Friday, July 29, 2011

What's the cost of the cake I saw on TV??

Cake pricing can be such a mystery, how are you supposed to know what to expect?  What is a realistic budget as you walk into the store to order a cake?

Part of the mystery is perpetuated by the TV shows you see on Food Network and TLC.  They're so much fun to watch the cakes being created and see the drama unfold in the kitchen... but aside from that, these shows omit some really significant parts of the process: namely the time and labor and material costs that go into creating these cakes, which ultimately translate into the prices of these works of art.  No wonder you don't know what to expect!

In the industry we're a bit more knowledgeable and aware about pricing that's out there.  To put things in perspective for you, here are some points of reference--at Carlo's Bakery (Buddy Valastro's Cake Boss) a consultation costs $100, which includes cake samples and refreshments. This $100 is then deducted from the cake order total once you order.

Cake Boss's pricing for wedding and specialty cakes, with basic buttercream, starts at $8.00 per person. For more complex cake designs (things you've seen featured on TV or in a magazine), cost is closer to $12.00 to $18.00 per person. Adding unique design requests and creative artwork to the cake order then increases the price from there.


Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes (Charm City Cakes) provides the following pricing: "Wedding and tiered cakes start at $7 a serving. We find that most of our clients choose designs that start at about $15 per serving. There is a 50 serving minimum on wedding and tiered cakes.  Minimum price for 3D [and] sculptural cakes $1,000."  Delivery is priced at $175/hr.

We want to share these things with you not to discourage, but to educate you about our industry!

Here's the good news!!:  Dessert Works' 3D and sculptural cakes start at $200 (cost for a smaller 3D figurine on a standard-sized cake is even less)  Our wedding cakes start at $4 or $4.50/servingWe deliver cakes for $25/hr travel time, plus $0.50/mile (round trip). Pretty reasonable, no?  And these prices include the costs of producing our cakes fresh, made completely on-site, and with high quality ingredients.  We aim to produce cakes that taste as good as they look - the inside matters too!

Unique and specialty designs may be subject to individual pricing, but we're able to offer competitive pricing by offering "standard" designs and commonly requested themes at rates lower than completely custom cakes would be priced at.  Please call us (781-708-9088) to talk further!  We'd love to hear from you and talk about your specific cake ideas more!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Calling all 2011 Weddings!

The lazy days of summer might be in full effect, but at Dessert Works we're working hard as ever for you!  And we have a little gift to show our appreciation to our wonderful customers:

For any 2011 wedding: come in for an appointment in August,
book us at the consultation,
and we'll slash your delivery charge in half!*   
(*Up to a $50 value.) 

You can take that savings to the BANK!  Or on your honeymoon, the choice is yours :)

Call us today to schedule your tasting appointment:  we host tastings on Thursdays and Fridays from 2-5pm, Saturdays 11-5pm, and Sundays 11-1pm.

And the number to call: 781-708-9088 x208.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Criss-Cross Ribbons on Square Tiers

Laura and Chris were married in late July, 2011, and Kristen and her team at Dessert Works produced this beautiful cake for them!

The cake is frosted in our signature Vanilla Buttercream frosting (see how smooth?), with thicker fabric ribbons along the base of each tier, and thick and thin strands criss-crossing along the sides. 

We've seen this look on round tiers before, and think it translates beautifully to the square, slightly offset tiers!  Some conservative "champagne dot" bubbles were piped on (also in buttercream), and fresh flowers were placed by the florist at the Saphire Estate in Sharon, MA to complete the look.

Stunning, no??  Tell us what you think!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dessert Works does Whoopie Pies!

Our Whoopie Pies (as with most everything at Dessert Works) are baked completely on site, from scratch, completed with a traditional Whoopie Pie filling (for you WP connoisseurs out there) and are moist and delicious!

Lately we've provided them individually wrapped for your convenience, or for the perfect gift!  Come in and try for just $1.65ea.

Friday, July 22, 2011

When to Book a Wedding Cake Vendor?

The Knot says 6-8 months.
WeddingWire says 6 months. says 6 months.
When is really enough time??

To be honest: it's hard to be overly precise, since different seasons and dates are busier than others.  Spring and Summer everyone's hoping for a blue sky day, winter weddings are enchanting, and in New England with our beautiful fall foliage, autumn weddings are in high demand.

At Dessert Works, our availability is based our capacity (how many other weddings do we have on the docket for your desired date?)  Remember: we make everything fresh, and everything is made on-site.  We would never freeze a wedding cake to increase our capacity.  This means two things:
  1. You're lucky, because your cake will taste incredible! (It will literally have been made in the days leading up to your wedding).  But also:
  2. We have limited capacity!  You may be surprised by this, but we're not super-human. :) There are only so many hours in a day.  Because we're making everything in the days leading up, it's possible that we can completely book up for a weekend. Once we've reached capacity (which itself depends on the number of cakes, size of cakes, and intricacy of decor on the cakes booked to date) -- we have to black out the weekend.
6 months is generally a safe enough time that you won't encounter black-out weekends, but we can never say for certain.

Remember you do NOT need to have a cake design finalized in order to book Dessert Works!  We can make changes to your design up until 2 weeks before the wedding.  Booking us really just means your date is locked, and you can sit back and relax knowing you'll have a beautiful, delicious, fresh cake waiting to wow your guests on wedding day.

Do you have a friend with a wedding coming up?  Are they cutting it close to the wedding date?  Call the bakery at 781-708-9088 to schedule your tasting appointment!  Nothing like something sweet to take the edge of planning.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How do you cut a round cake??

We're so glad you asked!  We get this question all the time.  Smaller cakes (like a 6" round) are easier to handle, as you can just cut sections from the center (as you would cut a pie or a pizza).

But what to do with a larger cake?  You can't cut directly from the center, otherwise you'll have quite long and thin slices, which really aren't conducive for serving.  Instead: start with a concentric circle.  Depending on how long you'd like each serving of cake to be, come in with your knife from the outer edge about 3" or so, and cut a circle this distance from the outer edge (effectively creating a "ring" of the outer edge).  Then, cut ~1" wide slices all the way around your ring. 

If your center circle is small enough, feel free to go back to the standard "wedge" cut from the center to finish serving up the cake.  If your center circle is still too large, go ahead and create another concentric circle, again cut slices from the outer ring, and keep working your way until you make it to the center of the cake.

Try this technique at your next birthday, anniversary party, shower, or mitzvah -- you'll look like a true professional!
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