Welcome to Cakes by Manal. I am the owner,cake designer and pastry chef of Cakes by Manal,
serving the NY/NJ/CT/PA areas since 2006.
I wanted to be a Pastry Chef from the time I was about 10. By the time I was 15, I was working
at bakeries after school for free to learn the art of baking and cake decorating. At the age of 18, I
went into the Art Institute of New York, where I got my baking and pastry art certification. After
that, I took an internship at the famous Bouley Bakery in NYC, and after that, I took jobs at
bakeries and off premise caterers as well as promoting my business by word of mouth.
I prefer not to make the same cake twice. If you happen to like a cake i have done in the past, I
wont duplicate it, but I would take parts of that certain cake and make a very special one of a
kind cake for you. Not only do I offer cakes for every occasion, but I do also offer cookies,
cupcakes, dessert buffets, and classic french, american and italian pastries.
Our experience with Manal started out a very positively. She came to our home for our cake tasting and brought us half a dozen beautiful, delicious sample cakes. She was very attentive and appeared to listen to my every word and acknowledge the photos of cakes I showed her.
Unfortunately, everything went downhill from there. Over the course of several months, even after furnishing her with a deposit, I repeatedly asked her for a sketch of the cake I had described to her. She promised and promised, but I never received the sketch.
And then our wedding day arrived. What a supreme disappointment!
The order was for a small, burgundy, 3-tiered cake with a domed topper of gum-paste Black Magic roses and covered top to bottom with an off-white damask pattern, much like the one from her very own Facebook page.
The cake we got had a very large, obvious BULGE protruding from the second tier. The decoration was--quite literally--a pale comparison to the cake which we had discussed in ... Read moregreat detail.
The fondant color was more like a brick red. It was much too light to have been considered burgundy. Instead of high-contrast, dramatic damask, there was delicate, almost imperceptible white piping - most of which had soaked into the marshmallow fondant before the cake even reached the dance floor. This part was especially disheartening, since I chose her as my cake decorator specifically for the damask pattern I saw in her Facebook portfolio. The top tier was stuck with maybe 10 or 12 small sugar roses, dipped in something dark, sweet, and sticky. They were certainly NOT the gum-paste, real-looking roses I had described to her, and did not form any kind of dome.
The one saving grace was that it was delicious, just like at our tasting. Everyone enjoyed it once it was plated.
After the wedding, explained all this to her and asked for a partial refund, which never came. I had to open a case with PayPal to get my money back. I'm still waiting for it to be resolved.