Ordering a large celebration cake isn't something that most people do every day, so the process can be somewhat daunting. Here are the most common questions that my clients ask me during their initial phone call or design meeting. This information may help you feel more comfortable about the process before you call. Of course, we'll have plenty of time to discuss this information and address any more questions you may have during our design discussion.
Please order in advance
Since weddings and other major events are often reserved months in advance, the best way to ensure you will be able to order a cake from Crown Jewel Cakes is to call or email as soon as you know the date. The design needs to be completed at least 8 weeks in advance to allow time for ordering special ingredients/equipment and to complete complex sugar work that can require weeks of design or drying time. If you happen to hear about Crown Jewel Cakes only a few weeks before your party, give me a call and I'll do my best to squeeze you in.
Almost anything can be an inspiration for a cake. Often clients bring photos of cakes they particularly like and we go from there. Brides.com, WeddingWire.com and Google Images have thousands of photos of cakes to get you started. Sometimes clients bring invitations or color schemes or favorite objects from home. Family stories or hobbies are great starting points for a design. If you haven't got any ideas, don't worry. I have a collection of cake photos that we can use as a starting point, plus I have ideas for unique cake designs in my head that are just waiting for the right occasion.
Fondant vs buttercream
A luscious italian meringue buttercream covered cake is a joy to look at and is beautifully smooth when iced properly. But for some cake designs, the ultra smooth alabaster surface of fondant is necessary to achieve the desired look and to serve as a base for complex or hand painted decorations. Most of my clients end up selecting designs that are best done with fondant. Fondant has earned a bad reputation as most commonly available fondant is of poor quality, with a dry cracked surface and a less than pleasing taste. Crown Jewel Cakes solves this problem by using imported fondant from chocolatier AUI Swiss. It rolls and smooths beautifully and has by far the best flavor. Each cake is iced with buttercream before being covered with fondant, so you get the best of both worlds. If you're concerned about the fondant, please tell me and I can give you a sample to taste.
The price for your cake will vary greatly depending on complexity of design (how many hours it will take to decorate), ingredients and cost of decorations such as fresh or sugar flowers. As a rule of thumb, most cakes cost between $4.00 - $6.00 per serving. A simple buttercream covered wedding cake with a bit of ribbon and a few fresh flowers will be on the low end of this range. A fondant covered cake with three layers of cake per tier, detailed decoration or showers of flowers will be on the higher end. A custom carved or shaped cake, such as a musical instrument or baseball stadium, may require several more hours to research, design and decorate causing the cost to rise significantly.
Almost all cakes are delivered to ensure the safe arrival of the cake and lowest possible stress for the client. However, some clients are very comfortable picking up their own cakes and enlisting family and friends to place the cake on the cake table. Several clients have needed to take their cakes out of state and have driven as long as 10 hours with a cake snugly settled in their SUV. Although I recommend delivery if you have a choice, I will happily help you pack a cake as securely as possible in your vehicle, provided that the vehicle has an extremely flat surface in the cargo area. Delivery charges are very small for local delivery but will rise as the distance increases from Unionville, PA.
Minimum order size
The minimum order size is $200. For most cakes, this starting price will accommodate 50 or more servings. Some small but very complex cakes, like the Louis Vuitton Multicolore Handbag cake, have fewer servings but are still priced at $200 or above due to the complexity of the design.
Contracting and payment
The first step is to agree upon the size, design and flavors of your cake. Once all these elements are settled, I will develop a quote and send it to you by email and also send a contract by postal mail. A quick acceptance of the quote via email allows me to tentatively hold the date. Returning the signed contract and a 50% down payment will officially reserve the date. Approximately 2 weeks before your event, I will contact you to confirm the number of servings and size of the cake. At that time, please send a check for the remaining balance. The receipt can either be mailed to you or delivered with the cake.
Crown Jewel Cakes by Rebecca King - Unionville, Pennsylvania