Often we'll hear "I've never ordered a big cake before."
No Problem! It's easy and should be fun!
What you need to know and what the baker needs from you to make ordering a cake the easiest part of planning your party or event.
1 - Do your research early and contact the bakery well ahead of time.
Gather information the baker will need (listed below) as well as research any themes and example pictures you find online.
Contact the bakery EARLY. How early depends on how complex the cake is and how busy the bakery is. It's not out of the question to simply call the bakery a year ahead for a wedding and just ask how much notice they require and how far ahead to schedule a consultation. Contacting the bakery early also ensures they are available and not on vacation, etc.
2 - Information to bring with you to the consult to streamline the order taking process.
Date of event and pickup/delivery time and address.
Budget - Have this ready when you are ordering a complex custom cake. Have realistic expectations. It's impossible to scale a 5 tier cake for 400 people down to 12 servings. Don't volunteer a budget upfront but providing one early will help the baker give you the best options. The shop should be willing to give a rough estimate or price range ($50 to $100, Over $400, the average price per serving, etc.).
The number of servings needed.
- For some cakes, the servings needed doesn't apply if you are going after a style that has many more servings than guests.
- Are there going to be other desserts? Don't over-order the size of the cake if there are other desserts as part of your reception package or family is contributing desserts for your party.
- Cake style - Pictures, sketches, anything to represent your vision.
- Cake flavors and colors.
Based on that information the bakery can provide you with a range of cake options and average pricing.
3 - What you need to know from the bakery
Yield / Servings per pound. What are their recommended servings per pound and their yield? We go by 5 servings per pound. Many caterers and venues will cut our cakes to 6 servings per pound. ASK how big (heavy) the cake is expected to be. (more on this in another article)
See our servings chart for more... Cake Servings Chart
Cake dimensions - Number and dimensions of main cake/tiers (diameter AND height)
Cake box dimensions for pickup and storage - See our cake care tips page for more