F.A.Q.

Buttercream topped

with fondant bow.

Fondant Topped.

Q. Is there a minimum?

A. Yes, $125.00 minimum order is required.

Q. How do I place an order or request a quote?

A. To request a quote, contact me by email. cakesbyvicki@live.com​ 

Because pricing largely depends on decor and intricacy of design, please contact us with your budget and ideas for an accurate quote. Basic decor is limited to simple decor like dots, or buttercream roses. All other decor is charged per design. 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.
Please include as many of the following as you can:
  • Date of Event

  • Approximate number of people to serve

  • Your phone number and email address.

  • Most, if not all, correspondence will be through email

  • Your flavor preference. Otherwise, price quoted will be for simple/basic flavors.

  • Inscription i.e. "Happy Birthday ______"

  • Cake theme or idea. An idea or description of what kind of cake design you are looking for. You may also choose from my designs or email pictures of cakes that you like.

  • Pictures, pictures, pictures. Pictures are for inspiration and to get a sense of what you want.

  • Pictures can be easily found on the internet. Enter the type of cake you'd like in the search bar. For example, "Mermaid cakes" and then click on "Images".

  • Event type (birthday, shower, etc.)

  • We take pride in offering high quality products to each and every customer! This means that our cakes and baked goods require time for planning, baking and decorating. We suggest placing custom cake orders at least two weeks in advance of your event. Order changes require a minimum of 5 days notice and may not always be possible. We always take orders until we reach our production capacity, so please ask if you have an order for a closer time frame. We will do our very best to accommodate your request up to 7 days before your event.

  • Order changes require a minimum of 5 days notice and may not always be possible.

  • Please remember that your order is not confirmed unless and until the retainer is paid.

  • After we have discussed your order via email and given you a quote and you have paid the $50.00 retainer fee we will send you an email confirming your order. That email will have the word "Invoice" in the subject line and "Retainer Paid - Thank You!" will be in the subject line. Until you receive that confirmation email, your order has not been placed. 

Q. How and when do I pay you?

A.RETAINER, PAYMENT AND CANCELLATION POLICY

•We require a $50.00 NON REFUNDABLE retainer fee to reserve your order. Sorry, NO EXCEPTIONS.
•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.

•An invoice for the retainer fee will be sent via PayPal


•A PayPal account is not necessary to utilize the service. PayPal accepts all major credit/bank cards.
•Your date has NOT been reserved until your retainer has been received and you have received a confirmation email. Until that time, your date is available to other clients. Keep in mind, many dates are booked up 4-6 weeks in advance.
•Your date is available at time quote was made. If your date becomes booked by the time you make your payment it will be refunded in the manner it was paid.

•Taking an unusually long amount of time to place an order before paying the retainer fee may result with our schedule becoming filled up for that date.

•Cakes by Vicki is not responsible for the Client not having a cake supplied by Cakes by Vicki if the Client fails to complete all payments required prior to the event by the specified deadlines.
•Cake orders must be "Paid In Full" prior to 7 days within due date. If payment is not made in full by at least 7 calendar days before the event date, NO cake will be made and the order will be canceled with forfeiture of all monies paid to date. The Client is responsible for keeping track of any payments due and ensuring their timely payment.
•Cancellations prior to 7 days before due date will forfeit Retainer Fee. All other payments will be refunded in the manner they were paid.
•Cancellations within 7 days before due date will forfeit all payments. (Of course, some circumstances will be considered such as natural catastrophe, death in immediate family, medical emergency of immediate family member)
DELIVERY and PICK-UP

Q. Do you deliver?

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

​​

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. My refrigerator holds cakes only! Anything in your fridge that is odorous such as onions, can be easily absorbed into your cake. Keep em separated!

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 to pick up your.

•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. Texas in summer is a bit warm, in case you aren't from here. 😏 I NEVER recommend cake of any kind 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...........pretty for pictures?

•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. How far in advance of the event do you prepare the cake?

A. I start preparing the cake accessories such as fondant or chocolate accents and figures a week or two in advance. Since the cakes need to be cool before the decoration, I start baking the cake two to three days prior to the event. I start the decoration process a day or two prior to the event. I like to give myself time to dedicate to each design and allow the cake to be fully ready to undergo transport.

