Groom’s Cakes

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Groom’s cakes are becoming more and more popular.  With its roots in the South, the groom’s cake is considered a gift from the Bride to the Groom.  Any why not, since most weddings center mostly around the Bride.

I recently read that legend has it that single women were supposed to sleep with a slice of the Groom’s cake under their pillow the same night of the wedding where they received it, and they will dream of their future husband.  So many uses for Groom’s cakes!

Nike Cleat Groom's Cake

Nike Cleat Cake with Soccer Ball Cupcakes

One really good use is to have the Groom’s cake be the dessert for the Rehearsal Dinner.  We did a Soccer Cleat cake as a surprise for the Groom for the Rehearsal dinner and it was a hit!

The shoe was chocolate covered in buttercream and fondant.  Everything was edible including the cleats and the laces.  The cupcakes were lemon covered with lemon buttercream and fondant panels for the soccer balls.  The Groom was thrilled.

Vote Republican Groom's Cake

Elephant cake with Vote Cake Pops

Today’s Groom’s cake is usually a reflection of the Groom’s interests.  This Groom’s cake was presented at the wedding on it’s own table at the wedding.  The Groom was BIG into politics so we designed a cake and cake pops with a message. He also got his favorite – Strawberry cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Buttercream.

The cake does not have to be huge as you can see from the picture above.  A small cake is a nice accent to a wedding cake or dessert bar.  A little will go a long way.

Here are some other ideas for groom’s cakes.  What would your groom like?

Guinness Cake

Guinness Cake

Tampa Bay Lightening Cupcakes

Tampa Bay Lightening Cupcakes

USF Cupcakes

USF Cupcakes

Yankees Cake Pops

Yankees Cake Pops

How to keep cake costs low

You’re a bride on a budget and prices seem outrageous for your budget.  Here are some ways to get a nice wedding cake without breaking the bank:

  • Be realistic about your budget and how that translates into a cake.  You want a 4-tier wedding cake to feed 150 with lots of sugar flowers and sugar diamonds but you want to pay $300.  It’s not going to happen.  First, if you have that many wedding guests, you are probably already spending quite a bit :-).  You probably want a really nice wedding cake.A wedding cake takes time and lots of materials… time to bake, lots of butter & eggs and premium chocolate, time to make the flowers and the pearls, etc.  And time and materials cost money.  If you have a large guest list and want a larger cake but want to keep it under $500, try asking for a simple multi-tiered buttercream cake and get some flowers from your florist or have the baker add fabric ribbons as the border. You can get something simple, yet beautiful.
  • State your budget to your baker.  Don’t waste time asking about ornate or complex wedding cakes that you dream about if know you are on a tight budget.  Tell your baker what you’d like and what your budget is.  Your baker can offer you options that you might not have thought about.  If you start off asking about an ornate cake and refuse to give budget details and your baker finds out later that you only have 1/3 of the budget to make the cake you are asking about, she will be quite crossed with you.
  • Extras cost more. Flowers, stenciling, fondant figures, swags, bling, anything special — costs more. You can have a beautiful cake with just a few strategically placed flowers that goes perfectly with your event and still save money. Simple and elegant is in. Keep it simple and you can save quite a bit.
  • Be flexible.  If you are on a budget and your baker suggests a small cake with buttercream iced cupcakes, take that into consideration.  Ask what alternatives they can recommend.  There is usually a way to get you something that will work if you ask for recommendations.  Again, be upfront and the baker will have more to work with from the beginning.

What not to do is just as important.

