We try to accommodate everyone’s schedule, but most appointments are made during business hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; consultations and tastings last about an hour. In the busy season (April through June and September through October), we need to concentrate on completing orders, therefore, during that time frame, sessions are typically scheduled from Monday to Thursday, but we can occasionally accommodate a Friday appointment. Unfortunately, because we are almost always in production or on location on weekends, we are unable to schedule a tasting for the weekend.
Think ahead of how you want to decorate your cake and practice piping or icing ahead of time. You can easily make extra icing and practice shapes on test cakes (or even on silicone mats). Secure a wedding topping, flowers, or other decorative items well before the wedding. If you are using fresh flowers, be sure to order exactly what you want from a florist. Lastly, you will need to clear a large space in the refrigerator, perhaps taking out a shelf for the cake. You'll also need to arrange transport for the cake to the wedding venue. Speak to the caterer or venue manager about cake transport and refrigeration details at the event.
Let's start with cake shapes. Beyond a traditionally round cake, there are so many other options to consider. Square cakes are a popular choice to showcase a modern aesthetic. But there are also hexagonal, oval, petal-shaped and even triangular cakes with personalities all their own. We’ve even seen asymmetrical or purposely off-center tiers for a whimsical look (Alice in Wonderland, anyone?).
Another thing to note about cakes, the more detailed the cake design, the higher the price will be. And, just because a cake looks like a “simple” design, doesn’t mean that it is. I know there are many amazing cakes online, and in magazines and with cake artists pushing cake design to new limits, it’s easy to fall in love with so many of the beautiful cakes we all see. Things like hand painting, edible gold, sugar flowers, tons of little sugar pearls on the cake, all translate into beautiful designs, but also a higher cake cost. Some of these cakes can run as much as $15 per serving…gasp! But think about it, you go out to dinner at a chain restaurant and pay $15 for a so so meal, that was probably frozen and took about 20 minutes to make. A cake artist can spend HOURS from start to finish on your wedding cake, and we think our time is worth it. Cake decorating is an art and not just anyone can do it. Not to mention ingredient costs, like fresh fruit, butter and eggs! That stuff is expensive!
Sugar flowers will always cost more than fresh flowers. Why? Because they are very time consuming to make, and require a skilled hand, with knowledge on how to construct, wire, etc. a beautiful looking flower made from sugar! Sugar flowers can start at about $15 per flower – the more complex the flower design, the higher the price. As much a I love, love, love sugar flowers on a cake, most couples do not have the budget to spend $200-300 on just sugar flowers alone, I get it! So, unless you do, opt for fresh flowers instead.
A tiered cake means that the weight of your top tier (or tiers if you're getting extravagant) rests on the bottom tier. To prevent everything sinking into the cake and ruining your beatifully smooth icing, you need to put in some dowels. These can be foodsafe wood or plastic and are available, like everything else, from cakecraft shops or the internet.
Once you have your smooth surface you can take care of any flaws that are left. Marks and cracks in the icing can be hidden by taking a small ball of icing, dipping it in some cornflour or icing sugar, and rubbing it over the problem area. The icing sugar will fill the crack and blend it into the surface, smoothing it out. Other marks such as cake smears or food colouring can often be removed by brushing on a little clear alcohol, such as vodka, and then rubbing lightly with some kitchen towel. Once the liqour has dried smooth out the surface again.