15 Things to know about your Wedding Cake
Pass me a fork!
I first met Tamara from Bake My Day at one of the monthly Calgary Rising Tide meet ups and not only did she bring sweet treats for the group, she was such a sweetheart and so supportive of other YYC businesses. Since then I’ve collaborated with Tamara on Styled Shoots and she has made several birthday cakes for my boys, so I knew she would be a great person to help answer all your burning questions about Cakes!
I sat down with Tamara to talk more about choosing the right cake and the right baker for your wedding day! Tamara is so talented and her designs are so unique and exquisite. Bake My Day is a bespoke bakeshop, focusing on special events and you definitely need to check her out!
Now lets get to it!
Q: How far in advance do I need to secure a cake baker?
Tamara: This can range depending on the bakery. Some bakers have multiple decorators on staff and can take on many weddings a weekend. Other bakers, like myself, will only take 2-3 weddings a weekend. Summer will book up fastest, so if your wedding is May-September, I recommend 8-10 months notice. If you’re working with a shorter time-frame, inquire as soon as you can to ensure your wedding date is available. I prefer to hold tastings and consultations in the 4-6 months before the event.
Q: What are my filling choices? Can I have more than one?
Tamara: Bake My Day offers a wide range of flavors, which can be found on our website, as well as custom flavors. I love coming up with a unique flavor combination that will suit the bride and groom! Each tier of your cake can be a different flavor, so you can have some basic flavors like vanilla or chocolate, and then also have some fun ones – such as margarita or root beer!
Q: How far in advance will my cake be made and how is it kept fresh for my guests?
Tamara: At Bake My Day, everything is baked fresh to order, I do not freeze any of my cakes. Depending on the detail of the cake design, cakes will be baked 2-3 days in advance. Chilling cakes for at least a day after they are baked actually increases the moisture and the flavors! Baking everything fresh also ensures that any left-over cake will still be as good in the couple days following the wedding, and can be frozen to keep even longer!
Q: How do you price your wedding cakes?
Tamara: I have base prices for the size of each tier, plus stacking fees for multiple tiers. I always give a range of serving sizes that one cake can give – for example, an 8” cake can serve 16-24 guests. Therefore I price based on size, rather than number of servings. Once the starting price is calculated based on size of tiers, then additional costs are added on for fondant, extra detail, sugar flowers, etc. Most of the cost in a cake is the time spent icing, stacking, and designing it!
Q: How do I know how big to order a cake? Based on guests? By the slice?
Tamara: I always ask my couples for the number of guests they are having, as well as if other desserts are being served. If cake is the main dessert, you’ll want enough for a slice for each guest. If other desserts are served with dinner, I recommend enough cake for 60-70% of guests. Once we’ve figured out how many servings you’ll need, I can recommend number of tiers and size of tiers.
Q: Do you provide cake stands/displays or this something I need to get extra? Do you set it up?
Tamara: I have a large selection of cake stands for rent. These can be added onto your order, or you can provide stands for the cake/desserts to be set up on. Set up is included in the delivery fee for cakes and desserts.
Q: Do you deliver? What are the fees? If not, how do I transport my cake safely on my own?
Tamara: Yes! Delivery and set up within Calgary is $50. I also offer delivery outside of Calgary and to the mountains – this is quoted based on location. It is recommended to have delivery for all wedding cakes and mini desserts. But in some cases, pick up is allowed, and care instructions are given – you definitely need to make sure your A/C works great if you’re picking up a cake in the summer!
Q: Do you provide tastings? How much do they cost?
Tamara: Absolutely! Tastings and consultations are the best way for me to get to know my couples and start designing their dream cake! And for couples to try out a few flavors of course! Tastings are a $40 fee, and $20 of this is credited towards a couple’s order once they book.
Q: Can you make vegan, dairy free, nut free, gluten free etc? Can I mix and match?
Tamara: I offer vegan, dairy free, gluten free, and nut free. With any special dietary request, it is important to note that we have dairy, gluten, and nuts in the bakery. I follow strict guidelines to avoid cross-contamination, but nothing can be guaranteed allergen free. Often allergy-friendly treats are added to an order to accommodate guests, in which case, these are packaged separate for transport and displayed separately.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration from? I have a theme but don’t know specifically how I want my cake to look.
Tamara: I love pulling inspiration for wedding cakes from other elements of the wedding - custom stationary, dress fabrics/designs, floral designs, decor items etc. It can also be helpful to see a couple’s mood-board, either from their wedding planner or thing’s they have found on Pinterest. Then we can pull together elements of different cake inspiration photos to create something unique! Inspiration can come from nature, architecture, textiles, cultural traditions, and more!
Q: Do you custom every cake or do I pick from a certain portfolio?
Tamara: Every cake is custom designed to suit you! That being said, I have many pictures of cakes I’ve made in the past that inspiration can be pulled from. I also will often take inspiration from photos of cakes online that the couple is drawn to – then alter elements of it to make it unique to them!
Q: Pros and cons to have one large cake or one bride/groom cake and a guest cake?
Tamara: It all depends on the style you are going for and your budget! A popular option is to have a 1 or 2-tiered cutting cake, and then cupcakes and other mini desserts to serve your guests, creating a beautiful dessert table display. Or, with a large tiered cake to feed all guests, we can get very creative with the design and create a show stopping cake! Another option I love is to have a cake table with multiple 1-2 tiered cakes, all decorated slightly different, but complimentary, and in different flavors!
Q: Difference between Fondant and butter cream?
Tamara: Buttercream is the good stuff that everyone wants to eat! Fondant is a sweet, roll-able icing that is placed in a thin layer on top of the buttercream. People seem to have a love-hate relationship with fondant. I think it completely depends on the design of the cake! Buttercream can achieve some gorgeous textures, as well as a smooth finish. Fondant provides a smooth-matte finish, which can be painted in a watercolor design, marbled, or textured. With a fondant finish, you still get delicious buttercream underneath, so it just comes down to design preference!
Q: Should I expect other fees? Cake cutting fee?
Tamara: When I provide a quote, the only extra fees on top of the cake and /or mini dessert costs are listed. These are delivery/set up fees and rental fees/deposits (if renting a cake stand). Cake cutting fees or plating fees would be from your venue or caterer, so make sure to inquire with them! These are usually charged on a per-guest basis. If your venue has a high cake-cutting fee, you might choose to opt for a single tier cake to serve the wedding party, and then mini desserts that your guests can help themselves to!
Q: Do you preserve any of the cake for a first anniversary?
Tamara: Some couples choose to save the top tier of their cake, or a large slice, for their anniversary! In this case, it’s best frozen as is, and then once it’s frozen, wrap it in plastic wrap and then tinfoil! I’ve had couples email me years later to tell me their cake is still delicious! I’ve also had couples who, rather than saving cake, will order a small cake on their anniversary. It can be made in the same flavor, with a matching design, so they can enjoy a cake just as fresh as their wedding day!
Photos by Christy Swanberg | Planning & Design Coco & Ash | Cake by Bake My Day | Tapestries by Lovli CO | Rentals by Orange Trunk Rentals | Florals by Hen & Chicks and Branches and Vines | Hair by Jessie Liao | Makeup by Ave Beauty | Stationary by Emma Allen Design | Gowns by Blush & Raven | Models Stacey and Kayla with Numa Models | Rings by Alberta Diamond Exchange | Accessories by Cinder & Sage | Venue The Pioneer