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Ordering Your Cake - Sweet Perfection!
by Erin Chrapaty

A beautiful cake is a cherished part of any celebration. Whether to commemorate your wedding vows or to honor the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, some solid planning is sure to give your event the dessert it deserves.

The first step to serving a fabulous cake is to select a fabulous bakery. Seek recommendations from others. If you loved the cake at the last event you attended, get the name of the bakery. Ask your friends, and of course seek the advice of any event planner you have hired. Once you have narrowed your search to a few good leads, go online or in store to view cake books. Decide on one or two bakeries to make tasting appointments, and let the sugar rush begin!

It is best to complete the order for your cake at least three to six months in advance of your celebration date. Not only is waiting longer poor etiquette, it will damage your chances of a serving a quality cake (or any cake at all!). Be sure to arrange a follow-up conversation with your selected bakery to take place a few weeks before the big occasion to make any size adjustments. When placing the initial order, estimate your guest count as, to of invitees. Be sure to consider whether or not you've invited your guests +1, and count on more local folks than out-of-towners attending.

Next you must determine the appearance and flavor of your dream dessert. Most bakeries will work with you to fill out a detailed ordering form, but one way or another, be sure to record all instructions IN WRITING. You will have to make decisions about the style and shape of your cake and the number of tiers, if it is for a wedding. Some popular flavor choices include chocolate, lemon, carrot and "white" cake. You may add sophistication to your selection with a filling such as fruit, custard, or chocolate. If creating a tier cake, you may want to alternate flavors, or make each tier different.

There are an infinite number of design possibilities to hone the look and style of your cake. Gather ideas from pictures you find online or in magazines, and from your bakery's cake books. Make sure to have the pics with you when meeting with your bakery. Don't forget to consider cake toppers and the color or style of the columns holding up each tier, if applicable. If topping your cake with fresh flowers, be sure to arrange communication between your florist and your bakery.

It is important to begin thinking about the kind of cake you would like to serve as soon as possible. Proper planning and close attention to detail will make the most of this sweet memory.

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