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Birthday Cake
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Rebecca Canode
(bcanode) - F
Birthday Cake on 01/12/2012 15:30:39 MST Print View

Our family is backpacking in the Grand Canyon this spring and it just happens that the weekend we got out our permit for is the same weekend as my son's 12th birthday. I want to have some sort of cake for him. Any ideas for a cake I can make on a backpacking stove?

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Birthday Cake on 01/12/2012 16:37:40 MST Print View

Rebecca,

I've done a lot of wilderness catering including a 3-tier wedding cake for 30 people on Half Dome.

Depending on the timing during the trip, there might be a MUCH easier way. If it is in the first day or two: make a cake that travels well, freezes well and is dense (small volume). A low-flour or flourless chocolate torte is one. A Marzipan cake is another. They are both pretty high-calorie cakes but you're hiking, right? Reward yourself.

Bake it in advance. Freeze it solid. Wrap in clothing, sleeping bag: Torte in a plastic bag wrapped in a fleece sweater wrapped in a plastic bag, placed in the middle of an over-sized sleeping bag stuff sack with the sleeping bag all around it.

Clothing makes GREAT insulation (duh). And just in a sweater, plastic bag and a towel, I travel with 2-3 pounds of frozen fish for 12-18 hours all the time and it is still frozen (but not hard frozen) 2,000 miles later.

Things that help: Keep it frozen till your departure. Ask the hotel to put it in their freezer (mark with room number, guest name). Have it ALL in the freezer - the cake in clothing, all wrapped up. Use an ice chest to get it to the tralhead. If it is small enough, put the whole ice chest in the freezer at home and at the hotel on the way. Goodwill / Salvation Army have lunch-box sized ice chests for a few dollars.

Presenting an intact b-day cake is impressive on a hike (bring mini candles), but pre-cutting lets you pack the pieces tighter.

Medical office get little styrofoam ice chests for drugs and vaccines and would probably give you one. About 4" x 6" x 6" on the inside, so you have to pre-cut the cake. Pre-cut, place in little cooler, wrap cooler in clothing, freeze the whole thing and you could get 2 days in cool weather. And it it thaws early? That's fine. Either of those cakes would be fine at room temp for 12-24 hours. I've actually found these techniques to work so well I have to check cake temps on the way and often unwrap things 2-4 hours in advance so it's not frozen solid at serving time.

I'd bring a can of spray whip cream to serve with it. The chocolate torte is good with a raspberry sauce. Not jam, but just boiled down raspberries with a bit of sugar. For the marzipan, I'd bring a dark-chocolate sauce in a plastic container for reheating and maybe some canned sour cherries (open, drained and repackaged) to serve on the side.

My son turns 12 on March 1. And he did GREAT on a Bright Angel-River-Bright Angel hike in 9 hours last May. Have a great trip!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Birthday Cake on 01/12/2012 18:39:27 MST Print View

We had a special party at the old secret lake (one member of the group was starting off to a graduate school program that ran for 50 weekends, hence no backpacking). About eight of us got to the lake, and I had somebody distract the guest of honor until I could get this ready. Out of my backpack, I retrieved a full-size angel food cake in a cardboard box. I frosted it with a can of specially-colored prepared frosting, applied a couple of birthday cakes, and VOILA!

--B.G.--

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Birthday Cake on 01/13/2012 05:46:52 MST Print View

You can easily do a fry cake in a non-stick pan or if you want to go all fancy (but you got to think weight and all) you could carry a Backpacker Oven and bake one (too much effort IMO though). You can also easily steam bake goodies in any pot. Frosting is easy enough to do.

But....IMO? I'd get a cute small 1 layer cake and find a way to pack it in. There is something just awesome about getting a bad for you treat brought in by Mom or Dad ;-) And hey, all you have to do after is crush and pack out the plastic tub it comes in!

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Birthday Cake on 01/13/2012 09:24:29 MST Print View

If you want to prepare something on site, a no-bake cheesecake is easy and compact to carry in. Graham cracker crumbs, butter, the mix, add cold water, let set up.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Birthday Cake on 01/13/2012 09:47:01 MST Print View

For non-cake ideas this can be impressive:
http://www.trailcooking.com/recipes/pina-colada-mini-pies

How to steam bake (what I call Faux-Baking):
http://www.trailcooking.com/thefauxbaker

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F - M

Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR
How Big? on 01/13/2012 18:33:26 MST Print View

How big of a cake do you want to make?

Rebecca Canode
(bcanode) - F
Small Cake on 01/14/2012 08:27:46 MST Print View

I just want a small cake. There will be 4 of us. I saw one idea on-line where you bake a cake, dehydrate it and then rehydrate it with a little water. That might work.

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F - M

Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Cakes in the Grand Canyon on 01/14/2012 08:53:32 MST Print View

I figured out how to bake bread and cakes but my pot size limits me to about 4"-5" in diameter. Send me a PM if you are interested.

If you are staying down at the Bright Angel, they make brownies down there and you might be able to have them make something special for you. You also might be able to send something down by mule. They have a duffle service that cost ~$40 per bag (contact them for the latest price and duffle size limitations). Best regards - Jon

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
cakes on 01/14/2012 20:56:09 MST Print View

Fry-pan cakes are pretty easy or you could make a no-bake banana cream pie or something like that. I have a couple recipes I can post if you like.

Rebecca Canode
(bcanode) - F
Love some recipes on 01/15/2012 17:08:37 MST Print View

I would love some recipes. I want to try a few things out before our trip in March.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
dessert on 01/16/2012 07:20:49 MST Print View

I'll dig up the cream pie recipes today when baby goes down for her nap. They are fairly light. Now if you wanted to brave something like a camp oven I could post a brownie or cake recipe. I do have a Lemon and Blackcurrant Fry-cake recipe I can post as well and some frypan cookies. I guess it really depends how elaborate you want to go or how light and simple you prefer.

Thomas Ward
(hikingdad) - F

Locale: Saint Croix Valley
Cupcakes on 02/01/2012 22:39:32 MST Print View

My first post on here :)

I take my pot and fill the bottom with some rocks making sure its pretty flat. Then you can mix together cupcake mix and pour it into foil cupcake holders and bake. I can make one at a time in my pot, but wider pots might be able to bake 2-3 at a time. My absolute favorite are chocolate cupcakes.... I don't bake them very long and they end up being like lava cakes! So good and my kids love them!