Q.I don't have time for a consultation and I have a good idea of what I want. Do I have to schedule a tasting?
A.You don't have to have a consultation/tasting to order a wedding cake. Like any other celebration cake, everything can be handled via emails.
Q. Where do we meet?
A. I prefer to meet with you at my home. But we can meet at your home, your venue, favorite restaurant, etc. As long as its Willis/Conroe area and there's a space to talk without much interruption.
Q. Who all should come to the consultation?
A.That's completely up to you. A typical consultation includes the bride, groom and brides mother. I prefer to have no more than 3 people at the consult. Keep in mind, during the consultation, I will direct most of my attention towards the bride and her opinion regardless of who will be paying! All followup emails and communication will be sent to the bride and/or venue. No children or babies please.
Q. What flavors are offered for the tasting?
A.Includes three cake flavors - Almond or vanilla, chocolate and one flavor of your choice from my website. One cake will have fondant topping. The cakes are 5" or 6", single layers. They'll be boxed up so you can take the leftovers home with you.
Q. Do I need to make an appointment?
A.Appointment is necessary. I'm available for consults Mon., Tues., Wed. evenings when schedule allows.
Q.How long will it last?
A.Tasting/consultation usually lasts about an hour but can go as long as 3 hours.
Q. What do you charge for your cake tastings?
A.Consult fee is $60.00 payable in advance via PayPal. Fee is for one hour. 50% of the fee is applied to cake orders of $200 or more if the order is booked within a week.
Q.Can you make a cake I saw on Amazing Wedding Cakes or Ace of Cakes?
I probably can but.........Please understand those famous prize winning cakes and cake artists typically charge NO LESS than $1,000.00, for a small cake. The hours, talent, materials, stress, sweat, and tears that go into creating and perfecting a cake comes with a price. A typical cake from one of these shows, serves at least 50 people and requires at least 20 labor hours at $30.00/hr. minimum. This quote is taken directly from one of their websites. "Signature Collections starts at $9 per serving. This base price does not include labor costs. We find that most clients choose designs that require additional labor and material costs." So.......... a cake that is just inspired by one of those designs is much more cost efficient!
Q. How should I prepare for my wedding consultation?
A. Before you arrive for your cake testing, it is helpful to have a design in mind, and your budget, This will help me have a better sense of what I can help you design. The more pictures or ideas you have the better! We'll design a custom cake for you using your favorite elements. We ask that you find photos, clippings, jpgs, anything of cakes you like, your colors, your flowers, your dress, anything you have. If we have an idea of what style of cake you like, it’s much easier to sketch out a cake designed just for you!
Q. How many servings of cake do I need at my wedding?
A. Most weddings will do well with 1 serving of bride's cake for everyone, and 25%-50% that number for groom's cakes. This allows for up to 1 and a half pieces of cake per guest.
Several factors determine the # of servings needed:
If alcohol will be served at your wedding you will need less servings
More servings will be needed if you are having a cake and punch reception (no dinner)
The later you plan to "cut the cake" the less servings you will need (especially if serving alcohol)
Less servings needed if you are haing a dessert bar, candy bar, popcorn bar, etc.
Q. I'm getting married during the summer, in Texas, with an outside reception, but I must have an all butter cream cake. What can you do for me?
A. Well, nothing really. Butter cream is butter and sugar that have been creamed together. It will melt in hot temperatures. Cake of any kind should not be served or displayed outside in Texas. You're taking a BIG gamble if you choose to do that!!! Your cake will be melty, gooey, bubbly...........
Q. Does my cake need to be refrigerated?
A. Your cake will be kept refrigerated until it is picked up and it is best that it be kept refrigerated as close to serving time as possible!
Q. We're in Texas and can't avoid heat and humidity! Will that affect my cake?
A. Yep! If proper precautions aren't taken
•Custom cakes are intended to be edible works of art and should not be exposed to heat or humidity without expectation of damage. Proper precautions must be taken to avoid damage. Cakes should ALWAYS be displayed and served in an adequately air conditioned room.
•Please arrive in an air conditioned vehicle if you are picking up your cake.
•Cakes don't like to be warm and will shed their buttercream or fondant topping to cool themselves.
