This will be my 17th year working in wedding photography. I feel like in that time I’ve come to be an expert on two things: photography and cake tasting. I never leave a wedding without a slice of cake, if I can help it. One of the vendors I’ve come to love the most in The Cakewalk Shop. This mother daughter team have an artistic and delicious style that I love so much I recommend them to everyone. I asked Johanna to answer a few questions about their process for me, so I could give you the inside scoop.
What sets you apart from other Bakeries?
We combine creative vision with the reality that a wedding cake is a dessert to be eaten and needs to taste delicious. To us, that means making every filling, frosting, and cake from scratch with quality ingredients. On the design side, we’re always looking to get to know our clients and then come up with a design that is personalized for their event. Sometimes that means a simple buttercream cake adorned with fresh fruit or flowers, and sometimes that means creating a custom stencil to match an invite or pattern or custom sugar work that fits the dream perfectly.
Describe the process of designing a wedding cake from start to finish?
To start, we like to get an idea of the clients and the important design elements of their event. This requires them to do a little homework beforehand, but having examples of their colors, invitations, or flower inspirations can really get us started. We discuss with them what they’d like for an overall feel i.e. relaxed and natural, soft and romantic, or bold and glamorous, and share pictures from our portfolio to provide examples of techniques we might have used before. From there, we sketch out the design so we can all be on the same page and the client has an idea of what to expect. The final part of designing a cake comes when you are actually decorating the fully assembled cake -sometimes the parts just fit together a certain way.
What are some of the little known secrets or tricks you use?
Using a cake stand or thinking about other display options can really add to the overall look of the cake. You wouldn’t buy art and then just scotch tape it to the wall! We have an arsenal of cake stands that we been habitually collecting for years and will rent them to you for much less than the cost of a new quality cake stand. Don’t be fooled by the low prices you see at certain big-box or craft stores -they’re often more than a little wonky and can make your cake look like the leaning tower of Pisa. They can rarely support the weight of a full-size wedding cake. We have arrived at
weddings and been unable to safely place a cake on the stand they had purchased. Don’t waste your money! Most Pinterest cakes you see displayed on them are made of Styrofoam and far, far lighter.
What about wedding cakes do you love most?
The best part about our job is the opportunity to always be doing something new -we aren’t a style A or B kind of bakery. It is always so satisfying to know that at the end, we combined our talents with our clients wishes to create something special and unique. It also helps that we get to meet people at such a happy time in their lives -and that feeling spreads!
How do you handle allergies?
When it comes to allergies we always need to have a discussion with our clients to understand the extent of their needs. While we have prepared dairy/gluten/nut free cakes in the past we are not a allergen-free bakery and always want to be realistic with our clients about the possibility of cross-contamination. The wedding day is not a time they want to spend in with epi pens or the emergency room so if the allergy is severe we are happy to refer them to someone who can guarantee a safe environment. Often the solution as been to order the majority of their dessert
through us and contract with an allergy-free bakery to accommodate the smaller group -cupcakes or a ‘cake bar’ can be a great way to accomplish this!
What is the one thing you wish brides knew about wedding cakes that they often don’t understand?
When you are hiring a professional baker to make your wedding cake, you are working with artist that you choose for their quality, style and skills to create a one-off, handmade, delicious treat. If the couple is open to hearing new ideas or allowing some freedom in the design -the baker really will enjoy it and the clients often end up with an even better cake than they paid for!
Do you have any testimonials from clients I can share?
“Can we just say AMAZING and DELICIOUS!! You have to give The Cakewalk Shop a try!! The cake was beautiful and exactly what we wanted. It was simple yet elegant and matched our wedding perfectly!” – Hortencia
“We had a very simple cake in mind, though of course we knew that a simple result often takes more work to pull off than the extravagant look. The tasting was fun, and we felt we had good guidance on what would and wouldn’t work, which really helped. The end result was perfect and not only looked good, but matched the day perfectly and tasted amazing.” -Simon
“I can’t say enough good things about the cakewalk shop! They exceeded all my expectations. Booking with them was easy, my cake tasting and design planning was a relaxing and fun experience. When I saw my cake for the first time on my wedding day I jumped and squealed like a little girl. It was perfect. They followed my design to a T, nailed my colors perfectly and holy-moly was it ever delicious! The cake was so fresh and the flavors were in perfect harmony. Not to mention the sugar flowers on top were little works of art, themselves. ” -Sarah
I just want to add my endorsement to the testimonials above. Tamara and Johanna are talented people who are just as sweet at the desserts they create. They are the perfect choice for any wedding or event you might be planning!
Thanks for reading.