Q. Do you do wedding cakes?

A. Nowadays I'm more focused on smaller, special occasion cakes. I no longer do large, elaborate wedding cakes that require extensive set-up and delivery. I still do small and informal wedding cakes, no more than 3 tiers (12"tall"). This size is easily transported so it can save you 10% if you choose to self pick-up rather than delivery. Wedding cakes are priced by the serving, just like other celebration cakes

For more info click on the tab: Consultation - Tasting - Wedding Cake Policies https://www.cakesbyvicki.net/about1

Q. Do you do tastings and consultations?

A. Tastings and consultations are done by appointment only and are rarely necessary for cakes to serve less than 75 guests. There is a charge of $60.00/hour if you'd like to have a tasting/consultation. 50% of that cost will apply towards your cake price if you choose to order.

For more info click on the tab: Consultation - Tasting - Wedding Cake Policies https://www.cakesbyvicki.net/about1

Q. Can you still do my groom's cake if you do not do my wedding cake?

A. No and yes. I do still do groom's cakes. However, some wedding cake decorators won't allow another decorator to do the groom's cake. Make sure you ask their permission.

Q. How much are your cakes?

A. Average cake price is around $150.00. My cakes are valued considering the intricacy of the design. Check out my prices on my webpage https://www.cakesbyvicki.net/-pricing--ordering or email me for a free quote at cakesbyvicki@live.com

Q. Do you just do chocolate and white cakes? What kind of icing do you use?

A. NO! There are hundreds of flavor choices/combinations. Simple/basic flavors are included in your quote and on my price list. My most popular cake is vanilla/almond. Flavors for "basic" cakes come from pure extracts and emulsions and I make my own vanilla from superior quality Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans :)

Buttercream is made with real butter and heavy cream and flavored with a combination of mostly vanilla bean, a bit of almond and just a dash of lemon and/or salt to cut the sweetness. Flavor options: https://www.cakesbyvicki.net/flavors

Q. Do you have a storefront? Can I stop by and pick up a cake?

A. No, I work out of my home and I exclusively do custom orders.

Q. Is it legal to have a home food business?

A. Yes. September 1, 2011, the Texas Cottage Food Law went into effect that allows sale of home baked goods, with a few restrictions. I have all the proper permits, licensing and training. Read the full bill here:  http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/html/HB00970F.htm I have taken and passed all the required food safety classes plus

Q. When and where can I pick up my cake?

A. Pick up times can be scheduled any time based on availability. Free delivery is available in most are locations within 15 miles of League Line @ I-45. Small fee for locations outside the area. Cakes may be picked up at my location on Longstreet on Lake Conroe. 

Please arrive in an air conditioned vehicle.

Q. Do you do  "Smash Cakes"?

A. Free "smash cake" is included with first birthday cakes. (If it will be picked up the same date as larger cake) It will be 4" diameter and 2" tall. Just a bit larger than a cupcake. Same flavor as larger cake. Much simpler design and colors to coordinate with larger cake. It will be topped with buttercream. You may order smash cake at regular cake prices if you'd like a smash cake with a specific design, different flavor, different date, larger than 4" diameter and 2" tall, etc. Keep in mind the minimum order is still $125.00 unless you have a confirmed order for larger cake.

Q. Do you do allergy free, gluten free, etc......?

ALLERGY & DIETARY WARNING

  a) Cakes by Vicki does not, cannot, and will not cater to specific allergy or dietary restrictions.

  b) All of Cakes by Vicki baked goods may contain or have come in contact with one or more of the following ingredients, any one of which can produce an allergic or other medical reaction: Wheat,  Gluten, Corn , Soybeans, Eggs, Milk, Tree nuts,  Peanuts,  Tree nut oils, Peanut oil,  Tree nut extracts, Natural dyes, Natural flavorings,  Artificial dyes, Artificial flavorings, Sugar, Artificial sweeteners, Other allergens not listed

  c) Cakes by Vicki cannot be held responsible for allergic, medical reactions, or a resulting allergy or medical reaction related illness to the ingredients resulting from eating the baked goods.

  d) Cakes by Vicki baked goods are not suitable for consumption by vegans, vegetarians, nor those with religious dietary restrictions as they may can contain various animal products including but not limited to: butter, eggs, gelatin, honey, lard, meat byproducts and derivatives, milk, tallow, etc.

  e) It is the responsibility of the Client to inform all individuals present of the presence of these ingredients which may be deemed as potentially hazardous to one’s health or as unsuitable for their personal consumption due allergies or any dietary restrictions.

