Cake Experts: Difficult Cakes and How They Handled it

1st December 2017

We’ve all taken cakes as a symbol of celebration, don’t we?

Thus, aside from the best catering services in Manila, soon-to-be spouses and debutantes alike also expect highly from their chosen cake artists. Of course, a wedding and a debut cake isn’t something to be taken lightly as it is among the extremely significant elements in the event and what would complement the hired catering in Manila.

Yes, it is that significant.

However, it isn’t just about being personalized, elegant, and significant. From a cake artist’s point of view, there’s the planning, the ingredients, the execution, the intricate details that shouldn’t be missed, the collaboration with the provided catering in Manila, the stability of the overall product, the flavors, the delivery date and means, and the expectations of the clients that should be met – or exceeded.

 

The Experts and their Cake Escapades

It takes a whole new level of expertise to make that cake which can create a wonderful memory in the client’s event.

Every other cake artist has their own fair share of experience in creating difficult cakes for a wedding, debut, or other events catering in Manila — and that’s despite their expertise in the niche. In this article, we’ve compiled 7 different stories about the most challenging cake requests reputable and experienced cake artists have received and how they handled those tough times perfectly — even exceeding their clients’ expectations and very much complementing the atmosphere manifested by one of the best catering services in Manila.

You can also check their sites and social media accounts to find out more about them and maybe, you can find one that you can rely on for your big event or get inspirationfor your next special custom cake request!

Celina Uy on Wedding Lantern Cakes

Celina Uy on Wedding Lantern Cakes

Canvas Cake Studio – Weddings, Pastry Chef and Cake Decorator

“Lantern cakes has always been one of our “cake goals.” Our former business partner decided that we made one for her wedding. To our surprise, it wasn’t as easy as we thought it would. First off is the design, since we had no specifications, we decided to go all out on this cake. It had to be tall, elegant and had the lantern layers fit the cake nicely.

Once the design was polished, we had to source unfamiliar materials for the lantern layers. It was a bit difficult because we also had to think about the wiring and bulbs we needed to use inside the lantern cake. It took us about two weeks to finish. As the big day is nearing, we thought everything will go as smoothly as planned.

The cake was standing beautifully the night before. Unfortunately, at the very last minute, we had to dismantle some heavy layers because apparently it was too tall for our car’s compartment. Delivering the cake was also a struggle, it was an hour and a half ride to the venue. The cake kept shaking so one of us had to sit at the back and hold the cake to keep it from damaging the other decorations more. We were glad to have made it a few hours still early for the reception and managed to put back all the pieces together.

I think that our quick thinking is what saved us from further mishaps. Pondering on a problem will only cause more time than taking action that felt right at the moment.

This cake was indeed a stepping stone and an experience we all needed. All of our hard work definitely paid off after seeing the lantern cake finally lighted and stayed lit during the whole reception.”

Artist’s Bio: As a child, Ina has always been fascinated with her mom’s cooking and baking. At the age of 6, the kitchen was already a familiar place. From there, her passion for food grew into pursuing it into a career. She earned her degree in Culinary Arts at De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde’s SHRIM (School of Hospitality and Restaurant Institution Management) program. She was also a member of Young Hotelier’s Exposition (2012-2013) and was one of the organizers of the contest division of MAFBEX (Manila Foods and Beverages Expo) for the SHRIM program of DLS-CSB. Right after her On-the-Job training in Hyatt Newport Rhode Island in the US, she has decided to join CANVAS Cake Studio as one of the main full-time bakers and cake decorators.

Larisse Espinueva on an Alice in Wonderland Themed Debutante Cake

Larisse Espinueva on an Alice in Wonderland Themed Debutante Cake

Canvas Cake Studio, Founder, Head Pastry Chef, and Cake Decorator

“One of the most challenging cake orders we had was from one of our regular clients. He requested for 5-foot-tall Alice and Wonderland themed debutante cake with 18 pieces of mini cakes to be used during one of the programs.

