How to Have a Great Wedding Cake in Chicago
Chicago may be known as the Windy City to outsiders, but for anyone who’s eaten there, it’s a decadent delight. “Chi town offers an incredible array of delicious treats that will make the palate water upon sight,” says L.A. Chef David Brian Sanders, who relishes hitting dessert spots whenever he travels to the Midwestern city. Needless to say, finding the perfect wedding cake baker for your Chicago affair should be a breeze.
Start your Chicago cake baker search 6 months’ prior to your wedding date. Caterers in Chicago generally offer cake as part of the package, and couples go this route for simplicity and efficiency. Catered cakes usually save you money too. However, if you’re looking for a cake that’s more complicated or stylized, hire a baker.
When searching, ask friends and relatives, and make sure to consider restaurants where you’ve been served a wonderful dessert. If the little bakery around the corner makes a fab cake, ask if they do wedding cakes. Your cake can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,000 (for 100 guests), depending on the baker, your type of cake, and how many you order. Before “interviewing” bakers, write down flavors you love, bring in pictures of cakes that have caught your eye, and make note of any food allergies you have.
Even if you have a general idea of the kind of cake you want, a good baker will offer suggestions. Generally, he’ll show you three kinds; something trendy, something traditional, and something he’s famous for. Do not discount his ideas; he may whip something up that rocks your world.
While blue velvet cake and carrot cake (with or without nuts) are very popular now, cupcakes are trendy too. They can be tiered and served as the main cake, or offered up as a second “cake” in the same or different flavor. They make great favors too. Another big trend are groom cakes, which used to be served in “guy” shapes, like footballs and racing cars. Nowadays, couples are serving them with the main cake, but in a different flavor.
When you’re ready to get serious about fluff, check the OurWeddingDay.com Local Vendor Section for a list of first-tier wedding cake bakers in Chicago.
If cost is a concern, your best bet is to order one cake. Another option is to make tiers small and have a sheet cake in the kitchen, which the caterers slice and serve. Cake can also take the place of the dessert dish at dinner.
On the day of your wedding, the cake baker will deliver your cake (he should have already made sure storage facilities are adequate). If you’re having an outside, summer affair, discuss ahead of time any concerns you have about melted frosting. Professional cake bakers are used to dealing with the elements.
Once you’ve found your wedding-cake baker, sink your teeth into the flavor of love.