You get what you pay for!
When it comes to special occasions, cake is often a centerpiece of celebration. Whether it's a birthday, wedding, or graduation, cake plays an important role in bringing people together and creating lasting memories. While store-bought cakes can be convenient, there are a number of reasons why choosing a custom cake maker is a better choice.
Cheap cake isn't good, Good cake isn't cheap
When was the last time you went to a celebration without a cake? Was the cake memorable? Everyone can recall at least one event where the cake stood out. Maybe it was a great design, or perhaps it tasted great and you went back for more. I distinctly remember a special barbie doll cake that my mom had made for me when I was only 6 or 7. You know the cake with the barbie in the center and her dress is the body of the cake. I can see it clearly still. Her dress was minty green and she was beautiful. It made me feel so special. So much so, I wouldn’t let my mom cut it. It was perfect.
Now think about the impression that cake left on me. I'm still talking about it 40 years later. I can honestly say, there has never been a store bought cake that I can recall past the first 30 seconds of eating it.
In this blog, I wanted to talk about some of the objections folks may have when considering a custom cake and provide a response. I’m a cake maker, so of course I am partial to the argument for a custom cake. But to be honest, the biggest reason I became a baker and create custom confections was out of frustration with wasted calories. I don’t eat a lot of sweets believe it or not. So when I do, I choose wisely. We are all guilty of eating with our eyes. Being drawn into a decadent looking treat. I too have done this! Only to be greatly disappointed when what followed fell short of my expectations. If I’m going to partake, it better be worth it. I crave the whole experience. A stunning design followed by great texture and taste. And now I want that for you too. Because once you have great cake, everything else fades in comparison. So let's jump in…
The cost of a custom cake is too high and does not fit within their budget. They feel like they can make a cake themselves or find a cheaper alternative, such as cupcakes or dessert bars.
Everyone's perception of value is different. What is your goal for this celebration? Are you looking to wow guests, or have a moving response from a loved one? Is your budget realistic? I often ask what you would be willing to pay a hairdresser or mechanic? Time is valuable and asking a cake artist to create a unique and delicious design is no exception. You may be able to create a cake or cupcakes yourself but by the time you purchase all the ingredients, including tools to decorate a cake, a cake board, sprinkles, etc… and then the frustration of executing a design, what will your total spend be? Will you be able to deliver an end product that meets the goal of your celebration?
A Cake maker will usually be able to offer several options of various prices, to allow you to choose which would better suit your budget. If you ask for the moon and then realize you are out of your league, revise your ask. A professional cake maker can provide alternate designs that would still reach your goal but be more budget friendly.
They do not see the value in spending extra money on a custom cake compared to a store-bought cake. Not having a specific occasion or event to justify the purchase of a custom cake
Everyone’s palate is different. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. If you have never had a great custom cake, you don’t appreciate the difference. Some folks would rather have a burger from Mcdonalds than a steak at a great steakhouse. Personally, I will splurge if the steak will make my eyes roll back in my head.
The value lies in a unique and personalized cake that will stand out and make their event or occasion more memorable
I like to think of everything as an occasion to celebrate. Life is short. I don’t want to look back and wish I had celebrated more. You don’t need an occasion, make one.
Concerns about the quality of the cake and whether it will meet their expectations. Fear that the cake will not arrive in good condition, particularly for long-distance or delivery orders
What do others have to say? Ask for referrals or check websites and social media for testimonials. Share your fears and allow the cake maker to provide you with their assurances.
Cake tastings are great ways to try the cake without a big investment.
Lack of trust in cake makers, especially if they have had a bad experience in the past. Difficulty finding a reliable cake maker who can deliver on time and meet their needs
Trust is important in any cake maker/customer relationship. Ask questions. Look at their portfolios. What are their policies? If you have concerns, share them. Allow the cake maker to build a relationship with you to put your concerns at ease. If communication is difficult or you don’t feel comfortable, you may want to look elsewhere.
Fear of not being able to find a cake maker who can bring their specific design or theme to life. Difficulty communicating their vision and ideas to the cake maker, leading to misunderstandings and disappointment
Every cake maker is different. We all have different strengths and weaknesses or preferences. Some have a very specific aesthetic. Cake making is not one size fits all. Look at their work. What attracts you to them? For example, I don’t do fondant designs. I'm team buttercream. If you send me inspiration photos that are all fondant designs, I will tell you that I would be happy to use your inspiration and create a buttercream design but I won’t be able to meet your expectations if you are committed to a fondant design.
Be clear with what you are looking for, or be open and flexible to hear what might be possible. Have inspiration available but know that most cake makers will not reproduce someone else's work. Cake is art and cake makers are artists who enjoy creating unique and new designs.
Communication with your cake artist should be easy. A cake artist can send sketches of design ideas or be able to express what they are thinking for your cake.
Limited flavor options, especially for dietary restrictions or preferences
If you have dietary restrictions or preferences, tell your cake maker. They can typically make suggestions for the cake or an alternate dessert.
Time: Ordering a custom cake may require more planning and lead time than simply picking up a cake from the store. Limited availability of cake makers, making it hard to secure a slot for a custom cake order
Plan ahead. It does take some organization to order a custom cake. Lucky for you, birthdays happen at the same time every year! Wink, wink. If you know a cake maker that you would like to use, give lots of notice. Even if you don’t have all the details, like flavor and final design, start a save the date conversation, and avoid disappointment.
Confusion about cake sizes and how many servings they need, leading to ordering too much or too little cake
Most cake makers have suggested servings listed with cake size to help. If in doubt, ask. A professional cake maker will be able to easily tell you what size you would need.
Pressure to create a cake that is unique and stands out from others, leading to added stress and anxiety
This is the moment cake artists live for. We will take on the challenge of creating a cake that wows. Tell us everything. Colors, hobbies, likes/dislikes, the more the better. Then let go, we got this. A cake artist will deliver Creative and innovative cake designs that push the boundaries and bring their vision to life
After making cakes now for several years. I have summarized the biggest pain points I hear from customers in the market for a cake and where I see the biggest differences in store bought vs custom. This informs my business and helps me serve my customers better.
Lack of Personalization: Store-bought cakes are typically mass-produced and lack the personal touch that comes with a custom cake. They may not reflect the recipient's personality or interests.
Limited Options: Most stores only offer a limited selection of cake flavors and designs, which may not satisfy the customer's preferences.
Quality Concerns: Store-bought cakes often contain preservatives and other additives to extend their shelf life, which can compromise their taste and texture.
Personalization: Custom cake makers can create cakes that reflect the recipient's personality and interests, making them a more meaningful and memorable gift.
Greater Options: Custom cake makers can offer a wide variety of flavors and designs, allowing customers to create a cake that perfectly suits their tastes and preferences.
Quality: Custom cake makers typically use high-quality, fresh ingredients to create their cakes, resulting in a superior taste and texture compared to store-bought cakes.
Time Management: While ordering a custom cake may require more planning, custom cake makers can work with customers to create a timeline that meets their needs. Convenience and ease of having a custom cake made and delivered, saving them time and hassle.
In conclusion, choosing a custom cake maker offers numerous benefits over store-bought cakes. From personalization and greater options to quality and cost-effectiveness, custom cakes are the perfect choice for anyone who wants to make their special occasion truly memorable. So, the next time you're in the market for a cake, consider choosing a custom cake maker for a cake that is truly unique and delicious. And remember you will be showing support for a small, local business and the satisfaction of knowing you are helping to sustain a passionate craftsperson.