It was heartbreaking.
On a recent Food Network pastry competition, I watched as bakers whipped up delicacies far more intricate than anything in the local grocery aisle. They made cakes to the ceiling, iced in vivid colors that surely tasted like heaven. But as they carried the masterpieces from the creation station to the judging table, inevitably, a cake or two crashed, toppling as the crowd gasped in disappointment.
Making pastries portable is a challenge faced not only by world-class bakers, but also by everyday chefs. How do we get cupcakes from the kitchen to the classroom party without smearing icing all over the back seat?
The Cup-A-Cake was developed by a group of mothers fed up with the hassle of transporting sweets to outings and packing goodies in kids' lunches. Each container holds one cupcake and snaps open or shut on the side to avoid smushed icing. The airtight container also keeps the treats from going stale sooner. Stackable and available in a variety of bright colors, the Cup-A-Cake also works well for muffins and other smaller, single-serving treats. Sold at the Container Store and online at www.cupacake.com, the containers retail for $2.99 each.
Accommodating cakes, cupcakes and muffins, the Ultimate 3-in-1 Caddy from Wilton can do it all. The versatile carrier features a reversible tray that can be used to securely hold a 9-by-13-inch decorated cake, as well as 12 standard-sized or 24 mini-sized cupcakes or muffins.
The caddy's sturdy, locking base holds sweets secure and the airtight lid keeps anything - cake, pies, bread or brownies - fresh for days. The plastic container's thick walls provide decoration protection and the handle is soft and wide for added comfort when grabbing and going. Retailing for $19.99, the caddy is sold at kitchen and home retail stores.
Not all cakes are created equal. Or in equal sizes. Tupperware offers both a round cake taker and square cake server to make taking the cake a bit easier. As part of the company's Impressions line, the square server is stylish and sleek, and measure 8-by-8 inches. Detachable handles lock into place for worry-free carrying, and a reversible base features raised edges to transport liquid or creamy-topped treats, such as custards and caramels.
The round cake taker features a classic domed shape designed to be chic for at-home use. It can hold a three-layer or torte cake. As an added bonus, the base reverses to become a deep tray, divided to hold a variety of edibles, from tea sandwiches to vegetable slices. The square cake server retails for $27 and the round cake taker sells for $31. Both are available at area home stores.
Neither round nor square, the bundt cake can be hard to fit into a cake-toting mold. Target's Deluxe Bundt Cake Keeper caters to this often overlooked cake. The dishwasher-safe cake keeper is made from clear acrylic and can hold a full-sized cake. It retails for $14.99.
Staff writer Anna Ferguson is trying to outfit her new but bare kitchen. She can be reached at 770-963-9205, ext. 1308 or at email@example.com.