The other day, finding myself in a bit of a pinch, I ran over to the cake decorating supply store on 22nd Street. It’s the store where all the pastry chefs, cake decorators, culinary school students and confectionary geeks resign themselves to going to at one time or another. It’s different from all other supply houses in the area in that in addition to selling every baking pan, tool and gizmo available on the market, they also sell edibles, like chocolate, cocoa powder, and fondant. And, their legendary service is fodder for urban folklore.*
As I maneuvered around the young mother intently studying the menu of available edible cartoon images for the top of a cake, I overheard two ladies asking about a particular cakebox that the store didn’t carry. Panic set in. ”OH NO! What will we do? How will we carry the cake?” Before I could even think, I heard the sound of my own voice. ”How big is the cake? How big is the base?” In a few sentences accompanied by sweeping arm gestures usually reserved for a rousing game of Charades, I described to these damsels in distress how to transform the boxes they already owned into one tent-like covering that would shelter the cake during its transport to its final destination.
As I explained the process, I watched the panic on their faces melt away, quickly replaced by relieved smiles. ”Thank you so much”, cooed the younger of the two women. ”You should be online”, said the other lady. I returned the smile, turned away and thought YES! BLOG POST!
If I could help these ladies with their packing dilemma, surely this post will help you, too, right?
Begin with 2 cake boxes the same size as your cake base. 10 inch base? 10 inch cake box. Grab a pair of scissors, too. And, have a roll of cellophane tape handy for sealing the sides as you’re finishing.
Line one box inside the other and cut off the front flaps of both boxes. I save these flaps to work out templates, as well as a bridge for the occasional gap on the finished top of the box.
Separate the two boxes and face them toward each other, their newly cut sides fitting one over the other. I’ve folded one of the box tops down, so I’m not showing a sea of muddy brown.
Turn the box around so you can identify the tabs on the side panels of the box. Insert them into their corresponding slots. Do one side only. You’ll want the other side open so you can slide the cake into the box easily.
You should now have something that resembles this:
Now with that one open side, you can slide your cake right into its temporary home. Yes, it’s a Halloween cake. And, yes, that’s how long I’ve been sitting on this post.
Once the cake is pushed inside the box as far as it can go (See why it’s always good to have a cake base larger than your actual cake? The base behaves like a protective bumper.), you can start closing up the box by inserting the two remaining tabs into their respective slots.
It’s beginning to look like a tent, right?
Now take those big flaps and bring them up together to form the pitched roof of the tent.
Fold the side flaps down and adjust them so the cake is fully shielded, but not so close that the box touches or rests upon the cake. Use a bit of cellophane tape to hold them in place. Swivel the box around and repeat on the other side.
You should have something that looks like this. A tent!!!
There. Snug as a bug in a rug.
Commandeering potholes along the way, of course, is another story entirely.
*Legendary is yours to define.