Keeping in touchI keep in constant contact with my couples. From first email enquiry to the last email the week of the wedding to check in and let them know all is on track. Everything in between too. Some clients might order two years in advance, so there is lots of emailing involved.
SketchesAs part of the service I offer, I create detailed digital sketches for my clients so there will be no surprises on the big day. Sketches can take time. I work on them and tweak them until all the details are as the couple want them.
This detailed sketch is an example of what I create for my clients
Tasting sessions and preparationTaster sessions aren’t all about free cake I’m afraid. I charge for my taster sessions, but do deduct the taster session fee from the final amount for the cake. Taster cakes have to all be baked, filled, cut to size and boxed up on the day of the taster session. I hold a lot of my taster sessions in Central London, but also travel all over London to visit clients if they can’t get to central London. They’re a great opportunity to meet with your cake maker face to face and ask them all the questions you like. As well as eat cake, of course!
At a taster session, couples will get a box with four cake flavours inside to try
Calculating the costAs all the cakes I make are bespoke, I cost each one up individually down to the finest detail. In fact, cakes are mainly priced on the amount of detail in the design. Therefore the amount of time it will take to make the cake and the number of servings needed. Maths isn’t my strongest skill but I have my trusty Excel spreadsheet for this!
Sourcing ingredients equipment and materialsOnce my client has made a final payment, I have to get cracking on this! Things like cake boards and boxes for transport need to be ordered. I keep a stock of these but I have to check I have the correct sizes. Cake stands and cake toppers need to be ordered or made. I make sure I have ordered all my ingredients in for the week I will be making the cake. I have to make sure I have all the equipment I need if I am making a cake than involves a new technique.
PlanningThere is a lot of planning involved in cake making. Some decorations need to be made ahead so they can set, others need to be made after I have made the cake, so it’s important I plan my time for each cake project. I also have to plan my delivery days so that each cake can be delivered and set up at the best time.
BakingFinally we are on to actually baking the cake! And you thought that was the first step, right?! I try to do all my baking in one or two days of the week depending on my schedule for that week. As I work from my home kitchen, my mixer and oven space is limited so it takes time to bake a large wedding cake.
Baking on a large scale behind the scenes…
DecoratingThis is the part that takes the longest. If I am working on a new design or something I have never done before, I have to estimate how long I think it will take me. It nearly always takes longer! With the average wedding cake it can take a whole day, if not longer, just to do the covering of the cake and ensuring I get a good finish. There are lots of different stages involved using the fridge, the freezer and then returning the cake to room temperature, which also takes time and organisation.
Making decorationsThis part can also take a lot of time, which is why cakes are priced according to how much detail they have. I can sit at my kitchen table and spend three days making some of the decorations I make for wedding cakes. I might be making a custom cake topper or cutting out hundreds of wafer paper triangles, for example.
A lot of time and practice goes into decorating cakes to create a well finished look