Not all wedding cakes are created equal
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I’m Candis Spivey, the proud owner of Honeybee Cake Company, and have been in the wedding industry for a few years. I also create bespoke cakes for other events like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc.
I haven’t always been a cake designer. After being in corporate America for years, I decided I needed to do something that I was passionate about. I’ve always been creative and enjoyed being hands on, but I struggled to find my true passion. It wasn’t until I created a cake for a friend that I realized I had a knack for cake design. After fine tuning my talent with some schooling, I formed an LLC and decided to take this adventure full time.
How did you become a wedding baker?
My favorite part is curating pieces of the wedding, seeing inspiration photos, physically drawing out a unique cake that I envision, then bringing it to life.
It was actually a little challenging to get into the wedding industry. It felt similar to looking for a new job when they require experience, but you can’t get the experience unless you have someone that’s willing to take a chance on you. I’m so grateful for my first bride and will always cherish their big day. My favorite part is curating pieces of the wedding, seeing inspiration photos, physically drawing out a unique cake that I envision, then bringing it to life.
Are there things that differentiate wedding bakeries?
- For sure. I think the first is taste. You should absolutely do a tasting prior to deciding on your wedding baker. If you’re purchasing a cake from a grocery store, the ingredients are not fresh. They have likely been frozen, shipped, and boxed for a while. The frosting is going to come from a quick powder with preservatives and the ingredients have words I cannot pronounce. That is one reason why grocery cakes are so inexpensive. If you go to a bakery that’s creating frostings and filling from scratch, it’s going to cost more, but it tastes amazing.
- Another thing to consider is fondant. Some bakeries cover their cakes in it, some only use buttercream, and some do both! These are questions you should ask. You should taste the fondant that they plan to use if that’s what is going to be on your wedding cake. There are different types of fondant and some aren’t very good. Often during tastings, fondant is left out but it’s something to ask for if it is going to be a major part of your cake design.
How do you know you're talking to a good one?
Your cake should be a reflection of your taste and style, find a baker that understands that and invites you to taste their product prior to booking.
You will know you’re in good hands with a baker if they aren’t just asking you to send a photo of something you saw on Pinterest so they can book you and move on to the next couple. You want someone who will take the time to learn about your wedding, your vision, and will ask questions until you’re both satisfied that they have a clear understanding of what you’re looking for. Someone that appreciates the hard work that you are putting into your wedding and is willing to do the same. Your cake should be a reflection of your taste and style, find a baker that understands that and invites you to taste their product prior to booking.
What should brides ask when deciding between several options?
- Ask how far in advance your cake will be made. If I have a wedding cake, I take significantly fewer orders that week to make sure I can truly focus on that cake.
- Ask them if they are willing to work with your florist. This will make your life easier if you plan to have fresh blooms on your cake. Speaking of fresh blooms, ask your baker if they will be covering the stems that are going into the cake for food safety. Some flowers can contaminate your cake so covering the stems is an important step that not every baker takes.
If you could ask one thing of the grooms and brides that would make your job at their wedding easier, what would it be?
If I really had to pick one thing, it would be to have a designated place indoors for the cake. Cakes can melt so it’s best to plan for it to be set up a nice cool spot on a sturdy table.
I’m here to make the couple’s life easier. This is a busy time but they should be enjoying it. I aim to make things stress free and fun. If I really had to pick one thing, it would be to have a designated place indoors for the cake. Cakes can melt so it’s best to plan for it to be set up a nice cool spot on a sturdy table.
Typically, how much are wedding cakes nowadays?
This is a difficult question. Personally, I don’t charge extra for a wedding cake versus a birthday cake, my pricing is the same across the board and I calculate pricing based on the number of servings.
You can expect to pay between $4.15-$10 a serving. Cost depends on how intricate the design, distance for delivery, etc.
What are some good ideas to design your own wedding cake?
I think this question goes back to finding a good baker. If you provide things like your colors, floral design, and give an overall flow for your wedding, a really good wedding baker should have no problem coming up with some options on design.
What is your favorite cake flavor?
Butter cake. All day. Being from the south, it’s a traditional cake flavor that I grew up with. It actually melts in your mouth. You really don’t need frosting, but if I had to put a frosting with it, I’d stick with my traditional whipped chocolate buttercream. It tastes like chocolate ice cream but in a light and airy frosting form.
What are some of the coolest cakes you have ever seen?
I could go on for days answering this question. In short, I am a huge Sylvia Weinstock fan. If you haven’t seen her cakes, give her a quick google. Her work is absolutely amazing and she’s incredible with sugar art. She does a lot of celebrity weddings. I can also relate to her because she will never cover a cake with fondant and only uses buttercream. All of her work is remarkable. There is also a viral video floating around where the wedding cake is so big that the bride and groom are actually inside the cake on a “cake balcony.” I’d really like to know how much butter that baker used. Also, I’d like to add that any cake that is so big that the bride and groom slice it with a sword, that’s pretty cool too.
Was there ever a time you had to improvise?
Funny you should ask! I had to improvise on a cake for the first time this past weekend. I created a buttercream birthday cake that had a smooth color that looked like a sky. Unfortunately, after delivery, the cake was bumped and there was a very obvious knick in the frosting right in front! I had to act calmly and quickly but I was able to turn that little knick into a super adorable wispy cloud in about 30 seconds. You honestly couldn’t tell that it wasn’t a part of the cake design from the beginning.
What was the most difficult request you have handled?
The challenge is knowing what questions to ask to make sure I truly understand my client’s vision. Once I have that picture in my head, it’s typically smooth sailing.
Fortunately, I’ve had nothing but awesome couples and their requests have been completely reasonable. The challenge is knowing what questions to ask to make sure I truly understand my client’s vision. Once I have that picture in my head, it’s typically smooth sailing.