Questions to ask your cake maker
May 11, 2018
Have you ever been out to dinner or at a nice wine bar and been offered the menu with no idea where to start?
A long time ago when I was first being wooed by my now to be partner in crime, (thankfully it all worked out in the end)
We went out to a lovely restaurant overlooking the water.
Scene set – hours getting myself ready, 4 different outfits, nervous small talk and trying to be as lady like as I can in my brand new never been worn in heels that to this day, I think they may have been a size too big.
Girls, you know what I mean.
To only sit down to see an array of food described by adjectives I’ve never even heard of before!
My ladylike façade was falling quickly! No sooner had I asked what portabello meant, I knew I was in over my head!
Everything started to look and sound the same, like the way you say the same word over and over again until it makes no sense at all! Do I just order the most expensive thing on the menu to make it look like I know what I’m doing? Or do I just go for number 32 cause that my lucky number?
Do I just pick the cheapest, Because we all know that works right?
So why would you do the same with cake?
Well… you shouldn’t.
We all instinctively know whether we like coriander or not, so why don’t we do the research to find out if the cake is right for us?
You’ve spent too many long hours trying to organise your wedding or birthday party. From the invites to the place setting, the flowers, what your going to where and making sure your weird Aunt June sits well away from the buffet table. Do you really want to skip on cake now? Hell no! a party without cake is just a meeting!
Behind all the pictures, behind all the frosting and flowers, do you really know what went into that cake of yours? Are you really getting value for money?
Here are some questions you should ask your cake maker before paying that deposit.
Are they certified?
Anyone can bake right? I mean, it’s just cake!
Sure! But do they know how to treat and store food right? Have they been checked and approved by their local council? The last thing you will want is getting food poisoning on your special night!
Are they insured?
If anything Does go wrong, do they have insurance to cover?
Do they have a back-up plan? What happens if the cake maker gets sick? All too many times I’ve been called at the last minute to make a cake or heard that there was no cake because the cake maker fell ill or just couldn’t do the order anymore.
Getting a refund is good, but means nothing when you have nothing to serve at the end of the night.
Do they have a refund policy?
Know your rights and be clear about their terms.
Do they take a deposit and have clear communication?
Without taking a deposit you can’t be sure they are taking your cake order seriously.
Do they have kids or pets?
There is nothing wrong with having a family, you just need to make sure that your cake order will still be a priority and be created in a clean and safe environment.
Are they reputable? Ask friends, read reviews, check out their social media account and website.
How much experience do they have?
Chose a confident baker. Someone who has either been around for a while or who specializes in the style you want.
Have they created the cake before?
Some bakers specialize in fondant, some in buttercream, some do both. Make sure you go with someone who can handle your design
Can they create sugar flowers or will they work with my florist?
Seeing what a cake maker specializes in and what they can do will also give you an idea of their skill level. Most bakers will work with your florist or have one themselves, but make sure they know how to prep them, the last thing you need is flower stems leaving a nasty taste in your mouth!
Do they offer tastings?
Make sure you like what they are baking! You will be eating it after all
How many orders do they take on?
Cakers will have multiple clients, but should be able to balance their workload to produce consistently good work. Someone who takes on too many cakes on their own might not give the right amount of attention to your cake with could end up in a cake fail, or no cake at all.
Do they provide a full service?
Delivery and set up should be an options, as well as cake stands and other accessories and info to help your day run smoothly
What’s the delivery process?
Make sure they know who and when to contact key people in the chain of command. Communication is key!
And how well do they know their stuff?
Ask them to break it down for you. They should know not to stick untreated fresh flowers and wire into tier cakes, they should know how to stack and support a cake properly, they should also know how to offer you better solutions for the design and outcome you are trying to achieve.
And of course, their price.
You want value for money and you might be on a tight budget, but think about what goes into a slice of cake. Training, knowledge, insurance, confidence, peace of mind, skills, talent, correct food handling, and a pretty darn tasty cake. That’s a lot for less than a cup of coffee.
The best on the block might not be within your budget, but the cheapest might also not be the best.
Work out what feels right for you and if you need any hint on how to save money on your cake, read up on my last blog, Cake on a Budget.