Father Son Cake Bake Expert mixes it up for Scout dads
Some of our visitors have been looking for guidance for the upcoming Cub Scout Father-Son Cake Bake.
Our guest at The Cookery is Cub Scout Den Leader Ken Manceaux of Cub Scout Pack 61 in Austin, Texas. Ken’s here to share some tips on the Father-Son Cake Bake.
The Cookery: Ken, you’re not only a veteran cake master, but a Scout dad with years of experience in the food and beverage industry. What’s more fun, catering an event for 500 people, or mixing it up in the kitchen with your kids?
Ken: No contest here, as this is one of our favorite Cub Scout events. My oldest son has crossed over into Boy Scouts and we made some really fun and cool cakes. My youngest is now a Wolf Scout and he can’t wait till this year’s event.
The Cookery: How many Father-Son Cake Bakes have you entered?
Ken: Counting my older son’s events and my younger son’s I believe we have been in 5 events–this year will be our 6th.
The Cookery: What is your area of expertise in F&B?
Ken: It is Hotel/Resort Food and Beverage Management. As an F&B Director my role was to oversee all of the property’s restaurants, banquet and meeting space. We had a good management team that I worked with and my favorite part was working with the Executive Chef–from planning gourmet wine events for members and guests to discussing menus in the restaurants.
The Cookery: Does your Louisiana lineage influence your appreciation of specialty cakes?
Ken: So far believe it or not, we have stuck to what the boys like to do-we have built a U.S.S. Lexington cake (this one took four cake mixes and won largest cake award), a jet plane cake, a colorful cake, simple traditional cakes and my youngest son and I did a pair of penguins last year and called them the Penguin Patrol–it won an award for best Scout spirit.
The Cookery: Are there any specific rules for the Cake Bake?
Ken: Yes-it must be a cake that the father and son bake together with no help/advice from mom. If the Scout does not have a dad, then a grandfather or uncle can certainly step in to help. It also must be put together with most–if not all–edible ingredients.
The Cookery: Will the cakes be judged for Pack 61?
Ken: You bet–we get the really nice pastry chefs from Whole Foods here in Austin to be our judges. They are always astounded and surprised at the creativity of the cakes.
The Cookery: Will the cakes be auctioned?
Ken: Now this is the fun part and sometimes expensive part. Each cake is auctioned off to raise money for the Pack. Be careful ahead of time as sometimes your so-called “friends” in the Pack like to jack up your cake auction price!
The Cookery: Are you an Eagle Scout?
Ken: Not even close-I was a Webelo for two years and did not enter Boy Scouts. My oldest son is now a first class Scout and has aspirations for Eagle. I hope to encourage my youngest as well. Looks like I will be in scouting for another 8 years!
My oldest son started as a Tiger Cub back when he was in first grade, and I got really involved when he became a Wolf Scout in second grade, so I have been involved since 2004. Believe it or not, I had never been camping until my son’s first Family Campout with Pack 61–I was 42 years old then.
I am currently the Assistant Cubmaster for Pack 61, and also serve with Troop 448 Boy Scouts as a committee member. In May of this year our current Cubmaster will be stepping down and I will take over that role for our Pack.
The Cookery: Would you like to share any photos of your cakes? Ken:
You bet–here is one we did with my oldest son and and that same year–we actually bid on and won one of the coolest cakes we had ever seen–yep-a King Kong cake!
The Cookery: Can you give us your top ten tips to accomplish the Scouting mission for this father-son event?
Ken: You bet-here are some things we have learned that may help others:
1. Together with your Scout, pick a cake category that he will enjoy making. (Original designs usually do much better with the judges!)
2. Get your son to then make a drawing of how he thinks the cake should look, especially with the color of icing that he wants.
3. Incorporate fun in this for the Scout and please, Dads—don’t do all the work!
4. Pick a sturdy platform that you can carry the cake on-like a sturdy piece of plywood and cover it with aluminum foil.
5. Don’t wait till the day of the event to cook the cake!
6. Let the cake cool before you start icing it–cook it the day before (be sure to use ingredients that can all be edible!)
7. Take lots of pictures of the different moments of when you are making and building the cake (especially of the messy kitchen!)
8. Give your cake some refrigeration time before the event as this will keep it together much longer.
9. The cakes that are labeled very well are also easier to judge.
10. Make sure you invite grandparents to this event–they can help come auction time!
The Cookery: Many thanks, Ken. Good luck to you and all the cake-baking dads and their Cub Scouts.