QUESTIONS?


HOW DO I PLACE AN ORDER?
Call or text me on (949) 338-0242, email me louise@louisesandybaking.com, or fill out the contact form. Most of my cakes require an absolute minimum of two days' work from start to finish, therefore it's not possible to request a cake for same or next day events. Since I tend to get booked quite far in advance, the more notice the better!

WHAT WILL MY CAKE LOOK LIKE?
The vast majority of my cakes are unique designs created by me (unless you have provided me with a picture of a cake design you want me to copy, in which case I always attempt to give credit to the original designer). My inspiration comes from several different sources - perhaps it's the invitation, the location (is it at the beach?), the theme of the occasion (graduation?) or a story you've told me about the honoree.  During our initial consultation, which can take place by phone, by email or in person, I will gather all the necessary information about your event - the occasion, the time and date, location, theme, number of people you want to feed, whether other desserts are being served etc). I then get to work sketching up preliminary designs on the computer which I will email you for input.  Together we then fine-tune the details and agree on a final design. Below are two examples of finished cakes alongside their original sketches:

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CAN YOU COPY A CAKE I SAW ON PINTEREST?
Absolutely, however I would prefer to create an original design for you, so I will encourage you to adapt and personalize it in some way if appropriate.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR INGREDIENTS
I'm so glad you asked! The quality of the ingredients is an absolute passion of mine, and I won't put anything in a cake that I don't believe in.  I use only organic, free-range eggs, unbleached flour, real butter (no margarine or shortening in my frostings!) and high percentage cocoa-solid Belgian chocolate. The fondant I use, Carma Massa Ticino Tropic, is imported from Switzerland at vast expense, but it tastes so much better than all the cheaper, domestic-made fondants.

WHAT ABOUT SPECIAL DIETS?
All of my cakes can be made gluten-free on request.  I use a "cup-4-cup" style gluten-free flour blend. Lactose-free cake and buttercream frostings also available, made using Green Valley Lactose-Free (real) Butter (not margarine!) for an additional charge. Please note that products containing gluten and lactose are also made in my kitchen, so if your issue is an allergy, rather than a dietary preference, you may wish to consider purchasing your cake from a specialist baker.

HOW MUCH WILL MY CAKE COST?
The price of a custom cake is like the old question "how long is a piece of string?" - it all depends on the size/number of tiers or servings, and complexity of design, decor and structure.  Since all my cakes are individually designed for you, I need to know all this information before I can give you a quote.  Please call or email me to discuss your requirements. Prices for cupcakes and other small items can be found on the Menu tab.

HOW DO I GET MY CAKE?
You are welcome to collect your cake from our address, or I offer free local delivery to Pacific Palisades. Other locations will be charged a fixed fee, depending on distance and traffic. For locations further afield I can arrange to have your cake boxed and ready for collection by Uber or other ride service. Set-up at a venue is also available for an additional fee.

HOW DO I PAY?
I accept payment by cash, check or credit card.

DO YOU OFFER WEDDING CAKE TASTINGS?
As a small boutique bakery, I do not offer traditional cake tasting sessions. However you are welcome to order a box of cupcakes in a flavor that you would like to sample, and if you then order a cake I will deduct the cost of the cupcakes from the final price.

DO YOU DO SUGAR COOKIES?
No, sorry! My gingerbread cookies are so popular - especially with kids. They taste better, last longer and don't cause the icing to change color.  Who needs sugar cookies?!

HOW DO I TRANSPORT MY CAKE?
The safest way to transport your cake is flat on the floor of your car, such as in the trunk or in the passenger foot-well.  Cakes balanced on seats have a terrible habit of tipping forward! Make sure that there is nothing on the seat above that could fall forward onto the cake if you have to brake suddenly. A square of non-slip mat under the cake board or box can help to further prevent movement in the car. In very hot weather, it’s advisable to get the air conditioning running in the car for a few minutes before you put the cake inside.

HOW DO I STORE MY CAKE?
None of my cakes require refrigeration and in general it is best avoided, as cold air contributes to the drying out of cake. However, in very hot conditions it may become necessary to chill your cake to preserve its shape and structure.  Buttercream cakes and cupcakes present no problems, however be sure to remove them from the fridge about an hour before you plan to serve them so the frosting has time to soften up again.  Fondant covered cakes are more problematic, due to the condensation that will accumulate on the surface when you remove them from the fridge, which can cause designs to wilt and colors to run.  An air-conditioned room would be preferable to a fridge, but if the fridge is your only option, then placing the cake inside a sealed cardboard box can help to minimize the condensation.
Again, remove the cake at least one hour before serving to allow the cake to soften and any condensation to evaporate. Please note that 3D fondant decorations, such as flowers, applied to buttercream frosting can wilt if exposed to moisture for long periods of time.  This can happen in a tightly sealed bakery box, where the fondant will draw moisture from the buttercream.  In these cases it is best to prop the lid slightly to allow the moisture to escape.

A WORD ABOUT COLORED FROSTING
Some dark colored fondants can leave a temporary stain, in particular black, red and navy.  This is due to the high concentration of coloring needed to achieve the intensity of the shade. If this is an issue, guests can simply remove the fondant before eating the cake.
Certain buttercream frosting flavors have color restrictions due to their flavors - for example, it is not possible to make raspberry frosting aqua blue as adding blue color to a deep pink frosting will produce purple. So if you want a particular color of frosting, you will need to pick a flavor that has an inherently neutral color, such as vanilla, coconut, cream cheese etc.

HOW DO I SERVE MY CAKE?
See illustrated instructions below. All my tiered cakes are doweled and staked. This is an absolute necessity for structure and stability  in any multi-tiered cake. Inserting a dowel into the tier below helps bear the weight of the tier above.  In addition, a central stake, which is driven from the top down through all the layers, stabilizes the cake for transporting and maneuvering. Those collapsed wedding "cake wrecks" you see doing the rounds on social media are the result of not being doweled! Some applied decorations may be anchored with toothpicks or skewers - be sure to remove these before serving. Sugar flowers will be on wrapped wires inserted into a straw - first remove the flowers and then remove the straw - tweezers can help with this.

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The catering and wedding industries are taught to cut cakes to very specific sizes in order to achieve the requisite number of servings. Typically, Wedding Cakes are cut into 1”x2” slices, and Celebration Cakes are cut into 2” x 2” slices.  If you cut a cake that is bigger than 6"  diameter into the traditional wedge-shaped slices, you will not be able to get the correct amount of servings. Below is a chart showing the industry standards for cake cutting in order to maximize the servings:

Renowned pastry chef Ron Ben Israel demonstrating how to serve a multi-tiered cake

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This cake cutting technique from Katherine Sabbath is a total game-changer!