21 Birthday Cake do’s and don’ts!

I’ve worked with Cara, the owner and the face behind Aristocakes, on a few parties and I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to pick her brain on some of the do’s and don’ts you should consider when ordering a Birthday Cake.

Here are 21 of the biggest do’s and don’ts you need to keep in mind to help make the centrepiece of your Birthday Party a success:

  1. DO use a dummy tier to create a bigger, grander looking cake – this is a cake layer that happens to be polystyrene and can be decorated the same way as the rest of the cake, basically – more bang for your buck.
  2. DON’T brief your baker the week of your party and expect a work of art. Just as in party planning, bakers put hours upon hours of hard work into designing, planning, handmaking, baking and assembling cakes and often work on multiple cakes – and while we’re on the topic…
  3. DO pick a baker that will invest time into your cake – you’re spending a lot of money on this masterpiece, and you want it to be the main attraction of the cake table so be careful of selecting a baker that is taking on too many jobs, their attention to detail slips.
  4. DON’T put your cake in an uncovered/unshaded spot – winter or summer, your cake should always be out of the sunlight as buttercream melts and you could be left with a sloppy and slippery mess.
  5. DO remember that there are so many different options for cakes out there – from grand fondant-covered tiered creations, to ice-cream cakes (a wonderful summer idea), tiers of beautifully iced cupcakes, a doughnut tower, the options are endless.
  6. DO remember to give your baker your child’s age and correct spelling of his or her name if you wish for it to be included on the cake.
  7. DON’T forget to bring along a candle – or several, as well as a cake knife and lifter – you don’t want to miss the ceremonious moment of blowing out the candle.
  8. DON’T cater for a slice of cake per person – I promise you, not everyone will want a slice of cake, unless there aren’t any other sweet treats – a cake is a symbolic gesture at a birthday party.
  9. DO mix and match tiers with different flavours and different fillings.
  10. DO make sure your cake is just out of reach of little fingers until it’s time to sing Happy Birthday.
  11. DO discuss your budget with your baker. Your baker will be able to give you options on what they can do that will suit your pocket as well as your theme to make your cake dreams come true.
  12. DO use a hot knife to cut your cake, this will ensure even, clean slices and prevents any cake breakages or uneven sizing.
  13. DON’T be vague on what you want, be specific so that you know for sure you and your baker are on the same page.
  14. DO listen to advice your baker will give you on design etc. as the weather and other elements may have an impact on the design and flavour.
  15. DO research different bakers and their specific style of cake making. Your baker is an artist and their style will be unique to their own, look at their portfolio and make sure that their creative style is what you want on your cake.
  16. DO discuss different decorating techniques. Sometimes an edible print, 2D decorations or a laser-cut topper will fit your pocket and still bring the wow factor to your cake.
  17. DON’T assume, always ask your baker how best to store the cake as each baker uses different recipes, different brands of fondant and decorations and all of these react differently to the weather.
  18. DON’T put your cake on the backseat of your car when traveling. Best places to put your cake is level in the boot of your car, (make sure it can’t shift around) or on the floor in front of the passenger seat so you can keep an eye on the cake. The best option is of course, on someone’s lap, holding the cake.
  19. DO leave the aircon on in your car while driving with a cake, especially in summertime.
  20. DO keep in mind, when moving or carrying a cake, especially a tiered cake, how heavy the cake is!
  21. DON’T carry your cake by holding the edges of the board, place both hands underneath the board to support the weight of the cake (the board can snap, bend and even break under the weight of the cake) – the last thing you want right before your party!

We hope this helps you plan the perfect party, and select the perfect cake for YOU!

All photography images courtesy of Corinna Tannian Photography, cakes by Aristocakes and styling by Bunting + Blooms.