Brainstorming for the design was exciting and really tested our abilities to create an original design. After a few days of preparing the decorations ahead, I received a call from our client at 1 in the morning informing us that he made a mistake with the date of the order. Instead, it was already for the next day! To our surprise, we were at first in panic since it was a large order and everything has already been paid for.

Overall, I think that the belief of our client in our skills is what kept us pushing to achieve and execute the cake well despite the time-constraints and sudden changes. That cake order taught us how important it is to have a presence of mind and teamwork.”

Artist’s Bio: Born to both artistically inclined parents, Larisse’s creativity and imagination has always been evident in her arts and crafts creations as a child. Growing up, she nurtured this skill, and eventually, decided to enter culinary school, Global Culinary and Hospitality Academy, where she earned her diploma in Professional Culinary and Baking & Pastry Arts, and finished the course with a Certificate of Academic Excellence, the most prestigious award in the program. As an On-the-Job trainee in New World Manila Bay Hotel (formerly HYATT), she has received professional training in the pastry kitchen, cold kitchen, and hot kitchen. Having learned the basics of cake decorating, she taught herself how to sculpt using homemade fondant, and having perfected her technique, decided to focus on custom cake creations. In the span of more than 5 years in the business, she has grown confident in making quality personalized pastries of all kinds, sizes, and designs for every occasion.

Enkhtur Maini on an Elegant White and Light Pink Flower Engagement Cake

Enkhtur Maini on an Elegant White and Light Pink Flower Engagement Cake

Dream Cake Studio, Cake Artist

“As a high-end custom cake artist, I am faces with very detailed orders. Our clients come to us for this exact reason, they want their “Dream Cake” for their birthdays, engagement parties, mile stone celebration and the wedding. Once, we received and accepted a very simple, Elegant White and Light pink flower engagement cake order. We finalized the design very easily only to realize we have truly underestimated the work and creativity for a simple, elegant cake design.

How difficult is it to work with just white color?

Originally planned 10 hours of work turned in to 50 hours of work with four times failed attempt. In a moment like this, I remind myself why I do what I do. I do it for love and creating wonderful memories for people. Failing and canceling this order was out the question! So, I stepped out of the studio to meditate and say affirmations like ‘I can do it and my client will be totally in love with the cake.’

Finally, the cake came out beautifully and my client gave me big hug and wonderful card saying ‘Thank you’ after her engagement party!'”

Artist’s Bio: Enkhtur Maini is a Cake Artist, and is the driving passion behind the fabulous, handcrafted, and highly personalized cakes and cake toppers at Dream Cake Studio. Her passion for cake styling was inspired by her wonderful grandmother, who raised her. They shared very happy memories of baking special birthday cakes every year.

From a young age, she would spend hours baking together with her grandmother, and that’s when her love for cakes began. These memories are what inspired her to become a mumpreneur, escaping a career in economics, and follow her artistic aspirations. Many long hours have been spent perfecting her self-taught art and it brings her immeasurable happiness to handcraft elegant cakes that bring such joy to others.

Enkhtur is proud to be featured by SassyMama as top 10 birthday cake maker in Singapore. She also enjoys teaching ‘How to Make Adorable Figurines’ in private workshops and regularly runs popular cake baking and decorating classes at artisan Providore Cooking Studio at downtown Singapore.

You may visit her works at Dream Cake Studio’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Francesca Manalo on Custom Cubic Zirconia Wedding Cake

Francesca Manalo on Custom Cubic Zirconia Wedding Cake

Chef Francesca’s Cupcakes Couture, Owner and Head Pastry Chef

CookieCo.ph, Head Pastry Chef

“Since we sell specialty cakes and cater mostly to people who want to have their cakes customized, most of the requests are difficult because we need to be able to provide and cater to our clients’ needs just by looking at their pegs or listening to their own ideas but based on my experience being on the industry for 6 years one of the most difficult requests was a custom-made wedding cake that is made out of cubic zirconia.

