Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Fake Cake Myth

It is a popular misconception with wedding cakes, that having a fake cake made of styrofoam (also known as a dummy cake) and *sheet cakes to feed your guests will save you money. (*As a side note, here at Dessert Works we call the concept most people are referring to as a sheet cake a back-up cake. Most people think of a sheet cake as a rectangular cake with frosting. Our back-up cakes are most often round, and are the same 3 layers of cake, 2 layers of mousse filling and authentic buttercream frosting that our tiered cakes are make of. They simply aren't decorated or put on display. They are behind-the-scenes so that you have enough cake to feed all of your guests, but no one sees them.) Today for Sundays with the Chef we're addressing the misconception of the dummy wedding cake with a big healthy dose of reality!

Is a plain, undecorated back-up cake less expensive than a tiered cake? Yes, it probably is. However, what most people do not factor in is the fact that the majority of the cost of a tiered cake is in the time spent decorating, the materials used to decorate, and the skill and experience of the person doing the decorating.

So let's imagine you have 200 guests coming to your wedding. You want a 5 tier, extravagant dummy cake plus enough cake to feed all 200 of your guests. Would that dummy cake alone be less expensive than the same cake made of real cake? Yes (but still not as much less as you might think). But now add in the back-up cakes. If you think about your total cost in terms of the time spent baking the back-up cakes, materials and ingredients (both for the edible and inedible cakes), and decorating of the dummy cake, it will end up costing you more money to have this dummy cake created in addition to the real cake to feed your guests, than it would have been to just create the wedding cake out of actual cake!

Makes sense right? More time + more materials = more cost!

If you're really on a tight budget, and can't afford that extravagant 5 tier cake that you've been dreaming of, that doesn't mean you're out of options. Instead of thinking fake cake plus back-up cakes (more materials + more time = more cost), think smaller tiered cake and back-up cakes! If you have a 3 tier cake to feed 100 people created in a smaller scale version of that 5 tier cake you're dreaming of and back-up cakes to feed your remaining 100 guests, THEN you're saving money! Think about it compared to our first scenario... There's no extra materials like styrofoam, in fact you're using less to actually decorate the cake that will be on display because it's smaller. You also need fewer back-up cakes because you've used real cake for the cake that will be on display. VIOLA!

Now, this certainly works with a scenario of 200 guests. But keep in mind that the fewer guests you have, the less money you will save by taking this route. If you have 120 guests, the difference between a 3 tier cake for 100 with a back-up cake for 20 and a tiered cake for the all 120 guests in minimal, if anything.

So there you have it - the dummy cake myth - BUSTED!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bass Groom's Cake

Today's Featured Friday cake is the perfect groom's cake or birthday cake for the bass fisherman in your life!
This cake was cut by hand into the shape of the bass, then decorated with rolled chocolate and hand painted accents.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Afterglow Photos

We love when photographers share their photos of our wedding cakes with us! Afterglow Photos was kind enough to share these photos of Karen & Rich's wedding cake at the Milton Hoosic Club.

Such beautiful photos! Their cake was frosted in vanilla buttercream frosting and had our champagne dot design in white on the sides. It was topped with a bouquet of rolled chocolate flowers.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tiered Princess Cake

Princess cakes are a popular birthday cake for little girls. So today's Featured Friday cake is a tiered Princess and the Frog cake.

The princess' dress is an unfilled cake that can either be vanilla, chocolate or marble cake. The cake below can be any of our cake flavors, and the pond scene was created out of buttercream.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Swiss Dot

Amy and Scott were married in September and had their wedding reception at The Warren Center.
Their wedding cake was frosted in vanilla buttercream frosting, had a fabric ribbon around the bottom of the tiers, and our swiss dot design above the ribbon. The couple's monogram was also written in buttercream on the middle tier, and the cake was then finished with fresh flowers on the top and sides.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rolled Chocolate vs Edible Image

When creating a custom cake based on a particular image or invitation, there are two different techniques we can use. Today for Sundays with the Chef, we are showing you examples of both techniques so that you can see the difference.

The first way we can go about this is to create the image by hand out of rolled chocolate. We call this technique rolled chocolate applique.
On the cake above, the scene itself is created out of buttercream. The children in Halloween costumes were then created by hand, out of rolled chocolate and the details were added by hand in buttercream.

The other way would be to use an edible image. The exact image is scanned into a machine and printed out with edible ink, on edible paper. The images are then cut out and applied to a rolled chocolate backing.
You can see on the cake above that the same background scene was created out of buttercream on the cake. The edible images were then added to the scene.

So the next time you have a specific image you want added to a cake, you know the difference between your 2 options when we tell you we can use rolled chocolate applique or an edible image.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Today's Featured Friday cake was actually a wedding cake and it has a very special story behind it! Julia & Nigel were married on October 29th. Since this was a second marriage for both of them, they decided that the wedding would be all about them. They got married on a Friday afternoon, and they shared a wedding lunch of this cake and a bottle of champagne!

You may be wondering why a bed as a wedding cake. Or maybe you have your own idea as to why...but you're probably guessing wrong. Today, we're going to let Julia explain her wedding cake to you in her own words.
"My husband and I have similar plain tastes and we are all about neutral geometrics in our interior choices. As much as we talk about getting a bright and exciting bedding we always end up with a black-grey-off-white checkerboard pattern. So we now literally have a few matching sets of bedding that look like the cake you've made...I actually sent you a picture of the very bedding set from Ikea we've been addicted to for the past 3 years... We laugh about it and yet we cannot help ourselves...
This cake is what we are all about...our love for chocolate and simplicity!
We go to bed every night, look at our ever so consistent bedding and think back to our wedding day..."
Congratulations Julia & Nigel and thank you for letting us create your special and unique wedding cake!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bird's Eye View!

All the wedding cakes we show you are from the side. While that is best for viewing the overall design of the cake, we think this cake is just as pretty when the view is from the top!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The cow jumped over the moon

"Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such sport,
And the fork ran away with the Spoon."

This classic English nursery rhyme was the perfect inspiration for this baby shower cake.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Display Cake

By now, we hope you know that we're temporarily closed because we're MOVING! But even though the retail store is closed, the blog posts will still be here!

Today's Weddings Wednesday cake is actually a dummy cake. The chef often creates new display cakes when she is inspired or so that we can rotate cakes and always keep the displays looking fresh and new.

This new cake features rolled chocolate swags and bows with a hand-painted pearl finish, as well as some sparkly cake jewelry in the center of the bows!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Happy New Year!

If you haven't heard yet, we're getting a fresh new start to 2011 by MOVING! We closed our doors for the last time at our Norwood location on December 31st. We are now in the process of moving all of our equipment to our new location at 302 Providence Highway in Westwood (Lambert's Plaza).

We will be closed at our new Westwood location until everything has been moved and gets set up. We anticipate being open by the 15th, but please watch our website for our official Grand Re-Opening date! Then please stop by to check out our new store!

Wishing you all the best in 2011!
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