Finally, the time has come– Mr. Daisy is actually excited about going on multiple wedding appointments. This is because we have reached the crucial cake selection phase. And, unlike his crushing disappointment* during the venue selection phase, when his heartbreak was palpable as he learned that, no, venues do not let you taste all their food before you book them. Cake vendors, on the other hand… they let you taste.
Over the last couple of weeks, we visited three bakers in our cake search:
We met with Cheryl at her shop in Brooklyn (Boerum Hill) and were very impressed with the multitude of cakes on display there. Some were modern, some classic, but all were just beautiful. Despite the fact that the “cakes” were all iced styrofoam, I was still getting awfully hungry as we perused the portfolios. Cheryl had us browse portfolios of her cakes, tabbing with Post-Its those that piqued our interest. Through this method, Mr. Daisy and I realized we had very different cake aesthetics. While he favored the simple, traditional look of piped icing with pearls and some flowers, I coveted a more “interesting” look, with frosting that looked like appliquÆ’©s, or cut-outs. We both loved the above cake, among a few others, and definitely thought that Cheryl would be a wise choice and would turn out a gorgeous cake.
Her prices, however, were higher than I wanted to spend on cake. (as an aside: there are certain wedding details that I place high on the wedding totem pole, such as stationery, dresses and accessories, cocktail hour food and music. Cakes aren’t as much of a factor for me, since I feel as if most guests’ food interest has somewhat waned by the time the cake is brought out.) That said, Cheryl Kleinman’s prices officially are $8-$10/serving, but the cakes that we priced ranged from $11 – $15/slice. To me, that seemed a lot. However, Cheryl was going to send us a few cake samples for tasting and then we’d make our decision. A few days later we received the following mini-cakes:
They were definitely good, but I wasn’t sure they were $13/slice good.
The day after we headed to Brooklyn (acquiring an overdue inspection ticket while parked there), we went out to Hoboken to check out Cakediva. I had heard that her prices were lower than some of the big “names” (i.e. Sylvia Weinstock, Ron Ben Israel, whose prices only just start at $15/serving) but made artistic cakes no less.
The Cakediva is definitely a character. She had a lot of energy, but I wasn’t sure that her vision of cakes was in line with what I wanted. After we left, I held off on scheduling a tasting because, due to my doubts about our styles meshing, I didn’t want to waste her time. I figured if I changed my mind that I could schedule one at a later date, but as of now, I still preferred Cheryl Kleinman’s aesthetic.
This past Saturday we headed to Tompkins Square Bakery and met with Matt there. Initially, it didn’t hurt that the bakery is not far from where we live (and next to a restaurant we adore). Then we met Matt who was really relatable, very receptive to our ideas and, most importantly, a genius with cake.
He had us try some cake there based on our flavor prefs– basic for Mr. Daisy and a little more flavorful for me. Mr. Daisy had yellow cake with chocolate buttercream and it was oh-so-awesome. I am not usually a huge buttercream fan (I prefer whipped) but this buttercream was light and chocolatey and delicious. My cake was chocolate with mocha buttercream and was also a home run. I loved it and have even been thinking of it since. (This from a girl who is more known for her mozzarella-stick-tooth than her sweet-tooth.)
The prices were also more reasonable–we could get the cake we wanted for just under $10/slice. Now, my mom only has to check him out and we’re done! We’ll have our cake and eat it too. And so will our guests. Ok, yay!
* the look of betrayal and despondency on his face as we visited venue after venue–I could hardly stop myself from the hysterical laughter that such pouting will inevitably prompt. I’m obviously a very caring person.