Eventful Projects will be having its first birthday very soon (wohooo!!) and I have been thinking about cake, actually I have been thinking about cake alot!!!. To be fair I am not just thinking about eating cake; I am also pondering on what makes a good cake, what cake people really enjoy eating and what types of events these cakes are best suited to.
Whilst I am a professional cake eater I am not such a professional cake maker so I have spent some time with Marina from Little Dot Bake Shop to obtain some intelligence and of course conduct some taste testing!
Following the sugar rush, here are my discoveries….. life as an event manager/event planner is hard work!!
What makes a good cake?
I believe a good cake should be made of the best ingredients you can afford. It honestly makes the biggest difference – even the simplest of recipes can taste amazing with beautiful ingredients. I love using South Australian ingredients and supporting our amazing food producers as much as I can, by using Kangaroo Island Free Range Eggs, local Laucke flour and beautiful B.d. Farm Paris Creek milk. I also make my own vanilla extract using Madagascan vanilla beans, and I use Belgian chocolate in my recipes too…. yum! The most important ingredient for a good cake though, is love. Anyone can taste the difference in a cake made with love, time and care.
What is your most popular seller?
Little Dot’s best sellers are the Pastel Multilayer Cake and Little Dot Cake Pops. The Pastel Multilayer Cake is always a crowd pleaser, as it has 5 different coloured layers inside. I often tell my clients not to tell the guests what’s inside, so you can hear the ‘ooohs and aaahs’ when you cut the first piece. It’s also such a fun cake which can include whimsical handmade pinwheels, personalised paper flag bunting, or even paper-craft to suit your own theme. I hand make all the paper-craft myself (using my granny given gift!) – I’m in heaven combining my love of cakes, paper-craft and all things pretty.
Little Dot Cake Pops are also a best seller. They’re very time intensive to make (which most people don’t realise) but they’re incredibly delicious and always receive rave reviews.
What is the most asked for flavour?
Vanilla cake is the most popular flavour and an easy way to please a crowd, especially when it’s beautifully fresh. The next most popular flavour is Belgian chocolate. If someone is after something different, I always suggest Strawberry and Cream Cupcakes – they have fresh strawberries blended through the batter (no nasty chemical flavourings) and they taste amazing. I always hope there will be a couple left over for me to do some proper quality control afterwards!!
When requesting a quotation for a custom cake what things should be considered and/or asked?
It’s always a great idea for event planners to advise how many people are to be served, and if you are also serving other sweets? This can affect the portion sizes needed for the cake. Is there also a theme for the party? If not, colour themes can be easily incorporated, or even something to do with someone’s hobby. It’s also useful to know what type of venue the event will be held at – will the cake be on a display table inside or will the function be held outside in an open park? These things can help determine the best type of cake or goodies for the day.
If your budget is low what are some good options to make your dollar go further?
Parties and functions can certainly be expensive! Your event planner knows the smart ways of catering so it doesn’t break the bank. Supplying a smaller sized focal cake and then serving mini cupcakes is a way to keep the cost down for a large group of people. Mini cupcakes and cake pops are also a clean and easy way of serving dessert for a stand-up function. Sometimes people supplement dessert tables with homemade slices and goodies – it’s great to share the love!
Tips for caring for your cake, if there’s some left over?
There often isn’t much leftover (if any), but the best way is to store a cake iced with Swiss Meringue Buttercream in a sealed container, or covered in the fridge. Then bring the cake back to room temperature before enjoying again (it does depend on which cake you’ve selected though). Cake pops should not be stored in the fridge at all, as fridges and chocolate generally don’t get along.
How much notice should you give for your order?
It really depends and can vary according to the time of year and which way the wind is blowing! Sometimes I can be booked out for nearly two months in advance and then at other times I can fit you in for the following weekend. Cake pops are also easier to fit in than a cake or cupcakes. It’s always worth picking up the phone to ask!
What are some of the current cake trends
‘Naked Cakes’ are definitely one on trend at the moment. Don’t you just love the name? It always brings a smile to my face… A naked cake has buttercream or cream between the cake layers and a minimal spread of icing (if any) on the outside. They’re often decorated with fresh flowers and/or fresh fruit. I think they look fresh, inviting and gorgeous.
What is the most unique cake you have made?
I’ve had so much fun with themes, and I love a design challenge! Some of the more interesting cakes I’ve made include a cake decorated with a ladder made from cake pop sticks and little metal tools hanging from bunting for someone who can’t get enough of being a handyman, a fishing themed cake with all the decorations made from papercraft, and a cake with papercraft kangaroos and cake pops on top! I’ve also made a wedding cake with cake pops of the bride and groom on top – what fun! The craziest job, by far, would have to be a big cake pop display, themed with the beheaded Eddard Stark from Game of Thrones, with ‘blood’ coming down the cake pop sticks and ‘blood’ spattered on the stand. I struggled with that job a bit, but the 21 year old Birthday Boy was chuffed and had a huge smile on his face when he saw them! That’s all that matters.
Branding your cake – what should we consider?
Branding cakes for corporate events or special occasions is easy and thanks to fantastic modern technology, can be very effective. The use of ‘rice paper’ which runs through a food safe printer, allows you to pop perfectly clear logos and images on top of a cake, cupcakes or even cake pops. Further use of branding with colours is easy, using coloured patty pans, icing, or ribbons. I’ve even had a corporate customer send out individual cake pops in a branded tube, with an invitation tied to the stick – their clients loved it and made a talking point at the subsequent party.
Are you after more information? Little Dot is an ‘online’, home based business in Malvern. Have a look at the Little Dot Bake Shop website www.littledot.com.au and the Little Dot Bake Shop Facebook Page. Marina can also be contacted directly on 0417 834 710 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
At Eventful Projects we produce creative and unique event solutions. Our innovative approach to event management delivers remarkable and lasting experiences that captivate audiences.
For information about your next event contact Vicky at email@example.com or 0422 053 013.