A little bit of back story to this one. I have a customer whose daughter is getting married and contacted me about her cake for the wedding. I told her I don't normally do wedding cakes unless they're for small weddings. I have a full time job and I am a legal cottage food operator but I am a one woman show so big cakes are really hard for me. So of course my first question to her was how many guests. She said about 200 people. I immediately wrote her back and told her I wasn't really equipped to handle a cake of that size. Largest cake I've done to date was actually for her dad's company. (Barcode cake in my pics). Anyway she wrote back what about a smaller cake and cupcakes. I was so thrilled. I can knock cupcakes out in no time while the wedding cake is settling etc.
So today we have the tasting ...my "first official" wedding tasting at that. And it's very clear to me that she really wants the big show piece cake. So my real question is this. I feel like I could do a 3 tier cake and 2 smaller 2 tiered cakes. Based on weight, stacking logistics and over all experience, I just feel more comfortable doing it this way. But the real question is am I being dumb. Is making 4 smaller tiers better than making 2 larger tiers.
I'm also debating doing the bottom two tiers as dummies and kitchen cakes to make up the difference.
I just really need some feedback. Am I being a big chicken or should I just stay within my comfort zone? FYI, I use SPS so I'm not worried about stability. Due to weight etc I will definately be stacking most of it on site.
Oh and I should mention the design is super simple.
...Is making 4 smaller tiers better than making 2 larger tiers...I'm also debating doing the bottom two tiers as dummies and kitchen cakes to make up the difference.....
My experience is it is easier to 'handle' smaller cakes but.....much easier/faster to decorate larger ones.
See, one handles smaller cakes - especially cupcakes - more often. If I remember right one handles a cupcake something like 4 or 5 times in the course of baking, icing, decorating whereas only 2 or 3 times for lgr cakes.
Making dummies might help as they can be done farther in advance. If you/she insists on a show piece cake....it could be 3 smaller cakes placed on a board in triangle fashion (dummies?) w/a lgr tier or 2 on top. (don't remember if I have a pic of this type of arrancement in my pix or not.)
I understand your concerns, I'm the same! But having a look at your pics, I think you can do it! I would opt for the one larger cake in your situation. Your stacking is great, your decorating is great. Like the above poster said, making A larger cake is much easier and faster = less stress.
But you only can decide on what you can do. They seem like good customers.
Thanks. I think I'm really chickening out here. My husband has promised to help me with transportation and lifting and the design is really straight forward which makes the larger tiers really a lot less work. I'm still debating kitchen cakes to make up for the two bottom tiers if I use dummies. I guess I just need to decide and email her a quote. And Addictive Desserts, thank you for the kind words. It actually helps because we doubt ourselves so much in these situations.
I attached the pics of my tasting table setup. I did have a cake book in the middle not pictured. I made 4, 4 inch cakes and filling options are in the blue ramikens in the middle. It was a good experience to do a more formal tasting since weddings aren't my thing.
Yes we do doubt ourselves sometimes. But it's always better than being over confidant and not delivering.
Your setup is very nice, I think they will be happy!
Would love to see pics of the finished cake!
You could do a three tier and then a couple satellite cakes like the one in my photo gallery (green and purple). If I remember correctly this one served about 190.
Go with the bigger cake. I recently did my first four tier cake and had no issue. If you've got your support and muscle covered, you're golden. You can do it!!!
I think that your idea of 2 tier and 3 tier cakes is fine. You know best how you can handle sizes after working fulltime somewhere else (a significant consideration). It's better to make something modest and perfect than to have a disaster.
You need to ask the bride about who will be cutting and serving the cakes. Smaller tiers will cut faster if you are not a real catering pro.
My first cake before I even completed the Wilton class was a four tier cake. I didn't even know about Cake Central. I learned from the web and it was fine, even the transport.
I am not a decorator at all. I am a baker forced into decorating. So if I can do it, anyone with talent and a good stacking system will be fine.
That first cake was for a family member, so that took some of the fear out.
You will be fine with the big cake. They really do take less time.