•Your cake will be in a box and should travel on a flat surface.
•Keep in box as long as possible.
•Your cake will be kept refrigerated until it is picked up and it is best that it be kept refrigerated as close to serving time as possible.
•Fondant and/or buttercream may "sweat" after removing from refrigerator. Don't touch it! The condensation should disappear soon after cake comes to room temperature.
•My buttercream recipe does not include real cream on hot and/or humid days.
•Display and serve indoors in an air conditioned room. Buttercream is butter and sugar that have been creamed together. It will melt in hot temperatures. Cake of any kind should not be served or displayed outside in Texas.
•Fondant and/or buttercream will form large air bubbles when exposed to heat and/or humidity.
•Should air bubbles form in fondant or buttercream, prick the bubbles with a needle and lightly rub the bubble with your finger and a piece of paper towel until the air is expelled. Unless you are a skilled cake artist, this may cause more damage.
•Fondant topped cakes typically travel much better than buttercream topped cakes, especially during heat and humidity.
Q. When will you deliver my cake?
A. We plan to deliver cakes two hours prior to your reception or start of your event. (if you choose the delivery option) We deliver and set up the cake before your guests arrive. They want to see the cakes, not us moving them around on the tables.
F.Y.I. Pricing and other "stuff"
Consultation/tasting is nothing formal like the experience you would get at a bakery or venue that specializes in weddings.
My wedding cake prices are the same per serving as any other celebration cakes that I make. Consultation fees are not built into my prices. This fee is only added to your final price if you feel that you need this service.
FREE DELIVERY is included within 15 mile radius of I-45 @ League Line Rd. (Outlets at Conroe, Cracker Barrel) $1.50/mile for anything over 15 miles. Free delivery includes most areas near The Woodlands, Shenandoah, Conroe, 242 Delivery time and location must be scheduled in advance and is subject to availability. If no one is available at prearranged delivery address and time, cake will not be left and no refund will be made. If schedule allows, I will redeliver to same address for additional $50.00 fee paid via PayPal before delivery. Delivery to The Woodlands Waterway area or any other location that requires use of paid parking or valet will require an additional minimum fee $5 or more. You are responsible for providing an appropriate and secure table and environment for the cake. Cakes are heavy and require a sturdy table, and optimal room temperature of 75 degrees or below. We are not responsible for damage after cake is delivered.
SPECIAL EXCEPTION for cakes to be picked up at Cakes by Vicki: Rather than delivery, You may choose to pick up your cake at my location on Lake Conroe, Longstreet exit. With this option, you will receive 10% off the quoted price. Prior arrangements regarding pick-up time is necessary. Cakes, up to three tiers, are constructed to withstand normal transport. Make sure to arrive in an air conditioned vehicle and place cake on floorboard and away from the sun. While it is generally not a problem for clients to transport smaller cakes, self-transporting any cake is at your own risk.
Liability: Cakes by Vicki does not recommend clients self-transport cakes over 3 tiers tall, or any cake more than 1 hour and is not responsible for any damage that may occur to any client-transported cake once it has left our bakery. If you or a representative picks up and sets up the cake, you assume all liability and responsibility of the condition of the cake once it leaves possession of Cakes by Vicki. You are responsible for providing an appropriate and secure table and environment for the cake. Cakes are heavy and require a sturdy table, and optimal room temperature of 75 degrees or below. 30 minute window for pick up time will be scheduled at time of order. Anyone arriving 30 minutes or more late without prior notice will incur a late fee of $15 per hour
Full payment is due 7 days prior to due date for cakes over $200.00 or cakes to be delivered.
We require a $50.00 NON REFUNDABLE retainer fee to reserve your order. Since we make limited number of cakes every week, this retainer fee guarantees and reserves a time frame for the making of your cake. Retainer fee applies toward purchase price. Retainer is not transferrable and nonrefundable. A PayPal invoice for the retainer will be emailed to you as soon as you approve your quote. Please remember that your order is not confirmed unless and until the retainer is paid. Your order is not confirmed until you receive a confirmation email. Until that time, your date is available to other clients
No additional charge if you'd like a different flavor for each tier.
Although prices will be discussed during consultation, you will receive a final quote within 48 hours of consultation.
