Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Double Digits Baby!! Cake Tasting Results!!!


I've hit double digits! I know the past couple of days my posts have been focusing on everything Wedding Related ~ and for the next 99 days or so it most definitely will be!! I think I've come out of the ever loving "Wedding Rut" I was sucked into several months back ~ and now I'm here with a vengence! So hang on for a fast ride people and enjoy sharing in my planning process with me as I wind down this amazing event in my life!!!!

Can I just share with you my Cake Tasting experience I had yesterday and today?!?

:: back story :: I have my own business - I'm a cake decorator and have been for a number of years. I do event cakes including Weddings, Quincenera's, Anniversaries, Birthdays, Showers, Reunions, etc. In the past year, my business has expanded into the full service Event Planning aspect of it all as well. And I love it!

We are having two AHR's (At Home Receptions). One here in California and one in Minnesota. I've been contemplating almost daily whether or not I'm going to do my own wedding cake or not. And trust me, I get that question quite often! Brian and I talked about it and we decided that I WOULD NOT do our own cakes. Brian thinks I should "for one day just relax". (ha..one day..whatever)

With that being said, I made two Cake Tasting Appointments with a couple of local bakeries locally to us. I went on my first appointment yesterday morning and my second today.

Yesterday, while I was waiting for the Wedding Coordinator at Bakery A, I was browsing through photos they had of cakes they've done in the past. I found a photo of a cake I absolutely LOVE!

When I first saw this photo, I , being the baker/decorator that I am, zoned in on the fact that this is a very plain and simple cake to do. I mean seriously, all that has to be done to the cake once it's baked is to just ice it. That's it! No having to pipe any fancy border, no decorations, no flowers, nothing! Just ice it and it's done. I think that it is simple enough. I would add another tier to it so we'd have more cake. So essentially, they (the bakery) would have to do nothing fancy AT ALL ~ just ice the cake plain and simple...no border, no design, NOTHING. I was getting extremely excited at this point.

So during my appointment the nice young lady (and mind you she was very young - early 20's but very experienced in wedding cakes) she was very informative with regard to serving sizes, cake flavors, fillings, what type of icing would be the best for the different seasons, etc.

Their prices for wedding cakes started out at $3.50 per person with regular buttercream icing and minimal decorations. Of course, fondant and more complex decorations would make the price shoot upwards to $6.00 per person. Keep in mind, this includes the cost for filling as well.

I then began to ask questions specifically about the above cake. :) She advised that this particular cake would run $3.75 per person (??? ~ nothing complex about the cake at all). The "sand" is just graham crackers crushed up which we'd have to provide along with our own seashells ( in my case, I'd do the chocolate molds ). Well, for this cake with 8", 12" & 16" inch rounds, the total cost is $442.50, $30 of which is the delivery charge. WHAT?!? Um... I know for a fact that it doesn't cost THAT much to make for sure!!!! For plain buttercream and NO border or design?!? Ummmmmm no thank you. Not to mention the fact that I'd have to provide my own chocolate sea shells & starfish along with the crushed Graham crackers.

I then got to taste their white cake and chocolate cake. Not impressed at all. They also had about 10 of their fillings available for me to taste with the cake, and out of them all, I only liked one. The Strawberry Mousse.

Okay...... so far, not a very good start to my Cake Tasting Endevors. :(

At Bakery B this morning, a better result. When making this appointment, I was able to choose up to 4 combinations of cake flavors & fillings for me to sample at my appointment. I chose the following:

  • White cake with Strawberry Preserves (fresh strawberries are not in season at this time)

  • Chocolate cake with Custard

  • Marble cake with Fudge

  • Black & White with Raspberry (one layer of white cake, the filling, then one layer of chocolate cake)

They had these cute, nice size sample portions all ready for me to taste as soon as I arrived promptly at 10:00 a.m. (Very impressive).

I tasted just a bite of the Black & White with the Raspberry filling because that was what I really want. I figured I'd take the rest home to Brian so he can taste them and give me his opinion then. Can I just say that the Black & White with Raspberry filling was THE BOMB!!! YUMMY!!!!

I immediately shared with her the photo of the cake that I really liked (from Bakery A) and we just focused on that specific cake. At this particular bakery, they don't charge 'per person'. They have a flat fee for the sizes of tiers your cake is going to be. So for me..... I told her that I was wanting to feed at least 100 people. She gave me a price for what they have that (according to them) feeds 120 people. It would be a 14", 10" and 7" round and their cost is $291. AND, their is NO COST for the Delivery & Set-Up even though the reception is going to be approximately 25 miles away. SCORE!

BUT....the above price does not reflect any fillings. They charge an additional fee for fillings and the price depends on the size of the tiers. 14" = $17; 10" = $12; and the 7" = $8. So an additional fee of $37 for filling. That would bring the total to $328......................... BUT WAIT............................ There's more...........................

For the seashells and starfish we have two options:

  1. Provide them with the Chocolate Molds and they would charge $20 per tier extra to put those on the cakes; or

  2. They can order the Chocolates Molds at $48 per box of 24 pieces.

So, our total for the cake with Option #1 is: $388 and with Option #2 is: $376 (keeping in mind that that's with just one box of Chocolate Molds)

Do you know how ridiculous it would be for us to pay close to $400 for a cake?!? Seriously?!? I mean really!!! NO THANK YOU!!!

So it's safe to say that I'm going to be making our cake for our California Reception! :) It will be SO worth it and much more rewarding for me! Some people don't quite understand it, but when I create cakes, it's very much so a stress reliever for me!!!

Have a Happy Tuesday my bloggy friends!!


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