Q. How much notice do you need?

A. We require MINIMUM 7 days notice. We take a limited number of cakes orders per week on a "first come, first served" basis. Your date is only guaranteed once retainer has been paid so it's best to book as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Upon placing your order, a $50.00 non-refundable retainer must be paid in order to secure your spot.

Q. Is there a charge for a different flavor on each tier?

A. No, if you are ordering a tiered cake you may have each tier a different flavor if you wish!

Q. I like one of your designs. Would it possible to vary the shape and colors?

A. Absolutely. Of course some restrictions apply.

Q. Are the cake toppers and flowers edible?

A. Cake toppers and flowers are made out of gumpaste, fondant, chocolate or rice krispy treats. They sometimes have floral wire, toothpicks, dowels or straws inside for stability. The gumpaste portion is edible, but generally is very hard since it is dried in advance. Many people choose to place real "toys" on their cakes rather than edible options. Toys are typically less expensive than edible options.

Q. Can I supply my own cake design ideas?

A. Yes of course! We are a custom cake company so if you want it, we will try our very best to make it for you exactly as you want.

Q. I want a cake but am not sure on design, can you help me?

A. Yes, we can email you some example images to inspire you if you wish. Providing or choosing a picture can be useful for us as it will give us an idea of the type of design you would like. However, we cannot guarantee that the colors and design will look exactly the same as the original. Please be aware that as all of the cakes are decorated by hand, no two cakes will look exactly alike.

Q. Can you make a cake I saw on Amazing Wedding Cakes or Ace of Cakes?

Probably, but please understand those famous prize winning cakes and cake artists typically charge NO LESS than $1,000.00, even 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."

Q. I want a large tiered cake but am on a tight budget, is it cheaper if you make some of the tiers dummy (styrofoam) cakes?

No, we charge the same price for a cake regardless of if it is real cake or a dummy cake, this is for several reasons:

  1. Instead of buying cake ingredients we have to purchase the dummy cake which isn't as cheap as it sounds.

  2. It still takes just as much buttercream and fondant to cover the dummy cakes (fondant being the most expensive ingredient used on the cakes).

  3. It still takes the same amount of time to cover and decorate the dummy cake and most of what you are paying for is our time.

Q. My design includes 6" height tiers, is this still the same price as a regular tiered cake?

No. "Double Barrel" tiers (6" high) give you 1.5 times the amount of cake and are more difficult to ice and priced accordingly.

Q. I've been quoted $x for this cake I need, can you price match?

A. No. We do not undercut or specifically price match competitors. Depending on the specifications of the cake, we will provide you with an exact quote for your comparison. 

Q.Should I choose buttercream topping, fondant topping or buttercream topping with fondant accents and details?

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. 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 theirs is not a true buttercream. Their buttercream is typically made with shortening 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.

I prefer to cover all cakes in fondant for the clean look and the way it seals in the flavor and freshness of your cake. It is the best of both since it has a generous layer of our signature buttercream under it. If you don't prefer fondant, it is easy to peel off after it is sliced

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 colored 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 buttercream 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 sculpted 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 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.

 

 

Q. Can you do a character cake like Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty, CocaCola, etc.?

A.Unfortunately, several bakeries in Texas have recently been sued by Disney and Disney ALWAYS wins. I do not do copyrighted characters to avoid a possible lawsuit. I can do designs that are "inspired by" the character that you need. For example the cake can have background designs with the same color scheme as the character.  You can purchase copyrighted toys or objects to be placed on the cake and I can decorate your cake in ways that will coordinate with your theme.
Selling Cakes with Coyprighted Characters

  • Many customers ask for character-type cakes and cookies, featuring characters such as Mickey Mouse, Elmo, Dora the Explorer, Angry Birds, and more. Can I legally reproduce these characters in icing, fondant, or some other medium on my baked goods?