How did I handle it? Of course, it was difficult but with patience, motivation, focus, proper time management, good quality suppliers, and research me and my team was able to make it, without these you will never be able to create good quality cakes.“

Artist’s Bio: Chef Francesca Manalo is a 24 year-old, Owner and Head Pastry Chef of Chef Francesca’s Cupcakes Couture and also the Head Pastry Chef of the newest online business that they just launched this year, CookieCo.ph. She started the business when she was 19 years old, and later studied in the Academy for International Culinary Arts and Baking Arts School in San Mateo, California to nurture her skills.

Chef Francesca’s Cupcakes Couture also has an Instagram account which you can visit for more of their wonderful masterpieces.

Melissa Cardenas on a Sculpted Lechon Filipiniana-Themed Wedding Cake

Melissa Cardenas on a Sculpted Lechon Filipiniana-Themed Wedding Cake

Lovelots Cakes, Creative Director and Chief Cake Artist

“One challenging and memorable wedding cake request we had was a sculpted lechon cake for a Filipiniana themed wedding. It’s kind of unusual, but we are definitely up for the challenge! Before starting anything, we always make sure we collaborate with our clients very well so that their wedding cake will be an execution of their vision. Out of their chosen Chocolate Fudge cake flavor, we carefully sculpted a lechon figure, then airbrushed it to roasted perfection!

We aimed to make a realistic lechon cake, that tastes as great as it looks.

We believe we did it successfully because when we arrived at the reception venue — one of the best catering services in Manila was asking for it to be placed in the buffet area for chopping! Ultimately, we received heartwarming feedback from our client and that’s really what matters. We feel blessed to have clients that go beyond the norm and continue to push us to our limits.”

Artist’s Bio: Melissa is Lovelots Cakes’ Chief Cake Artist. Her natural inclination to everything polished and pleasant reflects with every cake that comes out of the studio. Constantly exploring the craft of Sugar and Pastry Arts, along with her delicate style, Mel manages to render cake creations that meet clients’ vision and expectations.

You can also reach her through Lovelots Cakes’ accounts in Facebook or Instagram.

Ria Calanog on a Hinted Wedding Cake

Ria Calanog on a Hinted Wedding Cake

The Cake Boutique Manila, Owner

“The most difficult cake request I’ve ever received from a client — a bride specifically — was “I want something girly but my fiancé does not, so surprise me!”. While I love requests like this, they’re also the scariest and most difficult as there is always the pressure of not knowing whether they will like a particular design. As a cake artist, I love being given creative freedom to create a one of a kind cake which allows me to go beyond my comfort zone and explore new ideas.

To create a seamless design which would fit into my client’s overall theme, I asked the bride (and the groom) what they both wanted and did not want to see and I took elements from their wedding such as invitations, flowers, backdrop etc. and incorporated it into my design. In the end my clients, both the bride and the groom were happy with what I produced, and I was able to create something which truly surprised and satisfied both the bride and groom.”

Artist’s Bio: Ria Calanog is a primarily self-taught sugar artist with over 14 years of experience. She has also studied under ICES Master Sugar Artists Norm Davis and B. Keith Ryder as well as internationally renowned cake decorator Susan Carberry. Formerly based in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, she now brings her skills and passion to Manila’s wedding and special events scene.

The Cake Boutique Manila also has its own Facebook and Instagram accounts that clients can easily visit.

Susan dela Cruz on How to Pull Off Different Cake Designs for Every Client

Susan dela Cruz on How to Pull Off Different Cake Designs for Every Client

Bethany Dream Cakes, Owner and Cake Artist

“Being in the industry for 13 years, you can say that one of the most challenging part is creating something different each time. We make sure we are still relevant today by being innovative but at the same time, keeping our identity. We cannot pinpoint 1 creation as the most challenging.

