Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wedding Cake

Some girls immediately go to try on dresses after they get engaged. Me? My first thought was to go cake tasting.

There were a lot of aspects of my wedding that got pushed passed acceptable deadlines, but getting a cake was not one of them. We began cake tasting about two weeks after getting engaged. It ended up not being as satisfying and fun as I had always imagined though.

First we sampled several bakeries at various wedding vendor events. Our reactions were extreme disappointment. Sickeningly sweet, artificial tasting, overpriced. Most of the cakes I sampled tasted like a cake mix and I was not willing to pay $5-7 dollars a slice for some cake mix. Some cakes we sampled were also overly dry, almost inedible. Here’s DH’s interpretation of how our cake tasting experience went:

Choosing A Cake

I searched online for reviews of bakeries and we did some individual tastings as well. Out of that bunch, the most favorable one we went to was Flour Power Cakery. They are the largest wedding cake vendor in San Diego and it was easy to see why once we visited. They gave us about eight different cake samples, didn’t pressure us to book with them and they had more reasonable prices ($5 a slice), and didn’t have a ton of extra charges for various decorations. We thought the cakes here were moist, but there wasn’t any flavor we particularly loved.

Our final cake tasting was with Jenny Wenny Cakes. I actually took a ton of pictures for this post of the cake tasting, but I can’t find them. Sorry! If I ever find them, I’ll update this post. I’d had Jenny do cakes for me before so I knew I liked her baking. One concern I had was that the majority of my guests were Asian and Asian style cakes tend to be less sweet and rich. I discussed things with Jenny and we decided to try a layered chiffon cake because chiffon cakes remind me a lot of the Asian bakery cakes. For our initial tasting, Jenny provided us with a mini chiffon cake to make sure it was sturdy enough to be layered, as well as some mini cupcakes of her other regular flavors.


We absolutely loved everything we sampled from Jenny. We loved the chiffon cake and we loved all the various cupcakes and would have been happy with any of the flavors. But we opted to stick with the chiffon cake because of our wedding guests. Since we had a summer wedding, we thought it would be fun to do various fruit fillings for each cake tier. We ended up signing a contract with Jenny more than a year in advance of our wedding.

A few months before our wedding, Jenny contacted me with some bad news. She had accidentally double booked and would be unable to do our wedding. I was a little stressed and mainly disappointed since I had really wanted her to be my baker. However, she was very apologetic and didn’t just leave me in the lurch. She found a solution for me. She introduced me to the bakers at CAKE, who she works closely with. They worked out a deal so that they would honor Jenny’s prices, build the cake and deliver it. Originally, the proposal was that CAKE would do everything. After my initial taste of CAKE’s sample though, it didn’t really match up with what I had envisioned and Jenny, who is more familiar with my style and tastes, realized that right away.  Jenny then offered to do parts of the cake. So, the end arrangement was sort of a hybrid. Jenny made parts of the cakes including the delicate flowers I adored, and CAKE built the cake, made the filling, and delivered it.

The cake ended up being a big hit at the wedding. It was a vanilla chiffon cake, with passion fruit curd filling and buttercream frosting. We originally had wanted different fruit fillings for each tier, but CAKE specialized in the passionfruit so we ended just doing passionfruit for all the cakes, which still worked out since all the guests got to taste the same thing. The passionfruit curd filling was especially delicious. Everyone seemed to enjoy the cake. My cousin told me after that he normally doesn’t eat wedding cake but he knew mine would be good since I’m a food blogger and he ended up eating three slices.

The cake toppers were actually DH’s idea. I was struggling with trying to figure out what to do for the cake topper and DH suggested Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel. I was so surprised he remembered my love for the two characters and knew it would be perfect. When we were in Taiwan, I had bought a picture frame with the two characters dressed in wedding attire, in anticipation for a future wedding photo. I couldn’t find wedding cake toppers with the same exact wedding outfit, but I found these on ebay.

 

34 Responses to “Wedding Cake”

  1. 1

    Kirk — August 29, 2012 @ 5:45 am

    That’s an adorable cake Kirbie!

