Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ARE YOUR CAKES LIKE?
All of my cakes, fillings and frostings are made from scratch, with real butter (no shortening or margarine), unbleached and unbromated flour, aluminum free leaveners, no artificial dyes, with non-GMO, soy free and select organic ingredients.
The cakes are slightly dense, not quite as dense as pound cake. I do not use sugar syrups to moisten our cakes, they are moist on their own and stay fresh and moist for at least 3-5 days depending on the flavor.
Please serve your cake at room temperature. As I use only butter in my cakes and buttercreams, they are best enjoyed when creamy and soft, at room temperature. It may take several hours for a cake to come to room temperature once it is taken out of the fridge, 3 – 6 hours. Consider your room temperature and time of the year, it may take less time in summer and more time in winter.
WHAT IS YOUR CAKE PRICING?
Pricing of custom cakes is based on several factors - number of tiers and servings, whether buttercream or fondant finish, as well as the intricacy of the design. Custom cake pricing starts at $9 per serving with a $350 minimum. If you have an idea of the design you are interested in, as well as the number of servings needed, please email the details for a cost estimate to email@example.com.
Another option is the non-custom line of tiered cake designs, Simply Sweet, for those that would like a more streamlined ordering process, and that is more cost effective than a custom cake design.
View the current Simply Sweet designs, sizes and pricing:
One cake flavor for the entire cake is standard for non-custom cake designs, however different flavors for each tier on a multi-tiered cake are available at $25 per additional flavor.
Different cake flavors for each cake tier are included in the cost of custom cake designs, if desired.
DO YOU MAKE SHEET CAKES?
My sheet cakes are 4" tall with 4 (four) layers of cake and 3 (three) filled layers, the same construction as each tier on a tiered cake. Sheet cake is available as needed to supplement a tiered custom or non-custom cake at $5 per serving, $5.50 per serving for gluten free, dairy free or vegan cakes. Sheet cake has a simple buttercream finish, is undecorated and is not customizable. Sheet cake is given to the caterer/kitchen at delivery for storage until service time and is not displayed with the wedding cake.
The number of sheet cake servings needed can be adjusted up to 3 (three) weeks before the event so no need to worry that you have ordered too much or too little cake at the time of booking.
HOW DO WE BOOK A CAKE & WHEN ARE PAYMENTS DUE?
A formal Estimate is emailed to you when the details are determined (cake design, size and date). Cake flavor is not needed at the time of booking. Once the Estimate is approved, you are emailed an invoice for the 25% non-refundable deposit amount with a link for secure online payment. Your cake order is confirmed with Gateau once the deposit is paid.
I book a limited number of cakes per weekend to ensure each cake receives full attention to detail, and bookings are made on a first paid deposit basis. I cannot hold dates. About 3 (three) weeks before the event, the final invoice is emailed for confirmation of details and the balance payment is due 18 (eighteen) days prior to the event date.
The non-refundable deposit amount is not a penalty, it covers initial time, materials, reservation of your event date, and cannot be applied to an alternate future order. Non-refundable deposit amounts are only valid towards the initial wedding/event booked, and can be applied to your rescheduled wedding/event. Availability is not guaranteed for rescheduled events. There are no fees for rescheduled events, however any updated pricing at the time of the new event date will be applied.
CAN ORDERS BE MODIFIED?
No changes are permitted to cake size/number of servings, flavor or design within 3 (three) weeks of your event date.
I am not responsible for any orders not picked-up as scheduled.
DO YOU OFFER CAKE TASTINGS?
Yes, I offer cake tastings and consultations, as well as pick-up cake tasting boxes.
Cake tastings and consultations are scheduled directly through the website, and the process is described here:
Pick-up tasting boxes, with four (4) cake flavor samples, are $30 per box, $34 per box for gluten free flavors. Multiple boxes can be ordered. Orders are placed through the same link as for tasting and consultation appointments.
Dairy free and vegan sample cakes can be ordered as a 4" round cake, 4 layers, 3 filled layers, they are not available as smaller samples. $50 each.
WHAT ARE YOUR CAKE FLAVORS?
I offer several cake flavors, many award winning, here is the link to the menu with flavor descriptions:
DO YOU DELIVER CAKES?
Yes, I do deliver cakes. The delivery area is limited and rates vary with distance, $55 minimum.
