Wedding cakes: Hiring the baker, choosing the cake
Choosing a wedding cake maker is an important decision, so chose wisely. Find out what you need to do to pick the right baker.
Whether tiered, flowered or fruit filled, round or square, ornate or classically simple, the wedding cake will become the focal point of the reception. It will be captured on film so it must look good. It will be eaten so it must also taste just as delicious as it looks. Before a couple plans the details of the wedding cake, they will need to first consider the cake’s baker. But how does a couple go about finding and hiring the right one when there are so many choices?
First, gather names and phone numbers. Recently wed friends and family members who live in the area might have a recommendation so hit them up for information. If that isn’t an option, try the Internet or a phone book. Make a list of potential candidates and call them up. Before asking about anything else, ask about time. Will they be available to make and deliver a cake for the date of the wedding? If so, inquire about cost. How does the baker set the price for a cake? Most will cite a dollar amount per serving, but the cost of a specific design usually cannot be determined until each swag of icing and each sugared flower has been calculated.
After comparison shopping, set up an interview with narrowed down list of bakers. When in an interview with each baker, request a taste of a variety of samples. It is also important to view the baker’s portfolio. If he doesn’t have one, move on. It is imperative that the baker provides his customer with an understanding of his style and capabilities.
Get creative. Ask the baker about flavors and colors. Has he branched out from the typical white and chocolate cakes? An apt baker should be able to bake white chocolate raspberry marble cake or a chocolate citrus groom’s cake; any flavor imaginable should be at the disposal of the paying customer. Don’t hire a baker that can’t deliver specifically what you want.
Don’t get so caught up in the wonderful taste that other details are forgotten. Ask questions that concern details that are just as important as presentation. For example, will the baker deliver the cake or does it need to be picked up? Will the cake be frozen or fresh? Does he cut and serve the cake or provide you with a server? If so, how much will that cost in addition to the price of the cake? Make sure that all of these details are decided before hiring and put them into writing. Keep in mind that a contract is only good if it has both parties’ signatures.
When hiring a baker, make sure that you begin this process at least six months in advance. If you simply don’t have that kind of time, be willing to either compromise on small details or perhaps even pay extra.
When selecting a wedding cake design, if the cake maker’s portfolio doesn’t contain exactly what you want bring him pictures from bridal magazines, a friend’s wedding, or whatever inspires you. Tell him about details of the wedding to help him visualize a cake that works with the rest of your event. Together the three of you should be able to come up with a stunning cake that beautifully complements the theme and setting of the wedding.