    • Kirbie replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

      Thanks! the cake toppers was the perfect way to put a little “me” into the cake

  2. 2

    Mary — August 29, 2012 @ 7:42 am

    The cake is so cute with the little hello kitty figurines all dressed up! The little flowers all over are darling. Glad Jenny and CAKE were able to come together to give you just want you wanted. I’d want to do cake tastings first, too.

    • Kirbie replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 9:07 am

      I think a lot of the cake companies didn’t take me seriously because I wanted to schedule a cake tasting so early. They thought I was just trying to go around and get free cake! Yeah I was kind of disappointed by the cake tasting experience, except for Jenny’s. I loved all her cakes and it gave me great ideas for future bday cakes to order from her.

  3. 3

    Connie — August 29, 2012 @ 8:25 am

    Thank goodness your chosen baker is a professional and found a solution for your cake situation! It wasn’t ideal, but I think the cake is gorgeous and so cute, the style fits you. The fact that it was tasty, and the guests liked it, is definitely a good sign :-)

    • Kirbie replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 9:06 am

      Yes I know what you mean! Some of my other vendors were not real businesses and after Jenny told me she doublebooked I started being really nervous that one of my other vendors might just not show up on my wedding day and I’d be totally screwed. The cake ended up working out really well so I’m happy.

  4. 4

    leanne — August 29, 2012 @ 8:52 am

    I love your cake toppers! I was surprised how unimpressed I was with the cake tastings we did. Of course, I never got to the point of talking to Jenny. After a few tastings, I decided to just scrap cake altogether and go with pie. Oddly enough, I think the last time we ate pie was when we got a slice on our anniversary!

    • Kirbie replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 8:55 am

      I remember you did the pies and I thought that was such a creative idea! Especially if you didn’t have good cake tasting experiences. If I hadn’t tried Jenny’s I might have done without a cake too. I just couldn’t bring myself to pay a small fortune for awful cake.

  5. 5

    Carol — August 29, 2012 @ 9:31 am

    Hi Kirbie! So glad the cake turned out great! It looks beautiful. I love how DH helped with the topper. Haha, love his cake tasting interpretation. Uh, yeah, that pretty much summed up my experience too. I hated it.

    • Kirbie replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 9:42 am

      Most of the time he doesn’t hear anything I say to him, but every once in a while he’ll surprise me. haha. I like his cake tasting interpretation too, though I’d like to think that last frame of me is a really big exaggeration. hehee. Hmm, I’m waiting to hear from someone who had a great time cake tasting. It always looks so fun in the movies!

  6. 6

    Sandy — August 29, 2012 @ 11:14 am

    I’m glad everything came out ok with Jenny and CAKE. The cake is so pretty, and the toppers are adorable. I didn’t do cake tastings when I got married; I went with a cake by my SIL’s friend, who was a pastry chef at a major hotel (after having a sample, of course!).

    • Kirbie replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

      Oh that sounds good too! you avoided bad cake tasting and got a good pastry chef!

  7. 7

    Soo — August 29, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

    Great looking cake!

    • Kirbie replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

      Thanks!

  8. 8

    Amy Hoang — August 29, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

    Oh my what an ordeal. I’m glad it had a happy ending. Your cake looks delicious though the mutliple fruit layers would have been interesting to taste.

    • Kirbie replied: — August 30th, 2012 @ 8:36 am

      It was originally supposed to be that each cake tier had a different fruit flavor. I liked the idea, but at the same time if guests have a fruit preference, some might have thought they missed out if their friends/family got mango and they got cherry or something. So I think uniformity was good too.

  9. 9

    caninecologne — August 29, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    I’m so glad your wedding cake experience turned out all right. I would have been freaking out!

    I also didn’t know there was a male counterpart to Hello Kitty, so that’s pretty cool. How come we don’t see Dear Daniel stuff in the Sanrio stores? :)

    I’ve had Jenny’s passionfruit filled cake before – good choice! And wow, 3 slices from your cousin? That’s a positive endorsement right there!

    • Kirbie replied: — August 30th, 2012 @ 8:35 am

      Yeah a lot of people don’t seem to know about Dear Daniel. The only time I see him is in wedding attire. They have some stuffed animals of him and Hello Kitty in wedding clothes at the Marukai Value Hello Kitty section. I’m guessing since Hello Kitty is marketed more towards little girls, they concentrate more on her and her friends and less on the fact that she got married at some point. The marriage and husband thing was probably for the generation of girls who grew up with Hello Kitty and are now adults.