Here is the link to the delivery rates by venue and area:
Please note I do not deliver to DC, Maryland, Arlington or Alexandria. Please confirm I deliver to your venue before booking a consultation or a pick-up tasting box.
Cake pick-up is also available.
WHAT IS THE LEAD TIME FOR A CAKE ORDER?
Wedding cakes book at least 6 (six) to 9 (nine) months in advance and dates fill quickly. At a minimum, 4 (four) weeks notice is required for any custom order, with availability, and 2 (two) weeks notice minimum for a Simply Sweet non-custom cake order, with availability.
I take a limited number of cakes per weekend to ensure each cake receives the time and attention needed. I cannot not hold dates.
Bookings are made on a first paid deposit basis.
Bakery cake orders require 7 days minimum notice and are ordered online:
DO YOU SHIP CAKES?
I do not ship cakes as they have fillings and buttercream frosting, which do not travel well.
DO YOU MAKE GLUTEN FREE, VEGAN, DAIRY FREE OR NUT FREE PRODUCTS?
All of my cake flavors can be made as gluten free. Select cake flavors are available dairy free or vegan, and are identified on the cake menu with a *V.
Please note that all of my products are produced on shared equipment, I do not have separate designated equipment for gluten free or nut free products. While I am very careful, cross contamination is always a possibility. Gluten can be transferred air-borne for example.
Although I have several products that do not contain nuts, I am not a nut-free bakery as I produce some products containing nuts.
Please consider this when ordering for someone with a severe allergy or sensitivity.
NO ARTIFICIAL DYES
The number one reason I started my business over 20 years ago. I would never serve artificial dyes to my children, and I do not serve them to my clients. No artificial dyes are used in any of my cakes, fillings or buttercream frostings. Although the FDA claims they are safe, I strongly disagree. Artificial dyes are toxic, and while they may not seem to affect you in the short term, they have been linked to ADHD, autism and a number of other neurological and behavioral issues. Artificial dyes are banned in other countries because of their serious negative health effects.
I use natural food powders to create pastel shades if needed for a design. Deep fondant colors, as purchased, do contain artificial dyes. Fondant is placed over buttercream frosting which acts as a glue for the fondant covering, and can be removed from your cake slice before consuming. Soon I'll be eliminating artificially colored fondant as an option in my cake designs.
NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
I do not use artificial sweeteners in any of my products.
HOW DO WE STORE OUR CAKE?
Cakes that are picked-up can be refrigerated in their box until the day to be served.
Please serve your cakes at room temperature. I use only butter in my cakes and buttercreams, and they are best enjoyed when creamy and soft, at room temperature. It may take several hours for a cake to come to room temperature once it is taken out of the fridge, 3 – 8 hours. Consider your room temperature, time of the year, as well as the size of the cake. It may take less time in summer and more time in winter.
For fondant decorated cakes, it is best to pick them up the day of the event. Fondant is prone to “sweating” (forms a wet sheen over the cake) as a result of humidity. I box all cakes in an attempt to prevent sweating, but many times it cannot be prevented, especially during hot, humid summer days. The moisture will eventually evaporate when the cake is removed from the box and set out at room temperature in a climate-controlled, low humidity environment.
Fondant cakes are also prone to “air bubbles”, air trapped between the cake and the fondant covering. If this happens to your cake after you pick it up, you can use a clean, sanitized pin to carefully puncture the air bubble. Then gently press out the air through the pin hole using your clean fingers or gloved hand.
Leftover cake can be stored in the fridge - cover the cut cake face with cling wrap to prevent drying, and place the cake back in the box or in a covered container. The cakes will stay fresh for several days in the fridge. Always bring the cake to room temperature before serving for a soft and creamy texture.
CAN WE FREEZE OUR CAKE?
Yes, leftover cake can be frozen. Make sure the cake is cold, refrigerate it if necessary (to make sure the buttercream does not smear when you cover it with cling wrap). Cover the cold cake completely with cling wrap, and pressing it against the cut side of the cake. Place the plastic wrapped cake in a box or plastic container, and wrap the box with cling wrap. You are trying to keep air away from the cake to prevent freezer burn. Individual slices can be frozen for easier portion control when thawing.
To thaw, place wrapped cake from the freezer into the refrigerator overnight, and the next day let the cake sit out on a counter until it comes to room temperature.