Just like the consultation, I will direct my attention towards the bride and her opinion regardless of who will be paying! All followup emails and communication will be sent to the bride and/or venue.
You are under NO obligation at time of consultation. Actually, I encourage you to price compare just as you would for any other part of your wedding. However, your order is not confirmed unless and until the retainer is paid. Until that time, your date is available to other clients.
Some venues do not allow outside vendors. This is particularly common with wedding venues. Please check with your venue prior to placing an order.
A separate 5" double layer anniversary cake is complimentary with your wedding cake order of $200.00 or more. It will be boxed and left in your venue kitchen or under the cake table. It will include instructions for freezing for your 1st Anniversary.
You can check out my prices, flavors, F.A.Q., etc. on my webpage
"Sampler Trio" take away tasting kit option:
If you already know the cake design you'd like and just want to sample one of my cakes you can order a "Sampler Trio".
This option allows you and whom ever you choose to critique and make your selections privately.
50% of the fee is applied to cake orders of $200 or more if the order is booked within a week.
One cake will have fondant topping.
Cakes will be boxed separately.
Please order at least 7 days in advance. (Subject to availability)
Pick up only. Delivery not available for Sampler Trio.
"Sampler Trio" includes three, 5" or 6", single layer cakes:
Almond or vanilla - Signature buttercream frosting
Chocolate - Signature buttercream frosting
Flavor of your choice from my website
Wedding Cake Info- Consultation /Tasting -Policies
Wedding Cake Topping:
Buttercream or Fondant?
How DOES a Bride Choose?
When I meet with a bride and groom for a tasting and consultation, one of the first choices that comes up for a couple is whether their wedding cake should be made with buttercream or fondant. It’s helpful to know the difference, and why you might prefer/need to have one over the other. Here’s some handly information to help you make the choice.Genuine buttercream icing, when made well, is one of the most delicious treats you’ll ever experience. Made with only the best ingredients, it can be silky, creamy, and fragrant. In contrast, artificial buttercream is what gives so many people the impression that they hate buttercream. It’s that white stuff that the supermarket (and many bakeries) call buttercream, but it’s actually made from vegetable shortening, not butter. (Hint: Crisco is white, butter is pale yellow.) So, it tends to be greasy and bland. If you’re a foodie, genuine buttercream may well be your preference. However, since genuine buttercream contains real butter and cream (and in a meringue buttercream, egg whites), you can’t have it on a wedding cake that’s going to be sitting outside in the heat and direct sun. Not only does it present a food safety issue, but it could leave you with an unsightly melted mess.
Fondant is much sturdier stuff, being a rolled icing. It was developed in Europe long ago to seal in moisture for the traditional dense fruitcake wedding cakes, which are often baked long in advance of the wedding. It also keeps a cake shielded from heat and humidity for an outdoor wedding reception. (Basically, if your cake will be sitting outdoors in the summer heat, you’ve just bought yourself a fondant cake.)
Fondant has a chewy, elastic texture, being made of glycerine, corn syrup, etc. As for appearance, it’s quite smooth when carefully prepared, and can photograph with a look as lush as velvet, or freshly-fallen powder snow. Its flavor generally pales in comparison to the flavor and texture of buttercream. (In fact, many people remove it before eating the cake it covers.) Completely malleable in nature, fondant can be molded into shapes, people and animals. Although you can pipe buttercream into flowers, leaves, grass and other things, it’s not the same as fondant in that you can’t mold buttercream with the same ease and life-like definition. By the same token, too much thickly piped buttercream can also be something that people will remove before eating your cake.
Fondant and buttercream aren’t the only means for creating three-dimensional art on your wedding cake, though. If you prefer, you can still have delicious buttercream, and the amazing 3-D artwork, too! Gum paste, also known as sugar paste, makes it all possible. It is what it sounds like: a sugar dough that can be sculpted. In fact, it can be fashioned by a trained sugar artist/cake designer into flowers and foliage that defy the observer to distinguish which is a gum paste flower, and which is a fresh flower. Gum paste has also been used for other sculpture projects, such as replicating — and I mean exactly replicating — the walls, roof, and minute architectural details of the Plaza Hotel for its 100th birthday celebration (by gum paste virtuoso Ron Ben Israel). So, the possibilities for gum paste creations are virtually limitless! What’s more, when preserved in an airtight container, they can be a lovely keepsake from your wedding day. Gum paste flowers make a very elegant statement on a sophisticatedwedding cake.
