Whether you are hosting a birthday party or need to order a custom cake for your wedding, you will probably order one from a local bakery. You may be overwhelmed with all of the choices in supermarkets or with ideas spread across the internet. Speaking with a professional bakery is the first step in getting the custom cake that fits your needs and budget. The following are five tips you should remember when you order a custom cake from a bakery.

1) Provide as much information as possible
When you call a bakery or speak with a baker in person, it is important to let them know exactly what you are looking for, so you need to have a clear idea of what you want. Do your research beforehand. You can start by providing a general theme or idea for your cake, then move on to details like flavor and colors. You must also let the baker know the due date for your cake and how many guests will be at the event. This is the time to provide pictures and other references as well. Asking to schedule a tasting is a sure fire way of getting something you will love if you are not familiar with that bakery or unsure about the flavors.

2) Understand that your cake will take time
If you have been watching TV shows where these awesome creations are crafted in half an hour, understand this is not so! Custom cakes, even small ones, take time and care to create. If you call a bakery the day before your event, you will not be able to get your dessert. Even cakes designed for only a few people take time to plan, bake, and decorate. It is best to call the bakery you have chosen to ask them about when you should order. If you plan on ordering a custom cake around a holiday, be sure to allow them extra time. The more time a baker has to make your custom cake, the better it will turn out.

3) Set a realistic budget for your custom cake
If your only experience with decorated or custom cakes has been from a grocery store, do not look at their prices to create a good budget. Most cakes at these establishments are mass produced by bakers who must also bake breads, cookies, and other foods for the store, and items are expected to have a specific “shelf life”, so many artificial, more “stable” ingredients like lard, instead of butter are used. They are also penny conscious and might not use the best quality ingredients. Cake shops specialize in Cakes. Your cake will be baked for you and not expected to last a week on a shelf. These Bakers will be able to focus on your cake the way a professional bakery should.

4) Many things will affect the total cost of your cake
Some bakeries will tell you their general prices online, but this may not be the best way to budget for your dessert either. Remember, your custom cake will be designed specifically for you, so you may not get a final price until after you speak with a baker. Many things will affect the total cost of your cake, including size, garnishes, design style, and the time it takes to make the dessert. Create a list before contacting a bakery and show it the baker so they can give you an idea of what you might pay. If you have picked a complicated design, expect to pay money! I find many people have high expectations on poor budgets. Be realistic!

5) Make sure the cake is transported and stored properly
This tip will help you after you have purchased your custom cake, but it is still important to know beforehand. Whether you are picking up your dessert or having it delivered from the bakery, remember that patience is key. Moving a cake, especially one that is tall or elaborate, takes special care and can take some time. Be sure that you have prepared to take that time when your custom cake is ready, have space in your car for it and proper, sometimes temperature specific storage for it at home or the venue where the event will take place. Make sure to ask your baker for proper handling and storage instructions and follow them please! Many of these creations are a substantial investment.

Happy Ordering!