Top Tips: 10 Questions to Ask Your Cake Baker
Of all the food you choose, your cake takes the, well, cake! Run these questions by your baker before your first tasting.
Before committing to a cake baker and setting up a tasting to finalize your wedding cake decision, it’s important to cover all the bases. What are the bases, you ask? We can help with that.
1. What are my filling choices?
Why You Want to Know: Whether you’re looking for a fruity filling, like strawberry or orange, or a heavier one, like mocha or chocolate, the type of ingredients used will make all the difference in taste. Exotic options, like passion fruit, may cost you, so ask if sourcing uncommon ingredients will run up the bill. Some common filling ingredients: fresh fruits or purees, mousses and buttercream.
2. Do you work with fondant or buttercream?
Why You Want to Know: Some bakers specialize in fondant, while others prefer buttercream. And some do both. If you have your heart set on one type of frosting, confirm your baker can work with it.
3. Can you make sugar flowers? If I choose fresh blooms, will you work with my florist?
Why You Want to Know: Most bakers can create sugar flowers for your cake; others may be able to make custom motifs or sculptural elements. Ask to see pictures of past work to get a feel for what they specialize in. If you decide to garnish with fresh flowers, ask if your baker will partner with your florist (most will).
4. How far in advance will my wedding cake be prepared?
Why You Want to Know: Many bakers have multiple clients, so don’t be surprised if the baker makes your cake three to four days prior to your wedding day. Of course the closer to your wedding date, the better, but a few days in advance shouldn’t impact the taste or look, and may be necessary if you want a complicated design that takes more than a day to execute.
5. Who will make my wedding cake?
Why You Want to Know: Some bakeries house a baker and a designer; at others, one person creates the entire cake from batter to sugar flowers. Find out how many people work with the baker and who exactly will be making your cake. The number of people involved should have no bearing on the quality of your cake, but you’ll want to talk design with the right person.
6. How are your wedding cakes priced?
Why You Want to Know: It’s common for wedding cakes to be priced by the slice. And the price will increase depending on the complexity of flavors and fillings you’re after (and how detailed the design is). This goes for custom-designed cakes as well.
7. Does the wedding cake price include the top tier?
Why You Want to Know: Depending on the baker, the top tier may or may not be included in the overall price. Find out the cake baker’s policy, and whether having a top tier will increase the price. Our favorite bakers include the top tier—the one many couples save for their first anniversary—for free.
8. Do you provide cake stands?
Why You Want to Know: Most bakers have a variety of cake stands you can rent for day-of use. Ask to see pictures to determine what will match best with your cake and décor.
9. What’s the delivery process?
Why You Want to Know: It’s best to have the wedding cake delivered to the reception. Some bakers will charge a delivery fee, so ask them from the start and factor it into your cake budget. It’s also worth it to ask if they’ve delivered to your venue before. If they have, you know they’ll be able to find their way into your reception space with ease (think: service entrances, freight elevators, kitchen access for last-minute touch-ups).
10. Is the baker licensed by the state?
Why You Want to Know: It may seem like a silly question, but it’s worth verifying that your baker is licensed by the state health department.