A piece of cake? Everything you need to know about choosing a wedding cake from a wedding cake expert!
Malarkey Cakes are far from ordinary. Katie incorporates modern art and architecture to create cakes that are not only stunning, but a STATEMENT piece for your wedding day! Marlakey cakes offer design conscious couples edible masterpieces.
I’m in absolutely awe of Katie’s ability to turn a cake into a piece of art! Each cake is different from the last and truly unique. Katie is a creative genius; you can spot a Malarkey Cake from a mile away.
Meet Katie, the founder of Malarkey Cakes.
How did Malarkey Cakes begin?
Malarkey Cakes was born in 2013 when I got engaged. I decided I wanted to make absolutely everything for our wedding and was a proper DIY bride (the kind of thing I don’t encourage because it’s super time consuming and stressful!) I decided I wanted to make our wedding cake and my future husband and my mum both told me that was a silly idea. I didn’t listen and decided to do a short course. Seeing that I wasn’t going to back down, my fiance bought me a stand mixer (still my good old trusty stand mixer to this day) and also enrolled me in a wedding cake class as a present.
This springboarded me into making cakes all the time and having to give out the masses of cake to my friends, neighbours and colleagues (I was working as an English language teacher at the time) and this was actually great marketing and promotion too. Before I knew it I was taking orders and got too busy fulfilling orders to keep my job!
Malarkey Cakes was reborn a couple of years into my journey though. I remember having a moment when I realised I wasn’t actually enjoying the cakes I was making. I have a background in design ( I studied graphic design at uni) and I really wanted to design cakes and create a unique business. So I started to experiment and to create and showcase more one off unique pieces and that’s where Malarkey Cakes is at today.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I adore modern architecture and interiors and so that’s where I get the ideas for lots of the cakes I create. There is something so satisfying about creating a unique cake for a couple’s big day that’s inspired by the room where it’ll be on display. I have even made a cake inspired by a couple’s modern kitchen interior before!
I also take inspiration from graphic design, the shapes and forms that occur naturally in nature and just about anywhere that’s not other people’s cakes. I won’t create a cake copied from another cake. I don’t feel that sits with the bespoke cake service that I offer. Also, why would you want a cake that another couple have already had at their wedding when you can have anything you want? I always encourage my clients to go for a cake that reflects them, their venue, their story or some aspect of themselves.
What is your most popular wedding cake flavour?
100% my most popular wedding cake flavour is lemon and blueberry. I think it’;s such a big hit because it’s light, full of flavour and the real blueberries add interest as well as keep the moisture in the cake. The second most popular is sticky toffee pudding cake which is totally different. It’s a bit denser, much sweeter, and feels really indulgent.
What is a ‘healthy budget’ for a bespoke wedding cake?
I find that couples or potential clients can sometimes have budgets or arbitrary numbers set in their minds about certain parts of their weddings. They might be influenced by the people around them who recently got married and told them how much they spent on certain things. I think one big issue is that a lot of blogs and publications can set price expectations for couples by promoting ‘the best cakes for less than £300’ or ‘wedding cakes on a budget’.
I think it’s so important to approach suppliers with an open mind and think about what that particular supplier specialises in. Sorry but you won’t get a cake from me for £300. My minimum spend amount is £1200 and that’s because I design all my cakes and I deliver a bespoke service and experience to my clients. So, to answer the budget questions, cake prices can vary so much, so ultimately, it depends what you want your cake to be.
Why is a wedding cake so ‘expensive’?
As I’ve mentioned above, I deliver a bespoke wedding cake service and experience to my clients. I create one off edible centrepieces that their guests won’t see anywhere else. I believe that with anything for a wedding, you get what you pay for but also have the right to prioritise certain things. My couples are foodies, they love cake and a lot of the time the cake is one of the first things they book because it’s important to them. I think what one person can see as expensive, another might think is a bargain.
But to answer your question more literally too, so much goes into making a wedding cake that people just don’t realise. There is a lot of planning, correspondence with clients, meetings, designing, organising where the cake will be set up to ensure it won’t get too hot, arranging cake stands and making sure they’ll fit the design, ordering ingredients and equipment and all that’s before the actual baking and decorating. Then of course there is boxing up, delivering the cake, setting it up and then of course the cleaning. I’ve probably missed some things out too!
When should a couple order their wedding cake?
I always encourage couples just to get in touch with me as soon as possible to make sure I have availability for their wedding cake, especially in the peak summer months.
What is your process for ordering a wedding cake?
Once a client gets in touch and we agree we are a good fit, I send over a questionnaire that they can complete to tell me more about their wedding day, their cake and what flavours they’d like to try for their tasting session. I actually hold wedding cake tasting and design sessions as this is a great opportunity to discuss cake flavour and the design of the cake at the same time.
I send out my sample cake boxes by post for couples to taste before the session and then we get down to discussing the design and I will create a very rough outline of their cake design and compile their ideas at this stage. Next I will create a digital design sketch for couples to see how their cake will look on the day and tweak the design until they are happy with it as well as send them over a full proposal including the cake, and extras like cake stands and the total costing. Once all this is agreed, clients book in and then it’s just waiting until their big day when they see it for real.
What’s the best advice for a couple choosing their wedding cake designer?
Take a look at what that cake designer specialises in if anything. Think about what type of cake you actually want and choose a designer that can create the cake you want. Couples shouldn’t come to me looking for a semi naked cake as that’s just not what I do, but fondant covered architecture inspired wafer paper cakes, that’s me. Clients should also consider if they can, who the original maker of a cake was. For me there is nothing worse than assuming any cake maker can just copy a cake and it will look the same as the one in the image. It won’t and this can be disappointing!
Can you show us your favourite cake you have designed so far in your career and tell us a bit about it?
This is tricky, but can I pick two? The first of which is the geometric cake. It’s become my signature cake and I have now made it in so many different variations. This is the technique I came up with back in the days of trying to recreate Malarkey Cakes. I started experimenting with wafer paper and this creation was born.
The second favourite is the origami cake. Again I have now made so many different variations. I think it’s a hit because it’s white, so it nods to the traditional white cake, but it’s anything but traditional. It also fits in well with so many different venue styles both contemporary and more classic.
I hope you found this blog helpful and it gave you clarity on the process of working with an amazing cake designer and where to begin.
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