Artwork aside, you can generally expect to pay more for a fondant cake than a genuine buttercream cake. This is because there is not only a higher supply cost for rolled fondant icing than for buttercream, but also generally more labor involved in working with fondant (unless you’re asking for a buttercream design with a lot of detailed piping work).
If budget is an issue, before you fall in love with a design concept, make sure you speak to your cake designer to find out how much labor is involved and whether it’s do-able in fondant, buttercream, or either. If you find your dream design is more labor-intensive than you realized, your wedding cake designer won’t mind you asking how the design can be revised to bring things more in line with your budget.
Now you’re better prepared for meeting with your cake designer, since you know a bit more about the differences between fondant and buttercream, and why you might prefer one over the other.
Should I choose buttercream topping, fondant topping or buttercream topping with fondant accents and details?
I prefer to cover all cakes in fondant (with a generous layer of our signature buttercream under it) for the clean look and the way it seals in the flavor and freshness of your cake. If you don't prefer fondant, it is easy to peel off after it is sliced
The most common covering for cakes is either fondant or buttercream. The type of icing you choose is a personal decision but there are pros and cons with either choice. You simply have to consider the style of the finished cake and your budget. Fondant topping is roughly .50-.75/serving more than cakes iced with buttercream. Buttercream icing can be applied in rustic swirls, rosettes or smoothed to a soft finish depending your preference. Buttercream topping is commonly used on decorated cakes at "big box" stores such Kroger although it is not a true buttercream. Their buttercream is typically made with shortenining rather than real butter. Fondant topping is rarely offered at "big box" bakeries. Fondant can be elegantly smooth with a porcelain-like finish and gives the appearance of "custom" or "high end". Fondant topping is easier to travel with, stays fresh longer and less likely to encounter damage by bumping, etc.
What is Buttercream?
Buttercream is the most common cake covering. This is the sweetest icing that is usually found on kids' cakes. It is simply a blend of butter and/or shortening, confectioner's sugar and flavoring. This icing can be tinted any color and piped into nicely defined designs although cakes can NOT be fully iced with dark colors of buttercream such as red, navy or black. A cake iced with basic buttercream can be stored either in the fridge or at room temperature for a day with no issues although refrigeration is highly recommended. Cakes topped with buttercram don't travel as well as fondant topped cakes.
What is Fondant?
Fondant is a play dough like sugar paste that can be rolled out and draped over a simple or sculped cake. It is usually kneaded until very silky and pliable and can create smooth seamless finish on cakes in any color. This cake covering is very popular because it can be colored any hue, favoured and shaped into a dizzying assortment of decorations, figures, flowers, ruffles and other design elements. Fondant cakes can be put in the fridge and will remain fresh for days which is a positive characteristic especially if the event is during the summer. Care needs to be taken not to touch the cake while it comes to room temperature. It can become sticky and fingerprint prone! One of the reasons fondant is avoided is that it has a very sweet taste, a bit like marshmallows, and a gummy texture that some people find unpleasant.
Best of Both Coverings
If you truly love the pristine surface of a fondant covered cake then do not worry about guests who hate the taste or texture. Buttercream needs to be applied under the fondant layer or the draped covering will not stick to the cake. The buttercream is also iced on thickly to cover bumpy layers and flaws in the surface of the cake so the fondant lays flat and smooth. Anyone who likes fondant can eat it along with the rest of the layers and those who dislike fondant can simply peel it off. So, the cake covering is a personal choice.
5 Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding Cake
Blog by: Morgan L. Champagne
Let’s face it. Everybody is budget conscious. I have been doing wedding cakes here in Houston,TX for some time now, and I have noticed a few things. As a wedding cake professional, I’m going to give you 5 ways to keep your cake cost in line. The everyday public really does not know what makes a cake expensive, or what makes one more budget friendly. So I am here to bridge the gap!
Get your Guest List Under Control!!
