It’s an honor to be adding Cakes by Stefanie to our Featured Vendor list. Stefanie has established a reputation as one of the top wedding cake designers in the Coeur d’ Alene and Spokane area. We’ve used her yummy cakes for several inspiration shoots and are always so impressed with the attention to detail Stefanie gives each one of her creations. She also keeps abreast of all the wedding cake trends nationwide so she can pass the knowledge onto her brides and grooms.
And most importantly, Stefanie’s cakes are DELICIOUS! She only uses the best ingredients and operates on the philosophy that cakes should be beautiful AND tasty.
Here’s an interview with Stefanie…
How long have you been baking cakes?
I have been baking cakes for as long as I’ve been in the kitchen, starting beside my mom as a child. The first cake I actually remember was a chocolate/mocha cake that I made for our county fair at age 15, which won Grand Prize, which was a big deal back then.
What made you decide to go into wedding cakes?
It really started after I bought a book by the incredible Sylvia Weinstock around 2001. When our kids were small, I was very excited about creating unique custom cakes for them, and I was beginning to be asked more often to design cakes for extended family and friends. I had taken the Wilton cake decorating course, and I bought Sylvia’s book on a whim, because of her flair for buttercream and sugarpaste, but instead it was a revelation of the beauty and craft that now goes into wedding cakes. Not long after that, I was asked to bake wedding cakes for two family members, and it just took off from there. Over ten years, thousands of events, and multiple awards later, I still love every new wedding cake we design!
Do you make other types of desserts? If so, what types?
I don’t think there’s any dessert I haven’t made, so I always tell brides, if they have something they *love*, just ask–we can probably make it! We do try to focus our main menu on tiered wedding cakes, but cupcakes, pies and tarts, cheesecake, cookies, brownies, cream puffs, and croquembouche are just a few of the other delicious things I’ve made for various events.
What makes your cake recipes unique?
- Quality ingredients: We use the highest quality ingredients we can find, which definitely makes a difference. Each of our cakes and fillings are made completely from scratch, with no short-cuts, which is part of why we’re still a small, custom bakery rather than a large-volume production or walk-in bakery. We try to always use fresh local fruits in season, imported cocoa and chocolate, real bourbon vanilla, and we use local and/or organic ingredients whenever possible.
- Test of time: Our recipes have been tested and re-tested for over a decade. They have been raved about by our friends, our brides, our customers, and their guests, with further proof being in the numerous awards we’ve been honored with. Our private cookbook at the bakery includes recipes I’ve developed over the years, recipes gleaned from some of this country’s most elite circle of famous bakers, recipes handed down from prior generations, and combinations of all three.
What do you think is the secret to a good wedding cake?
Absolutely first and foremost, that it must taste as great as it looks! No compromise, in either department!
Photo by AiP Photography
How should brides choose their cake?
This info is also on the website, but it bears repeating:
- Budget: Know your budget and what to expect in terms of pricing. Cakes are generally charged “per serving”, with price increasing depending on design and/or ingredients, so your head count is an important factor in terms of what you’ll be spending.
- Taste: First, find someone who makes cake you love, because it should taste as good as it looks! Do they have a limited menu, or can you have your favorite combo of flavors? Can you have mix and match different flavored tiers?
- Ability: Look through a prospective baker’s portfolio, and you will get a definite feel for their personal decorating style and range of ability. You need to be confident that they can create your dream cake. Beware of a baker who promises they can make ‘anything you want’; a good baker will definitely tell you if a design is beyond their ability. Do their cakes reflect a variety of skills, or do they seem to favor a particular style?
- Personality: Find someone who you *click* with–if you don’t, you’ll know it. Your wedding is a special day, and you want to be working with vendors you enjoy, and who are happy to be working with you as well.
- Service: Do they respond quickly to phone calls/emails? Do they make you feel like they are thrilled to be working with you, not “squeezing you in” or “doing you a favor”? Check their references, reviews, etc.
Photo by Rebecca Hollis Photography
What are some of the wedding cake trends you’re seeing for 2012?
Ahh, trends! This year so far for style, we’re seeing lots of Victorian, vintage, rustic, natural, and romantic style, swirled (homemade-looking) icing, and lots of fresh and sugar flowers. The flip side is a trend towards super chic and clean couture-type cakes, which I also adore. Colors we’re seeing most so far are shades of green (sage, celadon, apple, lime, moss), shades of purple (eggplant, plum, lavender), and a new return of navy blue and blush pink. Pantone’s Color of the Year (orange) is showing some, but not as much as I’d expected.
What is your favorite flavor?
Too many favorites to pick just one, but if I had to, today I’d have to go with Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse.
Photo by Michelle Nagle Photography
For more information check out the Cakes by Stefanie website or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org!