Monday, July 7, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake (of their choice)

My Grandma sold her house right next to mine and moved away from me when I was about 7 years old and I was very sad....until I learned that the new woman next door was a baker. A baker of cakes, cookies, caramels, toffees, and every other kind of dessert you can imagine. So while I was crying about missing my Grandma I could stuff my face with homemade almond rocas.

Every Christmas since that time (even though we don't live next to them anymore) she has brought over a huge tin of 6 or 7 different varieties of cookies. Even better, for every birthday she brought over a huge german chocolate sheet cake. Every time it was german chocolate cake, and every time we stuffed our faces for days. Once when I was moving back to college I had her make me one for the drive, and I kept it in the freezer and ate it for weeks. The cake itself became freezer burnt and nasty, but I couldn't resist picking the frosting off of a little (okay huge) piece each night.

This image is from flickr, but this is how big the cake was, and we only have 4 people in my family!

I was so sad to learn last week that she is having knee surgery in mid-September and will be unable to create her german chocolate masterpiece for our closest friends and family. This means I have to go back to the drawing board in terms of finding someone to fulfill my cake vision.

I am looking for this:

Photo by the always fabulous Punam Bean

But all I can seem to find is bakers who want to create this (charge me $6+/slice for it):

Cake by Pink Cake Box

Let's be honest here, the collection of cakes look much more delicious than the stiff looking (albeit pretty) fondant version. If you disagree, I challenge you to a bakeoff. I will make some buttercream delights, you have to come up with something covered in icky fondant. I want to do a cake buffet of 6 or 7 different options and let guests come up and decide which flavor they want. I wonder if we can get away with cutting a slice out of every kind.....

Finding vendors on the internet has been really easy up until this point. Finding bakers who make fondant, tiered masterpieces is also easy but I don't want to pay for that. I am looking for the neighborhood bakery that everyone talks about and those neighborhood bakeries don't tend to have websites.

After all, this is all I want to see on my wedding day:

Photo by Kate McElwee


emahlee said...

I agree! buttercream cakes can look just as pretty as shiny (stiff) fondant cakes and taste a million times better. I'm opting for a buttercream icing.

p.s. congrats on entering the hive! I like your posts!

Blablover5 said...

Is there any chance you can get a wedding cake but not call it a wedding cake? Especially for something really different like a german chocolate cake.

I second buttercream too, fondant tastes wrong.

Etiquettely Correct said...

My baker is a friend of a friend - he works out of his home. Have you tried craigslist? I think cakes have just gotten too expensive.

Guilty Secret said...

I want our wedding cake to look more delicious than beautiful too.

I know things are more expensive here generally, but get this... I was quoted £700 for cake for 100 people... that's $14 a slice!

My mum and aunt are going to do mine :)

style-ish said...

go to Simply Desserts in Fremont. They might not custom make it to your exact design but their cakes are DELISH!!

I was planning on using them for my Seattle wedding and probably will for my Seattle reception.

Next time you are in Seattle, go there and just get a slice of any of their cakes (they always have a variety of 8 or 9 cakes to choose from) I promise you, you will love it! One whole cake is under $40, so you could easily do the cake buffet with their cakes.

I should be ashamed to admit this but I've been there so often that I've tried almost all their cakes and have never disliked any of them. I'm not a chocolate cake kind of girl but their chocolate caramel cake is to die for. My other favorite is their Strawberry white chocolate. YUM!

p.s. I also agree about fondant. Pretty, but not so tasty.

Miss G said...

I am having a family and friends dessert buffet potluck table as part of my reception offerings. I am also going to have wedding cake and groom's cake (a tradition here in the south) but only want buttercream, NO FONDANT anywhere!!! Kelly

p.s. have you tried nicer grocery stores for some cakes like german chocolate, etc. It might be an option. I wouldn't mention they're for a wedding lest they jack up the price.

CaliOC said...

I am right with you on this one! My childhood favorite is a white cake with strawberries and creme filling and whipped cream frosting -- I found a bakery in China town that is making it for me for cheap :-)

Jo said...

Tasty cakes are always a good bet. So many people pass up on the cakes at weddings, maybe it is because they aren't that good. Go for the yummy and everyone will be happy!

Riley said...

Have you thought about going to a gourmet type of market/store (like Eatzi's or Whole Foods)?? I'm not sure that they have Whole Foods up there, but you get my point. They make really great cakes that you could probably customize. Not sure about the price though. I was fortunate enough to find a great cake-lady who's only charging me $2.25/slice. Yay!

Thanks for the link love!! I appreciate the shout out!

And LOL about your "engagement" ring! I can't believe that people were giving you the blank stares...but people are strange! If anything, it'll keep you from having to go into the whole story (unless you want to!) The ring is pretty though!! Wal-Mart - who'd a' thunk-it?? ;-)

Miss X said...

I am an anti-fondant bride as well. We are going with a cake bakery that doesn't use fondant at all, and doing centerpiece cakes. There will be four flavors total, although they will all look the same.

Keep looking for bakeries, and definitely tell them that you are looking for round cakes for your wedding...but not a "wedding cake".

Good luck!

HappyAmy said...

I agree 100%. It must be cake day bc I just added another post about cake! That german chocolate pic is making me hungry! I definitely want my cake to look borderline homemade, but still a work of art. No fondant for me if I can help it!

{Furi Kuri} Weddings said...

I love this idea! Sadly, I have no idea about bakeries on the West coast, but I don't doubt you'll be able to find some soon. I found that if you don't mention the word "wedding" prices seem to be a bit more reasonable...

Good luck with the hunt! I can't wait to see how it turns out (too bad I can't enjoy a slice!)

Also, thanks so much for the link love. I really appreciate it!

della stella said...

I love the idea of a cake buffet! And with real, tasty cakes... yum! (I'm not a big fan of fondant.)

Ty and Jenny Robbins said...

I completely agree! Fondant is horrible. I didn't want that on my cake, but I did want it to look smooth. We went with buttercream frosting on a white cake with chocolate filling.....IT WAS AMAZING!!!!! I was really sad when it was finally all gone.

Peonies and Polaroids said...

Oohh, they look delicious!

I don't like 'wedding' cakes, they look so stiff and fake. Not like cake should look.

Good luck finding a baker.

Jenna said...

blab-I think I am just going to leave the word wedding out of it. I need a cake for a party. 7 of them.
etiquettely-I have been craigslisting but I haven't had any luck so far. I am going to try out what the hive has been suggesting.
guilty-It is just wrong to think that people are paying $14/slice. There is no way cake can ever be worth that. Unless I actually lose weight by eating it.
style-ish-That bakery seems to be the winner, I can't wait to try it in 3 weeks!
calioc-Your cake sounds like it is going to be amazing!