Using another person’s design without their permission risks infringing their intellectual property rights, including their copyrights, trademark rights, and personality rights. Copyright protection automatically vests with anyone who creates a new design. Copyright laws enable the designer to stop others from copying his or her design or to create “derivative” spinoffs of the design, which would include copying an image. Trademark protection arises when someone uses a word or design as a brand name. When an ordinary consumer sees the image of Mickey Mouse, for example, he or she probably thinks of Walt Disney. A Mickey Mouse cake probably would lead an ordinary consumer to wonder if the cake was authorized by Walt Disney. Some states also have personality rights statutes that protect against the commercial use of a person’s likeness, name, and signature without their permission. That means creating an Elvis or Barack Obama cake might infringe those persons’ personality rights – or those now owned by their heirs – if their likeness, name, or signature were used without their permission. Together, these laws broadly protect the intellectual property rights owner from having others – including cake designers – appropriate their work without permission.

  • Can I reproduce the characters if I change one or two details? For example, if Mickey Mouse was wearing blue pants instead of red pants?

Not legally – unless the copyright and trademark owner authorized such use. The Copyright Act protects against “derivate works” that use the copyrighted work as a jumping-off point in creating a new work. Changing Mickey’s pants from blue to red would still start with Disney’s work, so it would infringe its copyrights. Such a slight change probably would also violate the Lanham Act – the federal trademark statute – because it would be likely to confuse consumers into thinking that the cake displaying the new image came from or was authorized by Disney.

  • What is the penalty if I get caught?

It’s not fair for that baker to profit from the company’s intellectual property. Beyond that, a big company that allows its brand to be used on cakes without its permission risks having its trademark rights become eroded over time. It also would risk losing control of its reputation. For example, if a little baker making Mickey Mouse cakes accidentally made some of its customers sick, those people might think Disney had something to do with it or at least think less highly of Disney as a result. It also would be a mistake to think the rights holders are always big companies. Artists and photographers make a living selling their images. Using their images without their permission hits them in the pocketbook – something they don’t take kindly to. The penalty? Tens of thousands of dollars. There are no warnings and you will lose your business.

  • Why would a big company care about what one little baker is doing? Don’t they have better things to do?

It’s not fair for that baker to profit from the company’s intellectual property. Beyond that, a big company that allows its brand to be used on cakes without its permission risks having its trademark rights become eroded over time. It also would risk losing control of its reputation. For example, if a little baker making Mickey Mouse cakes accidentally made some of its customers sick, those people might think Disney had something to do with it or at least think less highly of Disney as a result. It also would be a mistake to think the rights holders are always big companies. Artists and photographers make a living selling their images. Using their images without their permission hits them in the pocketbook – something they don’t take kindly to.

  • I see other bakers making cakes like this all the time. How come they can do it and I can’t? I will lose business if I turn down these orders.

It’s just a matter with complying with the law. If your competitor hires undocumented workers or cheats on its taxes, it gets a competitive advantage over you. But that obviously would not justify your breaking the law to level the playing field. Try telling that to the judge

  • How can I get permission to reproduce these images?

You need to talk with the rights owner. That means the artist, trademark owner, or celebrity’s representative. They often have licensing companies that do nothing but grant permission for the use of their works in exchange for money. The most commonly requested character is Mickey Mouse. That does NOT mean that the cake decorator has received permission. Disney rarely gives permission and, in fact, takes bakers to court on a regular basis. Many bakeries have lost their businesses for failing to take them seriously. It can be a challenge to find the appropriate person and work out a licensing agreement. But unless you’re sure the image is in the public domain, that’s what you have to do.

Michael Atkins is an attorney at the Seattle law firm of Atkins Intellectual Property, PLLC. He represent clients with trademark issues, including registrations, litigation in state and federal courts, and before the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Outside the office, he teaches trademark law at the University of Washington School of Law, and frequently writes and speaks about trademark issues.

 

Below are a few examples of the sort of cakes with copyrighted characters that we are legally allowed to do.

 

 

 

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