5 Tips When Requesting a Cake Quote

Nothing gets me more excited than getting a text, email or Facebook message asking about creating a cake for someone. Okay, sometimes wine, a good book and a hot bubble bath might…and talking about my wedding will probably always win for excitement…but cake orders are up there.

Sometimes the message I get is as simple as, “My friend wants a cake…how much do you charge?”

Trust me when I say that I wish the cake life was that simple. Instead, it’s carefully calculated based on a million different things that I agonize over and talk to myself about in the car…looking like a nut, I’m sure.

I thought I’d share some tips when requesting a cake quote…trust me…these will cut our text messages, emails, messages, etc. in half! Time is money, people. Enjoy, my infinite wisdom:*

1. Fondant or buttercream? Buttercream is just buttercream, so it generally costs less. Fondant is fondant and buttercream…two is more than one. Confused? I apologize. I hate math too. That’s why I write and bake cakes.

2. Size matters. Have you learned nothing from Cosmo? I kid. …kind of. Do you want just an eight inch cake? Or are we talking a three-tiered beauty with five dozen cupcakes on the side?

3. Let them eat cake. Don’t let your party guests go without a piece of cake. How many people does this cake need to feed? That can determine cost and size of what is needed.

4. A picture is truly worth a thousand words. It’s so true. If you were inspired by a photo you saw, send it! “How much for something similar to this?” We’ve cut at least a thousand words out of our conversation. And like I said, I do not like math, but somehow that -1,000 words =good talk.

5. The devil is in the details. Basically, I needed a fifth tip…because who wants to read, “Four tips on Requesting a Cake Quote?” When I titled this article it was 10. *I quickly realized my infinite wisdom is actually finite wisdom…and I can squeeze about five out. Five very helpful tips out. What were we talking about? Oh yes. Details. And I’m pretty sure I’m using this expression incorrectly, but I needed a fifth tip. No photo? No problem. Give me some deets. What special things do you want on your cake? Special colors? Flavors? Secret messages? I’ve baked a plastic baby into a cake before to surprise the husband and let him know…we.are.pregnant. That costs extra so I need to know these things. I’m kidding. It’s included in the basic price. Okay, so I’ve never baked a baby into a cake before. But you never know what requests might come up. Tell me everything! Your 1,000 words allow me just a few short and sweet ones. And obviously when I write too much it starts to become awkward. Like babies. In cakes. So, save yourselves!

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Paws Off!

Just when you thought chocolate-covered conversation hearts couldn’t get any better, they go animal style. Okay, at least I didn’t think they could get any better.

Animals are possibly the best thing to hit life. Coffee and wine are a close second, but I think I could survive with dogs alone. Don’t quote me on that. I think there’s plenty of room for dogs and wine. Even on our honeymoon we took some time to walk some of the rescue dogs on the island.

When I saw the local shelter ask for Valentine goodies for their furry speed dating event on February 14, I knew conversation hearts-animal style were in my future.

All our dogs are rescues and I wish everyone would rescue a fur babe. Maybe that “Wet Nose” heart helped to find a furrever home. I can only hope!

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Bummed Valentine’s Day is over and I’ll have to wait a whole year for some more conversation hearts. Sad 4 That.

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Goldilocks and the Three Macarons

…or maybe it’s more like three hundred macarons.

This past weekend I decided to attempt some macarons. Four batches of macarons. Which equals way too many.

The first batch was a beautiful teal…but they were all different shapes and sizes, a lot of them cracked, and they were just not right.

I was so excited before they were baked:

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I had one that I could actually take a picture of by the time they were out of the oven:

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Ohhhhkay, batch number two. They were supposed to be a beautiful blue. Well, they came out a very lack luster blue, but of course these ones actually baked like macarons are supposed to. Too bad the color was completely unexciting:

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So now, batch number three, I just know I’ve got this. Batch 1 + 2 should equal a perfect 3…amIright?

No. Not right. Let me start by saying I didn’t take any photos of this batch, if that gives you an indication have how not good they were. They were a lovely lavender color but they were lumpy and clearly under-mixed.

I can’t end on this note. Attempt number four.

Lovely pink macarons:

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Over-mixed. They came out of the oven so flat.

What’s a girl to do? I might as well just have bought a bag of confectioner’s sugar and a carton of eggs and thrown them straight into the garbage. Not to menti0n the pricey almond flour in these things.

Macaron wreckage:

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I will conquer these soon…so far, the tips I can offer from my brief experience:

Use a metal bowl, not a plastic one (they keep oils in them and mess with the egg whites).

Double up on the baking sheets. This allows for more even baking.

I’m undecided on the resting time of the macarons before they go into the oven. I’m so helpful.

And… yep, that’s about it for my “expertise.” Unless I can add – Don’t overmix and don’t undermix. Gah, if only it were as easy as it sounds.

How can I get these macarons just right?

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U R A 10

…and so many other cutesy Valentine sayings.

Sweethearts are awesome. I remember getting those conversation candies every year on Valentine’s Day. Seeing the way they have changed is funny…they used to say, “Kiss Me” and “Love.” Now you can add, “Text Me” and “LOL” to the mix.

So… what could be better than conversation hearts on Valentine’s Day? Chocolate-Covered Oreo Conversation Hearts on Valentine’s Day. Or CCOCH…as the cool kids would say. LOL.

These are so cute and so fun to make. I was Crazy 4 Them! If only they were All Mine… Okay, I’ll stop.

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Modeling Chocolate Roses …and Charity!

My latest cake has been the most fun project I’ve had…the problem is that I can’t share the whole thing with you yet. BUT…I can show you the roses I made out of modeling chocolate.

In the past I’ve used fondant and gumpaste to make flowers, but I’ve been wanting to try something new.

Modeling chocolate tastes better (I mean, you can’t go wrong with chocolate) and it’s very forgiving…that’s good and bad. I had to assemble the finishing touches of my cake in the freezing cold garage to keep the flowers well defined.

I love the look of them and can’t wait to make some more cakes using this technique.

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I also got to donate this finished cake to the Ronald McDonald house and bring some sugar and smiles to families and children healing together.