Key Questions to Ask Your Cake Maker

by Michelle

Choosing your cake maker may be one of your favourite parts of your wedding planning. Why? Well, you’ve just got to sample the delights haven’t you? Put all thoughts of extra gym sessions to one side, and whilst we’re not saying you have to eat everything in sight, enjoy your wedding cake testing! We can almost guarantee that this is one bit of wedding prep your groom wouldn’t object to helping with at all.

Image Source: Marks & Spencer

Whether it’s rich fruit cake, a zesty lemon sponge or a rich chocolate cake your after, use these questions below as prompts when choosing your wedding cake maker.

What size of cake do we need for our guests?

Your cake maker will know exactly what size of cake you require. Remember that if you choose a fruit cake, or have this as one of your tiers, it’s a rich cake, so your guests will only need really quite a small portion. With a sponge,  expect the individual slices to be larger and therefore, more cake, or additional cutting bars will be required.

Are we able to have a totally unique cake or it it be customised from a selection you offer?

It is important to establish if your cake maker offers a number of variations on a ‘standard’ cake type or if they offer truly unique creations. If you opt for a totally bespoke cake, particularly if there’s quite a bit of detail, this will affect the cost of the cake.

What types of cake and fillings do you offer?

Image Source: Marks & Spencer

Gone are the days when a three tier traditional rich fruit cake was the only option. You can now pretty much what type of cake and filling you want. Do check from the outset though, that your cake maker is able to offer the type of cake yo have in mind.

Can we have different flavours for each individual tier?

In theory, yes, absolutely, but again, ask your cake maker this right at the beginning of your discussions, to establish whether they are happy to make up individual tiers in this way.

An important practical note, if you are planning on combining a fruit cake tier with other types, the fruit cake must be placed at the bottom, as a sponge cake cannot support the weight of a fruit cake above it.

May we try samples?

Many cake makers offer samples, and this is not only an enjoyable exercise, it may help to introduce you to flavours you hadn’t thought of combining. You will also be sampling the quality of your cake makers work, so take time to consider points such as; is the sponge lovely & light, is the fruit cake moist and not dried out, and so on.

Image Source: Marks & Spencer

Is there a charge?

Remember, your cake maker has a business to run, so whilst some may offer free sample pieces, do not be surprised if you have to pay a small charge to sample various cake types.

Can we use fresh flowers to decorate the cake, and can you provide guidance on this?

Image Source: Marks & Spencer

Fresh flowers can look absolutely gorgeous when used to dress your wedding cake. They are also a lovely way to introduce just the right colour to your cake to tie in with the theme of your wedding. On a practical level, liaise with and take advice from both your cake maker and your florist regarding which blooms are suitable and available.

Will you provide a cake stand and cutting knife on the day?

It’s a simple point, but as soon as you begin your cake planning, clarify who will be providing your cake stand and cutting knife. Sometimes your cake maker will do so, but your venue may also this service.

Will there be an additional charge for cake stands, toppers and the cake knife?

Check if there is a charge for the above plus any cake toppers that you choose.

How soon after the wedding will these items have to be returned?

If you use the cake stand and cutting knife that your cake maker has provided, unless specifically stated that they will be yours to keep, they will have to be returned. Check how soon after your wedding this must be done.

Will you be able to deliver the cake to our venue and assemble it, is there a separate charge for this?

This is another key question to ask early on in your planning. Many cake makers will deliver your cake to your venue and assemble it, but be aware, there may be an additional charge for this, so ask.

Image Source: The Blushing Cook

If a friend or relative is making your cake, or indeed, if you have ordered one in store, don’t forget to factor in who will be responsible for transporting it to your venue and assembling it.

How long will the cake last?

Clearly, a rich fruit cake has a much longer shelf life than a sponge. Check with your cake maker for more precise timings here. An obvious, but important point is that with a sponge, the earlier it is made prior to your wedding, the less ‘keeping time’ it will have following your wedding. So ask when exactly your cake will be made to ensure maximum freshness.

Can the cake be frozen?

Yes, most types of cake can be frozen, but it’s important to check with your cake maker on exact timings and what, if anything you must do to prepare the cake for freezing. Will the icing need to be removed from a rich fruit cake, for example?

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