  • Don’t nickel and dime your baker.  It breeds bad blood and you don’t want someone who resents you working on your cake. If you don’t like the price, ask for options to reduce the price or shop around and find someone else. Don’t demand a Taj Mahal cake on a Motel 6 budget.  I always provide options for cost savings up to several hundred dollars if the bride is uncomfortable with the price.  I still want to get her a beautiful cake so I try and figure out what will work for her budget. Remember that we want repeat business and referrals too.  Most bakers will work with you.
  • Don’t skimp on delivery. The biggest mistake I see is someone who agrees to a $500 cake and then wants to go cheap on delivery.  If you get a separate delivery quote (which you probably will based on distance), don’t decide that this is where you will save.  Don’t ask if Uncle Bob can pick up your 4-tier cake to save the $50. If the delivery is $50 for a $500 cake, it is well worth it for your cake to be perfect. Your baker has lots of experience navigating the potholes, historic (aka, annoying) brick roads, road dips and keeping the sunshine off your cake AND can fix any blemishes that happened along the way.
  • Don’t be a Bridezilla. You are MUCH more likely to get someone to work with you on pricing and design if you are pleasant and professional.  If you are difficult and condescending, you might even get a special charge because of your attitude.  They might increase the price in hopes that you go away or to make sure it’s worth their time.I saw an episode of Cake Boss where the bride came in and ruined the cake the day before her wedding. Buddy proceeds to create another cake for her.  Let’s just say, she’s lucky Buddy is a nice guy and on TV.  Someone else may have called the cops and she certainly would not have gotten another cake from anyone I know.

    We can be Divas but leave the attitude and accusations at home.

Remember that you want the cake and the Cake Designer wants your business.  Be flexible and ask questions when you are on a budget.  Even the Diva with a tight wallet can get a beautiful cake.

How soon to order your cake…

When should you start looking and place your cake order?  The simple answer is – the sooner the better.  To ensure that you get the cake you want from the Cake Designer you want, you need to get on their calendars early.  Cakes are in high demand these days and a good baker/cake designer is booked months in advanced.  And your cake is the centerpiece of the reception – don’t leave this as the last detail to work out.

The one consideration with booking way in advanced is that you usually have to make a deposit, usually in the 30-50 percent range.  If it’s a year and a half out and you are just not ready for that, it may be too soon.  But if you have your heart set on a big, beautiful cake from a specific designer and you know that he/she is popular, you might need to start that far in advanced.

You’ll need to meet for a tasting, which might take a few weeks depending on the season and how busy they are. 

Start doing your homework at least 9 months in advanced, if you can.  Time flies when you are planning a wedding. Then try booking your cake with 6 month lead time.  That’s probably safe for most people.  If you are only 3 months out from your wedding date, you might find it difficult to find the cake and baker that you really had your heart set on.  If you are a month or so out from your wedding, find the smaller bakers who might be able to accommodate you and know what you want when you meet with them.  If you are able to find someone on such short notice, you’ll need to tie up loose ends quickly and probably pay in full right away.

Ideas for your Wedding

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Even if you don’t have a professional wedding planner, you can still have a beautiful and unique wedding.  I’ve seen some really creative brides lately who have worked wonders on a budget.

  1. Create a Dessert Table. What is a dessert table?  Dessert tables are exactly that - a table full of desserts.  These are the new “IN” thing to do.  They are usually coordinated and varying desserts rather than just the bridal cake. If you have a bigger budget, order a full dessert table from your baker (Decadent Diva, of course) and splurge on your guests.  You can order decadent cake pops, cupcakes, petite fours, macaroons, even individual customized liquor bottles. But it doesn’t stop there, all kinds of decadent desserts can be beautifully placed on your dessert table. If you don’t have a big budget and are a little creative - you can use the dessert table to bring down the cost of the cake, yet still have enough desserts for all of your guests. So you can order a smaller cake and add custards, store-bought mini cupcakes from your favorite baker, Cannolis, donuts, really anything goes.  You can even add candy to make the table design pop and a little more fun.  Gumballs and sixlets are now available for weddings in wedding colors.  There is no limit to what you can do.
  2. Sunshine cakeShare your vows. I made a cake for a little girl whose mom sings “You are my Sunshine” to her.  So we put the words to the song on the cake to go along with her Sunshine cake theme.  Why not add your vows to your cake?  It can be the bottom border of the tiers like this one.
  3. Go crazy with his groom’s cake. Get him the perfect groom’s cake. Republican Grooms cake
    A carved cake of a football or a dog, or your groom sitting on a boat with the dogs or his favorite beer.  Have fun with this cake and present it to your groom to show that this day is not all about you :-) Even for that groom who spends his day watching the news, you can still be creative. We made this groom’s cake for Brian, who is seriously into politics.  Can you tell?

