Customized cakes are all the rage these days! And I’m not surprised, because celebratory cakes have become a canvas for you to not only reflect the occasion, but also show off the personality of the ones that the cake is meant for.
Regardless of the occasion, if you are planning to get a customized cake, you’ve got to read through this checklist!
- Decide what cake flavours you want to have
Usually, if it’s a two-tier or three-tier cake, some bakeries do allow you to choose different flavours for thee different tiers. Some will even give you a cake sampler platter for you to sample the different cake flavours first!
If it’s going to be a big cake, and you think that there will be leftovers, be sure to avoid having fresh fruits like strawberries or bananas in the cake filling as such fillings cannot keep long.
Also, it is best to avoid having peanuts in your cake just in case one of your guests has a peanut allergy that you might be unaware of.
- What “covering” do you want your cake to have?
There are usually two choices that you can choose from – fondant or buttercream. Based on the type of designs you want, the bakery will give you a recommendation.
Let me cover each of them in greater depth.
Fondant is a thick stretchy paste made out of icing sugar, water and corn syrup. You can think of fondant as a really sweet dough.
A fondant-covered cake is great for:
- Sculpted designs like animals or figurines on your cake, or if you want something like a handbag cake.
- It gives the cake a very polished and smooth finishing
- Thematic designs like an under-the-sea cake, or a princess cake.
However, the main disadvantage of fondant is that fondant tastes gummy, flavorless and overly sweet. But of course, you can just peel away the layer of fondant when eating the cake!
Buttercream is made primarily with butter, sugar and flavoring. A buttercream covering would give a much more luscious flavor that will complement your cake better, and I personally prefer the taste of buttercream!
A buttercream-covered cake is great for:
- Intricate piping designs
- Designs with fresh flower decorations
- Designs with rustic or classic feel
However, the main disadvantage of buttercream is that the design options with buttercream are limited, as it cannot replicate those 3-D sculpture figurines.
I’m going to split this into 2 sections – cake details, and the other 101 details.
It’s hard to convey design details that you want with just words. What you can and should do is prepare a gallery of images with clear instructions on what details you want included. The best is to find a picture with a similar design that you want so that it is easier for the bakery to churn out something that you like. However, you will also need to understand that no 2 cakes will turn out the same, as they are all hand-decorated.
There are some bakeries who will not do Disney-themed cakes or any other sort of cakes that might infringe some sort of copyright. In that case, you will have to buy a cake topper or figurine yourself and get the bakery to design a cake that fits your toppers. For instance, for a Disney Frozen princess cake, you can get the bakery to do a blue ombre design with snowflake cutouts. You can then placed your store-bought Elsa, Anna and Olaf figurines at the top of the cake.
You can buy these figurines from Amazon, eBay or local party stores.
The other 101 details
If your cake is going to be 2-tiered or 3-tiered, it is likely that the bakery will assemble the final tier on the spot as transporting fully-assembled tall cakes is a nightmare. You need to find out beforehand if the bakery will be doing this last minute assembling, and give them a space (away from the prying eyes’ of your guests) for the final touch up.
Also, get to the nitty-gritty details so that both the bakery and you are adequately prepared when the cake is delivered to you!
- Candles! If you need them, tell the bakery how many you need, or if you prefer to have number candles.
- Remind the bakery to pass you some extra small cake boxes on the day of delivery so that you can pack the leftover cake nicely. Also, check with the bakery on how to store the cake and how long can the cake last.
- Is your venue air-conditioned? If its not, do you have a cool space to keep the cake at first?
- Where is the exact location of your event? Don’t just tell the bakery Hyatt hotel; let them know which ballroom etc.! Also, if it’s a function room in a condominium, let the bakery know too, and have the security guard direct them to the function room when they arrive.
- Give the bakery a point-of-contact. You will not have the energy nor the mood mood to worry about the cake, the catering and all the other 101 details. Divide and conquer! Delegate someone else to handle the cake for you and this person will be responsible for receiving the bakery, setting up of the cake etc.
- What is the size of your cake display table? And what will be the colour of the tablecloth? We want to avoid the situation of horrible colour clashes, or having a too small or too big table.
If you are collecting the cake by yourself, make sure to double, triple check the cake before leaving the bakery. Once you leave, it is very hard for the bakery to do any other touchups. Additionally, get the bakery’s advice on how to safely transport the cake.
- Last words
Getting a customized cake can be very stressful. There is a lot of liaising and communication involved, and as a customer, its best to read this guide first before embarking on this process so that you know what to expect and what pitfalls to avoid.
If you are too busy to settle all these details, we have a team right here that will help you with all of these!
Lastly, make sure that you order your cake well in advance so that the bakery can allocate enough time to design and fulfill your order. I would say at least 6 months for a complex cake and at least 3 months for a less complex cake. Give a longer time frame as the communication process does take quite some time.
Delivering happiness, one cake at a time.