When it comes to wedding cakes, many brides today are searching for simplicity. Clients are asking for simple, iced cakes, beautifully and “messily” iced cakes, and even naked cakes, which is just a cake with no frosting on the outside.
“We’ve done cakes that look like tree stumps,” says Emily Riffle, owner of Indulgence Bakery.
Though a current trend in cake style centers on simple and natural, brides tend to gravitate toward unique flavors. For instance, Riffle makes a vanilla cake with a honey swirl and lavender buttercream icing that is a top seller. They also do a French toast with cinnamon butter cream that people love.
The time frame for hiring a baker depends on the season of the wedding. For instance, busy months like May or October should be booked at least six months out, while January through March can be booked just a couple of months out. Riffle encourages brides not to book much further out than that, however, because logistics, minds and numbers can change.
“Before you can deal with a bakery, you need to have your numbers, your colors and your overall feel of the wedding,” Riffle says.
She reminds her clients that selecting a bakery should be an enjoyable experience, not a stressful one.
“Cake should be one of the more fun things about a wedding, so enjoy the whole experience – tasting it, designing it and eating it at the wedding,” Riffle says.
When trying to choose a bakery, sample all the bakery locations in your area if possible.
“If you like what they do with birthdays or what they sell in the front of their store, you’re going to like the wedding cake also,” Riffle says.
When meeting with a baker, share your budget so everyone is on the same page.
“Price is always a factor when selecting a baker,” Riffle says. “We try to keep things simple as far as the cost. We don’t like to add on a bunch of stuff. What you see is what you get.”
It’s important to trust the person who is making your wedding cake, and you can do that by scheduling a tasting and talking everything through. Also take into consideration the location of your wedding and reception, because some bakeries won’t serve beyond a certain distance from their location. For instance, while Indulgence Bakery caters to clients from Indianapolis and Lafayette, they don’t deliver outside of the Kokomo area. If you want a bakery outside of your area, make sure they can deliver or that you can pick up the cake from them.
Wedding cupcakes have become popular in recent years. In fact, Riffle estimates that 75% of her weddings include cupcakes. She suspects this is partly because it’s not as scary for clients to pick up cupcakes as it is for a massive cake. Plus, cupcakes give guests flavor options.
“If you’re served a slice of cake, you don’t always know what it is,” Riffle says. “With cupcakes, guests can see exactly what they’re getting. Plus, they’re fun and so much easier to serve.”
The cupcake trend follows the simplicity that many brides are craving, as the tinier treats don’t have to be cut and served. Guests can just pick one out.
“The days of the huge, elaborate four-tiered cakes seem to be past,” says Riffle, who notes that square, offset cakes and colorful cakes are now rarely requested. In their place are ivory and white cakes with silhouette designs. For instance, a couple may ask for a white cake with a black fondant silhouette of the bride and groom. Many couples also like to tell a story with their dessert, perhaps sharing how they were introduced or where they got engaged.
“If they met online we’ll make a silhouette of a desk with a computer, or if the proposal was in the fall, we’ll have a man on his knee and a woman in leaves,” Riffle says.
While COVID-19 did a number on the wedding industry, especially early on, Riffle says one positive factor that has come out of the pandemic is that many couples are less likely to stress over creating the perfect day.
“I don’t see as much bridezilla stress because they just want to start their lives together as husband and wife,” Riffle says. “I think we’ve had stress in other areas of our lives and now getting married is met with less stress and more fun.”
Indulgence Bakery is located at 101 West Defenbaugh Street in Kokomo. For more information, call 765-452-5200 or visit indulgencebakerykokomo.com.
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