Mr. Cherry Pie and I have been struggling with what to do about a wedding cake and all because of our desserty namesake.
The problem is that neither of us are huge fans of wedding cake. I mean, we enjoy cake, but not any more than other desserts, and we can’t think of a wedding cake that we’ve ever enjoyed that much. If there’s one thing that Mr. Cherry Pie loves, however, it’s… cherry pie.
He’s been generally ambivalent about wedding-related decisions so far; simply content to offer his feedback and support when needed. But on the subject of desserts, he enthusiastically declared his support for pie. As for me, I could give or take cherry pie in general, but because it’s so beloved to my sweetheart, I greenlighted its use as a wedding dessert. I want Mr. CP to be able to include things that are special to him, too. And, really, nothing says “American summer” like Cherry Pie! ( Except maybe bottled Coca-Cola.)
But to be honest, I would still rather cut a cake together than a pie. And serving slices just seems messy. So we’re having a compromise!
For the cake purists (and for the photo-opportunity), we’ll have a small wedding cake. To honor Mr. Cherry Pie and for our less cake-loving guests, we are going to offer cherry and huckleberry tartlets!
We’re expecting between 70 and 120 people at the wedding, out of the 180 we’re inviting. How many desserts we order will depend on the number of guests who RSVP, but we’re planning for a cake that serves between 50 and 70 people and mini-tarts for the same number. There will be a bit of overlap to give some guests the opportunity to sample both.
Before we decided on Polebridge as our venue, we talked to a few bakers in the Whitefish/Kalispell area. At the recommendation of our Montana wedding planner, we met with Mikie of Mikie’s Cheesecake in Kalispell.
This was back in August of 2007 and I was nervous to talk cake so early in the game. We had no idea what our colors or “theme” would be, or if we even wanted a cake for sure. In a way, our flexibility ended up being a good thing because we set up an appointment with Mikie at such short notice that we weren’t able to sample anything.
What excited me about working with Mikie was her unique approach to wedding cake. Her cakes (reputedly) are delicious amalgamations of sponge cake and cheesecake with flavored fillings. I was particularly intrigued by the “Perfect Celebration” cake:
“A rich indulgence of Classic cheesecake between two layers of sponge cake brushed with Grand Marnier syrup, then put together with a dark chocolate ganache and a bright, tangy raspberry layer (optional). The cake is then finished in a light, silky buttercream.”
We also talked with another local bakery about making tartlets after eating a few delicious samples. We thought we were good to go!
Unfortunately, once we decided on Polebridge as a venue, the whole issue of dessert became much more complicated: It’s a little difficult to transport a delicate wedding cake down 15 miles of very bumpy dirt road. This roadblock ended up not even being an issue because not long after we talked to her, Mikie called us to tell us she couldn’t make our cake after all. Her son had gotten engaged and had chosen to be wed on the exact same day!
Thankfully, the Polebridge mercantile is renowned for their baked goods. We were very impressed with the tarts, croissants, cookies, and sandwiches we ate while visiting during last year’s Aurorafest.
The mercantile does make wedding cakes that are reputedly very delicious, and they offer them at a very affordable price. So, on blind faith, we have agreed that they will bake both our wedding cake and the tartlets. I have neither seen nor tasted a wedding cake from their bakery, but considering the merc’s upstanding reputation and unparalleled convenient location, how can we go wrong?
We will talk more with them about our cake design after they finish freeing their town from this year’s record snowfall. For now, I’d like to share with the hive my inspiration for cake designs:
Which of the cake designs above do you think suits us? (Remember, we can change/combine colors and decorative elements!)
I imagine that our cake will be small, probably 3-tiered, with white buttercream frosting and a single flavor of vanilla cake with chocolate ganache throughout. Simplicity is delicious! As you can tell by the cake designs above, I’m fond of live flowers, white icing, and colored bands separating the layers. I don’t even require “smooth” icing. I think the “stucco” look of natural buttercream can be quite attractive, too!
Have any of you decided on a baker based solely on a recommendation or the location of your venue? What do you think is most important… flavor or appearance?