It’s worth mentioning in comparing bakers and setting up cake consultations that wedding cake servings are different from party cake servings. Instead of triangular wedges being cut, your cake server (often your caterer) will cut rectangular slabs for your guests. The pieces can be surprisingly small. The traditional wedding cake servings size is 1″ wide, 2″ deep, and 4″ tall. A library key-tag card is 1″x2″, so think of that – it’s a small footprint standing up. On the other hand, your average party cake is about 2″ tall, and your wedding cake is at least twice as tall. As the price of a cake usually depends at least in part of the number of servings it has, it’s very important to know how the baker is calculating the number of servings. You could compare the serving side that each baker is using when you’re comparing a note. In other words, if Betty the Baker charges $5/serving but her serving size is twice as big as Bonnie the Baker’s $5/serving, then Betty’s cake is a better deal (at least in terms of serving size).
Of course, quality matters. This is supposed to be the best darn cake you’re ever had, and the ingredients and technique that go into a cake can make a world of difference. If the price is attractive but the cake tastes like stale cardboard, do you want to serve that? Additionally, if it looks like a child was learning their handwriting while piping your buttercream is that what you want in your family photo album? Taste and beauty are both in the eye of the beholder, and there is a style for everyone. But, at your consultation, look for whether the cake, fillings, and buttercreams are tasty to you. Decide if the other cakes you’ve seen in your potential baker’s portfolio are beautiful to you. And do try the fondant, even if you think you’ll hate it. Make cake artists (yes, we defend the right to be pretentious in calling ourselves cake artists) make their own fondant and can make the most delicious fondant you’ve ever tasted, packed with real fruit or chocolate and adding another layer of flavor to your dream cake. Not only can fondant be yummy, it can be used skillfully to bring the cake to the next level aesthetically. Don’t rule if out because you’ve heard it tastes like burnt plastic.