CAKES! They must be one of the most exciting things to organise in a wedding. Think of all the cake tastings (not too good for the wedding figure though). I was super excited to try out cakes for the wedding but to be honest, it was not at all what I expected.
This post might end up being a little bit of a downer, but I’m just going to keep it real and give my honest opinion about my experience and a little advice for those of you, who are looking to book your wedding cakes.
I booked in with 2 places, for cake tastings. In hindsight, I could have tried out a lot more, but these places came strongly recommended by people I know, so I thought why not? They’re also well known establishments with a good name, so I figured they would be great, right? Well… not exactly.
We all have different tastes in food and what comes with that are different expectations. I went into the first establishment for a cake tasting. They charged $25 and provided a range of flavours which sounded quite nice. I was a little surprised when the cakes came out, as they actually looked like the cupcakes that were available in the cabinet but had been cut in half. The portion size was definitely enough to share, as after a couple bites you become quite full (or at least I did).
I found the cake itself was very dry and had no flavour at all. The icing was extremely sweet and gritty (too much icing sugar) and although it was supposed to be cream cheese based with different flavours, I could not taste any cream cheese. The flavours were also extremely subtle, so you were left with a dry cake with overly sweet icing. None of the flavours wowed me or my partner at all and we were left feeling quite disheartened and disappointed. We had also discussed the design of the cake, going for a 3 tier, feeding 50 people. However, the business was not able to create the overall look I wanted for the cake which was another disappointment. Not to mention the quote which came out at almost a whopping $900. I thought it was absolutely ridiculous for a cake that would not even look the way I want.
After closing that door, we checked out another establishment that specialises in cupcakes. They charged $30 for 6 whole cupcakes (much more affordable than the last place). They had been strongly recommended by a couple we know. After going in and selecting a range of 6 cupcakes (it was explained that as a wedding cake they would be a bit different and not as overpowering with the icing) we cut them in quarters and shared with our family. Sadly, we were left feeling pretty disappointed again. Although the cupcakes were nicer than the previous company, they were extremely sweet and the cake was dry. Thankfully the icing was not gritty, although they were much the same. My family were all rather unimpressed as well, so it was back to the drawing board.
I started to think I had some unrealistic expectation of a wedding cake. I was under the impression they were dense but moist, with a lot of flavour. All I wanted was a lemon curd cake, was it that hard!? I even began to debate making it myself but knew it would be far too stressful. I had tried a Little and Friday Lemon and Gin cake a few months prior, so everything I was trying, was being compared to that.
I ended up attending a few bridal shows were there were samples of cakes – this is a great idea as you can get a good feel of whether or not their cakes are something you like. This is also where I sampled a beautiful moist wedding cake. It was almost exactly what I wanted! It turns out, it was the same place that had actually made my engagement cake. At the time, I was interested in trying out some other places to compare. This is something I could not recommend enough. Even though you might end up not liking other places, it at least confirms that your original thoughts were correct.
I ended up having an in depth consultation at Magnolia Kitchen where we discussed the flavours of the cake and icing. We also talked at length about the design and Bets was more than happy to create my dream look. The quote was also far more reasonable so we booked it in!
What I learnt from this process was that it is good to shop around, compare different places and not rush into a decision. There are so many different companies out there these days and the market is huge. You will find what you want. Although at the time it was frustrating, I can see what it was ultimately leading me to.