  10. 10

    Ann P. — August 29, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

    I LOVE your cake! The flavors sound awesome, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. The flowers are so cute, and Hello Kitty & Dear Daniel are, of course, amazingly adorable. :) So jealous of your cake, lol! I know I’m going to be making my own to cut costs, and it’s not going to look that pretty, hahaa!

    • Kirbie replied: — August 30th, 2012 @ 8:33 am

      Wow, making your own cake? That sounds really stressful.

  11. 11

    Julie @ Table for Two — August 29, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

    wow, i can’t believe that cake story – that started to stress me out!! now i’m getting nervous hahaha..speaking of asian style cakes, i made one today and i’m posting the recipe on friday!! i instantly thought of you, too, when i made the cake :) cause you know us asians like those spongey cakes lol

    • Kirbie replied: — August 30th, 2012 @ 8:32 am

      Oh I can’t wait to see your post! it sounds like you have your wedding totally under control from your tweets. I’m sure everything will be fine. Though there will be stuff that comes up. There were a lot of unexpected problems on the actual day that caused me stress too, but I think as long as you know everything won’t go perfect and you accept that fact, it will all work out.

  12. 12

    Debbie — August 29, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

    Love the cake topper! Just reading your post gave me some anxiety! Im glad everything worked out for you :o )

    • Kirbie replied: — August 30th, 2012 @ 8:31 am

      Heh, I was definitely feeling some serious anxiety for a while. But it all worked out in the end. =)

  13. 13

    Christine — August 29, 2012 @ 8:38 pm

    Hi Kirbie!

    I love your blog and visit just to see what you do next! I’m so envious that DH let you have a Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel cake topper. My fiancé won’t let me have one :(

    • Kirbie replied: — August 30th, 2012 @ 8:30 am

      Aw, that’s too bad =(

  14. 14

    Jenny — August 30, 2012 @ 7:46 am

    Kirbie, I’m so glad it worked out, but I still feel bad about giving you extra stress. I was so happy to see the cake posted on Facebook when I woke up the morning after the wedding I was at to find it had gone ok, which of course it should since Cake are experts!

    I was also very disappointed with the wedding cake experience, which definitely factored into my new ventures, everyone should have access to nice cakes/desserts!

    Congratulations!

    As I mentioned on twitter, I’d love to make you a box of macarons sometime to try :)

    • Kirbie replied: — August 30th, 2012 @ 8:23 am

      Hi Jenny, I know these things happened. I was pretty stressed at the time, but it all worked out and I think you did everything you could to ensure I still had the cake I originally wanted from you. I agree, everyone should have nice wedding cakes and desserts and I was surprised to find all the meager offerings out there. I hope your business continues to succeed!

  15. 15

    Joseph — June 22, 2013 @ 11:50 pm

    A wedding cake that actually tastes as good as it looks? Might be a first.

    Amy H.: Aren’t you now a pastry chef in San Fran?

    • Kirbie replied: — June 23rd, 2013 @ 9:29 am

      I think it helps if you find bakers who use quality ingredients and make things from scratch

  16. 16

    Joseph — June 22, 2013 @ 11:52 pm

    : )

  17. 17

    Melissa — October 17, 2013 @ 9:18 am

    Hi! I had emailed you a couple of months back about a Chinese Banquet in SD and saw your blog:) I am from Indiana and planning a destination wedding in SD! I LOVE LOVE your blog! My Fiance and I used it as a guide when we went to taste and check things out in May:) We are going back in December again and finalizing plans! I was wondering besides Jenny Wenny cakes what other places should we go taste testing at? I wasn’t sure if any new places have opened up or that you found even tastier:) Our wedding is not until November 2014!

    • Kirbie replied: — October 17th, 2013 @ 10:43 am

      Hi Melissa! I’d recommend you check out Big Joy Family Bakery. It’s a korean place that specializes in Asian style wedding cakes and they are the big provider for Chinese wedding cakes in SD.

  18. 18

    Melissa — October 21, 2013 @ 9:12 pm

    Thank you so much!!! It really helps a lot:)

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