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Thread: Make-ahead desserts that travel well

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Charlotte, NC, USA

    Question Make-ahead desserts that travel well

    I've been asked to bring desserts for 40-50 people to an office birthday celebration. I'd like some suggestions for cakes/desserts I can do ahead of time (2 days or the night before) that keep well refrigerated or at room temperature. Any ideas??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Crocker, MO
    You could try the Chocolate Eclair Icebox Dessert- I like it best made a day ahead, actually. It's great!

    Chocolate-Éclair Icebox Dessert

    Recipe By :
    Serving Size : 18 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Desserts Jan/Feb '98

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    22 1/2 sheets low-fat honey graham crackers (about 1
    [14-ounce] box) -- divided
    Cooking spray
    3 cups fat-free milk
    2 (3.4-ounce) packages fat-free vanilla pudding
    1 (8-ounce) tub fat-free cream cheese
    1 (8-ounce) tub frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping -- thawed
    1/4 cup fat-free milk
    2 tablespoons stick margarine or butter -- softened
    2 tablespoons honey
    2 ounces unsweetened chocolate -- melted
    1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

    Arrange 7 1/2 graham cracker sheets in the bottom of a 13 × 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine 3 cups milk, pudding mix, and cream cheese in a large bowl, and beat at low speed of a mixer 1 minute or until thick. Fold in whipped topping. Spread half of the pudding mixture over graham crackers, and top with 7 1/2 graham cracker sheets. Repeat the procedure with the remaining half of pudding mixture and 7 1/2 graham cracker sheets.

    Combine 1/4 cup milk, softened margarine, honey, and unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl, and beat well with a mixer. Gradually add powdered sugar to milk mixture, and beat well. Spread chocolate glaze over graham crackers. Cover dessert and tent with foil; chill 4 hours.

    ""I've had a not-so-light version of this dessert in my recipe box for
    years. I kept bypassing it until one day I decided to try it using
    some of the new low-fat ingredients. Now my guests beg me to give them
    the recipe."—Shay Collier, Camarillo, Calif."
    "Cooking Light, January/February 1998, p.168"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    You could do an assortment of bundt cakes. One cake will usually serve 16 - 20, and if you do an assortment, everyone should be able to find a flavor they like. Same thing if you do a variety of cheesecakes. Three of either kind of dessert ought to be enough, and they should keep well.

    The Chocolate Eclair thing is good, too, and can be kept for three-four days I've been told.

    Good Luck!

    Less rhetoric, more cowbell!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Northern VA
    Cheesecake, any kind!!

    Pretty much all cheesecakes I know of are best if made ahead of time and they travel extremely well. Any imperfections on the surface can be covered with an appropriate sauce once you get it to wherever you are taking it. And they serve more people than your average cake.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Arlington, WA
    Another vote for the chocolate eclair icebox dessert. Also agree cheesecake is good choice. but for that many people you need several.
    Right now I'm testing a rhubarb custard dessert from CL that had great reviews. It's in a 9X13 pan & so far it looks like it would travel well. I'm guessing it will hold well in the frig. haven't tasted it yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    In transition!
    The Texas Sheet Cake travels well too, since you leave it in the pan. And you can definitely make it a day or more ahead and keep it refrigerated. I'm taking it to a BBQ on Sunday myself.
    "In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport."
    --Julia Child

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Kitsap Peninsula, WA
    Another vote for CHESSECAKES!! That is the dessert I always take. You can make it ahead, it travels VERY well, serves a lot of people, everyone loves it, easy to make but makes you look like a gourmet cook, etc.....
    "Let food be thy medicine" ~ Hippocrates

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Can you give us a review on the custard rhubarb dessert from CL,
    I still have some rhubarb in the garden!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2001

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Arlington, WA
    I didn't check the other threads but would rate this dessert as "pretty good". I love rhubarb desserts but was not crazy about this one. DH agreed with me. It is supposed to have a rich crumbly buttery crust & with 9 TB of butter I expected more flavor. It also (supposedly) is 36 servings from a 9 X 13 pan. I don't think so.... 16-20 is more reasonable. some of the rhubarb pieces did not completely cook although I cut it smaller than the required 1/2 pieces. So, I would not make this again. Sorry Lauren, keep looking.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    The Great White North
    Here's one that I sent with my wife to a birthday at work that was well-liked. I've been told that the cake was good even without all the trimmings (the pineapple & mango, and the whipped cream). The recipe was posted by Baker @ Chatelaine and is from cookbook author Elizabeth Baird.

    Boscobel Beach Ginger Cake

    Fancy up this dense gingery cake from Jamaica's Boscobel Beach Hotel with fresh pineapple and mango slices doused with orange juice, rum and coarsely grated orange rind. Top with rum-kissed whipped cream.

    1 cup Butter, softened ...250 mL
    1-1/4 cups Packed brown sugar ...300 mL
    4 Eggs ... 4
    1/4 cup Grated gingerroot ...50 mL
    1 tsp Vanilla ...5 mL
    2-1/2 cups All-purpose flour ...625 mL
    4 tsp Ground ginger ...20 mL
    4 tsp Baking powder ...20 mL
    1-1/2 tsp Cinnamon ...7 mL
    1/2 tsp Salt ...2 mL
    1 cup Milk ...250 mL
    Icing sugar

    In large bowl, cream butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in gingerroot and vanilla. Stir together flour, ginger, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; add to batter alternately with milk, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of liquid. Spoon into greased 9-inch (3 L) Bundt or angel food cake pan, pressing batter slightly higher at edges. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for about 45 minutes or until tester inserted into centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan on rack. Turn out onto serving plate; dust lightly with icing sugar.

    Cheers! Andy

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