Thursday, October 7, 2010

The proof of the pudding is in the eating

Cake Expectations
We'll be talking about cake tasting today - but before we start I'll share some news.

lili's corner has been named one of Weddzilla's 2010 Blog Gurus

I'd like to extend heartfelt thanks to all the people who believed in the blog and voted for it.

I couldn't have done it without you, and really am very grateful for all the support and words of encouragement.

Now lets talk about cake and lets start with the joint effort aspect of it all.

Over the past several decades brides have taken responsibility for the cake. But things have changed. These days most grooms are very involved in the wedding process - so start by scheduling an appointment which is convenient for both of you. Lots of bakeries hold their tastings at the weekend for just that reason.

You will cut the cake together, so you really should choose the cake together too.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

There is no reason to limit yourself to one baker - but be aware that you need to be honest about the fact that you are looking around.

Cake tastings are not typically free (unless you have already made your decision or the baker is a family friend) - so work the cost into your budget. In the grand scheme of things it's a wise investment.

Cake Expectations

Let the baker know in advance if there are certain flavours you and your groom do not like.

It's okay to give the baker free rein if you want to try something different, but you will need to let them know if you have food allergies of any kind. It's perfectly acceptable to ask for a list of ingredients.

Consider your guests.

If there is an unusual flavour on offer that you like but are not sure will appeal to the people attending your wedding, consider having a multi-layer cake or putting that flavour in the groom's cake.

Some cakes need to set over a day or two if they are elaborately decorated. Make sure you ask how the inside will hold up. You don't want to serve a cake which looks spectacular on the outside but turns out to be dry on the inside.

The golden rule: do not go to a cake tasting on an empty stomach.

The reason for this is simple. When you are hungry the body is susceptible to cravings. Things you would not ordinarily like may taste good if you are famished - so be sure to eat a small meal before you go.

Feedback is important to a baker's craft.  Don't be embarrassed to ask for time alone with your groom before giving it; and when you do give it remember that a little tact goes a long way.

It's really important to remember that there are differences in the way bakers handle a tasting.

Today I've asked Natalie Johnson of A World of Cakes to share the way she goes about one.

Natalie Johnson
When a bride comes to me with a wedding cake inquiry (either through phone or by email), we talk about the theme of her wedding, her personal style, and the number of guests. We discuss an initial design and concept of the cake, so that I can give her a ballpark estimate of the cost. 

If she feels that is within her budget we schedule a tasting - which typically lasts one hour.

6 inch cake
I offer one complimentary 6 inch cake, and then charge $10 for each additional 6 inch cake/filling combination. I prefer to offer a complete cake so that the couple can get a sense of how cake, filling, and icing will blend together. For example, they may not like buttercream icing with lemon curd filling - but they won't know this until they taste them together.

During the tasting I offer water to cleanse the palate inbetween the different cakes. It gives a clean refreshing break from all the sweet tastes. 

 A World of Cakes
We take time to discuss design ideas that I have prepared ahead of time, as well as ones that the couple have brought. If the booking goes forward we use all of those ideas to create a personalized wedding cake.

Don't be afraid to share your own ideas.

Nobody knows your taste better than you!

Natalie will be back in a few weeks to talk about other cake-related matters.

She is based in Chappaqua, NY and can be reached through her website or her Facebook page. 


  1. congrats on the guru award!
    Those cakes look fabulous!

  2. Thanks Caren - and congratulations to you too!!

  3. yummy could we reach in and have a taste? Congrats all your hard work has paid off for a much deserved award!

  4. Congrats on the award. That is awesome.

  5. Natalie's cakes look delicious!



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