When we meet with clients we ask questions to get as much ideas from them as possible. Sometimes, they have so many elements in mind and not everything will look cohesive. We have to guide them without offending them. Next challenge would be the creation process, it’s making sure that we have the correct shade of pink or blue. There are a lot of times when we need to research a new technique and do trial and errors before finally applying it to the client’s order.

After creating, the delivery is also a big challenge. Sometimes, we have big landscaped cakes that are 6ft wide, it occupies the whole back of the van. It is also a challenge to maximize the trips given the traffic in the Metro, so we carefully plan the route of our deliveries. There are also some cakes that are delicate so the driver needs to drive slowly, and one assistant guards the cake at the back.”

Artist’s Bio: Bethany Dream Cakes (BDC) started as a hobby with the vision of becoming one of the best in the industry.  In 2005, the very first cake conceptualized and introduced by the Owner and Cake Artist, Susan Dela Cruz was a birthday cake. After receiving positive feedback and encouragements from families and close friends, the cake artist continued to create special wedding cakes and in 2006, the first official wedding cake was successfully launched.  After its initial launch, unexpected volume of orders started pouring in and the little home kitchen Susan utilizes to create her specialty cakes was not enough.  Thus, the need to get a bigger area along Quezon Avenue for the increasing manpower and equipment to provide a more efficient production.

Currently, BDC creates cakes for almost all and any occasions such as grand birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, corporate events, children’s parties and more.  The possibilities are endless.  Edible giveaways can also be made by request.

To view some of their works of art, you may visit their official Facebook and Instagram accounts. Online inquiries are welcome and areas outside Metro Manila can be served upon proper arrangements with the cake artist.

Joy Lyn on Specific Factors that Makes a Cake Request Difficult

Joy Lyn on Specific Factors that Makes a Cake Request Difficult

Captain’s Mix & Magic, Owner and Cake Artist

“For someone who has been baking and cake decorating for quite a while now, I have come across a handful of difficult cakes, but these cakes are difficult in their own certain way in such that it may be the time constraint, lack of specific raw materials, skill level requirement and so on. By definition, difficulty is a situation that is hard to accomplish, deal with or understand as well as it may be dangerous.

What can be difficult for one would be easy for another. In this line, I suppose cake difficulty depends on how prepared a supplier is to deliver the client’s desire. We must look at the main factors of creating a major celebration cake.

  1. Logistics– date, time, address, traffic weight on the day of the delivery.
  2. Raw material availability– are the ingredients, packaging and set up materials readily available, provided that these can be transformed into the ordered cake in due time?
  3. Baker/decorator skill– does the art and baking method of the one accepting the order match the requested cake? Can the person fulfill it?
  4. External elements that affect the integrity of the cake. Can the cake withstand weather challenge?
  5. Contingency plan– if any of the four factors above may be a concern, does the supplier have a backup plan?

These are the factors that I consider that make up whether a cake is difficult or easy. And sometimes, these are addressed to in progression.

Example, during a cake inquiry we will be clarifying the logistics. If we can still accommodate another cake production for that particular date but the delivery is rather tight in schedule, then the cake will be difficult. Sourcing the ingredients wouldn’t be difficult, baking and decorating would be within the skill set of our team. Weather is fine and dandy on the day, but we would have to consider a contingency plan for delivery.

Another example is when the ordered cake would need a component that needs to be procured overseas or across a region. These would entail cost which will be added onto the cake quote.  If the client is amenable to the arrangement and there is also no problem with the time of preparation, then the cake would not be difficult. If the client’s response is not particularly favorable yet insisting on the inclusion of that specific element, then the cake is difficult.

Perhaps the most frequent mistake that bakers or cake decorators or both would commit is to accept an order that may be beyond their skill set. Even more dangerous is if the baker or cake decorator does not test or practice before the actual cake order. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Second to this would be giving the incorrect quote for the order. This would limit the capacity of the supplier to accomplish the order.

My identification of the above factors are learned the hard way. In the early years, mistakes would really be made and cake fails will happen if you really do not plan ahead. Online videos truly look easy to do but if you do not actually practice, it will boggle your mind how it was done so seemingly easily then when you actually do it, it is a mountain of a challenge. I believe these are the situations that gave birth to “cake expectation vs. reality” memes. It is funny when we look at it but these cake fails are actually hours of gruesome work to the point of tears for some.

However, frustrations can also be seen as a pivotal point of improvement. One is frustrated because he or she knows better can be done. Thus, a better procedure next time can be applied. Eventually, something difficult becomes easy.”

Artist’s Bio: Captain’s Mix & Magic had its humble beginnings from hotcakes. It was the first mix that introduced us to the magic of baking and pastry.

As enthusiasts of baking cakes, cupcakes, brownies and cookies, we have grown to experiment and test several recipes that eventually built our product base. Formal culinary instruction and industry experience made this interest into a passion. Now, every cake, every slice, every pie, every cookie and every dessert snack is made with utmost care and quality. As the canvass, paint and brush are the tools of an artistic painter, so are the cake, sugar and piping bag for the artistic baker. We have come to the mission of bringing the banquet cake back to its prime significance to the celebration and that is being part of the banquet itself; not just an item for display. Our aim is to foster a more meaningful banquet experience by serving the cake as the star of the dessert selection.

Whether it is a child’s birthday, a young lady’s debut, a couple’s engagement, the bride and groom’s wedding, a husband and wife’s anniversary or a business’ grand opening or product launching, each design goes through an intricate process of finding the balance between client preference, value and product quality.

You are the most important component of the design. We work to ensure you get the product of your dreams and because cakes are meant to be eaten, you also get the product that your palate deserves.

 

Key Takeaway

Have you ever experienced inquiring for a cake customization and being responded to with an inquiry about your location? Indeed, cakes can be a handful of work — from the planning, execution, and last-minute changes to the delivery of the actual product. All these factors affect the final product of a cake, a bit similar to how the best catering services in Manila work on their forte. It is upon every artist’s technique and best practices as to how they can succeed every other client’s cake request.

Now that you’ve made it this far, here’s our conclusion as to how you can succeed a difficult cake request from a client – whetheryou are working on your own line or from one of the best catering services in Manila:

collaborate

Collaborate. For a product to be considered successful, it is important that artists know how to collaborate with their respective clients and the people they work with such as their chosen catering service in Manila. Best ask what they want and what they don’t. This will help you pattern your design especially if you are only given an idea, and not the exact inspiration itself, in a seamless manner. This will also help avoid miscommunications between you and the client, thus, earn positive feedback from your clients.

execute

Execute. Every other artist has their own way of creating cakes, which we call techniques. In the process, they learn how to execute these techniques in the operations to create unique and original designs, and plan their own strategies in order to make the impossible possible for their clients. This goes most significantly for special custom-made cakes as these are unusual to make. However, don’t be afraid of making mistakes as these are most probably the best way to grow in your craft. Even the best catering service in Manila do, too.

take action

Take Action. Given that there would be times that you will encounter last-minute changes and mishaps during the making of the cake, it is important to take action instead of dwelling on it. You have to clear your mind and think quickly to resolve the problem in order to succeed in your craft.

explore

Explore. For a cake artist to succeed in the industry, it is most important that you are willing to go beyond your comfort zone and explore other techniques in making a cake. Even the best catering services in Manila go out their way – tofind better, quality supplies and equipment to make better, innovative products. However, it’s as significant to note that you maintain your trademark to establish a unique and original persona in the field of artistry.

Whether you are a client looking for a cake artist or a fellow cake artist working in one of the best catering services in Manila who’s looking for some inspiration, we hoped you found your missing piece from this article.

If you are looking for a catering service in Manila that’ll best pair with your cake artist, visit Juan Carlo. They offer the best deals around Manila, and even in the outskirts of the Metro that you should not miss!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *