Ultimate Checklist of Questions to Ask Your Cake Baker

Before committing to a cake baker, go over these important questions!

For many couples, their vow renewal cake is one of the most important elements of their celebration. It needs to be delicious and just right. The cake should also complement your vow renewal style and personalities. Faced with what seems like an endless array of flavor and style options, it can also be one of the most challenging decisions you make while planning your vow renewal. Vanilla, chocolate, or something more modern like lemon with thyme? Buttercream or fondant?  Fresh or sugar flowers?  To make sure your cake is exactly you want, we’ve put together this ultimate checklist of essential questions to ask your cake baker, so you don’t miss any critical details.

Print this list out and bring it with you to your first meeting with the potential baker!

Background

  • How long have you been in business here?
  • Are you licensed and insured? (Most venues will require proof of insurance from vendors working on property.)
  • How many vow renewal and wedding cakes have you done in the last year?
  • What is your culinary background?
  • Are you available on our vow renewal date?

Budget

  • Do you have a minimum cost? If so, what is it?
  • What kinds of cake options could we expect with our budget?
  • Do you have recommendations to help maximize our budget?

The Flavors

  • What cake flavors do you offer? What about filling options?
  • Which flavors are your specialties?
  • Is mixing-and-matching cakes and fillings an option or do you only offer a set menu of combinations?
  • What types of ingredients do you use? Do you offer gluten-free, organic, vegan, or other options? (Ask, if these factors are important to you!)
  • Is a tasting included in our fee? If not, how much will it cost? (There may be a fee for a cake tasting, but it’s usually applied to your order.)
  • Will you do a tasting consultation, or will we simply be tasting the cake on our own? (Some bakers do consultations that include design discussion plus tasting flavors. Others have you try flavors on your own and discuss design once you sign a contract.)

Cake Design

  • How would you describe the design style you personally prefer? (for example, modern, organic, rustic, traditional)
  • Do you have a portfolio of the cakes you’ve recently done that we can see?
  • Did you make all of the cakes in your portfolio? (Make sure you see cakes he or she has made.)
  • Do we need to choose from a set selection of designs, or do you create completely custom cakes?
  • If we have a picture of a cake that we adore, can you recreate it? OR We don’t have any ideas, can you offer some based on our budget and theme?
  • Would you be making our cake personally, or would another baker be doing it?
  • Do you prefer designing with buttercream or with fondant?
  • Can you make sugar flowers?
  • We’d like to use fresh flowers on our cake. Can you work with our florist to make sure everything looks perfect? If so, is there an additional fee for this? (Connect your baker and florist be sure the flowers you want on your cake are included in your floral order. The baker typically applies the flowers on-site.)
  • How far ahead of time will the layers of our cake be baked? (Note: It’s not uncommon for bakers to bake and chill or freeze the layers a few days before they need to be assembled. Being frozen too long will dry them out.)
  • How big should our cake be to feed our guest list? What size and shape do you recommend?
  • How will the cake be displayed? Do you provide or rent cake stands?

Logistics

  • What delivery services do you offer?
  • Do you charge a delivery fee?
  • How many large cakes do you typically deliver on the same day?
  • How do you deliver the cake? What do you do if it is damaged in transit?
  • How long would you need to set up the cake?
  • If our reception starts at X, what time will you arrive to deliver the cake?

Pro tip: Find out when and how your baker will deliver your cake, and make sure the cake table is set up before he or she arrives!

Payment

  • How do you price your cakes?
  • Pro tip: Most bakers charge per serving, meaning the price of your cake will depend on how many slices it includes.
  • Are there any additional rental and other fees that have not already been taken into account? (cakes stands, toppers, cake knives)
  • If we are renting items from you (like a cake stand or topper), how and when should they be returned?
  • How far in advance do we need to secure your services?
  • How much would the deposit be and when is it due?
  • When is the final payment due?
  • What is your refund policy if we need to cancel our order?
  • How far in advance would we need to finalize the order?
  • When can we expect to receive a contract from you?
  • When will you provide me with a detailed proposal of all the floral and other elements we’ve discussed today, along with itemized prices?