Don’t serve wedding cake; serve a piece of art
Introduce yourself to our readers
Hello, I am Dani Sachs and I LOVE dessert! I am a mom, wife and unofficial Uber driver of our entire extended family! I love sipping coffee in the morning over Gilmore Girls, tackling cakes all day and managing my crazy wonderful family at night. I have been in the food management field for over fifteen years, and in the wedding industry for six. I am the Owner, Cake baker and dream maker of Something Frosted Cake Studio in Salt Lake City Utah!
Though I have been baking since Mother’s Day 1999, Something Frosted has been around since 2013 and in 2016 we went into the wedding industry full time. In the last few years, we have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of amazing couples, and their chosen teams. Last year we made Best Cakes of 2018 for Utah Valley Bride magazine, and TOP PRO on Thumbtack! Our work has also been featured in amazing magazines and blogs like Rocky Mountain Bride, Utah Valley Bride, Inspired By This, and even a Swedish Bridal magazine called Sisters In Law!
How did you get into cake decorating?
I started baking in 1999 on the aforementioned mother’s day. I was 13, broke, and to old for finger painting so I baked my mother her favorite New York Style Cheesecake. From that day forward my creative brain used baking and cake making to show love and bring people together. After years of being a barista and making sweets on the side, I decided to go to culinary school and make it official. It’s only been 6 years but the industry has changed so much, and I am totally in LOVE! One of my favorite parts of being a Cake Artist is taking my artistic skills and the couple’s vision and creating something unique and magical!
One of my favorite parts of being a Cake Artist is taking my artistic skills and the couple’s vision and creating something unique and magical!
What are the most common questions couples ask?
Most questions are regarding four basic categories: availability, flavor, design and cost.
While every cake artist is different, I prefer booking wedding cakes 6-12 months in advance.
- Availability: Next to cost this is the number one question asked, “when should we really book our wedding cake”. While every cake artist is different, I prefer booking wedding cakes 6-12 months in advance. I am more than happy to fit in my lovely last-minute clients when possible but waiting until the last minute may end in disappointment. Booking with a cake artist 6 months in advance will typically give you enough time to ensure your date is free and gives you enough time to decide what you’re really looking for.
- Flavors: When booking your wedding cake, the flavor is a factor! Nowadays wedding cakes are more than just chocolate or vanilla and I would encourage you to ask your baker what their most popular flavor is. At many bakeries, one flavor of cake and frosting is included in the price. You are welcome to have each tier be a sperate flavor, but this will come at an additional cost. If you are looking for choices, I will recommend having one cake and frosting flavor but have two or three different fillings!
- Design: I think the most requested design is for a 3-tier cake. Whether the couple is looking to feed 30 or 300 guests they want 3 tiers. I completely understand, as a 3-tier cake is visually appealing and what most of us picture when thinking about wedding cakes. Unfortunately, 3 tiered cakes aren’t always going to be the best options for you. Wedding cake styles have progressed so much, you don’t need to fear trying something different! Every custom bakery uses different sized pans (some are even sized, and some are oddly sized) and their serving sizes may also differ. Let them know what your needs and wants are, then be open to their suggestions. Not all custom bakeries are like us, but our serving sizes are the same whether it’s a wedding cake or a party cake. Our average cake height is 6 inches, but often go up to 10 inches, so our serving size is 1x2x6 inches. I would also note that every cake artist has their own style, and to take this into consideration when choosing an artist. One cake artist may be a wizard with modern fondant cakes and another (like us) may completely rock the rustic romantic buttercream cakes! To recap, do your research, ask a bunch of questions and be open to their suggestions. After all, they are the experts, and their job is to make your special day sweeter!
- Cost:Like a few other things at your wedding, the cost of a wedding cake will vary drastically. Think of it as an edible wedding dress, you are going to get a gown from Macy’s (or even made by your aunt who’s never sewed in her life) for less than a custom gown made by a pro who has been in the industry for 20 years. Different techniques, experience and levels of quality will make a big difference in cost. I would say that if having a lovely, delicious wedding cake that is delivered to your venue on time and in one piece is important to you than plan on spending about $4-$6 a serving. If you have a large guest list and a smaller budget, you might consider a less traditional option. Most custom bakeries will have package options, our most popular options are “The Cake Trio” and our “Couple’s cake and dessert table” option. You can order a smaller cake for you to cut than serve your guests cupcakes or cookies which in most cases will be half the cost per serving! We also have options like dropping the cake and desserts off to the venue and having your coordinator set everything up or having us fully display everything on one of our decorated tables.