There are all kinds of things that you can do.  Ask your bride’s maids for some ideas and cook up a different kind of wedding that everyone will remember.  Or call us and we will gladly help you come up with something spectacular.

Cake Bloopers

So every good movie has good bloopers.  Well, we have our own cake bloopers too.  We’ve been lucky that they have been minimal and each one is a learning experience that we enhance on the next time.  But here is a good one just recently.

I successfully completed a Mickey Mouse cake last weekend and was really proud of it.  Mickey looked great, the cake looked really nice, delivery went smooth.  After delivery, I proceeded to text my sister a picture of the cake.  She had only seen the completed Mickey figure before and commented on how nice it was.

Her response to my photo text? “Umm, did you mean to leave out the [h] in Birthday?”

Misspelled Birt-day

I almost fell over.  How could I (and everyone else) have missed that?  I fret over every detail and I misspelled Birthday?  I carried it on my lap in the car for 20 minutes and never even noticed.

Well, I called the client and let her know and asked if I could stop by again to fix it.  Luckily, I used shortening as the glue for the letters on the board so the black did not bleed through and I was able to easily reposition the “day” and insert the “h”.

But it’s a good lesson to be learned – Cake spellcheck anyone?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Quick Chocolate Ganache/Mousse Recipe

Need a quick Chocolate Ganache or Chocolate Mousse recipe?  This recipe is quick and delicious and works every time!

Chocolate Ganache

This recipe is great as a mousse filling or to pour over cake as a decorative Ganache.  The mousse filling is light and creamy but sturdy enough to fill a cake with.

Purchase the best chocolate you can afford.  I use Ghirardelli Chocolate chips from the local supermarket.  I’ve used White, Bittersweet and Milk chocolate and it’s great each tie.

Ingredients

  • 8oz of bittersweet chocolate (or choc. of choice)
  • 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream

Instructions

In food processor chop chocolate finely. Heat cream for 1 min 30 sec in microwave. Pour into chocolate and blend in processor until smooth.  For ganache, just pour onto cake while still liquid.

For Mousse Filling, refridgerate for a few hours (I like 2+ hours or overnight) and then beat at high speed until light and fluffy.

– recipe from user on Cake Central

Take my Poll

I am quite interested in knowing what cake flavor most people like.  Vote on your favorite cake flavor.

Best Tool for your Mixer

One of my favorite cake tools is the Beater Blade.  I discovered this some months ago and now I have two.  One for my KitchenAid 5-quart mixer and one for my 6-quart Pro.

This beater blade scrapes the bowl as it thoroughly mixes the batter. It claims to cut your mixing time in half.  I don’t know about that but it’s probably because I don’t remember what it was like to use my other blades ;-) I had to constantly scrape the bowl during the mixing to make sure I got it all mixed.

I don’t have to worry about scraping the sides of the bowl and the design causes the batter to mix really well.  I use it for everything – cake batters, fillings, butter cream and gum paste.  It’s durable and easy to wash.  I often just spray with hot water to clean but on occasion will throw it in the dishwasher and it does fine.

The one thing it does do is that little bits of batter do get stuck in the wedges between the rubber sides and the plastic.  It’s not a big deal, it’s just annoying to me because I don’t like to see it there.  I usually just scrape it off and combine it into the batter but it’s such a small amount that you could ignore it.  Other than that, I love this thing and use it many times when I am making my cakes.

They come in different colors and different models. Beater Blade makes them for Cuisinart, DeLonghi and Viking mixers.  Amazon has them for about $20 – $30.

Click here to view the different options on Amazon. The ratings are 4 plus stars for most.

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