Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tips for ordering a wedding cake

We understand that the process of ordering a wedding cake is new territory for most brides and grooms. Just keep in mind a few tips and you will find sweet success. 

  1. Be specific when asking for a price quote.  Showing a picture of a cake you like to a professional baker and asking "how much would this be?" is too nebulous. Most wedding cakes are priced "per slice", or per person served. A cake artist always needs to know how many guests you will need the cake to feed.  This determines the size of the cake you will need. 
  2. Don't dismiss the bakery over a high initial quote. Many times, there is a way to achieve a look using different techniques and materials. Be specific when describing what you like about a particular design (i.e. “I like the look of the ruffles” or “I like the way the color fades here”, etc.)  Or you may be able to make a smaller version of your dream cake and supplement it with non-decorated sheet cake.  The sheet cake is cut and served from the kitchen along side the decorated cake and most guests will not recognize that there is a difference.  
  3. Replacing part of the cake with styrofoam dummies does not usually save any money.  The expense of a wedding cake is in the time, skill and materials involved in decorating a cake. Not the flour, eggs and sugar that go into the cake itself. A better option is to have fewer decorated tiers and more sheet cake. 
  4. It is important for the cake to look good, but even more important for it to taste good!  The cake is often the last event that your guests will experience at your wedding.  A delicious dessert is a great way to give your guests sweet dreams of your special day.  
  5. Mini dessert buffets are becoming very popular to serve either in lieu of or along side the wedding cake.  Just remember that mini dessert doesn’t mean mini price.  These items are more labor intensive to make.  When serving only mini desserts, I recommend ordering 3 to 4 pieces per guest.  If they accompany a slice of cake, 1 or 2 mini desserts per guest is appropriate.  
  6. Yes, you should order enough cake (or cupcakes or mini desserts) to serve all of your guests.  We’ve all seen the many plates of cake left at the table when we leave a wedding.  But imagine being the guest that doesn’t get a slice because you ran out.  When a cake is really delicious, word gets out!  People will come back to their table and eat  their piece.  
  7. Can’t decide on a cake flavor?  Have different flavors for different tiers.  It is nice to offer choices to your guests.  Just remember that whenever you offer multiple flavors, you may have guests take multiple pieces.  
  8. Consider renting a cake stand from the cake maker.  It is an easy way to create height and make the presentation more polished.  And when the cake maker brings the stand, you will get the correct size and shape stand for your specific cake.  
  9. No, you don’t have to have a cake topper!  Modern wedding cakes are rarely designed with a cake topper in mind.  If you find something special that speaks to you and your fiancé, then by all means, add it to your cake.  But make sure you tell your designer about the topper.  A topper should be incorporated into the design and not look like an afterthought. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tiffany & Co. inspired 1st Birthday Celebration

A lavish 1st birthday celebration featuring custom designed cakes and desserts displayed like Tiffany & Co. jewelry?  I'm in! 

It's always a treat to work with Jeramee from You're Welcome Events...she sure knows how to design and execute an all-star celebration! This elegant 1st Birthday party for adorable twin girls was a noteworthy occasion. 

Designing the 3-tier cake, twin cutting cakes and detailed dessert buffet was a cake artists dream come true! No detail was spared on the custom decorated cookies, cupcakes and rice crispy treats pops.  Much like the treasures from Tiffany & Co., each was a work of art.  A truly fabulous party...thanks for letting me help with the celebration! Enjoy!

Creative Team:
Design & Planning: You're Welcome Events
Photography: Beach City Photo
Florals: Pink Daffodil
Production: Lucas Jeanne Events
Kid's Entertainment: Artovator

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Cake Camp 2015 Las Vegas

Cake Camp, the name alone excites me.  Cake, shopping, Vegas... What's not to like?  Green Valley Ranch was a first class resort and everything was very easy and convenient. But I'm most impressed with the California Cake Club for putting on such a high quality and low stress conference!  The ICES convention had, in my opinion, gotten too hung up on protocol and the quality of the demonstrations suffered. Cake Camp was so much more professional and offered almost exclusively hands-on mini classes (3-4 hours) with 8-12 students, rather than 1-hour demonstrations with 50-75 people. The instructors were all world class sugar artists and the best in the business. Plus, the vendors were all decorators themselves and sold only high quality products. I am already looking forward to (and saving $ for) the next cake camp in 2017! 

Another trifecta on the way to Vegas...two bakers baking at our stop in Baker. My assistant Emma was a great travel buddy! 
Ruth Rickey provided an awesome class making gum paste plumeria flowers (obviously, a favorite around here). Thank you for the game-changing tips on assembling sugar flowers!

Below, Ruth's suggested "basic kit" for petal dust. I loved that this is the same way that I store all my colors...I thought it was brilliant when I came up with it. Ha ha! 
My most helpful class was a discussion about booking wedding clients with my new hero Lauren Kitchens from Fancy Cakes by Lauren. She is so inspiring, yet real, honest and down to earth.  Poor Emma got tired of hearing all the advice from Lauren that I plan to implement in the studio this year!  I think I have a little crush. 

We also loved the wafer paper flower class using printed wafer paper and heart shape cutouts. Why didn't I think of that? 

Marina Sousa today from Just Cake instructed us on making a "Chalkboard Cake."  Not a bad first attempt with "Fondarific" fondant made with buttercream... tastes pretty good, but hard to work with.  I can't wait to start experimenting at home. 

The last class was from my local hero, Lindsay Sinatra from A Wish and a Whisk bakery in Costa Mesa. We made a darling mini cake with a ballerina theme: 

Cake Camp was a sugar-coated blast! I am thrilled to be back home, armed with some new tricks to practice in my own bakery. Until next time!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Casa Romantica Styled Photo Shoot

Whenever work takes me to Casa Romantica Cultural Center & Gardens, I welcome the opportunity! On this occasion, I had the distinct pleasure of working with an amazing team of vendors who came together for this elegant styled photo shoot. 

Casa Romantica, with its historic setting and panoramic ocean views, is a photographers dream! Bensten Photography delivered the goods. They captured the elegance, romance and spanish-style details of the property. 

Countless hours of piping, tufting fondant, and sugar flowers were all worth it! I am in love with the finished product.  Makes me wish I could get married again! 

The dessert buffet was a fun chance to employ my collection of antique cake stands.  The small bites dessert trend rages on...guests love sampling mini cupcakes, cake pops and elegant sugar cookies. 

The views, the styling...all breathtaking.  Every detail played off the romance of the setting, with an elegant whisper of the beach setting. 

Introducing, the all-star team that put this beautiful scene together: