Wedding cake is a subject that everyone can get excited about. For many, cake sampling day can be the sweetest (couldn't help myself!) part of the wedding planning process. today I’m sharing questions that you should ask your wedding cake baker while you are enjoying all of that amazing sugar!
1. Frosting v. Fondant- Which finish will achieve the look I’m interested in? Bring photos! This is the time and place for all of that work you have been doing over on Pinterest. Show the baker what type of cakes you are attracted to and hey can help you make an informed finish decision.
2. Can you accommodate multiple flavors in my cake? I hope the answer to this question is yes, but do be sure to ask if you want to have options for your guests.
3. What are my filling favor options? This question and the two to follow are kind of the basis for the entire cake discussion and should be a natural part of the conversation, do ask though what batter, filling and frosting combos your baker recommends.
4. What are my batter flavor options?
5. What are my frosting flavor options?
6. What style decor is your favorite to create? From piping to sugar flowers the sky is the limit on cake decor. Ask the baker what they enjoy working on- I guarantee that if their style lines up with yours the result will be amazing!
7. How much cake should I order? wedding cake can be deceptive in terms of servings, ask how much cake they would recommend for your guest list and also what size serving that will provide to each of your guests. Be informed as well as to how much each tier will serve if you are going to be mixing and matching flavor combos- popular flavors should naturally make up a larger potion of the overall cake.
8. Should we try and save the top layer of cake for our first anniversary? Though it is tradition to save the top layer for your first anniversary I bet many bakers would advise against it. A year old frozen cake just isn't going to taste anything like what was served at your wedding. Ask about anniversary cakes and if your baker includes that in their wedding packages. (An Anniversary cake is where they will make a fresh topper cake when that first anniversary rolls around. Fresh cake = better!)
9. What shape cake do you recommend? For structural reasons some shapes may work better than others, ask the baker what they recommend for your style and guest count.
10. Should we have false layers? Are you looking to really impress your guests with a stunning sugar creations? Ask the baker about creating false cake layers to bring that punch of drama without all the cost. Note, not all bakeries will do this, some require that all cake layers be real and consumable.
11. Should we have a display cake and a separate cutting cake? This is a popular trick for cost cutting at the wedding and helps speed up dessert service. If you are going this route I would advise that you make sure the same type of frosting or finish is used and that the cutting cake is the same shape (round or square) as the display cake so guests can't tell a difference.
12. How far in advance of my wedding will the cake be baked? This step is going to happen at least a few days out from the wedding but get clear on exactly how far. Will the cake be frozen for any period of time? If this is the case make sure to sample cake that they have previously frozen so you know what you are sampling is true to what will be served at your wedding as freezing can dry cakes out.
13. How will the cake be delivered? A delivery and set up fee should be included in your quote, be sure to ask about the details of arrival and placement to make sure it will be there on time and ready to photograph before your guest arrive.
14. Do you offer cake stand rentals? Most bakers have an incredible supply of cake stands that you can rent for the big day. Ask what their options are and see if one will work with your style. If you decided to provide your own they will likely ask for it to be dropped off to them a week or so before the wedding.
15. If I do rent a cake stand will you pick it up afterwards? Be clear on how their equipment will be returned to them, do they collect it from the venue or are you responsible for getting it back to them?
16. Are there any considerations I need to think about in terms of weather and temperature? Cream Cheese icing on a 90 degree day is not going to be good news. Ask your baker what they recommend when dealing with temperature/ weather extremes.
17. Who will cut the cake? Often this is not the responsibility of the baker but rather the catering staff. Do make sure that this element will be taken care of. Also, look to that catering contract and make certain that they will be cutting, plating and serving the cake but that they also provide the rentals needed for dessert service such as plates, forks and napkins.
18. Do you offer gluten free cake? This is an increasing issue at weddings. Ask what they can offer in terms of gluten free if your guest list requires the accommodation.
19. Do you offer cupcakes and cupcake displays? Some couples choose cupcakes over a traditional wedding cake, if this idea sparks your interest ask about the cost difference in choosing cupcakes for the guest and a cutting cake for you and your sweetie.
20. Is there anything I should keep in mind when choosing a cake topper? Weight and scale are going to be important in this discussion, if you are planning on something non-traditional check in with the baker first to make sure your cake can support it (literally!)
21. Will you work with my florist to add florals to my cake? Fresh florals on cakes is one of my favorite trends, ask if the baker can coordinate with your florist to include this detail if it fits your style.
22. What other services can you offer me? Some bakers offer a whole lot more than just cake, ask if they offer cookies, macarons or other treats to wow your guests. Think also about elements like welcome bags, favors and bridal showers- everyone loves a sweet treat beyond cake time.
Go forth friends and make informed decisions about one of my favorite elements of any wedding reception!