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Wedding Cakes

Honey, the pandemic has shrunk our wedding cake

Instead of the intricate, tiered cakes she usually creates, the mother of a bride ordered a 5-inch version that would feed about 10 people, says Bunce-Timmons, owner of The Hudson Cakery, an upscale bespoke cake shop in Weehawken, New Jersey. The catch: it should still feel chic.

This is a tricky task when you only have a tiny cake to work with.

“Shrink a three-tier cake to a smaller five-inch cake The round cake was a challenge as there was a physical lack of space to add certain items, “she said. There were some things that just had to be scrapped.” On the original wedding cake, we wanted to add a large pair of 3D sugar love birds, but we couldn’t make a smaller replica on the smaller cake. ”

2020 was a nightmare for the wedding business, with many marriages postponed or canceled altogether and numerous companies relying on them to struggle to survive. Vendors, from florists to caterers, had to adapt their offers or face the option of closing the shop permanently.

When people switch to smaller outdoor ceremonies, weddings and zoom Even elopements, smaller cakes have become the standard – so much so that bakers have referred to them as “covid cakes,” typically six to nine inches in diameter.

However, the new shrunk norm creates an additional level of complexity: bakers need to test their creative limits to find a way to embody the complexity and glamor that customers want despite the smaller workspace.

Piping patterns and fake planes

Alluding to the original design, Bunce-Timmons added flowers to their shrunken cake to enhance the design but keep it nifty. And she zhuzhed it even more by adding a piping pattern on the sides with the same roses she would have on the original cake, just without the love birds.

“The new smaller cake looked like what the top tier of your three- or four-tier cake should have looked like,” said Bunce-Timmons.

Of course, orders for Covid cakes don’t make up for the loss of bigger ticket goodies. For example, Bunce-Timmons charges $ 50 to $ 150 for her shrunk cakes, compared to around $ 1,000 for the tiered cakes she used to make.

And she says she makes less profit on smaller cakes when you factor in costs.

At the moment, Covid cakes are still attracting urgently needed orders, say bakers. Plus, the mini-cake trend is likely to continue, said Kristen Maxwell Cooper, editor-in-chief of The Knot, a wedding planning website.

That’s partly because it’s unclear when large gatherings will feel safe again, she said. Also, smaller desserts were on the rise at pre-pandemic receptions.

“Although they will be smaller, that doesn’t mean the cakes aren’t as dynamic in the details,” she said. “After all, the cake tends to solidify the idea of ​​a wedding.”

That means figuring out how to sell smaller cakes that are still eye-catching is crucial for bakers.

The pandemic has hit Amy Beck’s Chicago-based Amy Beck Cake Design pretty hard. “I used to have five full-time employees and now it’s just me,” she said, adding that she had turned to fulfilling 6-inch cake orders.

While some customers preferred to keep the simplicity of a smaller cake, for others Beck added glamor with figurines and sugared decorative flowers.

Not all cupcakes are less than $ 100. One challenge is explaining to brides and grooms why a tiny cake should still cost hundreds of dollars.

Elaine Ardizzone, owner of Sweet Cheeks Baking Company in San Diego, delivers a small wedding cake.

“Some people don’t want to spend $ 200 on a tiny 6-inch cake,” Beck said. “But what people need to understand is that all the same processes go into a small cake that go into a big cake. You still have to bake, stack … do all the decorations, decorate the cake, set [it] Put it in a box on a presentation board and prepare. “

Some customers opt for a different solution that bakers find easier in terms of design: big and wrong.

“We actually booked a couple of customers who kept the dream cake by showing us a huge drama involving artificial cake steps,” said Elaine Ardizzone, owner of Sweet Cheeks Baking Company in San Diego. The cakes were for a small personal wedding this year.

“I just wanted to be married”

That doesn’t mean that couples forego the good entirely. Customers were still asking for “Rose-designed takeaway cupcakes and even a couple of grooms.” [and] The partner’s cakes crept into the mix, “she said.

Bakers say the cakes are usually met with rave reviews. Really, a lot of couples are just glad to be stopped.

Taylor Porter and her husband Christopher Wilson were due to tie the knot on June 5th in Jersey City, New Jersey. Your wedding would have over 100 guests, many of whom were from out of town.

Taylor Porter and Christopher Wilson.

“We went from there to an escape with only five participants,” said Porter.

Porter and Wilson married on April 11 and celebrated with a 6-inch vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream frosting that Bunce-Timmons had made and decorated with white buttercream rosettes.

Your original cake would have been a tiered traditional wedding cake provided by the wedding venue. But she set her expectations according to the time.

“There are no disappointments at all,” said Porter. “Of course we would have wanted our wonderful original wedding with all of our families, but Chris and I just wanted to be married.”

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