Thursday, December 10, 2009

Going bananas for cake

This past Sunday, Guitar Fred and I met up with Alison of Two for Two Cakes for our formal cake tasting. We sampled the following flavors:

  • AUNT CHICKIE'S RED VELVET: Red Velvet with Cinnamon & Cocoa,Toasted Pecans,Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting 
  • PEANUT BUTTER CUP: Chocolate Butter Cake,Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting,Salted Peanuts 
  • BEA'S BANANA: Banana Cake, Heath Bar Toffee Bits,Vanilla or Chocolate Buttercream
  • TRADITIONAL WEDDING CAKE: White Butter Cake, Seasonal Organic Fresh Fruit, Vanilla Buttercream

I thought the Red Velvet would be the sure winner since it's been my favorite for ages, until we tasted Bea's Banana and Peanut Butter Cup. We were sold after the first bites of each. Not only because of the delicious, off-the-beaten-path flavor, but also because the cost per slice is $6 -- which is very reasonable in the Bay Area!

To cut costs, we decided to go for a two-tier square base with a round top tier in Bea's Banana to serve 65 guests. I'm providing a vintage diamond-cut milk glass cake stand,  fresh flowers and custom cake topper. The costs for the cake include the ingredients, Alison's labor, delivery and setup.

The remaining 40-50 guests will be served a sheet cake of Peanut Butter Cup. Using a sheet cake can typically cut costs and guests won't know the difference because after the initial bride-groom slicing of the cake, the cake is often whisked away by catering staff to be divvied up and served.

Additional ways we're keeping the cost down is to use buttercream versus fondant. At the outset, Guitar Fred and I knew fondant wasn't for us because of its texture. Alison understood and said, "You want a Betty Crocker cake, the kind where you just want to lick the icing right off!" 

I was surprised to see that most of her clients opted for a white wedding cake and learned that it's challenging to have a deeply hued buttercream -- fondant holds up color much better. Nonetheless, she will be providing sketches on what a yellow buttercream wedding cake will look like with the details I like (swags and beading). Here's the cake from her portfolio that matches closest to what we're looking for:

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