Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cake for me!

I've been putting off looking for a baker for our cake, for a variety of reasons. First, I just knew it was going to be expensive -- I had checked out a couple local bakers who put prices on their website and I just couldn't stomach it. $3+/slice? It just seems ridiculous when the slices are so small and you can buy a whole box of cake mix for less than $2. (I'm aware that $3/slice is pretty standard for wedding cake, at least in this area, and I can only count my blessings that I'm not getting married in New York.)

(It's probably pretty clear, but I'm not a cake snob. My favorite cake is any sort of from-a-box chocolate cake. No icing.)

Plus, since Eric no longer lives here in Louisville, it would be so depressing to go to all of these cake consultations by myself, and just not fair for me to get to taste the cake without him. Delicious, but not fair.

But this weekend, with the calendar ticking away before my eyes, I got serious and started the research end of things. I made a list of as many bakeries as I could find in town, and made a few phone calls. It turns out a lot of bakeries are closed on Mondays, which I didn't know. Anyway, I ended up with an appointment for two days from now for a consultation and tasting, and I just figure that if everything works out OK price-wise and initial tasting-wise, I can always bring Eric back the next time he visits for a confirmatory tasting.

I called another bakery who gave me a price quote over the phone, and I asked about the often-mentioned strategy of having a small display cake and sheet cake to make up the difference. It turns out this is pretty economical, so I was excited and invigorated to do more cake searching.

Then I spent the rest of the evening pulling together pictures of cakes to send to Eric, in order to get his opinions on decorations, before I go to these consultations. It just wouldn't be nice of me to order a big purple cake covered in pink sugar flowers, you know? I'll share my inspiration photos with you later.

But today, when I was out running errands, I drove by one of the more well-known bakeries in town. I decided to pop in and see if they could just give me information -- I wasn't expecting to taste cake or anything like that. And the consultant was nice enough to sit down with me and write up a quote for me on the spot. This bakery doesn't price by the slice; instead, they start with the appropriately sized basic yellow cake with white icing and standard, unfancy decoration, and go up from there for colors, flavors, fillings, etc. But still, their quote was very reasonable, especially with the small-cake-plus-sheet-cake strategy, and I started to warm up to the whole cake thing.

And the best part? She offered to give me some cake to go! "Just a second and I'll ice a couple pieces for you. Just tell me what flavors you'd like."

And so I left Plehn's Bakery with a yellow cupcake and a piece of strawberry cake.

Mmmmm. The yellow cupcake was really really really really good. Light and moist. The icing was pretty standard buttercream -- I don't really like icing, so I scraped it off, but it tasted like good buttercream. I ate it for -- I mean, in addition to -- my lunch, because it was lunchtime. (Seriously, I stopped at Whole Foods and picked my way through the store sampling the freebies, pondered for a long time over the prepared foods bar, and settled on some sushi. After I ate the cupcake.) I had the strawberry cake just a little while ago, eating it in front of the webcam for Eric to see (and envy), and it was pretty good. It wasn't particularly strawberry-y, and it wasn't quite as moist as the yellow, but that might be because it sat in the box all day, I'm not sure. Still very good cake, don't get me wrong.

So, depressing single consultations and unfair solo tastings? Who cares! I'm going to keep tasting as much cake as I can! Who knew there were all these perks to planning a wedding? This might have to become a habit of ours in the years to come.... ;)


Blablover5 said...

We had to try 6 different types of cake in one sitting.

After that I didn't want cake til our wedding (of course I was foiled at a shower but oh well).

Doing just one or two definetly seems the way to go.

Lauren said...

Our cake was ridiculously easy - it came with our package so price wasn't an issue for us, other than not getting an upgraded cake we'd have to pay extra for (We ended up splurging and paying $10 for a monogram on the cake). The best part was the tasting - they give you one free and the other two were $4 each. What a ripoff - until we saw that a single tasting was an entire six inch cake. We ate cake for days!

Are you going to keep your top? We decided to eat it right away while it was fresh, and agreed to just buy a new one from the same bakery for our anniversary next year. Of course, we didn't go on our honeymoon right away so we were home to eat cake for a week.

hwong14 said...

I doubt we're going to keep our top. We're leaving for our honeymoon a day later, and then when we get back, we're packing up the apartment and moving (cross your fingers!!) to Philly. I don't think we're going to want to deal with a frozen cake topper through all of that -- I already have an eye on the crap in our freezer that I need to make plans to use up in the next 4 months. We'll get another cake, from another bakery, for our anniversary :)