After posting about the inspiration for my wedding cake, I wanted to follow-up with a more in-depth post about the process of deciding on a cake designer. Wedding planning can be a drag sometimes, but you know what makes planning a wedding awesome? Cake tastings. You get to go look at pretty pictures, sample yummy cake, and it is one of the few tasks that both you and your groom will be excited about.
During the planning process, I thoroughly researched all my wedding vendors online before narrowing it down to just a couple of vendors to meet with. To be honest, it was pretty easy to hone in on potential cake vendors that would be good matches for us. My priorities when looking for our cake vendor were as follows:
1. Must bake scratch cakes utilizing real ingredients and have real buttercream and fillings in their cakes. In addition, they must taste delicious.
This was the number one priority for me. I scratch bake all my own cakes and use Swiss meringue buttercream and scratch fillings, so why would I settle for something that wouldn't taste as good as what I could make myself. Unfortunately, you would be surprised how many bakeries make their cakes from box mixes and use confectioner's sugar/shortening buttercream. Sorry, you can call me a cake snob, but that isn't for me.
2. Must have a portfolio that demonstrates clean, sophisticated looking cakes. Their cakes needed to demonstrate the skill level that could handle the details I wanted for my own cake, such as gum paste flowers and lace detailing.
Getting a super clean, well-designed cake is an amazing skill in and of itself. It means the smooth application of fondant with sharp edges, even tiers, clean work, and balanced details and color. All these things can be learned, but you can look at a decorator's portfolio and tell whether they have the skills or they don't.
3. Good online presence
I read the reviews of many businesses online and looked at each decorator's website. People with numerous poor or "meh" reviews, and cake decorators that didn't have a good, updated website didn't get a second look. Maybe that is picky of me, but in this day and age and working in a major metropolitan area, I don't think there is any excuse to not have a well-put together, updated website for your business.
After setting up a couple of tastings with potential vendors, we decided the best fit was Amy Beck Cake Designs. Amy was friendly and energetic during our tasting and during follow-up, the cakes were delicious, and she listened to my ideas and put together a beautiful sketch of my potential cake.
Below is a sample of some of the beautiful cakes that Amy Beck Cake Designs has created.
Her website has a much larger portfolio of her beautiful cakes so you should check it out. And for those who were wondering, our cake will have a layer of chocolate bourbon cake with chocolate ganache and raspberry filling and two layers of mango cake with strawberry filling. Totally delicious!