Seriously. If you are inviting 300 people to your wedding, you are going to be paying $1200 plus. If someone has quoted you less than that, they have no idea the amount of work involved. Be afraid. Run. Run fast. It is a bit of a no brainer, but the more cake your baker has to make, the more expensive it is going to be.
You Do Not Need To Buy Cake For Every Guest
Many a time I have tried to save a bride from having too much cake. Some are receptive, some..not so much. In the first place, it is unlikely that everyone you invite will actually come. There will be emergencies ,conflicts, that is just the way it is. Secondly, everyone you invite will not eat cake. I promise! I personally recommend using the 75% attendance rule.
Less is really More
The more elaborate your cake, the more you will pay. If you like a cake that has flowers coming down the side, lots of swirls, gold everywhere, that’s awesome. But prepared to pay for it. The more time a decorator has to spend with his/her icing bag…the more you will pay. If you are really trying to save money, go with something a bit more simple. Maybe just tiers covered in white fondant, with a ribbon. Or a simple buttercream iced cake. You will save a ton this way! A cake that takes 5 hours to make is exponentially cheaper than one that takes 15.
I have had clients come to me, saying that they read in some magazine that this was the way to save money. I am here to just completely debunk this rumor. ITS JUST NOT TRUE! Lets first talk about cupcakes. For me and most professionals, the cupcake cost the same as a slice of cake. So lets say you have followed my attendance rule above, and your final count is 150. 150 cupcakes, or a cake for 150 the price is the same! The same I tell you! Now if you want cupcakes, then hey! Lets rock on! But please, don’t fall into that trap of cupcakes save money. Because you will not be a happy bride. You will have all these cupcakes you did not want, and on top of that, you will not have saved money. Come find me, I will give you a hug :)
Then..there are those “cute” little mini cakes. You know the ones. They are all small little tiffany boxes, or the really small round ones. Again, if you really want that, then thats fine. But you will definitely not be saving money. Because in terms of labor, those are WAY more work. On top of that, some bakers charge a “Pain In The You Know What” fee for those. Anyone who has done them, knows. And they go for $7-$12 pop. Go ahead and research my theory, Im right on this one.
Ask Your Baker
Please guys. Do NOT be afraid to be upfront with your baker. Tell them how much you are comfortable spending. I PROMISE you it does not bother us. I would much rather know upfront your budget is $300, rather than sketch out a cake for you that cost $2,000. Because then, we have to go through and deconstruct that cake to get in your budget. And, it never fails. There is always an overwhelming sense of disappointment. In this case, honesty is definitely the best policy.
Blog by: Morgan L. Champagne
Cake Cutting Guide
This guide shows how to cut popular shaped tiers into pieces approximately 1 in. x 2 in. by two layers high (about 4 in.). This is the standard size cake in U.S.A. and is sometimes referred to as "Wedding size portions".
Even if a larger serving size is desired, the order of cutting is still the same.
The first step in cutting is to remove the top tier if you choose to save it, and then begin the cutting with the 2nd tier followed by the 3rd, 4th and so on.
The number of servings listed are intended as a guide only and offer a small portion of cake.
If cake is the only dessert and/or portions larger than 1”x2” are served, "party size portions", then you will have less servings than the chart indicates.
Round Tiers: Move in two inches from the tier's outer edge; cut a circle and then slice 1 in. pieces within the circle.
Now move in another 2 in., cut another circle, slice 1 in. pieces and so on until the tier is completely cut.
The center core of each tier and the small top tier can be cut into 3rds, 4ths, and 6ths, depending on size.
Cakes with two or more tiers will have structural elements such as dowels, straws and toothpicks.
Anniversary Cake Freezing and Thawing Instructions
Your 1st anniversary cake is the top tier. Remove it before cutting your cake.
It does not have any filling other than buttercream.
Place in freezer unwrapped
You may need to place your cake on a disposable plate
When frozen solid, wrap at least 3 times with plastic wrap.
Wrap at least twice with foil.
Put back in box and freeze for one year.
One year later:
Remove cake from box.
Take off plastic wrap and foil while still frozen solid.
Immediately place back in box or bucket and in refrigerator to thaw.
Ready to eat within a few hours.