Our average cake height is 6 inches, but often go up to 10 inches, so our serving size is 1x2x6 inches.
Are all cake decorators different?
Yes, every cake artist is different and finding one who matches your style and meshes with your personality is important. You want to be able to trust that they are on the same page as you, to reduce any stresses you may have regarding the cake. I suggest first looking at the artist’s portfolio, is their work like what you’re looking for? Ask for references or look over their reviews to get a sense of their strengths and weaknesses. Then have a conversation with the artist, over the phone or thru an email to ask any questions you still have and inquire about their availability.
Great cake artists will be friendly, open to questions, timely, and knowledgeable. If your asking for a cream cheese frosting filled cake that you will be displaying outside in the sun in June, and the artist doesn’t stop you, then I’d suggest finding another artist. A few things I would ask your cake artist before booking: Are you insured (some venues require this)? Are you licensed? Do you have a contract? How many weddings have you done? Do you deliver? Do you do cake tastings? (and if it’s relevant) Do you make vegan cakes? Do you make allergen-free cakes? Then once you have decided on an artist you can ask questions like: Do you require a deposit? When is the payment due? What payment methods do you take? Do you rent cake stands?
What is your favorite cake design?
Each cake artist or bakery will have their own style and signatures that make them who they are. Our overall style is Chic, Rustic, and romantic and our specialty is buttercream cakes with floral touches. As an artist, I can love aspects of every design, but my most loved design is the rustic finished buttercream cake. Two or three tiers high with an extra tall base and finished with a few off centered bundles of flowers.
The cake trio is one of my favorite new ways to display your cake!
Every year the wedding cake trends change but to me, this is a lovely and timeless design that adds an extra touch of glamour to any reception! Do you have a larger reception and want your cake to be a delicious focal point? Try a Cake Trio! The cake trio is one of my favorite new ways to display your cake. Instead of one large 5 tier cake to serve 200+ guests, try three separate cakes all in different sizes and on cake stands of different heights! If the cakes are all done in similar styles and stay within a color palette, they all come together in one show-stopping display!
What are some wedding cake alternatives?
If you love desserts and want an alternative to the traditional Cake, inquire about a dessert table. These dessert tables can be filled with dozens of the same treats or filled with many treats! These tables are one of our favorites, and we have made them with yummy things such as donuts, brownies, fruit tarts, cookies, and cupcakes. You can even add a small 6-inch cake to the center of the dessert table so you and your sweetie can still have the classic cake cutting moment! Now if you are feeling adventurous ask around about a S’mores bar! If your venue allows open flames then this is a fun, interactive dessert that adults and kids alike will love.
"If you’re a newbie I’d go even further and recommend keeping it to a single tier and making cupcakes for your guests"
What your advice for couples who want to make their own wedding cake?
For the couples who have their heart set on making their own wedding cakes, whether it is to save money or for the joy of making it themselves I recommend keeping it simple and rustic. A rustic textured buttercream can be much easier to achieve because imperfections are part of the look and this style takes fewer tool. If you’re a newbie I’d go even further and recommend keeping it to a single tier and making cupcakes for your guests. Now if decorating your own cake is more important to you then actually baking it, then ask your cake artist to make you a plain white iced cake! If you have decided to invest more in the Honeymoon then the wedding cake, you can even stop by Walmart or Sam’s Club’s bakery and order a simple 3-tiered cake!
What is the average height of a wedding cake?
With all the fun new trends in wedding cakes the width and height can vary, but the average height of a 100-200 serving wedding cake is between 18 and 24 inches tall. Here, our average height per tier is 6 inches, and this is common throughout the industry now but much taller than the 4-inch standard 8 years ago. If the height and width of the cake are important to the overall look of your cake table just make sure you discuss this with your cake artist. You can always use different sized cake stands if needed to make the cake taller. As a fun side note, once in 2016 I had made and delivered my largest cake to date. It was only 3 tiers high, but each tier was 8 inches tall and the bottom tier was 14-inches-around! Now if that wasn’t enough cake, it was paired with two 8-inch round cakes that were each 8 inches tall. I swear the back of my vehicle was sagging from all that sugary weight! And it was the first and only time I have ever had to deliver a caked disassembled because the event was on the second floor of the venue and the cake weighed too much to carry up the stairs!
While I could stay and chat all day about cake and how cool they are I better get back to the kitchen. If you have any more questions or you are getting married in the Utah area just drop me a line, I would love to hear from you!