate.
Dan Lepard’s lemon and poppy seed cake from Short & Sweet. I managed to try a bit of this one and it was totally delicious, light and lemony but with a bit of texture.
Lemon and cardamom shortbread biscuits. The “home made” stamp worked a bit better this time, but I still have a way to go to perfect my technique. I don’t have the specific recipe for these, but I do have quite a few other shortbread recipes on the blog.
My friend is very keen on my apple and choc chip rock cakes so she specifically requested a batch of these. I don’t have the recipe here on the blog, but I do have a very similar one for prune rock cakes which you can easily adapt.
Nigella’s sticky ginger cake with lemon icing from How to be a domestic goddess.
Baking Bonanza Top Tips
So this was my first ever baking bonanza. I’ve had many since, but I learnt a lot whilst doing this one. Mostly, be prepared and plan well.
- Work out what you want to bake well in advance.
- Make sure you have all the ingredients you need, plus a bit more in case anything goes wrong.
- Allow time for the cakes to cool and any icing to set.
- Leave fillings such as fruit curd and buttercream until the last minute, so that they don’t go off.
- If you have a small kitchen and / or are tight on storage space, make the bakes that will last the longest the day before you need to finish baking. You can then pack them up when cool so you have a clear space ready for the final bakes. Brownies, cookies and traybake are all good for this. You can always deliver some of them ahead of time.
- Ensure you have suitable plates to put the cakes on and boxes to put them in for transport.
The response was positively effusive and I came away glowing from all of the compliments I received. This together with all the other good food and excellent company, a good time was had by all.
Our friends tried several times to leave a comment on this post, but blogger’s been playing up and they’ve been unable to do so. I’m therefore posting their message here as they wanted it to appear somewhere.
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you’re making a bonanza of bakes for an event, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more baking recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.