This is the second in a series of blog posts covering the most common mistakes made by cake artists when making cake toppers. I’ve spoken to cake friends, I’ve surveyed my mailing list and I’ve used my own experiences to bring you this information which I know I would have found useful some years ago!
You can read the first one here, which covered MATERIALS, including what I prefer to use and why. Also if you’re on my mailing list then you will have received a photo of the very first cake topper I ever made! I’m sharing that in every email in this series so soon you’ll all know it as well as I do haha!
Today we are talking about MAKING A CAKE TOPPER ENTIRELY EDIBLE. Or NOT … which is my preference, and I’m here to tell you why ..
Firstly, there are no prizes for making cake toppers entirely edible. Ok, unless you’re entering a cake competition like Cake International, maybe THEN there are prizes, but other than that? There are no prizes! You do of course need to have a conversation with your client about their expectations, and I cover that later on ..
Now, let’s talk a little about the perceived difference between wedding and celebration or birthday cakes.
Wedding cakes: fancy topper that the couple more than likely want to keep.
Celebration cakes: usually for children, they want to stuff their character toppers in to their mouths quicker than their guests can sing happy birthday and spend the rest of the day bouncing around on a sugar high.
that’s not often the case anymore .. and it doesn’t have to be .. and it shouldn’t be! Our industry has moved on, standards have gone up, customer expectations have gone up as a result. Cakes are being ordered for people of all ages as a gesture of love for all kinds of occasions (birthday, engagement, retirement as examples) and these days people want high quality for all their occasion cakes, not just weddings. They want a centrepiece at their special occasion that can be admired AND enjoyed by their guests.
So that gap that used to exist between the quality clients expected for a wedding cake versus the quality they expected for a celebration cake?
It doesn’t exist anymore!
So we as cake artists need to be creating the best quality cake toppers we can, offering our clients the most for their money and making them want to keep coming back for future occasions. We should be showing our clients the value they get when they order from us.
How do you do that for cake toppers? Forget about trying to make them entirely edible!
Ok, first let your client know that’s your policy so you can be sure they don’t actually want their child/ren bouncing off the walls (in my experience if they DO want toppers to be edible then it’s either easy to convince them they’ll be getting better quality without that possibility, or compromise and make some of the item/s edible so they can be taken apart and the safe parts can be demolished).
Of course, this is all assuming you WANT to be earning a good income from your business and creating high quality products for your customers so they keep coming back time after time, which is hopefully something we all aspire to if we’re not already there!
Look out for the next post, when I’ll be talking about HOW to create a high quality cake topper that isn’t entirely edible .. (but still food safe, ALWAYS food safe)